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Israel trip budget help
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 3:02 am
Trying to figure out how much to save for the trip above the actual airfare. Biggest questions are car rental and activity costs.

Family of 8.

Staying about a week after a family simcha.

Will need to rent a vehicle because we're not going to spend our limited time running around after buses.

Will hopefully not need to rent a place to stay, we have very generous family who are eager to spend time with us.

Will probably eat out several times. Will try to get by with groceries the rest of the time. One of the hosts is grandparents who will probably be happy to supply food but we will try to contribute when visiting siblings or at least bring our own breakfast foods and snacks.

Itinerary:
Can do some nature, hiking, and self-guided touring. Kotel, visiting family, etc.
Would like to do tunnel tour or something like that for kotel/old city history, as well as one or two of the old city or Ir David excavation tours. Anyone know approximate cost for that for party of 8?

The older kids want to go jeeping or atv or something. I heard there is a jeep activity that is also educational/touristy. I would stay back with younger kids because that is really not my speed, so figure about 5 people on jeeps. Anyone know approx cost?

Interested in other ideas but also in general overall how much did you spend on activities and food for a week long whirlwind Israel trip with a largish family, trying to budget and not be too profligate but also wanting to make the most of a once in a lifetime type of opportunity.

I'm getting a little nauseous thinking about how much this is going to cost but some working numbers would be helpful to start focusing on a savings plan instead of general anxiety.
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amother
Hotpink


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 3:52 am
amother OP wrote:
Trying to figure out how much to save for the trip above the actual airfare. Biggest questions are car rental and activity costs.

Family of 8.

Staying about a week after a family simcha.

Will need to rent a vehicle because we're not going to spend our limited time running around after buses.

Will hopefully not need to rent a place to stay, we have very generous family who are eager to spend time with us.

Will probably eat out several times. Will try to get by with groceries the rest of the time. One of the hosts is grandparents who will probably be happy to supply food but we will try to contribute when visiting siblings or at least bring our own breakfast foods and snacks.

Itinerary:
Can do some nature, hiking, and self-guided touring. Kotel, visiting family, etc.
Would like to do tunnel tour or something like that for kotel/old city history, as well as one or two of the old city or Ir David excavation tours. Anyone know approximate cost for that for party of 8?

The older kids want to go jeeping or atv or something. I heard there is a jeep activity that is also educational/touristy. I would stay back with younger kids because that is really not my speed, so figure about 5 people on jeeps. Anyone know approx cost?

Interested in other ideas but also in general overall how much did you spend on activities and food for a week long whirlwind Israel trip with a largish family, trying to budget and not be too profligate but also wanting to make the most of a once in a lifetime type of opportunity.

I'm getting a little nauseous thinking about how much this is going to cost but some working numbers would be helpful to start focusing on a savings plan instead of general anxiety.


It’s very wise to start budgeting for this now.
I don’t know exact prices but you should be aware that renting a vehicle for 8 people is going to cost you a lot! (Minivans here are 7 seaters so you’ll need a size up from that.)
If you’re staying in a big city it might be worth using public transportation as much as possible and rent a car for 1-2 days when you’re touring outside the city. Also, keep in mind expensive gas prices and traffic and parking conditions in Jerusalem . It’s not necessarily easier to get around by car!

I think jeeping is around 150-200 shekel per person.
It’s hard to estimate eating out costs as it’s so dependant on different factors, but the more mehadrin places tend to also be more expensive for what you get. Some places have online menus where you can check pricing. Felafal is pretty cheap and easy to find!
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 6:59 am
I was afraid of that re car... At home we also still have a 7 seater, we so rarely go anywhere far as a whole family that we just take separate cars!

Our home base is RBS. I guess we can probably bus Jerusalem well enough and hope for the best. It's considerably longer than driving but not too outrageous. I wonder if I can find somewhere to stay overnight in Jerusalem to max our time there. I doubt it because we're a big family. We luck out in RBs with grandparents who will be happy enough to see us that they won't mind how many sleeping bags or whatever we cram in.
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amother
Strawberry


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 8:17 am
I recently went bh with a family of 9 and rented a 9 passanger privately from someone in rbs. came out $135/ day. you may want to consider that. also was easier than dealing with a rental agency
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amother
Chestnut


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 8:54 am
When we went for a family simcha and then extended our stay we did lots of touring. Go on the Israeli sites to reserve everything and ask for an English speaking guide. Going on busses is a chavaya, we live in a place where no one uses public transport so my kids loved going on the busses. Not sure how to get a rav kav since my parents keep some laying around but I did put ₪100 on the one I was using before I left. We rented a car to go up north and we got a hybrid so we didn’t fill it up till we returned it and we did lots of driving. Try to live as an Israeli and not as a tourist and prices shouldn’t be too bad. Have fun and Mazel Tov!
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amother
Mayflower


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 8:57 am
We recently rented a very tight 7-seater for approximately two weeks, and it cost 1500. We didn't get bigger because it cost more. As far as ticket prices to attractions, almost everything has a website with prices.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 8:57 am
amother Strawberry wrote:
I recently went bh with a family of 9 and rented a 9 passanger privately from someone in rbs. came out $135/ day. you may want to consider that. also was easier than dealing with a rental agency

That would actually be amazing since RBS is our home base. Can you share contact info?
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 8:58 am
amother Mayflower wrote:
We recently rented a very tight 7-seater for approximately two weeks, and it cost 1500. We didn't get bigger because it cost more. As far as ticket prices to attractions, almost everything has a website with prices.

Yes I'm aware that I can look up individual prices for attractions when we get up to the detailed planning stages but I'm looking for a ballpark to work with.
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amother
Amethyst


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 9:02 am
amother OP wrote:
Yes I'm aware that I can look up individual prices for attractions when we get up to the detailed planning stages but I'm looking for a ballpark to work with.


For accurate info you should look up the individual prices. We paid around $450 for 6 people jeeping last year. Food nobody can really say depends how fancy you go and how much you eat. Pizza, falafel, shnitzel I found the prices were comparable to the US.
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amother
Gold


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 10:22 pm
Reach out to Noach car rental for rates.
If you are able to afford it, hire a guide for at least some of the days.
The family trip that I did a few year ago (before prices skyrocketed) cost about $1000 per day, including car rental and guides for some of the days.
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amother
Cyclamen


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 11:08 pm
amother OP wrote:
I was afraid of that re car... At home we also still have a 7 seater, we so rarely go anywhere far as a whole family that we just take separate cars!

Our home base is RBS. I guess we can probably bus Jerusalem well enough and hope for the best. It's considerably longer than driving but not too outrageous. I wonder if I can find somewhere to stay overnight in Jerusalem to max our time there. I doubt it because we're a big family. We luck out in RBs with grandparents who will be happy enough to see us that they won't mind how many sleeping bags or whatever we cram in.

600 bus to yerushlyim is 30 minutes it's easier to go on bus then drive in yerushlyim
There's biblical museum here and
Caves
Enjoy your stay
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DrMom




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 11:47 pm
amother OP wrote:
Yes I'm aware that I can look up individual prices for attractions when we get up to the detailed planning stages but I'm looking for a ballpark to work with.

Really depends what you're planning to do.

Start looking things up on the internet to get a feel for prices.
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ray family




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 1:31 am
It also might be cheaper renting two cars vs one 8 seater.
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 1:52 am
Does RBS have its own rental places? Because maybe we can get away with only renting for specific days. Like we can plot out shabbos (staying put) and Jerusalem (bus) in a row, and then only need a car or cars for maybe 4 days of going farther out?

Are there buses to attractions in the BS area like the caves or do we need a car to get there?

If we don't rent a car from beginning to end, how do we get 8 people from the airport to RBS and back? One of the relatives we're visiting has a large van and would likely be willing to drive, but the odds of flight timing coinciding with his schedule are not great and I don't think any other family members are capable of driving the extra large van.
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DrMom




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 2:03 am
Renting a car for the days you need it is logical.

Also, many rental companies offer rental contracts for Shomer Shabbat customers that excludes charges for Shabbat and Yom Tov.

You could get 2 taxis at the airport, although that is pricey.

Although if airport transportation will be a problem, then it might make sense to just pick up the car when you land in Ben Gurion Airport and drive to RBS and return it when you fly back.
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amother
Peony


 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 2:06 am
Keep in mind, private car rentals are generally illegal and will void the insurance if chas veshalom you need to make a claim.

Also keep in mind, above a certain size car (larger than a minivan) you need a special drivers' license.

You probably can rent an 8-seater, I have no idea of prices but do your research online and perhaps through an agent like Noach (referenced above).

I don't think it's a good idea to skip the car rental if you'll be staying in rbs. You're here for a short time, and you will find yourself planning itineraries based on bus schedules. Not every place is accessible by bus. Riding buses all day is exhausting. Don't leave it for the last minute, either. If you need an 8-seater you need to reserve it in advance. There are rental places in rbs, it might be cheaper than renting from the airport. But then you need to factor in getting from the airport to rbs, plus going to pick up your car as a separate outing. For the record, parking in rbs is generally not an issue.
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Rappel




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 2:08 am
Ir David and Tunnel Tours are not that expensive - like 20 to 30 shekels per person
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amother
Rainbow


 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 2:09 am
Taxis are easy in RBS, we used them loads. Taxi to stalactite caves and can do the slifkin place at the same time. There is a guy, can't remember his name, who runs a huge taxi service and can send mini buses, ask arpund and people know him.
You can buy rav kavs in the airport when you arrive, the buses are easy and there are speedy ones, and you can also do the train which is fun.
Look on the tourist websites and there are frum people who do personalised tours round the old city - we did one which was a cheap walking tour and learned so much more than I knew even from living there in sem. Really recommend.

Food is easy from the supermarkets but you will spend a lot more on ice cold drinks / smoothies/anything that cools you down when you are out all day in the sun - it is so hot there in July/August you really need to plan around that.), if you're planning summer trip.
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Ridethewaves




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 2:16 am
what about renting two small city cars/my-cars for 10nis an hour? You pay per km instead of gas. They also have daily rates. You can only sign up once you're in the country because you need your travel visa from passport control. takes a day to process registration.
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amother
Seablue


 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 2:26 am
Native Israeli without a car.

I would try NOT recommend managing on buses - in the summer it is HOT and it can get very hard waiting for buses.

I would look into these options to economize the car cost:
Car Swap - basically advertise in Ramat Eshkol, RBS, Romeme, Sanhedria Murchevet, Maalot Dafna, Arzei, Ramat Shlomo, Jerusaguides email/ whats app groups that you are looking to swap a 7 seater.

There are many many families who are going to visit family in the states who are also on a budget and would be thrilled to do a swap. You would pay for the extra insurance in Israel, and they would pay the extra costs in the States.

Private van rental: same idea as the car swap - advertise
City car + RBS rental + buses. City Car is a car share app, where you pay by the hour. I know they have vans in RBS. This is cheaper because you only pay as you use. It is not very worthwhile once you use it for more the 6 hours, so on the days that you are going out all day I would rent a car or do public transportation.

If you go the last route - the day/days that you are spending in the Old City/ central Jerusalem area, are good for public transportation. The traffic + parking is so difficult, it just makes more sense. When you go on nature/ hikes public transport really eats your time.

A nice thing to do when visiting family is to invite them on the activity you are doing for the day. Even if its the cheaper days....

Are you looking to stay jerusalem/ rbs area only or do you want to do Tzfat/ Teveria/ north as well? Chevron? Shiloh? Kever Rochel?

I would do Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea one day. There are camel rides that you can do at the gas various points on the trip down there that are short and really cheap (15- 20 nis a person).

Do your kids want Jeeping or ATVing? There is a great ATV tour that goes thru different points in the tanach and where the avos where they happened in the Gush.

The old city/ Ir David have a website with prices...
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