What to Pack

Some of the basic items I suggest you include in your luggage, regardless of the season in which you’re planning your visit to Israel, include:

  • Sunglasses – the glare of the sun can be strong, even in winter
  • Hat – you’ll need this to protect yourself from the sun’s rays
  • Comfortable flat walking shoes – preferably those that have been “broken in” and not new
  • Bathing suit or maybe even two (including an old one you can use for bathing in the Dead Sea)
  • Travel adapters and electric converters for any small electrical devices you might bring along
  • Small day/backpack to carry your water and other essentials in for the day’s touring

“Modesty Gear”

A tour of Israel means you’ll be visiting religious sites and sites holy to the world’s three great monotheistic faiths. Be prepared for this with modest dress. Your “modesty gear” should include:

For men –

  • Long pants (not shorts)
  • Shirt with at least short sleeves – no tank tops
  • Head covering – This is essential for visiting Jewish religious sites (but even a baseball cap will suffice).

 

For women –

  • Casual skirt at knee length or below
  • Blouse with sleeves that at least reaches the elbows (or short sleeves, combined with a scarf) – no sleeveless or low-cut blouses
  • Scarf

 

Forget the formalities—this is Israel

Leave the jacket and tie and evening dresses behind. Israel is a very, very informal country, in every way, including the dress code. The Friday evening Shabbat meal at your hotel might be the dressiest you’ll need to get during your visit. But “dressy” in David’s Land means khaki pants and a button-down shirt for gents and what Americans call “business casual” or “smart casual” for the ladies.

During the day, when you’re out touring in the warmer weather, shorts, T-shirts and sandals/sneakers are fine for both guys and gals (provided that religious sites are not on the day’s agenda).

Extras for summer and winter

In the summer months, I’d suggest adding a few more items to your packing list:

  • Sandals (for both men and women)
  • Rubber shoes/sandals suitable for walking in water (especially if you’ll be trekking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel at the City of David or relaxing on a Red Sea beach in Eilat)
  • Sunscreen
  • A light cotton sweater – yes, this could come in handy, even in August, on some of the cool nights in Jerusalem

 

For visits between mid-October and April, don’t forget to pack:

  • A light jacket, paired with under layers that can be easily taken off and put on when the temperatures fluctuate during the course of the day and night
  • Rain gear– i.e. a small umbrella and/or a rain poncho
Be Sociable, Share!