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Old 12-29-2017, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,469,153 times
Reputation: 1159

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Thanks for all the input, everyone - please keep it coming! I've traveled all over the world so I'm okay with whatever it takes to keep us safe. Pat me, scan me. I don't care, because we aren't doing anything wrong.

My mother is very mobile for an 80-year-old (think a 60-year-old in looks and demeanor) so no worries about her getting around anywhere, unless there are steep rough pathways she has to climb up. :-)

As for money, I always get some from BOA prior to leaving for a big trip so I don't have to worry about exchanging when I first get there, since their exchange rate is very good, then I check to see if there is a sister bank in whatever country I'm in where I won't have fees to get more. (And yes, we will definitely be flying cattle class, so I'm closely looking at the airline, type of plane, and layover location before I book - wish the visa situation was resolved in Turkey so we could have a long layover in Istanbul but it doesn't seem as though it is)

I'm liking the suggestions of staying in various locations to better accommodate our explorations of the different areas. I do want to spend at least one or two nights in Tel Aviv, though, so I can dive the Mediterranean there. I've heard the diving is quite good and close to the shore. Any input on that?
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:55 AM
 
1,154 posts, read 1,871,272 times
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I'm a scuba diver and I've not heard anything about diving in the Med, but if you go down to Eilat, the diving's supposed to be very good. Diving is never the best around a large city, due to runoff.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:55 AM
 
9,186 posts, read 9,265,199 times
Reputation: 28754
Quote:
Originally Posted by RooCeleste View Post
Thanks for all the input, everyone - please keep it coming! I've traveled all over the world so I'm okay with whatever it takes to keep us safe. Pat me, scan me. I don't care, because we aren't doing anything wrong.

My mother is very mobile for an 80-year-old (think a 60-year-old in looks and demeanor) so no worries about her getting around anywhere, unless there are steep rough pathways she has to climb up. :-)

As for money, I always get some from BOA prior to leaving for a big trip so I don't have to worry about exchanging when I first get there, since their exchange rate is very good, then I check to see if there is a sister bank in whatever country I'm in where I won't have fees to get more. (And yes, we will definitely be flying cattle class, so I'm closely looking at the airline, type of plane, and layover location before I book - wish the visa situation was resolved in Turkey so we could have a long layover in Istanbul but it doesn't seem as though it is)

I'm liking the suggestions of staying in various locations to better accommodate our explorations of the different areas. I do want to spend at least one or two nights in Tel Aviv, though, so I can dive the Mediterranean there. I've heard the diving is quite good and close to the shore. Any input on that?
The best thing you can do money wise when you travel is get a debit card that has no foreign transaction fees. A number of these exist. I have one with a credit union that is wonderful. Than you simply go to the card machine every day and draw out your maximum which is about $300. Most people can travel on $300 a day. That way, you aren't carrying around super large sums of cash if you have the misfortune to be robbed or have your pocket picked. Credit cards are not as universally accepted in foreign countries as they are in America. However, many hotels and restaurants in foreign countries will take them. You should get one with no fees for exchanging money. I have the Chase Reserve card and no fees are charged for foreign exchange when I buy items in a foreign currency.

Your trip to Israel sounds fun. Enjoy yourself.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:01 AM
 
32,060 posts, read 32,956,580 times
Reputation: 14944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
Not the Israeli ATM, the Debit card issuer may charge a foreign country transaction fee and exchange amount which is usually the highest rate for a calendar month.
There are some American banks that don't charge foreign transaction fees or ATM charges when using their debit card overseas to withdraw money at foreign ATM/cash machines. The OP needs to look into this before leaving the USA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johninvegas View Post
I'm a scuba diver and I've not heard anything about diving in the Med, but if you go down to Eilat, the diving's supposed to be very good. Diving is never the best around a large city, due to runoff.
I am not a scuba diver but I know someone that learned to scuba dive in the Mediterranean but I haven't heard anything remarkable about it. On the other hand, it is well known that if one scuba dives in the Red Sea (such as from Eilat as mentioned above) there is a coral reef which I am sure would be of interest. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilat%27s_Coral_Beach &
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QnBr3IqptQ )
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,353 posts, read 24,084,481 times
Reputation: 8864
Quote:
Originally Posted by RooCeleste View Post
Thanks for all the input, everyone - please keep it coming! I've traveled all over the world so I'm okay with whatever it takes to keep us safe. Pat me, scan me. I don't care, because we aren't doing anything wrong.

My mother is very mobile for an 80-year-old (think a 60-year-old in looks and demeanor) so no worries about her getting around anywhere, unless there are steep rough pathways she has to climb up. :-)

As for money, I always get some from BOA prior to leaving for a big trip so I don't have to worry about exchanging when I first get there, since their exchange rate is very good, then I check to see if there is a sister bank in whatever country I'm in where I won't have fees to get more. (And yes, we will definitely be flying cattle class, so I'm closely looking at the airline, type of plane, and layover location before I book - wish the visa situation was resolved in Turkey so we could have a long layover in Istanbul but it doesn't seem as though it is)

I'm liking the suggestions of staying in various locations to better accommodate our explorations of the different areas. I do want to spend at least one or two nights in Tel Aviv, though, so I can dive the Mediterranean there. I've heard the diving is quite good and close to the shore. Any input on that?
From TX, you should be able to get flights via United and do your stop over in NJ or France. Currently I wouldn't use Turkey as a stop before Israel. As to diving I'd go to Eilat and not Tel Aviv.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,469,153 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by johninvegas View Post
I'm a scuba diver and I've not heard anything about diving in the Med, but if you go down to Eilat, the diving's supposed to be very good. Diving is never the best around a large city, due to runoff.
I've read about Gordon Caves and Bird Head Canyon, both just off the Tel Aviv shore. The Sea Wolf wreck is supposed to be good too but I'm not AOW and won't have time to get it before I go, so that's not an option. I'm the only diver of the group so I don't want us to travel anywhere special just for diving; it would be much simpler to just add a day or so at the beginning in Tel Aviv where I could do a couple of tanks.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Lone Star State to Peach State
3,823 posts, read 3,510,156 times
Reputation: 6913
Enjoy your trip. What a great gift to receive. I'm in my 50's and we went with a tour group. Lots of walking. Lots of climbing. I also went with a women's Jewish group. What a fantastic trip.
Christian perspective, i'd stay in Jerusalem.
If she enjoys the coastal scene, then Tel Aviv would do.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,469,153 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
The best thing you can do money wise when you travel is get a debit card that has no foreign transaction fees. A number of these exist. I have one with a credit union that is wonderful. Than you simply go to the card machine every day and draw out your maximum which is about $300. Most people can travel on $300 a day. That way, you aren't carrying around super large sums of cash if you have the misfortune to be robbed or have your pocket picked. Credit cards are not as universally accepted in foreign countries as they are in America. However, many hotels and restaurants in foreign countries will take them. You should get one with no fees for exchanging money. I have the Chase Reserve card and no fees are charged for foreign exchange when I buy items in a foreign currency.

Your trip to Israel sounds fun. Enjoy yourself.
Thank you! I already have several credit cards without foreign transaction fees that I have used all over the world. The ONLY country I've found where they won't work is Cuba. Otherwise, except for markets and small stores, obviously, they've worked for me.
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:26 PM
Status: "I am Blessed." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Spurs country. "Go, Spurs, Go!"
3,400 posts, read 3,962,033 times
Reputation: 8771
Default Researching Trip to Israel

I am in the process of researching a group trip to Israel, through a Christian Travel Company that specializes in Christian cruises and tours, in the Spring of 2019, hosted by a pastor/church I am very impressed with (I do not attend this church). I did a search on CD for "Israel" and this thread came up. It is perfect for what I am looking for, so I am going to "resurrect" it (pun intended, LOL) for my informational needs. Thank you to all who will participate, I appreciate all the stories and facts that you care to provide.

I plan to contact the Travel Company for answers to some questions, mostly financial, to help me decide what will be right for me. In the meantime, I ask you, the CD travel experts, for your advice and tips.

First, OP, I am going to assume you and your mother went on this trip in the spring. I would love to hear all about it! I am impressed that your mother, for being 80, is like a 60ish woman in health and mobility. I will be 63 when this trip takes place. I only hope I am in as good of shape as your mother.

My first question is: has anyone stayed in a Kibbutz? This is the least expensive choice of accommodations. Please describe what one is. I had to look it up. It appears it is like a community gathering place? Bare bones? The other accommodation choices are 3/4 Star, 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe. Wow, what a range. My head is spinning already........
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,311,621 times
Reputation: 3600
I'd start in Tel Aviv, then get a car and drive up to the Galilee, then back to TLV airport and drop the car, and end up in Jerusalem. If you want to head down to Eilat to dive, fine, or you could do day trips from Jerusalem to Masada and the Dead Sea (numerous tour bus offerings.)

I'd definitely do a circuit of the Sea of Galilee (aka Lake Kinneret) and if there was one place I'd splurge on accommodations it would be the Scots Hotel in Tiberias.


Edited to add: Oops, sorry, I didn't see the original date. Hope it's useful anyway.
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