Pre-Trip Preparation

As you get ready for your trip to Israel, you don’t want to be so excited that you miss something important! Here are some suggestions and guidelines, as well as the rules of the road, created for your safety and comfort.​

  • Travel Information

    The Taglit-Birthright Israel gift of a free trip to Israel includes the cost of the flight from departure cities. You are responsible for arranging an​d paying for travel to the point of departure and for getting home after returning to your home country.

    Residents of the United States and Canada must hold a U.S. or Canadian passport. If you do not have either, you may need a visa and face other restrictions; please contact your closest Israeli consulate for more information.

    You will be required to provide a photocopy of your passport to your Trip Organizer prior to Taglit-Birthright Israel issuing your flight ticket. In order to be permitted to travel to Israel your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months beyond your ticketed date of return home. All participants must also bring proof of medical insurance that provides for coverage abroad and covers pre-existing medical conditions.

    Be at the airport for your Israel flight no later than four hours prior to the flight. People with connecting flights should consider the possibility of bad weather or delay. When arriving to the terminal of the departure city, participants should look for their staff members, who will be standing near the ticketing counter for check-in of the related airline.

  • Travel Hebrew

    ​Have an iPhone? Download Birthright Israel NEXT's  Hebrew iPhone app. You'll get all the phrases you need to navigate the airport, order food, or meet the locals right at your fingertips! Nesi'a tova (bon voyage)! 

    Although English is spoken by nearly everyone in Israel (it's a required subject in public schools), you may still want to experiment with the native tongue. Just don't take it personally if people answer you in English they want to practice speaking as much as you do.

    ​English ​Transliteration
    hello / goodbye / peace ​shalom
    good morning​ ​boker tov
    good evening
    ​lyla tov
    ​see you later
    okay​ ​b'seder
    ​please / you're welcome ​b'vakashah
    ​excuse me! / sorry ​slichah
    what time is it?​ ​mah hasha'ah?
    How much is this?​ ​Kama ze oleh?
    ​coffee house ​beit kafeh
    Where are the bathrooms?​ ​eyfo ha sherutim?
    ​bus ​otoboos
    ​change ​odf
    I don't understand Hebrew​ ​Ani lo mevin (m) / mevinah( f) ivrit

  • Money

    ​You may not need that much money with you but for incidentals and shopping, many establishments accept credit cards like Visa and Mastercard®. ATM machines are in the urban areas only so you are encouraged to use them at the airport or when you see them, which may not be daily. Most hotels offer currency exchange. In addition, many establishments and individuals will accept major foreign currencies like the Euro and U.S. dollars.

  • Packing List

    The weather in Israel in the winter can be cold and rainy, or sunny and mild, so a versatile wardrobe is key. In the summer, the weather is without fail hot and dry during the day and cool at night. Casual, comfortable clothes that can be layered are best for both seasons. You will only need one nice outfit for Shabbat.

    Assume that there will not be time to do laundry. Still, you should pack as lightly as possible. We recommend one large suitcase or duffel bag (checked baggage) per person, and a school-sized backpack for your carry-on. Note that you will be responsible for packing and transporting your own bags numerous times during the trip, so if you can’t carry your bags, they are too heavy!

    The following list is a suggestion only:

    • 6 short-sleeved t-shirts (12 in summer)
    • 3 pairs of jeans/pants
    • 2 pairs of shorts (4 in summer)
    • 8 long-sleeved shirts (3 in summer)
    • 4 sweaters or sweatshirts (2 in summer)
    • 1 mid-weight jacket
    • 1 heavy jacket (carry on plane)
    • 1 bathing suit (2 in summer)
    • 14 pairs of underwear
    • 14 pairs of socks
    • 1 pair of water shoes
    • 1 pair of sturdy shoes for hiking / walking
    • 1 pair of nicer shoes (for Shabbat)
    • 1 long skirt (women) / nice khakis (men) (for Shabbat)
    • 1 nicer blouse or shirt (for Shabbat)
    • 1 towel
    • 1 hat
    • ‘Going out’ outfits (for city nights)
    • Passport**
    • All medications (including copies of prescriptions)
    • Prescription glasses/contact lens supplies (no liquids more than 3 oz.)
    • Cash/ATM Card/Credit Card (Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted)
    • Camera, charger/batteries
    • Journal/address book
    • Mini flashlight or penlight
    • Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Toiletries
    • Kippah/head covering (men)
    • Adapter for electrical appliances*

    *Electrical equipment has to be adaptable to 220 volts and have a European adapter for the prong. Equipment on a motor (i.e., electric shaver) must be adaptable to 50 Hz (as opposed to 110 volts and 60 Hz
    for North America).