14 May 7 Things To Know Before You Travel To Israel
Travel to Israel
As you plan the fun activities and attractions to do in Israel, don’t miss out on these 7 important things to know before you travel to Israel.
#1 Israel Is Safe
Despite the hype you hear and read on the news, it is safe – very safe – to travel to Israel. This doesn’t only limit to suicide bombers and terrorists but extends to general street safety. While there are areas not recommended to roam around when it’s late (as with everywhere else in the world), women can independently walk the streets at night and feel relatively safe — especially in Tel Aviv where many of the helpful and friendly locals are out and about even into the wee hours of the morning.
#2 Israel Has Soldiers Everywhere
Don’t be alarmed if you happen to walk by a soldier with his gun. As military service is mandatory for both men (three years) and women (two years), it is normal to come across fully-uniformed soldiers with serious weaponry on the streets.
While it might be intimidating to witness a huge M16 slung over that really cute soldier, you’ll soon get used to it. In fact, you might even grow to feel reassured knowing Israel does take their security and safety concerns seriously.
#3 Israel Has “Rest Day”
One thing to take note before you travel to Israel is that Saturday is the Jewish day of rest, called Shabbat. Shabbat is a weekly affair that starts on Fridays (sunsets) and ends on Saturdays (sunset). You will notice that most businesses, such as stores, supermarkets and public transports, do not operate during this period. While this is more prevalent in more religious areas such as Jerusalem and Tsefat, Tel Aviv continues to be The City That Never Sleeps with many bars, cafes and taxis still running their services.
#4 Some things are not cheap
If there’s one thing you need to know before you travel to Israel, is that things are generally not cheap here. While you might be able to save with fresh market produce and affordable street food, it’s often the small items such as deodorant, facial wash and groceries from the supermarket that are unreasonably priced. One smart tip? Head to the weekly markets for groceries and don’t forget to pack your travel essentials and toiletries with you.
#5 Israel Has Delicious Food
If there’s one thing to go crazy for during your travel to Israel, it will be the food. From generous portions of juicy shawarma to healthy servings of hummus and even sweet delights of malebi, Israel has no shortage of delightful local food you simply must try. Other than affordable street food that can be found almost everywhere, Israel boasts an endless selection of fine dining such as celebrated chef restaurants in Tel aviv, international cuisines and luxurious seaside dining.
#6 Israel is Eco Friendly
You’ll first notice the recycling bins along the sidewalks, then the eco pool at Rabin Square and finally the solar panels on apartment roofs.
Israel is big on being eco friendly with the locals actively doing their part in conserving water and energy. Join their earth-loving ways and keep your carbon footprint low by following their recycling habits and conserving methods.
#7 (Some parts of) Israel Can Be Conservative
Israel is diverse country with many cultures and religions. On one hand, there are secular cities, such as Tel Aviv which is famed for the vibrant nightlife and modern lifestyles, where residents and visitors can dress as they please. On the other hand, some parts of Israel, such as Jerusalem, are religious and visitors are advised to respect the local customs. Women should try to cover their arms and legs while public display of affections might be frowned upon. On top of that, do note that photography within these communities should be taken with utmost consideration to the residents.
Another bonus thing to know is that one month’s worth of flight attendant salary can very much last you for a long time here!
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