Q: Do I need to have my Covid vaccine and booster updates to participate in this BAS tour?
A: Yes, you do have to be fully vaccinated with Covid vaccines to go to Israel with the BAR tour. We know that the Israeli government now does not require you to be vaccinated to enter the country, however, BAS does require it to help protect you, your fellow tour members, the JUC staff, and the BAS staff.
Q: Do I need a visa to enter Israel while I am on the BAS tour?
A: If you are a U.S. citizen, then no. If you are a citizen of a country other than the U.S., please check with your local Israeli Embassy or consulate to identify which documents you will need to enter Israel and to return home.
Q: Is it safe to travel in Israel?
A: Yes, it is. However, we do look at the U.S. Department of State website for warnings and alerts. If anything changes about this tour, we will notify you.
Q: How much walking will we do during this tour?
A: You will do a lot of daily walking during the BAS Israel Seminar (tour): on stone streets, bumpy roads, sandy paths, rocky excavation sites, and hills. Please be willing and able to walk and stand up to 8 hours per day. Please wear sturdy, comfortable, broken-in sandals (preferably closed-toed), hiking shoes or boots on this tour.
Q: How do I get to Israel?
A: You will need to purchase an airline ticket and arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2024. So, that means that your flight will need to leave North America on March 16 to arrive on time in Tel Aviv.
Q: How will I get from the Tel Aviv Airport to the Gloria Hotel in Jerusalem?
A: You will send Peter Megginson at BAS Travel/Study all of your flight information: airline, flight number, departing city and departing time, and arrival time in Tel Aviv. Then, we will arrange two buses to pick up the arriving tour members at the airport, and transport everyone to the Gloria Hotel in Jerusalem. If you arrive extra early (and do not want to wait for the bus), or if you arrive later than the last bus departure to the hotel, you will need to take a taxi to the hotel in Jerusalem. You will be responsible for that taxi cost. BAS will also need your departure flight information to arrange your shuttles from the Ein Gev Hotel to the Tel Aviv Airport on March 26. Those departing shuttle fees will not be paid by the tour.
Q: How do I book my flight to Tel Aviv Airport?
A: Contact your travel agent, or we recommend Prime Travel in New Jersey, at: https://primetravel.com/. Finally, you can purchase your flights through Orbitz, Expedia, or any other reputable online travel booking website.
Q: What date should we fly home?
A: Departure day is March 26. Please book your flight home for that day from Ben Gurion Airport. The last night at the hotel for the tour will be on March 25. The JUC staff will help arrange taxis and shuttles to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, but that cost is not covered by BAS.
Q: What if I want to fly into Israel earlier than March 17, and/or fly out of Israel after the tour is complete on March 26?
A: You can fly into Israel before the tour starts, and/or stay later in Israel if you like. Of course, you are responsible for all of your expenses outside of the BAS Israel Seminar: hotel costs, food costs, transportation costs, tour costs, guide fees, and any travel costs before the BAS program begins or after it is complete. BAS will not arrange pre-tour or post-tour Israel adventures–that is your sole responsibility.
Q: If I do fly into Israel early, where should I meet the BAS Israel Seminar?
A: If you fly in early, you will need to get yourself to the Gloria Hotel in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024.
Q: If I am traveling alone, is there an additional cost to have a single room?
A: Yes, the cost for a single room/solo traveler: $5,265. If you are traveling alone (no travel buddy, or spouse), BAS is now requiring you to room alone for health and safety reasons.
Q: Where will we stay?
A: You will be staying at two luxurious hotels. You will stay for 5 nights at the picturesque Gloria Hotel in the old city of Jerusalem. Then, when you go to Galilee, you will stay two nights at the scenic Ein Gev Hotel, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Q: What if I have special needs: I am a vegetarian, a vegan, have allergies, or have serious health issues?
A: Please write that information in the notes of your registration and contact Peter Megginson at BAS with your concerns or special needs. Peter will check to see if we can accommodate your needs.
Q: Who will lead the tour?
A: Our tour leader will be Professor Chandler Collins who works at Jerusalem University College. Chandler is a Ph.D. candidate at Bar Ilan University and the former Dean of Administration at Jerusalem University College. He has lived in Jerusalem’s historic basin for more than five years, and he writes about the ancient and living city.
Q: What is the weather like in March in Israel?
A: Daily average highs are around 66 to 71 degrees, and average nightly lows are around 50 to 54 degrees. The average rainfall is between 0.1 inch to 3.2 inches for March in Israel.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Comfortable and worn-in hiking sandals (Chacos or Tevas), hiking shoes or boots are strongly recommended. A sunhat and sunscreen are also recommended gear for Israel on sunny days. Please bring a refillable water bottle. In addition, a waterproof jacket will be very useful for rainy, windy or chilly days and nights. Layers of clothes are useful for travel in Israel in March (a fleece or a sweater). The tour will also be going to synagogues, churches and other holy sites, so you will need to cover your shoulders and your legs to below your knees. Also, if you are a woman, please bring a scarf to cover your head and hair at holy sites.
Q: Do I need travel insurance?
A: We strongly recommend it. We suggest that you get travel insurance that covers: your flight if it is canceled or changed by the airline or if you need to cancel or change your flight, any lost luggage, any medical costs, any emergency flight for medical or other reasons, and your insurance should cover the hotel costs if your flight is delayed out of Israel or your transfer flight is delayed. We recommend Travel Insurance Select, but feel free to go to any other reputable travel insurance company. Your home or car insurance company or your credit card company may offer travel insurance, too.
Q: If a problem arises in Israel, who do I talk to about it?
A: If you have any issues or concerns in Israel, please tell Chandler Collins first, and he will help you find more assistance if necessary.
Q: If I want to go to Jordan or Egypt before or after the tour, may I do that?
A: Surely! You will have to arrange all the details yourself, and none of the expenses will be covered by the BAS Israel Seminar fees. You will also need a visa to enter Jordan. If you fly into Amman, Jordan, you may purchase a tourist visa at the airport when you arrive. If you want to cross at a land border, you will need to check with the Jordanian Embassy or consulate staff about the border crossing hours and visa requirements. Please check with the Egyptian Embassy or consulate about visa requirements as well, if you are traveling to Egypt.
Q: If I have other questions, who do I contact?
A: Please contact Peter Megginson, the BAS Travel/Study Director at: [email protected] or call 202-364-3300 ext. 424 between 9 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri. (Eastern Time-USA).