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An all inclusive option for first timers?

new jersey
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An all inclusive option for first timers?

We are a family of 5 planning to visit in late spring 2012 for 10-14 days. Is it easier for first timers to just go with an organized tour that would guide us to all the sites, choose hotels for us, provide transport etc.? The two things that make me hesitate is that it's probably more expensive and that we don't want to be running around from early morning to late night following a guide. Is there a happy medium to this- maybe a smaller tour operator that would still take care of things for us but would not be as over-scheduled or as expensive?

Israel
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1. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

I agree with your assessment of the downsides of organized touring.

I think the best compromise is to map out what you'd like to see, and then hire tour guides for individual day trips as needed. Travel from city to city is relatively doable even w/out a tour bus.

Tell us what you'd like to see/where you'd like to go, and we can suggest hotels and guides.

Israel
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2. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

As mentioned, it is possible to hire a professional guide who will build a suitable itinerary for you, assist in locating hotels within your budget according to your itinerary and be able to guide you in your rented car, or theirs. This does not mean you need to hire the guide for the entire time, but you would need to pay the guide for the itinerary building services. This will greatly cut your costs in all directions but also give you the information needed for a successful trip. Plus the advantage that most guides will be available to answer questions during your visit even if you are not spending the day with them.

Chana

Israel

3. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

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Paragon
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4. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

I will use my own upcoming trip as an example of what you can do with little "work" on your own part. My trip is May 14--29.

My small group of 4 booked their own airfare. I made a decision as to how long we would spend in the 3 cities we will lodge in (Tel Aviv, the Galilee area, Jerusalem), I compiled a list of "must sees" for our group, hired the guide/driver for 10 of our 14 days "in country" and he will fit those sights into our days with him. I have done this on two previous trips and it works out quite, quite well.

We will have 4 days "on our own" (1 in Tel Aviv, 3 in Jerusalem) and are making plans for those days for things that won't need Moti's expertise/help.

Having done 4 tours on "the big bus" (which I enjoyed...) I came to the conclusion that the less people to deal with, the more flexibility.....all the better. And this is now what works best for me.

Kathy Walters

Paragon, Indiana, USA (writing from Pigeon Forge, TN today)

Paragon
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5. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

Also should have added that I booked our hotels (Tel Aviv and in the Galilee) through Regent Tours service and I booked an apartment in Jerusalem through http://www.sharonsplaces.com based on recommendation from TA folks. This was all easily done.

Kathy

Washington State
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6. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

Not to disagree with what anyone has written, but just a note about costs. A guide costs about $300-400 per day. For any days there they cannot spend the night at home, you need to provide for their housing and meals - another ~$150/day.

With five people you need a larger vehicle, especially when you count luggage and add the guide (and possibly a driver). Plus, you will be paying out of pocket for the admissions of every place you stop.

I don't say this to discourage you from taking this route, but I think there is some "sticker shock" when you start adding up the costs.

Taking a escourted tour isn't really any more expensive that doing it on your own, if you have a guide for most of your days. However, you're right - most of these tours are moving and touring every day, all day. Of course, that is because there are so many things to see.

It depends what you want out of your trip.

Washington State
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7. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

I will use my own upcoming trip as an example of what you can do with little "work" on your own part. My trip is May 14--29

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You should post your itinerary.

Paragon
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8. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

5 nights at Ramat Resort in the Galilee (not my first choice of hotels...I much prefer Nof Ginosar, but, it wasn't available)

2 nights in Tel Aviv at the Melody.

6 nights in Jerusalem in an apartment (the newest one listed) rented from Sharon at http://www.sharonsplaces.com

Kathy

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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9. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

Kathy - you'll love Ramot. It is a beautiful place and our Anon liked it very much.

Israel
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10. Re: An all inclusive option for first timers?

The Ramot resort is lively without the heat of the Sea of Galilee area as it is in the Golan Heights and convenient to get everywhere. You'll love it.

Chana

Israel