A pilgrimage is a personal invitation from God to embark on a spiritual journey that leads to a holy and sacred place, and enables the pilgrim to know God more fully. Although travel options are now more affordable, the purpose of the pilgrimage remains unchanged. It requires the pilgrim to separate themselves from the world and offer themselves in humble service to another. By seeking to learn more about God and praying for special graces, the heart is filled with desire, and the pilgrim returns home transformed, renewed and restored by the abundant blessings received. Success on this journey depends on openness, faith, flexibility, and love.
To ensure smooth travel, it is essential that every traveler possesses a valid passport book. Prior to departure, check if you require a visa for your destination by using the link provided. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your departure. It is vital to carry your passport with you at all times, particularly when checking in at your home airport. To safeguard against loss or theft, create a copy of your passport and store it in a secure location. In the unfortunate event of passport loss, having a copy will be beneficial. Consider leaving a copy of your passport at home with your emergency contact for added protection.
When packing your carry-on bag for air travel, it is important to remember that you are only allowed to bring a limited amount of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in a quart-sized bag. These items must be in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. You can find the latest information on what you can bring on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website. It is important to stay within these guidelines to ensure a smooth security screening process and avoid having any items confiscated.
The total cost of your trip will be based on the length of the itinerary and current airfare rates at the time of booking. Our Living Stones Pilgrimage rates are competitive with other Holy Land and European pilgrimages of similar duration. Keep in mind to allocate additional funds for souvenir shopping and any optional activities during your free time.
We suggest dressing comfortably yet appropriately for the various sacred places we will be visiting during the pilgrimage. There is no need for dressy attire. Men and women should wear long pants, preferably avoiding shorts. Skirts or dresses are optional for women. Acceptable clothing options include jeans, slacks, and comfortable jogging pants. It is recommended to wear tops with sleeves that are not revealing. As weather can be unpredictable, we suggest dressing in layers, such as a short-sleeved shirt or blouse during the day and having long-sleeved shirts and a jacket or coat for cooler days and evenings. If you are susceptible to getting cold easily, a lightweight scarf may come in handy. Also, it is essential to wear comfortable tennis or walking shoes and break them in well before the trip. Additionally, it may be helpful to bring a pair of inexpensive flip flops for walking around your room or using in the bath areas.
To ensure that your small electric appliances work properly during your trip, it’s important to note that the voltage in the Holy Land is 220, while it’s 110 in the US. You’ll need both an adaptor and a converter for these items. You can purchase these items from most travel stores or online. Although chargers for laptops and smartphones accept both 110 and 220 volts input, you’ll still need an adapter since the outlets in the Holy Land have a different design.
You can use U.S. dollars in most places in Israel and Palestine, but the local currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Euros are also accepted by many businesses. ATMs are widely available in Israel and Palestine, with English language interfaces and the option to dispense either NIS or U.S. dollars. The Bank of Palestine is the largest bank in Palestine and has an extensive ATM network. It’s important to inform your ATM card issuer about your travel plans to Israel and Palestine before your trip.
If you plan to visit the Holy Land, it is important to know which currency and payment methods are commonly used. While credit cards are widely accepted, it is a good idea to carry cash as well, especially for smaller purchases. Many smaller shops and markets prefer cash payments, so make sure to have small denominations of $5, $10, $20, and $50 bills. It’s also recommended to carry at least 25 $1 bills as coins are not accepted. For added security, consider purchasing a money holder that can be worn as a belt under your clothing to carry most of your money and your passport. Wallets should never be stored in back pockets or in outer pockets of backpacks, and it is advisable to avoid conspicuously displaying your money in public. Lastly, be sure to inform your credit card issuer before your trip that you will be traveling to Israel and Palestine to avoid any issues with international transactions.
Your pilgrimage leader will collect customary standard tips for the guide, bus driver, and hotel waiters prior to departure. While additional tips are not required, pilgrims may choose to personally tip these individuals for exceptional service. The recommended tip amounts are typically $7/day for the guide, $5/day for the bus driver, and $3/day for the hotel waiters.
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