What is the best currency to take to Israel?

Israel's currency is called the shekel. The abbreviation for this currency is either ILS, or more commonly NIS, which stands for New Israeli Shekel. US dollar, pound sterling, and euro are accepted mainly in tourist areas and major cities, but the exchange rate will not be in your favour. All three of these currencies can be exchanged easily into NIS at the official exchange rate at any local bank, bank desk in airports, foreign exchange counter in most upper hotels. Some credit cards or cash cards also can be used to withdraw shekels at any local ATM. Please check with your local banks before departure. But if you are going to barter for souvenirs and trinkets it’s best to pay in shekels.

Can I get by in Israel with English?

Yes. About 85% of Israelis speak and understand at least some English words or phrases. Our local tour guides are all very experienced and speak English.

Is it a common practice to give tips in Israel?

This is a fully inclusive tour. However, it is customary to give your guides and drivers tips at the end of journey for good service. CMI staff will take a group collection at the end.

Can I take pictures while visiting the destinations in Israel?

Photography is allowed in most of the historical sites and museums we will visit in Israel. But photography in general or flash photography may be prohibited in some museum exhibits, churches (or portions thereof), and other sites. We advise using cell phones rather than cameras as on occasion visitors are asked to leave their cameras at the reception before entering. In some cases, you may have the option to buy a good full-colour book while you are there that has pictures of some of these prohibited places.

Is Israel safe?

Yes, Israel is a very safe place to visit and often ranks in the top five safest countries in the world.

What about Covid?

At this time, there are no travel restrictions due to Covid-19. If this changes and restrictions are imposed, CMI will follow all requirements issued by the Israeli government and/or by any site we visit.

Can I drink tap water in Israel?

The short answer is yes, tap water is drinkable in Israel. Yet, many people have issues adjusting to different drinking water. Bottled water is a safe bet and will be available.

Is this tour suitable for people with mobility limitations?

The short answer is ‘no!’ Please be aware that we will be visiting many ancient sites and some are still being excavated. One needs to be reasonably mobile as this tour involves moderate amounts of walking, up to 3 to 4 miles a day, at times over uneven surfaces or severely cobbled floors. This tour will not be suitable for people with limited mobility that hinders them from walking unassisted and/or who require a wheelchair. All guests are required to complete a declaration that they are capable of a reasonable amount of physical activity. Your registration will not be accepted until this declaration is completed.

Is there any special dress advice?

See the What to Expect page.

Are children permitted on the tour?

Children age 12 and older who are traveling with one or both parents (or legal guardians) are welcome on the tour. All tour participants pay the same price, regardless of age. Please note that the maximum room occupancy is three, so if two children are accompanying both parents, it may be necessary to reserve two rooms.

What happens after I submit my registration?

Spaces are limited so no reservation is confirmed until payment is received.

Within a few business days of submitting your request for registration, you will receive an invoice in US dollars from Creation Ministries International–US (the tour organizer) for the tour cost for you and any travel companions for which you registered. The link to pay the invoice will take you to PayPal, but you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay with a credit card. If you want to pay from your bank account, you will need to set up a PayPal account and link it to your bank account. You will pay in US dollars and PayPal will charge you in your own local currency based upon the exchange rate at that time, plus currency conversion fees.

Places will be assigned on a first come, first served basis, and subject to room availability.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

Once you have paid, parts of the tour are immediately booked and confirmed and are non-refundable. For this reason, full refunds are not available. Creation Ministries International urges all participants to purchase travel insurance as it is not provided by us nor the tour company. (Note: many credit card companies offer travel insurance if you use their cards to book your trip. Check with your card provider.)

  • If you cancel from June 1 – June 30, 2023 we will retain 50% of the tour cost.
  • If you cancel from July 1 – July 21 we will retain 75% of the tour cost.
  • No cancellations after July 21, 2023. If you cancel after this date or fail to arrive in Tel Aviv at the beginning of the tour, no refund will be given.

The tour may be canceled for reasons beyond CMI’s control, such as a level 4 travel advisory that advises not to travel to Israel, acts of war, natural disasters, pandemics, or an act of God. If this occurs, the tour company will charge a $200 cancellation fee and issue a travel voucher that will be valid for two years from the original start date of the tour. This voucher will cover the total cost of the tour only (not airfare), including the $200 cancellation fee, for the recommencement of the CMI tour at a future date. If Creation Ministries International cannot recommence the tour for any reason, travelers holding vouchers will be able to work directly with the local tour company on a standing coach basis to attend a similar tour at no additional cost.

Note: Travel insurance is not included. Obtain your own coverage before departure.

What happens once I land in Israel?

Be sure to supply us with your arrival time (should be no later than mid-afternoon on the commencement date of your tour).

After arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), locate a visa kiosk. Simply follow the instructions on the screen to receive your visa. You will need to present your visa when exiting the airport. Keep this visa in a safe place at all times as it will need to be presented at the various hotels we will be staying at.

You will be met at the airport by representatives of our tour company, Yael Tours, who will hold signs that say Creation Ministries. A representative will then guide you through customs and transport you to our hotel in Tel Aviv.

We will begin on the evening of the first day of your tour with a welcome dinner at the hotel, followed by a presentation by CMI staff regarding the days ahead.