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 and up-to-date with your Covid vaccines to go to Israel with the BAR tour.
Q: Do I need a visa to enter Israel while I am on the BAS tour?
A: No, you don’t need a visa to enter Israel if you are a US citizen. If you are a citizen of a country other than the US, please check with your local Israeli Embassy or consulate to verify which documents you need to enter Israel, and of course, to return home.
Q: Is it safe to travel in Israel?
A: Yes, it is. However, we do look at the US Department of State website for warnings and alerts. If anything changes about the tour, we will notify you.
Q: How much walking will we do in this tour?
A: You will do a good amount of walking on the BAS Israel Tour. There is walking every day of the tour: through sandy paths, rocky excavation sites, hills and small mountains, stone streets, and other bumpy routes. Please be willing and able to walk and stand up to 4-8 hours per day.
Q: May I buy an airline ticket to Tel Aviv Airport on any airline that I wish?
A: Yes, you may. However, you will need to arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport on October 30, 2023. So, if you are leaving from North America, you will need to depart on October 29 to arrive on time in Tel Aviv. In addition, if you purchase a flight through our BAS registration (the Air/Land option) the airline ticket is included. Be aware that if you purchase the Air/Land option, the flights with our package only leave from a select number of very large airports in the USA: New York/JFK, Washington DC/Dulles, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago/O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco. You could arrange via the Tutku tour company—for an extra fee–to fly into one of those large US airports from your city, and then leave for Israel from one of the larger city airports listed above.
Q: What if I don’t want to purchase an Air/Land option as part of my tour package, but I want a travel agent to help me book my ticket?
A: You may get help from any travel agent, of course. Or we do have a travel agent that we have used as well. You may reach out to Prime Travel, located in New Jersey, USA. https://primetravel.com/
Q: What date should we fly home?
A: Departure-day will be November 9, 2023, so please book your flight home for that day from Ben Gurion Airport. The last night at the hotel for the tour will be Nov. 8.
Q: What if I want to fly into Israel earlier, or leave after the tour is complete on Nov. 9?
A: You may fly into Israel before the tour starts, and/or stay later in Israel if you like. You are responsible for all of your expenses outside of the BAS tour: hotels, food costs, transportation costs, tour costs, guide fees, and any travel costs before the tour starts 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 official BAS tour?
A: If you do fly in early, you will need to get yourself to the Ben Gurion Airport. Before you leave home to fly to Israel, please let me know (via email) the hour that you plan to arrive at the airport to meet our BAS/Tutku transportation staff on October 30.
Q: If I am traveling alone, is there an additional cost to have a single room?
A: Yes, there is an additional cost for a single room. It is called the Single Supplementary Charge on the registration form, and it costs an additional $990-.
Q: Where will we stay?
A: You will be staying at very lovely hotels. You will stay for one night at the Metropolitan Hotel in Tel Aviv, for five nights at the Grand Court Jerusalem, and for four nights at the Nof Ginosar Hotel at the Sea of Galilee.
Q: Who will lead the tour?
A: Professor David McCabe (a Biblical scholar at Bethel University in Indiana) will be your host. In addition, Ofer Drori (a very experienced tour professional) will be your tour guide.
Q: What is the weather like in November in Israel?
A: Daily average highs are around 62 degrees, and average nightly lows are around 48 degrees. It is overcast about 28% of the time, and the average rainfall is between 0.1 inch to 3.2 inches for November.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Comfortable and worn-in hiking shoes or boots are recommended. A sunhat and sunscreen are recommended gear for Israel on sunny days. In addition, a waterproof jacket will be very useful for rainy, windy or chilly days. Layers of clothes are useful for travel in Israel in November. 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 Ofer Drori or Dr. McCabe first, and they 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: Of course you may. You will have to arrange all the details yourself, and none of the expenses will be covered by the BAS Israel Tour 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 Manager at: [email protected] or call me at 202-364-3300 ext. 424 between 9 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri. (Eastern Time-USA).