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Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

New Jersey
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Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

The private guide subject comes up often on this forum, so I just wanted to share this recent FB post from an american friend :

"Just came back from a wonderful 2 + weeks in france and israel. Had two incredible guides in israel, that in spite of my living there for 5 yrs was the greatest money ever spent!

It actually felt like a vacation which is amazing considering all the travels. "

FYI, they traveled with three young kids I don't know who they used either, but agree a good guide just adds exponentially to the experience.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
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1. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

Yes, a proper guide can add tremendously to a Israel trip....even for those that have been there previously.

Usually the main drawback is the cost which can be in the $500 per day range.

Dr. Z

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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2. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

That's exactly right. The folks who advocate for using guides all the time (sometimes guides themselves, which is both unfortunate and inappropriate) don't always consider the budget impact. Many travelers and families cannot afford an extra $350-650 USD a day (walking vs. driving guides). Israel is NOT an inexpensive destination in any event. Adding the cost of guides everywhere puts it out of the realistic range of many middle-class travelers.

Obviously, having a good guide enhances the experience. I suggest that people use them judiciously, at places that it would be hard to tour on your own, and find their own balance.

Douglas Duckett

UK
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3. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

agree money is a major factor in hiring guides and getting the right guide for you is important - the other thing is what type of traveller you are some people want the adventure of finding their own way around using guidebooks but for others this is too much hassle and they want a guide - no right or wrong way but just what suits you best

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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4. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

I could not agree more -- there are no one-size-fits-all answers. But sometimes folks on here suggest a guide for the whole trip with no mention of the huge cost. If you can afford it, great, but many cannot. And most of Israel is easily toured on one's own.

Another factor -- if you are a group of four to six, having a driving guide may be far more affordable, with the cost shared.

Douglas Duckett

Vancouver
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5. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

It all comes down to affordibility, as I'm sure most of the guides are good.

I'm just going to read up(months ahead of time) about the places I'm seeking to visit and rent a car and go for it. Using this kind of option gives us the luxury of leaving places that don't intrest us and staying longer at the places we like.

The money saved on the guides, will easily pay for the rental car.

NYC area
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6. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

I have not visited Israel yet, but I have visited other places. We generally use private guides for a few days. We have found they can show us many things we never would have found on our own and also know how to schedule things to avoid or at least minimize lines.

NYC/Israel
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7. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

This is a 100% opinion question. There is no right or wrong answer that fits everyone. It is, IMO, foolish to debate which is better. We each have our own reasons for the choice we make and no one should be faulted for it.

BTW I am writing this from Netanya!!!

New Jersey
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8. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

Yes, agreed, Douglas. Used "judiciously." Well said.

I posted it because of all the chatter on cost, which is not insignificant to be sure. Our friends aren't wealthy so for them to say "well worth it" was worth sharing.

9. Re: Private guide or guidebook? Another perspective

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