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Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

Michigan USA
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Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

Hi,

I want to travel to Israel with my wife on vacation but she is apprehensive with regards to it being safe. Just how safe is it to travel to Israel?

Also I have a great interest into Christian sights but both my wife and I do not like the aspect of traveling in a group setting. Is it hard/safe to visit these sights on your own. Would you recommend a guide? Expensive?

What's the best time to travel there to experience milder temperatures. Neither one of us likes very hot weather?

We have in mind a trip to Jerusalem. Can you recommend a place to stay?

Thanks,

Bob

Tel Aviv, Israel
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1. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

The areas you as tourists will want to visit are perfectly safe. You have nothing to worry about. The reality on the ground here is quite different than what you might be seeing in the American media.

There's no problem in renting a car and exploring Galilee and the Judean Desert (Masada and the Dead Sea) on your own. In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, you'll want to explore without the headache of a car.

A great option is hiring a private guide for certain days and explore on your own on others. If you choose to work with a private guide, he/she may offer you itinerary planning services, even for days in which you'll be on your own. Your guide can also help with hotel arrangements and any other tourism services you might need.

Ideally, you'll want stay your first night or two in Tel Aviv. Then head north to Galilee for a few days and stay in a kibbutz hotel, such as Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Lavi, or Pastoral Kfar Blum. Continue down the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem where you'll want to spend at least 4 nights. From Jerusalem, you can take day trips to Masada and the Dead Sea and to Bethlehem. When you say a "trip to Jerusalem," I certainly hope you plan to explore the other regions of Israel too. You'll want to stay in at least 3 bases for your touring in the country.

My favorite hotel in Jerusalem is the Mount Zion hotel because of its unique Jerusalem character. But there are plenty of other options too.

Best time to visit for mild temperatures is early November or the end of March. These are not high season, so crowds will be thin and maybe you'll get advantageous pricing on airfare and hotels.

You'll love it!

Edited: 20 June 2012, 20:28
Israel
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2. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

Great advice from Dave - and relax, it's safe - really nothing to worry about.

Search the forum, you'll find many discussions on this topic and also plenty of reports from people who have been here reassuring everyone as to the comfort and safety here.

Israel
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for Israel
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3. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

I would say that thw safety level is higher than in Michigan. You can explore on your own, with the assistance of this forum and/or a private guide (which starts at $300 per day without transportation).

Chana

Isrsel

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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4. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

I join visitisrael saying it is safer than your hometown. Can you walk 3-4 miles along the beach on your own in the middle of the night and be 100% safe? In Israel you can. Driving is also easy, all roads are signed in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Also many sites you can tour on yours using a guidebook. Many sites have their guided tour, other have audioguides or brochures. Make a plan, post it here for our suggestions. Dave already gave you sound advice.

Rochester, Minnesota
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5. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

We (2 middle-aged ethnic looking Americans from Minnesota) just came back from our first-time visit to Israel in early May and can confirm everything that has been said above: we felt very safe; we exercised the usual caution we always do when in a new environment or in an urban setting; we met so many helpful and kind people; many people speak English; public facilities are very, very clean and tidy. We also drove from Rosh Pina to the Dead Sea and back to Jerusalem via Arad: not difficult at all, with excellent road conditions and well-marked signs in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, just as shoshi wrote abovell! Israel offers an amazing wealth of history, archaeology, natural beauty, and fabulous food. We also did what Davetheguide said above: a combination of private guides plus touring on our own gave us just the right balance, and I hope you will visit other sites besides Jerusalem, at least Galilee given your interest in Christianity, but also other regions too if time permits. Lastly, everyone who has replied to your post so far above consistently gives very helpful, judicious, realistic, and balanced advice. They helped us and everyone on this forum tirelessly with so much of our trip planning

Edited: 21 June 2012, 04:15
UK
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6. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

many tourists have concerns about safety re the ongoing war between israel and palestine however in reality this ongoing war doesnt really affect the tourist and the places they visit - as for general safety there is a lower level of crime like muggings etc in israel and most places are tourist friendly

as for chosing guides and accomodation it all depends on your budget if you have loads a money then stay in kind david hotel and get a private guide to take you around all the sites!

there are guides here in this forum like chana, oreets, dave, moti

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

Hello 007kgb: Israel is very safe to travel. We just came back this week to Australia from our trip in Israel. At no point in time we had fear of our security.

Trust me on this it is "extremely secure". There are undercover police in tourist areas to protect people & hotels/restaurants are very secure. If you travel by El Al Airlines, it is the world's most secure airlines.

So don't worry and I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit Israel soon.

Michigan USA
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8. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

Thank you everyone for all the helpful information. I think I have the wife talked into it! We'll probably be back with some more questions a little later on. We have no fixed date yet and are still working on the possibility of making Israel part of a two leg trip (the other destination still undecided).

Speaking of such are there any other neighboring country/island destinations close to Israel that would be safe to travel to?

007kgb

NYC/Israel
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9. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

At this time Jordan appears to be safe--but who knows what the future brings. Before you plan a two leg trip --how much time do you have for this vacation. If you really want to visit and enjoy Israel you should be spending at least 2 weeks there. While many do less, since that is all the time they have, to have the time and do less is to cheat yourself.

Pittsburgh...
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10. Re: Safety Concerns While Visiting Israel

"Driving is also easy, all roads are signed in Hebrew, Arabic and English."

From the US State Department travel website:

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Israeli roads and highways tend to be crowded, especially in urban areas. Aggressive driving is commonplace, and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns. Overtaking on high-speed undivided two-lane roads is common and results in frequent accidents. Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane. Drivers should use caution, as Israel has a high rate of fatalities from automobile accidents.

…state.gov/travel/…safety