Planning a trip to Israel? Avoid these 15 missteps for a smooth journey. From dressing modestly and haggling at markets to respecting local customs, staying hydrated, and steering clear of sensitive topics, these tips will ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. Explore Israel with cultural sensitivity and make the most of your unforgettable adventure.
This blog post aims to throw light on 15 common pitfalls that travelers may encounter and how to avoid them for a memorable trip in Israel. Read on to uncover these valuable tips and tricks.
1. Do Not Go Exploring
If you are a wanderer who likes to take the path less taken and go offbeat, Don’t do that in Israel. One of the things not do in Israel is meander around in villages or remote areas. Israel is a war-stricken country. So, there are chances there may be active minefields in the area. Please lock your wanderlust nature in the closet while you are on a holiday in Israel if you do not want to die.
2. Do Not Just Eat Hummus and Pita
Hummus and Pita are stapled staple Middle Eastern dishes, but they can get tedious if you have them all day every day. It is better to try different cuisines like Mediterranean, Persian or Israeli food. So make sure to step out of the Hummus zone even though it tastes heavenly.
3. Do Not Forget to Stay Hydrated
Travelers should make sure to stay hydrated while they are traveling in Israel. The Israeli sun is unforgiving. During the summer months, it can get hot and humid during the day. So, do not forget to carry water bottles around with you wherever you go because they can come in handy.
4. Do Not Dress Immodestly
Israel is a conservative and religious country. So, if you are on the streets, make sure to dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothes such as low-cut tops or shorts, and men should not wear sleeveless shirts or shorts that reach above the knee. Also, it is not recommended to wander around in swimsuits as well as tank tops.
5. Do Not Be Afraid to Haggle or Bargain
If you are going shopping, don’t forget to bargain. It is a part of the culture in Israel and helps in getting items at discounted prices. So, never be afraid to haggle or bargain if you feel like the price quoted is too high.
6. Do Not Talk About Politics
Politics is a sensitive topic in Israel. It is better to stay away from such conversations as it might lead to uncomfortable situations. If someone initiates a political discussion, politely decline and move on to another topic of conversation.
7. Do Not Carry These Things
Do not carry any drugs, weapons, explosives, or firearms while traveling in Israel as they are strictly prohibited. Any violation of this could lead to heavy penalties or even imprisonment.
8. Do Not Hitchhike
Hitchhiking is a popular way of getting around in many places, but it is highly discouraged in Israel. You never know who you are getting into the car with, and it can be dangerous due to Israel’s security situation. So, make sure to use public transportation instead.
9. Do Not Miss Tel Aviv at Night
Tel Aviv is an amazing place to explore during the day, but it becomes even more magical at night. The city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife and the atmosphere is perfect for a memorable night out. So, make sure to experience Tel Aviv after dark.
10. Do Not Mind Sharing Your Food
Food in Israel is often served family-style, meaning you will have to share your food with others. Don’t be surprised if a stranger sitting next to you starts picking up pieces of your food and eating it. It is considered rude not to share so don’t mind it!
11. Do Not Miss Visiting the Lowest Point on Earth
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and it is a must-see for any traveler to Israel. It is an interesting place with its unique features like floating in salty water and applying mud masks made of mineral-rich mud. So, make sure to add this spot to your itinerary.
12. Don’t Go Out on Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in Judaism and it is celebrated with fasting, praying, and abstaining from all sorts of activities. So, if you are in Israel during this time make sure to not go out anywhere as everything will be closed.
13. Don’t Be Afraid of the Israeli Army
The Israeli army is everywhere but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. They are there for the safety of citizens and visitors alike. So, don’t be intimidated or scared by the sight of them and you should have a pleasant time in the country.
14. Don’t Touch an Orthodox Person of the Opposite Sex
If you happen to meet an Orthodox person, make sure not to touch them, especially if it is someone of the opposite sex. It is considered extremely disrespectful in their culture and can lead to a lot of unwanted attention.
15. Don’t Greet People With a Kiss
Greeting people with a kiss is very common in many parts of the world, but don’t do that when you are in Israel. It is considered rude and unacceptable to greet someone with a kiss even if they are family or friends. So, consider shaking hands instead.
Traveling to Israel can be a rich and fulfilling experience, steeped in history and culture. However, it’s essential to respect local customs, rules, and sensitivities to make your trip enjoyable and conflict-free.
By avoiding the common mistakes listed, you can navigate the complexities of this diverse country and have an unforgettable journey. So pack your bags, keep these tips in mind, and embark on your Israeli adventure.