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Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

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Windhoek, Namibia
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Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

Hello! My husband, myself and our 14 month old son will be travelling to Israel for 8 days in early March. I hope you can help us put together an itinerary that will be fun but also not too stressful for our little one!

We'd like to see as much as possible in the way of major tourist attractions/natural wonders/historical sites/world heritage sites. But I'm hoping we can make it work with only 2-3 hotel stays so as not to disrupt the baby's schedule too much. We also have a limited budget, so low/mid range options are the best for us with maybe one potential splurge. Maybe $80-$130/night hotel stays including breakfast.

First thing, we arrive in Tel Aviv (from Denmark) at like 4am on a Saturday (3am our time). We will need some kind of place to rest for at least a few hours when we first arrive, and a way to get there since it is Shabbat. Any ideas? Should we stay in Tel Aviv for more than that one day?

We'd also like to go to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and possibly north to Tiberias/Nazareth/Caesarea/Haifa.

I think the easiest thing in our case would be to hire a driver for day trips. But have no clue what the cost is! Also, we need to balance the few hotels with the amount of driving per day, which can't be excessive for the baby's sake.

We depart on the following Sunday from Tel Aviv in the afternoon.

Hope that is enough info and I really hope you all can help me put a nice trip together and give me some hotel tips. This used to be my favorite part of holidays but now with a toddler I don't have enough time to do all of the research!

Edinburgh, United...
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21. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

Hello,

We are also embarking on a trip to Tel Aviv with a toddler in tow! We will be doing 8 nights early Feb with our 19 month old baby girl.

We have opted to stay in an apartment so we can have some space in the evenings when she has gone to bed, and we then have the option of cooking for her/us too. We have booked and apartmnet for 8 nights in Tel Aviv as decided that our daughter would just be so out of sorts if we moved around too much. We plan to do 1-2 days in Jeruselum and may stay overnight or may just take the bus out there twice. Akko which is 1.5 hours north looks nice for a day trip. Given you can't take babies on day tours we may end up missing out on the deadsea area but will decide if we hire a car when we get there.

If you send me a private message I will do my best to reply once we are back (19th Feb) with any tips on baby travels for you!

Sophie

Tel Aviv, Israel
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22. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

there are so many wonderful things to do with young kids in Israel. Israel is also very welcoming to kids and kids can go anywhere.

a lot depends on how adventurous you are willing to be and whether you are willing to carry the child in a child-carrier type backpack or if you prefer using a stroller.

my suggestion is only 2 hotels, one in ta and one in Jerusalem. kids don't like changes and pack and moving all the stuff is difficult.

certainly start in tel aviv. get a good rest and then go to the beach the next day. at night go for a walk with the in the port area and have a nice dinner on the water. all the restaurants are on an enclosed boardwalk, so you child can walk/crawl around while you enjoy dinner. day 2 go to the carmel market at nachlat Binyamin street. this is best on Friday, so if you have to move things around to do that, it would be better.

day 3:day trip to Haifa. wake up early and catch the train to Haifa, kids love the train and it is a cheap and comfortable way to get there. places to visit are (a must) the bahai gardens, and then choose another nice Haifa attraction like the zoo, the nisnass neighborhood for some arab feel, the museum or clandestine emigration, etc.

day 4- guvrin caves. check out of the tel aviv hotel, rent a car and drive there, it is very easy and shouldn't take more than 45 minutes. there are hikes, caves and ruins, for the child to climb on. a guid would be great for this day, but not mandatory. continue to Jerusalem.

day 5: Jerusalem old city. really nothing to add here, choose what you like and go for it, the old city reallyhas so much to offer. have dinner and spend the night on ben Yehuda street which will be teaming with people

day 6: morning- Israel museum and Knesset (including rose garden and park). you can continue to the supreme court building and the saker park and up through agrippas street to machne Yehuda market

day 7:masada and dead sea. there is really no point in going in to the dead sea with a young child. he cannot go in and really cant enjoy it at all. masada is very nice, you can choose if you prefere the cable car or the walk up/down. The dan stream is also a wonderful hike and you can often see goats and dear.

day 8:take a sherut taxi from Jerusalem to the airport for flight home.

if I missed a day consider also: day trip to the sea of galilee from TA (only 2.5hours each way and the child will sleep on the way back); day in the western galilee, including Nazerus (wow, no clue how to spell that in English), cheese maker (with goat and activities for kids). stalactite cave and hike in Judean mountains from Jslem.

Enjoy your stay.

Windhoek, Namibia
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23. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

Hi Sophie! Good luck with your trip! We also decided to stay in apartments, but we will do 4 nights (technically 5 since we land before dawn on day 1) Tel Aviv and 4 in Jerusalem. We actually decided to rent a car for the whole trip and made sure we have a parking spot in both places. We won't use it in the cities as much as getting out and around. Since we land at 4am on Shabbat we would have to get private taxi transport from the airport, so we'd have to bring a carseat (babe is super tiny ~8.5kg and the rental seats are 9kg+). So we decided that ~$300 US for renting a car for the whole week was worth it-- then we can just park the carseat in the car the whole time and get ourselves everywhere we need to go. Renting for part time ended up being complicated and/or more expensive due to things like closures on Saturdays. Anyway, it would be great if you post here when you get back! Can't wait to hear about your trip.

And Elliott-- thank you so much! This itinerary looks great, totally do-able and it gave me some ideas beyond what we were originally planning. Since we have a car it will make it even easier and make us more flexible for napping etc. We will definitely have a carrier which we will use most of the time, and a junky umbrella stroller just in case. I love the tips on places where the little one can roam around. He is finally taking his first steps at 14.5 months-- so by March I'm sure he will be running like a maniac. I think he will have to enjoy the beach while we each take our turn to dip in the Dead Sea, though. I don't think we can miss such a unique experience even if he isn't quite ready for it!

Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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24. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

You will have a great time with your baby in Israel. Babies are so welcome. Be prepared to get lots of advice from strangers- sometimes welcome, sometimes not- but always with the best of intentions :)

Regarding the Dead Sea. You can not put your child anywhere near the water OR even on the beach. The sand is exceptionally salty and in places the salt is crystalized on top of the sand or mixed in chunks in the sand. If your baby gets this salt on his/her hands and then rubs their eyes or puts their hands in their mouth, it will be agony. If you must go to the Dead Sea, go to a place that has a fresh water pool. One of you can stay there with the baby while the other takes a float in the Dead Sea. I can't tell you how distraught I was watching an Italian family who didn't speak Hebrew, French, Russian or English (the languages everyone on the beach at the time were yelling at them telling them NOT to take their baby near the water) take their child to the waters edge and then splash the child's face. Of course the child was screaming in sheer agony and the lifeguards spent the next hour doing first aid. It was SO terrible- people were in tears including my 2 children (aged 11 and 12) at the time. The Dead Sea is an experience like no other, there is no way to describe how amazing this experience is for adults, and no way to describe how dangerous it is for babies. Please heed this advice.

Tel-Aviv
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25. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

The car rental agencies at the airport are open 24/7, including 4 am on Shabbat.

Windhoek, Namibia
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26. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

Thanks for the tips about the beaches. I knew not to take him in the water but didn't think that the beach could also be a hazard. That sounds awfully traumatic for everyone involved. We're definitely planning to go to a place with a pool. We can also change our minds when we get there since we are not pre-booking anything and will have the car no matter what.

I know that the car rental agencies are open 24/7 but only at the airport. The 4am pickup is not the problem. Originally I was thinking: taxi from the airport to TA when we land, then book the car for only a couple of days in TA for day trips and our transfer to Jerusalem, and then a couple days rental in Jerusalem on our way back--e.g. rent on Sat, go to the Dead Sea on Sat and then drive back to the airport on Sun for our flight home. But we can't rent on a Sat from Jerusalem (at least with Eldan) because all branches are closed then. Plus, the hassle of the taxi when we land so early, the hassle of lugging around our stupidly heavy carseat, and the cost of all of it put together was actually more than just taking the car for the whole time (and smartly booking apartments with included parking, which was actually cheaper than hotels anyway).

Israel
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27. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

<< But we can't rent on a Sat from Jerusalem (at least with Eldan) because all branches are closed then.>>

Indeed. ALL car rental offices - all companies - throughout the country are closed on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, except at the airport.

28. Re: Help with itinerary- travel with 1y/o in March

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