Israel is a unique country, and one well worth visiting. However, travelling into (and especially out of) Israel can be a daunting experience if you've not done it before.

Israel takes its airline security extremely seriously, so here is some information and advice for making your journey into and out of Israel as smooth as possible.

1/ As with all travel, check to see if there are any visa requirements or travel restrictions that will impact your visit. Flying to other Middle-East countries from Israel is severely restricted; currently the only other Middle-Eastern countries you can only fly to directly from Israel areEgypt, Jordan and Turkey.

2/ Check your passports for stamps from other Middle-Eastern countries, as these may raise questions when you arrive and may delay your transit through immigration. Since having an Israeli stamps in the passport may cause problems when entering other countries the Israeli border control stopped stamping passports, instead travelers are given a paper Visa that should be kept with the passport throughout the visit.This must be presented at hotels, and car rental agencies as proof of tourist status. Otherwise you will be charged VAT. ( which will not be refunded)

3/ Ensure that you leave more ample time when leaving Israel, as security at the airport is complex and time consuming. It is recommended that you arrive at the airport 3 hours before an international departure. .

4/ Security is carried out in two phases:

  • You will need to go through initial security before checking in for your flight. There can be large queues at this point, as all bags are scanned and many questions will be asked of you regarding your visit. Israeli security staff are polite and friendly, but have no interest in when your flight is leaving or how late you are; this is your responsibility, not theirs. You may well be asked to open luggage and explain certain items; this is non-negotiable.
  • Once you check in, you'll then go through the next stage of security which will check your hand luggage in the same comprehensive way. Again, be prepared to explain any items that you have in your luggage.

5/ In summary: Arrive early (3 hours) for your flight. Be polite. Be courteous. Relax and follow the process.