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Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

Spokane, Washington
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Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

I'm new to Trip Advisor, so I'm starting here on the forum for some help/guidelines etc....

My father and I are going on big trip to the middle east in a few weeks with a tour company from the states. I have never done a big tour company group where everything is planned and all together.

I want to make sure I can get souvenirs (super touristy but oh well) like a simple Olive Wood nativity (looking for something around $75 or under... nothing ornate), Christmas ornaments, possibly some casual jewelry, things like that. But also get some things that are unique to Israel. We'll be visiting Bethlehem, Galilee, Nazareth, etc.

Does anyone have tips about shopping for such items WHILE in a tour group? We only have a half day for our own exploration to shop in the old city.

Also, I'm not afraid to haggle, just afraid of offending. I don't want to get ripped off but also want to agree on a reasonable price that they'd make a profit. Any tips on HOW TO HAGGLE?

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
florida
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6 posts
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21. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

seemed as whenever we deoarted our bus near our destination , there were men selling souvenir items for a few dollars and also bottles of water .Items were colorful :purses, scarves.

enjoy your trip

florida
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22. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

Our pastor suggested we take small bills in US currency. found that hotel front desk was only site that accepted Israel currency.

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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23. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

Actually, every place in Israel accepts Israeli currency. It is the money that is used in Israel. One way to pay more is to pay in US dollars which will be accepted at many locations but at a premium conversion rate. You will also find there are many places that won't accept American currency. For independent travelers, trying to get away with using American currency is a terrible idea.

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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6,990 posts
107 reviews
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24. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

I agree with both of you having toured both in a tour group and independently. When on a tour there are a lot of things offered at cheap prices in US dollars to tour groups as they go through. But when we travelled independently of a tour group it was much better to have shekels. *grin* my husband and I confused a lot of vendors by insisting we pay in shekels - we had to explain often that we were from Australia and not the US. They weren't quite as keen to accept Aussie dollars. :)

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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5,945 posts
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25. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

Heather-and no one wants Canadian dollars either.

LA
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26. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

KellyAnder, what is an average cost of a rug in Israel? I am going to Israel in February.

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Israel
Israel
Middle East
Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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27. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

That varies HUGELY. Quality, size, origin. No one is going to be able to answer this meaningfully without a lot more specificity.

Douglas Duckett

staffs
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28. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

Thank you for your advice,we are going on a tour soon,and I guessed we won't have much time for shopping,I was looking forward to getting lots of small gifts for my grandchildren, they want some sea shells that's if we are allowed to bring them back.I'm also worried that I can keep up with everyone on tour I'm not as fit as I used to be,

Haifa, Israel
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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29. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

You are unlikely to go anywhere on a tour where you will find sea shells (you'd have to go to a beach and pick them up yourself, and you are unlikely to find particularly "exotic" ones; see below thread for a discussion)

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g3575948-i28159-k7…

However, you'll be able to find plenty of other appropriate small and inexpensive gifts.

Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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30. Re: Tips on souvenir shopping and haggling

Linda don't worry about whether you can keep up with everyone on tour. You will. My walking is sort of ok... slowish due to a back injury which has left me in permanent pain, and I find difficulty with certain places. Just let the guide know that you are concerned. You will find that on tours they let you know in advance if there places that you might find difficulty and you can usually just miss out little bits and pieces that aren't of any great consequence to the whole tour.

For instance, at Megiddo there is an iron age tunnel that they all go down.... but that involves a huge number of steps that I can't do. We all walked together around the site at Megiddo and the group did that tunnel last, while those that couldn't do the steps go back to the bus. The bus was then taken around to the entrance that those doing the water tunnel come out from so we all met up at roughly the same time. Take a look here and you'll see the pic. of the tunnel I missed out on at the end of the page. http://www.bibleplaces.com/megiddo.htm It really wasn't a big thing to miss out on compared to the rest of the site which was ok.

Mostly on a tour you get to a site and then constantly stop at different places to listen to the guide's explanation. You don't normally get long walks to do. You will probably find there are one or two others on your tour who can't do one or two things too - don't think you will be alone.

Edited: 2:27 am, March 03, 2014