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College Grad Budget Travel

New York City, New...
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College Grad Budget Travel

In order not to take over the other budget discussion going on now - I started a separate one - if you think they should be combined, I'll remove this one.

I'm helping my niece plan a trip to Israel. She is graduating college this spring and wants very much to come to Israel on her own - she is very much a loner and so group travel, no matter how enticing - or cheap e.g. Birthright, is not for her. She asked for my help since we've been to Israel before, but this is a completely different type of travel that I don't know much about

Any tips - we know she should be looking at hostels - but are there better ones? cheaper ones? ones she should avoid? Anything she needs to look out for as a young woman traveling alone?

All advice will be very welcome --- thanks very much.

dallas
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1. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

Not sure if they should be combined or not, but if you have an idea of her itinerary that would help us recommend hostels etc in the locations she is interested in. For sure Abraham hostel in Jerusalem has excellent reviews and we are actually going to stay a few nights there with our 18 yo daughter in May. Masada Guest house at the base of Masada is another great hostel.

As far as a young women traveling alone, I would say to take the same precautions she would take on her university campus. Abraham Hostel has tours to various locations where you travel to the location in a group but once there they are self guided tours. For one traveling alone and somewhat of a loner, this may be a good compromise.

Haifa, Israel
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2. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

Again I may advise to look at a volunteering program in Israel. Since the previous topic I found another comprehensive site. www.ivolunteer.org.il/Eng/Index.asp…

New York City, New...
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3. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

Thanks for the quick reply. She doesn't have an itinerary planned out yet but definitely wants to hit all the "must sees" - obviously Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Masada, probably Tel Aviv and she really wants to go to the Galilee - I know she is passing on Eilat.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

Volunteering is a great idea - thanks - and sorry, I should have said this in the beginning - she has at most 2 weeks for this trip - including travel time - so I guess volunteering is also not for this time.

Haifa, Israel
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5. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

The Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem comes up on this board all the time and has recently been voted one of the best hostels in the world, so that recommendation seems a no-brainer. The IYHA hostels are good, but they are not all particularly conveniently located and can have a somewhat institutional feel, though they do offer an excellent breakfast. There are also many other hostels and b'n'bs of variable quality - but hostels and guesthouses are (imho) usually better value and nicer than the cheaper hotels. It's worth checking tripadvisor reviews in 'specialty lodging' for the cheaper options in various cities.

There are also a lot of options on airbnb in Israel and this can be a really good option for a solo traveller who would like somewhere relatively quiet to stay, and better value than some of the guest houses especially for a single room. Obviously, check that the place has good reviews before booking.

Haifa, Israel
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6. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

Just to add - if she is not planning to rent a car, the Dead Sea and Masada are best done as a day trip from Jerusalem, as it's not practical to get around by public transport; the Masada hostel is in a great location but she will be totally stranded there during the evening as there is literally nowhere else to go in the area.

As mentioned above - definitely look at Abraham tours. They also offer a hop on hop off bus service in the summer.

Israel
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7. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

All the IYHA hostels are safe and well-equipped, and a decent choice for a budget traveller. Single roms are available so that is no problem for a lone traveller.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

I agree with the above advice, and I'll synthesize a bit:

* In Tel Aviv, I'd look at IHYA hostels.

* In the Galilee, I'd look at either IYHA hotels or religious based hospices and hostels -- there are a number in the area. While spartan, they are clean and less expensive. The problem in this area is transportation -- as you know, it's very hard to see sites in this area, I think for the Kinneret region at least, she will have to spring for a car or a driving guide (likely more expensive).

* For Jerusalem, I would definitely go with the Abraham Hostel. She can use their tours to visit Masada and the Dead Sea, and the free Sandeman's tour for her intro to the Old City (remind her that a NIS 50 tip is appropriate, however).

I hope this helps. Joy, if you have my free, noncommercial guide, feel free to share it with her; if you don't have the update from December 2013, e-mail me at Labatt@fuse.net for it.

I wish her luck!

Douglas Duckett

Israel
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9. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

Hostels: IHYA - http://www.iyha.org.il/eng/

Independent hostels - http://www.hostels-israel.com/

Public transport - www.otobusim.co.il (covers all bus companies as well as trains). Note that this is for the next seven days, updated daily. Because of the Passover holiday next week, if you look now, what you will see for Monday and Tuesday is not what you will get on a normal Monday and Tuesday! As a guide to a normal weekday, look at Sunday or Wednesday.

Young woman travelling alone: it's a long time since I was young, but I'm still a woman (!!) and travel alone. As long as she uses her common sense - no going alone down deserted alleys at night, and so on, which applies anywhere in the world - she will be fine. Israel is a very safe destination.

One thing she should be aware of, and this applies to all, not only young women, is not to leave bags unattended, because they will likely be treated as suspicious objects and blown up by the security forces. Also, especially at crowded places where there are lots of tourists, and in particular the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and so on, there are unfortunately pickpockets. Visitors can be overwhelmed by the spirituality of the place and forget more mundane concerns. But as long as your niece doesn't do anything stupid, and keeps her wits about her, she'll be fine.

Haifa, Israel
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10. Re: College Grad Budget Travel

I hve found that there is another home greeting group called Servas Israel http://israel.servas.org/?CategoryID=161 and Host List Coordinator Eran Brin – Jerusalem T: +972-(0)2-6431720, +972-(0) 50-7874717, E: brin@cc.huji.ac.il