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Is there a cheap way for a family of 7 to visit Israel?
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amother
OP


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 8:54 pm
For my kids to go to camps in the summer, I pay around 6,000. (No kid goes for more than 4-5 weeks, and only 2 are sleepaway camp age.)

I'm wondering if there's a way, if moshiach is chas veshalom not here soon, tor me to go with my family for a week or two or three (depending on time of year is the amount. A week random time, or two weeks pesach/sukkos, or maybe even 3 in bein hazmanim summer) for very cheap. Not this summer, as we already have kids signed up for camp.

Has anyone done that?

Lets say I get crazy cheap tickets like 900*7 that's already 6300. Are there cheaper tickets?
... And then I need a place to stay (can be a 2 bedroom). Would want to be in yerushalayim...

Like rent a bachur dirah?
Switch apartments with someone coming to the States?

Once in Israel we'd have to pay for food which would be regular budget like living in States, we'd have extra transportation fees but would try to mostly take buses, we wouldn't do major touristy things. I'd want to take the kids to the kosel, kever rochel, show them our seminary and yeshiva neighborhoods, meet a gadol, maybe go to rebbetzin kolodetzky... Don't need to go too tzfat, meron, teveria, ashdod, etc.
Yerushalayim will be fun enough

Has anyone done that?
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amother
Snowflake


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 8:58 pm
Do you have miles? Can you sign up for credit cards with big sign up bonuses? That would be the best way to do it for cheap.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:00 pm
amother Snowflake wrote:
Do you have miles? Can you sign up for credit cards with big sign up bonuses? That would be the best way to do it for cheap.


Don't have miles...

Can you explain the credit card sign up thing a little?
We don't have major cc expenses.

Property tax would be the biggest.

We do tuition stuff through checks.
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DrMom




 
 
    
 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:02 pm
If you are flexible, February is typically the cheapest time for airline tickets to Israel. You may be able to get deals at other times, although Pesach/Sukkot are unlikely.

Inexpensive accommodations: house swap, volunteering on a kibbutz (but not with a bunch of kids), staying out of a major tourist area (the latter isn't worth the hassle).
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amother
Olive


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:07 pm
Can you try to do an apartment swap with an Israeli family for your home/aparmtent?
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amother
OP


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:09 pm
amother Olive wrote:
Can you try to do an apartment swap with an Israeli family for your home/aparmtent?


We don't live in a place where tons of people have family (aka not lakewood etc)
I guess I can ask people in my city if their relatives would want to switch?

Or would you advertise that in the Pirsumit? Does ramateshkolnshei still have their weekly email?
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amother
Hydrangea


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:10 pm
Took a family of 5 (4 tickets) for 10 days in February and it was $12,000 including getting passports made last minute.
Even if we cut out some of the more expensive trips and done cheaper food it would still be $11,000.
We stayed in an air bnb, if you can find cheaper accommodations you'd save on the biggest expense after tickets.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:13 pm
amother Hydrangea wrote:
Took a family of 5 (4 tickets) for 10 days in February and it was $12,000 including getting passports made last minute.
Even if we cut out some of the more expensive trips and done cheaper food it would still be $11,000.
We stayed in an air bnb, if you can find cheaper accommodations you'd save on the biggest expense after tickets.


Wow!

Yes I forgot abt passports. We would all need.

How much was the air bnb? Can you post a link to it?

I was looking at Tivuch Kesher for places under $200 A night. They don't sleep7... More like 4 beds.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:19 pm
I have this dream that our one bedroom apt we lived in 15 years ago will be available... LOL cuz it's good memories but our current family wouldn't fit in it!!!
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amother
Lemon


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:36 pm
There are tickets less than $900. I have a flight next month for less on a less popular day. If you drive your car to the airport, maybe you can do a car for apartment swap. We swapped cars with someone in the USA and we had three kids swapping the single bed/floor every night while we slept on an air mattress. Worthwhile to visit our family we hardly see in the states. Maybe because we live here, we’re totally fine with less and saw it as an adventure.
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Elfrida




 
 
    
 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:37 pm
The further in advance you book, the better price you'll get on the tickets. Like book now for next Pesach. Off season will be cheaper. November and February tend to be cheap months.

Be aware that you'll probably spend more in food than you do at home, because you won't have your pantry reserve, and you'll be eating out more.

The areas of your seminary and yeshiva are very nostalgic for you, but might not be so interesting to your children, especially the younger ones.
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amother
Sapphire


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:40 pm
What’s a car for apartment swap?
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amother
Saddlebrown


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 9:41 pm
If you are not going instead of camp, how does that help you?
You can’t tell your kids we are not doing camp because we went to Israel in feb.
I don’t know how many cheap tickets are available these days?
How would you get around in Israel?
What would your kids do all day? You’re not in your house with neighbors or toys to entertain them on down days?
Even if u rent a place with kitchen appliances that you feel comfortable using due to kashrut etc, you end up paying more for basic ingredients which you have stocked in your house so food would be more expensive etc.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 10:06 pm
amother Saddlebrown wrote:
If you are not going instead of camp, how does that help you?
You can’t tell your kids we are not doing camp because we went to Israel in feb.
I don’t know how many cheap tickets are available these days?
How would you get around in Israel?
What would your kids do all day? You’re not in your house with neighbors or toys to entertain them on down days?
Even if u rent a place with kitchen appliances that you feel comfortable using due to kashrut etc, you end up paying more for basic ingredients which you have stocked in your house so food would be more expensive etc.

Ugh
You're right.
Instead of camp has to be in the summer...
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essie14




 
 
    
 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 10:21 pm
Do you plan to stay in Israel for 5 weeks?
If not how will you entertain the kids for the rest of the summer if they're not in camp?
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amother
Magenta


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 11:24 pm
In general if the options are sukkos/pesach/ or bein hazmanim - pesach is the cheapest. There are tons young couples who want to go back for yt, and you can usually find an apartment for cheap - sometimes even do a house swap or a car for apartment.

Another (torturous) way to bring down costs is by doing multiple and sometimes long stopovers

For example - I found this flight for pesach for $783 - but it has a 4 hour connection in Lisbon, then a flight to Barcelona, 5 hours there, then TLV. The way back is a bit better 2 hours in Barcelona and then 4 in Lisbon.

The weather is nicer pesach time as well, so you can do more outdoor/ free activities.

The problem as I see it is if you do pesach in Israel instead of camp - what do u do with your kids in the summer?
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amother
Mulberry


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 12:02 am
The earlier you book tickets, the cheaper they will be, generally. We got tickets from Israel to America for bein hazmanim, second half of August this year, for average of 750 per ticket (booked in early October). Only part of it is direct.

An apartment swap would definitely be the cheapest. Only problem with that is that if you book tickets far in advance you may not be able to know that you'll have a place by then. But I assume if you come during bein hazmanim time, there will be the most options available for apartment rentals.

If you are staying local in Yerushalayim a car would probably be a liability rather than an asset.
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amother
Cobalt


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 12:11 am
Just keep in mind that the weather in Israel in February can be quite nasty and it’s horrible and cold when it rains there and can be a miserable experience
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amother
Charcoal


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 12:12 am
OP swapping apartments is very much a possibility with families in Israel. You need to start posting around 8 months before you are thinking of coming. It takes time but I know many have posted in RBS for switches. not sure how many have done it but I have seen the adds. You need tickets, and pay for food. Probably electricity- AC, washer/Dryer. Rent a car or to switch cars also. (not sure this is allowed).
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amother
Mulberry


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 12:18 am
amother OP wrote:
Ugh
You're right.
Instead of camp has to be in the summer...

In any case, food is much easier in the summer than Pesach. And there are many more days to be out and about
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