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touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

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touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

We will be traveling to Israel with my family (wife and 4 small children) in June 2014. We have chosen to make tel aviv our home base and have rented an apartment on the beach. The apartment complex has underground parking. my wife and I are going debating on whether we should rent a car or get a guide/driver for the stay. We will be in tel aviv 6 night. Realy did not want to deal with the hassle of changing hotels.

We will be going to Jerusalem 2 of he days (to meet up with family and friends) and one day to masada. May make that an overnighter to the dead sea at one of the resorts with a simple overnight bag.

So I'm thinking that our own transport is the way to go. Or is driving there too big an endeavor?

Any ideas about a driver? Is there car service there or taxis that can accommodate 6. Car seats likely an issue!

After 6 nights in telaviv, we will be going to Greece for a week, then back to Israel for 2 nights. Plan on going north. Don't have any reservations. a lot of the Kibbutzim are filling up (Pastoral and Hagoshrim are committed). Any suggestions for accommodations that are kid friendly? Transportation Ideas?

Any input is appreciated

Israel
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1. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

Its all a matter of budget. Having a guide driver will allow you the freedom to fully enjoy your stay without having to plan and figuring logistics on your own.

Tel Aviv is not the ideal location for your plans but driving on your own is fairly simple. All you need to know is where you are going in Jerusalem and where to park. Try to avoid rush hour and keep in mind that sites close around 4-5. With four little kids you will be basically have a little over two half days in Jerusalem. Driving to Masada from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem makes little difference but staying overnight will allow you to see and do a bit more along the shores of the Dead Sea.

Chana

Israel

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2. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

Hi Chana,

Thank you so much for your speedy reply. your advice is greatly appreciated. My concern in not having a car is getting land-locked. is there taxi service or private car service that accommodates 6 passengers? 4 and 7 year old-- car seat and booster is preferred, and a must for the 4 year old. In the us, there is UBER. Does that or equivalent service exist in Israel? parking near western wall- is it as crazy as I think it will be? prior times I have been there, I was always driven around by family or friends, and never really paid attention to parking challenges, specially in a minivan!

Israel
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3. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

Technically you could hire a driver for the duration of your trip. This would require providing a full itinerary for your trip in order to get a quotation (price is by kilometer and number of hours on the road). Car seats are available with some companies at around $7 a day per seat. Never heard of UBER, what's that? You cannot park near the Western Wall. If you have a driver he can drop you off there, but then you miss the entire Old City. The best place to park is outside of Jaffa Gate and walk from there, making it a full tour. The parking lot has ample room for a mini-van.

Chana

Israel

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4. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

I suggest you reconsider and stay one or two nights in Jerusalem - even with a private car, given urban traffic at both ends of the journey, you're looking at a good hour and a half each way from the beach in Tel Aviv to locations the other side of Jerusalem like the Western Wall, which is a long trip with small kids; plus hiring a driver or a larger vehicle will add a lot to your budget (if this is an issue). There seem to be a lot of holiday apartments around the Mahane Yehuda area of Jerusalem which is right by the market and a convenient place to stay, from which you can just take the light rail straight to the Old City.

If you do decide to drive to Jerusalem, there are parking lots under the Mamilla mall, from which you can walk to the Western Wall.

At the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi national park is a great place to visit with kids - they can go in the (fresh) water and there are usually ibexes and hyraxes around to watch. Go to Masada as early as possible in the day as in June it will be super-hot down there. Remember that small children (your 4 and 7 year olds and any younger ones) should not go in the Dead Sea itself.

An alternative overnight at the Dead Sea area would be to stay in the desert at Kfar Hanokdim:

http://www.hanokdim.com

For the north you really need a rental car and it would make sense to pick up from and return to the airport.

Haifa, Israel
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5. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

Sam,

I am used to rent a car a drive myself all over the world. I like to be free in making decision where to go and how long to stay. It depends on how comfortable you are in driving.

israel
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6. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

Driving in Israel is not a problem. Driving with four kids in the car IS a problem. You don't need a car every day if you are in Tel Aviv, and you can use taxis here and there. Call Hadar taxis (03-9711103) and find out if they have bigger cars and how you can coordinate having a taxi when needed. I suggest you also contact a guide/driver that can take you to various sites. The guide can also make a plan for your trip so that you make the most of your time and have items of interest for the kids too.

7. Re: touring Israel with my family, rent a car or use guide/drvr?

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