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help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

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Old Saybrook...
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help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

I can't sort this all out.

Is there a USA tour company that does a great job --offering tour packages from NYC area to tour Israel? Interested in traveling early April 2013 for 8 nights in Israel. Want historical, biblical, sites mostly. Price is a consideration. Trying to book air, hotels and private tours for daily trips in Israel looks way too complicated. Please advise.

NYC/Israel
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1. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

There are multiple companies offering total comprehensive tours from the US and NY in particular. Before we can share which groups have gotten positive reviews we need to know

a. who is "we"

b. What religion are you focusing on?

Note: is is not that difficult to do everything on your own but I can totally appreciate that some people don't want to that and the negatives of large group tours are outweighed, in their opinion by the ability to sign up, pay and go.

Old Saybrook...
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2. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

We are 4 adults- mom-age 55, dad-age 65, 2 adult children in late 20's. well read. Attend protestant church throughout life. Love learning, history, exploring. Need some down time and relaxation. Meals need to be moderate--need not gourmet. dislike shopping unless it is in marketplace type or unusual setting. Want to take this trip before kids marry and ill health might present itself on me or my husband. we are both in good health now, although I do have bi-lateral knee replacements. One write up remarking on 11 tour hours-many of those on your feet was way too much for me. This is a trip of a lifetime--may never revisit so key locations and touring is important. Pocketbook is moderate... so I am looking for ideas that package the trip from NYC area. thanks!

Charleston, South...
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3. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

We went to Israel then signed up for some day trips leaving time to explore on our own. That worked out fine. The day trips were arranged by the hotel upon arrival.

You might try AAA (American Automobile Association) travel. They have some turn key trips available.

NYC/Israel
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4. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

I do not think an 8 night tour is for you. They frequently have long long days. All tours--both 8 night and 1 day will stop someplace for you to shop. --sad reality of touring. The advantage of going on your own is you can pace it for you. You can also include down days/easier days to give your knees a break. Going on your own could be a mixture of independent travel, 1 day tours and private tour guides. ( 4 people on 1 day tours the same as a private guide, unless you are using the private guide to also drive) Think about it.

Australia
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5. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

Have just come back from Israel and we went with Pilgrim Tours who operate out of Pensylvania. Everything was so well organized and we had a life changing experience. We are from Australia and I found them on the Internet. they offered everything that we were looking for. You will fall in love with Israel....

Eilat, Israel
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6. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

I've met many happy people with ITC

http://www.israeltour.com/

Cincinnati, Ohio
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7. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

Many people have spoken favorably of Gate 1 tours as well.

I echo the comment that if you go for eight days, you will fly around everywhere. Shoot for more like two weeks, or at least 10 days in country (not including travel).

Douglas Duckett

Winter Park, Florida
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8. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

We are also looking to tour in April and have been comparing tour companies vs doing our own planning and hiring private guides. I am a planner by profession so that part does not bother me but my wife and I have never been to Israel and like you, this is our trip of a lifetime. We are in our early 50's. My mother-inlaw is a travel agent here in the US and she has been to Israel several times and recommanded Isram for us for a tour company. They seem to have very good reviews. It all depends if you want a luxury trip or budget trip. For 4 people you can probably do private guides and private arrangements on this site for cheaper but it will be work. I personally found it to be way to confusing but the nice people on this site are willing to help. For me, I dont want to worry about all the arrangements and I want someone to tell me where and when to be someplace so I dont have to think about it. We will probably be doing the Israel Overture tour for 11 days and 9 nights and will add 1 day before in Tel Aviv and 1 day at the end in Jerusalem. Both of our Adult boys have been to Israel on Birthright and although their trip is very different than we want to do, they have told us their very favorite things to see and do and we will be doing those as well. Make sure you research the tour companies very carefully. Some of them have mixed reviews like Gate 1. Since this is our trip of a lifetime and it is costing a small fortune we wanted to plan it right. Since I was a little boy I have heard and read about the King David Hotel. Although I'm sure there are better hotels for the money, to me the triip would be incomplete without a stay there. Also since you are not Jewish make sure to research Jewish holidays during your stay......Memorial Day and Independance Day fall in april on the 14th and 15th. Good luck with your planning

Tel Aviv, Israel
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9. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

FloridaTourist, there's no reason that touring with a private guide has to be a confusing experience. If you work with an excellent guide, your guide will worry about itinerary planning and all the logistics and not you. Private guides can also help with making hotel arrangements.

Boston...
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10. Re: help me get unconfused! PLANNING ISRAEL trip for 4 adults

If Passover or Easter fall during your trip, it should be more crowded, and flights can be more expensive. So check your calendar.