So you’ve already booked your flights and hotels and planned your itinerary for Israel. Your long-awaited trip is just around the corner. Pull out your luggage. Here are a few items you may very well want to include in your packing list.
Refillable water bottle
Whatever the season, dehydration is a common problem for those touring in Israel. The good news is that it’s easy to solve this problem - stay hydrated! Bring a refillable water bottle and fill up with tap water. A water bottle like this would work: https://a.co/d/dZkKSkk.
In the Israeli summer, water is often not sufficient to stay hydrated. We often need to add electrolytes to our water to meet the challenge. I recommend user-friendly electrolyte tablets: https://a.co/d/enn0rp1.
Sun Hats (for both men and women)
A decent hat for the sun is critically important for most of the year. There are countless inexpensive products that would do the trick. Here's just one example: https://a.co/d/2BimS4n.
Mens Convertible Hiking Pants
A light weight hiking pant is helpful to remain comfortable when the temperatures rise in Israel. For most of the itinerary I plan, we’ll have some days on tour when modesty is required and others when it’s not. For men, modesty means long pants. A convertible pant is a great solution because it easily can be zipped off to become shorts when the modesty rules don’t apply. Here's a product I've worn for years: https://a.co/d/eax2UMq.
These are recommended for both men and women. There are many brands. I prefer the long sleeve protection with roll-up sleeve option, but there are short sleeve options too. This is an excellent quality men’s UV protection shirt: https://a.co/d/a6xNDY9. There are women's versions of these shirts too.
There are always days on tour on which modesty rules apply, especially for women. On these days, a woman’s shoulders and knees must be covered. Although you might want to bring along a lightweight travel skirt, it’s not really necessary. Capris that come to the knee or long pants will work for women too. If you decide on bringing pants, a hiking pant like this might be convenient: https://a.co/d/45elReV.
A clever option to add modesty (when necessary) to a short sleeve or tank top blouse is to bring a lightweight shawl to wrap around your shoulders when we enter places requiring modesty.
For those wading in water in the City of David’s Hezekiah's Tunnel, a small travel flashlight will be necessary.
Comfortable, broken-in walking shoes are critically important.
This is one of my favorites, but there are so many options: https://a.co/d/eRzd3cB
A sport sandal like this is often a good option for many:
For Hezekiah's Tunnel, a water shoe is necessary, so a sport sandal that can also be used in the water might be a good option. Although not absolutely mandatory, a water shoe is a good idea for the Dead Sea too.
In the warmer months of the year, the worst shoe to bring would be a leather non-breathable and HOT sneaker. Shoes need to be ventilated for the Israeli summer.
Items for Winter in Israel
Israel’s rainy season usually begins in November and lasts until the end of March. During this period, you might be lucky and experience sunny skies and cool temperatures every day of your visit. But you may also experience periods of rain. And when it rains in Israel, it often pours.
In the winter months (November to March), I recommend including these items in your packing list:
Hooded Rain Jacket
Although we don’t see precipitation often in Israel, when it does rain, it often comes as downpour, accompanied by strong wind. For this reason, umbrellas are not a practical accessory for your trip. Instead, I recommend you pack a hooded rain jacket. Something like this should work: https://a.co/d/0CQU290.
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Walking through puddles of water on Israel’s streets in a ventilated sneaker designed for dry conditions isn’t a good idea. In Israel’s rainy season, waterproofing is important. Consider bringing along a comfortable waterproof shoe like this: https://a.co/d/7BPNXho.
Layers, layers, layers…
For the cooler weather months you need layers. On a February morning it might be cold and rainy when we leave Jerusalem for the Judean Desert. But by the time we reach the Dead Sea, the sun could be shining and it might be surprisingly warm when you don your bathing suit for floating in one of the world’s natural wonders. Think like an onion. Bring clothing that layers easily so that you can peel off a layer or two when the temperatures rise during the course of the day.