Registration for Summer 2013 is Open!
Travelers can have a major impact on their own well-being and safety by the decisions they make about their day-to-day behavior. What follows is a list of guidelines that participants should follow when traveling in Israel - and in other places.
Hillel's free time guidelines were designed to ensure the safety of trip participants at all times during the program.
General Travel Do's and Don't's:
- If you shouldn't do it at home, you shouldn't do it abroad either. Just because you are on 'break' does not mean that you can act irresponsibly or without consequence.
- Make a copy of your passport and keep it with you. Store your passport and important travel data, i.e., credit card or traveler's check numbers, in a safe place (like a safe or safe-deposit box in your hotel if you are staying there overnight). You can also store this information online at Lonely Planet so that you can retrieve it at a local Internet café if lost.
- Keep a low profile. Wear casual clothes and don't wear a lot of jewelry. Keep cameras inside a discrete and secure bag.
- Avoid wallets or purses. Keep enough money for your immediate needs in your pocket (preferably buttoned) and the rest in a safe place or a locked bag.
- Travel light and avoid carrying too many pieces of luggage.
- Never let go of your shoulder bag or camera. When walking, it should rest in front of you and not over your shoulder. When sitting, keep your arm through the strap.
- Do not leave any packages or bags unattended. In Israel, such a 'suspicious' package is called a hafetz hashud - police are called immediately and the package is imploded.
- Be attentive on the streets. Be particularly aware in crowded areas such as local festivals, markets, crowded tourist sites, railway and bus stations. Avoid public demonstrations or commotion.
- Try to relax and look like you belong wherever you are. Don't appear lost or vulnerable. Stay in control of your body language, voice and activities. You don't need to look tough, just confident.
- Don't leave your itinerary lying about or discuss travel plans with strangers.
- Lock your hotel room door at night. Non-participants are not allowed in your room.
- Be wary, but don't be paranoid either.
Free Time Guidelines:
- Free time will only permitted at structured, supervised times and locations.
- Once the group returns to the hotel at night, you are not permitted to go out again on your own. Additional 'free time' activities have been scheduled in the hotel in the evening, and you may make full use of the hotel facilities until closing.
- When on free time, adhere to the directions given by trip staff and travel with at least one companion. If your bus or trip is assigning 'buddies,' be sure that your buddy knows where you are at all times. Do not wander off on your own.
- If you have friends or relatives in Israel, please invite them to visit you at the hotel during free time. You will not be allowed to leave the group/hotel to visit with them.
- Anyone who leaves the group without prior approval will immediately be removed from the program and forfeit his/her deposit.
- In the event of emergency, you should proceed immediately to where you were supposed to meet your group or bus. In the evenings, meet in the hotel lobby. If you are unable to return to your group, please contact trip staff. Check your emergency card (to be distributed by your tour operator) for the appropriate numbers to call.
- Should you be extending your stay, please inform appropriate trip staff of exactly where you will be and how we can contact you in the event of emergency. Forms for this will be provided during the trip.
- Please note that our trips do not travel to or through the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, or the neighborhood of Gilo in Jerusalem; you should not do so on your own either.
- We also do not recommend taking public transportation. Take an Israeli metered cab - and ask the driver for a receipt.
By following these guidelines, you can help us to ensure that all participants on Hillel's trip have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Thank you for your cooperation - and have a great trip!