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Planning trip, please help with ideas

Sydney
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Planning trip, please help with ideas

I am planning a trip to Israel from 6th-15th October. I know that it will be during Sukkot, but I cannot change the dates as that is when my kids are on school holidays here in Australia (they go to a Jewish school). It will be the 3rd trip for me, but first time for my husband and kids (age 15 &12).

At the moment, here is my rough draft itinerary:

Mon 6th – arrive in Tel Aviv in afternoon, look around, dinner

Tues 7th – Tel Aviv

Weds 8th – Jaffa

Thu 9th – day trip to North

Fri 10th - transfer from TA to Jerusalem

Sat 11th – Jerusalem (will be attending a bar mitzvah at the Kotel)

Sun 12th – Jerusalem

Mon 13th - Jerusalem

Tue 14th – day trip to Dead Sea/Masada

Wed 15th – depart

Are there things that need to be swapped around due to closures for Sukkot? All input appreciated.

Tel-Aviv
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1. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

How old are your children ? Thurs. Oct 9 is the first day of Sukkot so you will have to rent a car or take an organized tour to go up north. If you switch it to Tuesday you have the option of going to Akko by train. How do you plan to go to the Dead Sea ?

Sydney
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2. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

Thanks mbgg. My kids are 15 and 12. I forgot to mention that we do not want to hire a car (not used to driving on other side of the road!) and I was thinking of a private/small group tour to go North as well as a private/small group tour to go Masada & Dead Sea. Will private tours be running during Sukkot?

Tel-Aviv
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3. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

Yes, almost all tour companies will operate throughout the holiday. For the Dead Sea your best option is Abraham Tours. They are the only ones that visit the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve in addition to Massada. Book well in advance because there will be many tourists in the country on the holiday.

For a one-day tour of the north look at the Egged Tours or United Tours web site. What are you interested in seeing ?

Israel
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4. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

A Bar Mitvah at the Kotel on Shabbat should be very interesting. Understanding that you don't want to drive is perfect especially due to the heavy traffic throughout the country. I do not recommend taking the daily tours to the north(if they are running). Due to high traffic and realtively late departure you will get very little out of such a tour.

I highly recommend touring only in the Jerusalem and Dead Sea areas during your visit. This will give you more quality time at the sites and less time on the road.

Chana

Israel

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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5. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

I join Chana. Too much traffic and crowded sites. Is Israel your first stop from Australia? If not make Tue the 7th your touring day out of Tel Aviv. It will be the quietest day f all. Either take the train to Akko and spend the day there, or hire a private guide/driver for a plan of your own. It will cost more than an Egged tour but will be a lot more rewarding.

Israel
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6. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

Since you mention that you want to be travelling on the first day of Succot, I am drawing the obvious conclusion that you are not strictly observant. I hope you know that photography is not permitted at the Kotel on Shabbat, so you will not be able to take photos of the bar mitzva.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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7. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

You've gotten some very good advice around the complexities of travel during Sukkot -- I'd listen to the advice to limit your on-the-road time in light of that.

If it would be of help in planning your trip, I would be happy to send a copy of a free, noncommercial guide to Israel travel that I offer to anyone who asks. It is a 59-page .pdf file, and I recently updated it to reflect a trip I completed in November 2013. To get it, just write me at Labatt@fuse.net, and I will send it as a file attachment via return e-mail. And no strings -- I am not even in the travel business.

The guide is based on my own travel experiences and as said above, I am not in the travel business, so it does not purport to be all-encompassing or a substitute for a more thorough, comprehensive, and professional guidebook. For that, I recommend either Frommer's or Fodor's, and of course, the help of this forum.

My offer goes to anyone reading this, by the way, but you must send me an e-mail, NOT a message on Trip Advisor, as I cannot send file attachments through that medium and will not copy and paste e-mail addresses over to my e-mail program. I get a lot of requests for this guide and this is not my job, so I hope you understand I need it done that way.

I hope that you have a wonderful visit!

Douglas Duckett

Sydney
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8. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Chana and Shoshi - re. the day trip to the North, would it be more worthwhile to do a 2 day/1 night trip instead? I was thinking leaving from Tel Aviv on 9th to go on an overnight tour, and then returning to Jerusalem on the afternoon of the 10th.

From what you have said, is the problem that the roads will be crowded with local tourists?

The places I would like to see are: Akko, Haifa, Caesaria, Tiberias, Tzfat.

Also, Israel will not be our first stop from Australia, we will first be on a cruise around Italy and Greece, so will fly into Tel Aviv from Rome

Edited: 04 February 2014, 21:32
Tel-Aviv
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9. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

Yes - you need a two day tour for all those places you have listed.

Many people take the entire week off work. The schools are also closed so it is a popular time for family vacations, hence the roads are always crowded.

Israel
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10. Re: Planning trip, please help with ideas

Not just the roads are crowded, also hotels. Make sure you arrange for accommodations well in advance.