Great! Let's plan this trip!
We've created a whatsapp group for your convenience. We'll be using this for group communications and recommend joining now. You are welcome to ask any travel questions in this group as well.
To join: Either scan or click the QR code
Flights are most likely going to be your biggest expense for this trip.
If you are flying from Los Angeles, EL-AL Israeli Airlines is the only airline that has direct flights. Sadly they are also the priciest ones. If you are willing to invest more for comfort, EL-AL will have direct flights from almost any major city. Many other airlines have easy connections. Take in consideration, flying back to the US - connection within the US will require you pick up your luggage and check in again for your connecting flight. The process is quite streamlined, but just something to keep in mind.
Otherwise, we tend to have the most luck booking through google flight search. Sometimes you can find cheaper deals through websites like Kiwi. Just make sure each direction is booked through the same airline in case there is an issue with one of the connecting flights.
* Don't forget to check benefits through your credit cards. We got major discounts booking through our credit card benifits.
We recommend Tel-Aviv to be your base point and booking most nights there. If you plan on traveling the country it might be smart to book a place that is refundable for all nights while you plan your trip and make changes (there are many hostel options that are refundable).
There are a lot of very nice hotels but they are also pricy. Airbnb's are also an option. If you are on a budget we highly recommend booking a hostel. If you have a group we might be able to call the hostel and request for the group to be in a dorm of their own!
If you are interested in hostels we recommend checking Hostelworld: https://www.hostelworld.com/
You are arriving during a busy time on the Jewish calendar, which means you will get to experience some unique moments! It also means there are some things you should be aware of. Hit the icon for all the events, holidays and more.
For recommended trips, hit the icon!
Israel's main public transportation is buses. Trains are great too when possible (although pricier than buses) and there are trams in Jerusalem.
Moovit is an awesome app for public transportation:
Live transportation GPS: gives you the best routs and often able to show you how far the bus is from your stop.
Payment: You can link your credit card and pay for the travel fare by scanning your phone. Easy peasy.
Traffic in Israel is bad, especially in the Tel-Aviv area which is where we'll mostly be at, so always take that into account when calculating times.
Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings are especially bad as many soldiers travel from and to their bases for the weekend.
Big note: During Shabbat there is no public transportation!!! That means from Friday evening until Saturday evening you will have to mostly walk, rent a scooter or order taxis unless you rent a car.
The good news is that outside of those times there are bus lines that operate through the whole night!