Planning a group visit to the Land called Holy, and organizing your group, takes some thought and work, to be sure. But it is less work and more fund than you may think. Here are a few answers to common questions which we hope will help you start the process and also put your mind at ease about it, And remember, we are always available and eager to help you.
- When Should We Visit?
Spring is considered the ideal time to visit Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land by many people. It is an off-peak season so air and land prices are lower and the crowds that can come with school groups etc have not yet arrived. The weather, especially in late spring, is mild, generally between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and usually falling to not lower than the 45 degrees in the evening. While there is rain this time of year it's rarely more than a shower. The situation in the autumn is much the same, with temperatures creeping slightly higher, and less rain. HOWEVER the Jewish holiday of Passover occurs during the Easter holiday period and during that period crowds gush into Israel and prices spike. If travel is planned during this period, it should be arranged as far in advance as possible. Up to a year in advance is not unreasonable.
Summer is usually quite hot in Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land. However it is also the peak season, since this is when schools are on their summer break children from around the world visit. This means air fares and hotels are most expensive, and crowds are at their peak sizes.
The situation in Autumn is much the same as in the spring EXCEPT that September and October bring the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, to Israel and the country comes to a standstill, visitors flood into the country and prices spike. Most non-religious tourists stay away during these holidays. Because the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, the holidays fall on different days each year. If travel is planned during this period, it should be arranged as far in advance as possible. Up to a year in advance is not unreasonable.
Winter is the rainy season and some parts of Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land see below freezing temperatures at times. Snow is also a possibility. Consequently crowds are usually at their lowest point during this period and prices are usually at their lowest.
- What is the Best Group Size?
The ideal group for travel to Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land is a small group of 12 to 24 people. A small group has the advantages of permitting more flexibility once the tour begins, and permitting more spontaneous encounters which are simply not available to travelers on conventional group tours of 40 or more. Larger groups tend also to stay close to the traditional tourist sites and paths. Small groups permit us not only to show you the major sights but also, for example, to go behind the scenes and to visit private homes and have dinner with real people leading real lives in Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land, and to dine in local restaurants. But the choice is yours. We are also pleased to accommodate larger groups and to expose Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land to them in a manner they can not experience it otherwise. .
- Hotels: How Many Stars?
The star ratings are confusing and inconsistently applied. Here is what they seem to mean at a few of the larger travel sites on the internet:
Star rating Travelocity Expedia Orbitz One-star Meets budget basic needs Economy, no-frills accommodations Simple accommodations Two-star Meets basic needs Value, clean, basic Value, comfortable, affordable Three-star High service, additional amenities Quality, style, comfort, personalized service Mid-scale, convenience plus comfort Four-star Superior property, variety of amenities Superior, upscale, high quality Deluxe/upscale, comfort plus quality Five-star Luxury setting, flawless guest services Finest hotels, luxury, superlative service, highest comfort standards Luxury, first-class services, well equipped and state of the art facilities
Before settling on a star rating as the basis for where you will stay in Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land, let's talk about what it is you want in a hotel and what your budget is.
- How Long Should We Stay?
You should plan to spend 8 days (due to time zone differences this translates into one day travelling to Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land and 7 days on the ground there) to 14 days for your trip. An 8 day trip, assuming you left on a Saturday, would see you arrive somewhere between late morning or late afternoon on the next day, Sunday, local time. It would include flying overnight on Saturday. The return flight would usually leave between 1 AM and 10 AM Saturday night/Sunday morning, arriving in the US very early Sunday morning to late Sunday afternoon. Of course when you leave and when you return is totally up to you.
- How Do We Organize Our Group? Is it Hard?
Will You Help Us?
Organizing a group to visit Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land is really not difficult and we can help. The steps involved basically are:
1. Decide on your dates,
2. Publicize the trip to potential group members (we can provide brochures, flyers, posters and other materials for you to copy and distribute)
3. Collect deposits and then the balance (we will provide the place to which they should be sent).
If any questions or issues arise, we are there to support you.
- How Much Will it Cost? And Other
As you might expect, the cost of your visit to Israel, Palestine and the Holy Land will depend on many variables, including the size of your group, the kind of accommodations you desire, the time of year you travel, any special requests you may have etc. If you would like a quote sent t you, please CLICK HERE to request one. Otherwise, please call us at 1.800.229.3950 to discuss it.
If you have any other questions, call us or CLICK HERE to send us an email.