Holy Land - What to know before you go!
How to Prepare for Your Pilgrimage:
Thank you for your desire and readiness to visit these places of grace and prayer. As we would like your trip to be as pleasant and helpful as possible. It is important to note that you pilgrimage will be packed full of spiritual activities and sightseeing. We do not include much free time for recreation, such as shopping. This is because our desire is to offer you the most comprehensive pilgrimage possible. However, all tours/activities are optional, and if you feel you are unable to keep up with the pace of the tour, manage the terrain, or would like free time for your own interests, you are welcome to refrain from participating in any aspects of the program you desire (of course, no refund can be issued for any aspects of the tour which you choose not to participate in).
It is also important to note that the amount of walking is significant, and the terrain varies greatly through out our tours. You will encounter hills, mountains, unpaved streets, cobblestone streets, etc. Please prayerfully consider whether or not you are up to such physical activities prior to registering. For this reason, we would like to offer you some recommendations, and we ask you sincerely to read them carefully.
A couple of weeks before your pilgrimage, one should begin preparing physically as well as spiritually.
1 - If not accustomed to physical activity begin walking "briskly" 1-2 times a day; build up to 2-3 miles with no discomfort.
2 - If possible attend daily Mass or attempt to spend quiet time in church during lunch or after work.
3 - Pray for Jesus and His Blessed Mother to open your heart and mind to be responsive to new perspectives, ideas, their words laid on your heart, etc.
4 - Begin praying the rosary daily ( Learn How to Pray the Rosary ) or at least the Apostle's Creed, 7 Our Father's, 7 Hail Mary's & 7 Glory Be's as Our Lady has requested; this takes about 5-7 minutes.
New Security Procedures:
All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.
All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items. Visit the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for complete details.
General Info About Your Documents, Flights, Arrival & Travel:
Medjugorje Web will ship your final documents to the address provided on your reservation application approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your scheduled departure date. The package will be delivered by Priority Mail. Your final documents will include your flight schedule with electronic ticket number, hotel confirmations, emergency contacts, general trip information, luggage tags, portfolio of travel documents, flight bag, and more. Carefully review your tickets to ensure that your name on the tickets are an exact match to that of your passport. Please note that the name field on your tickets is only 19 characters long, therefore names exceeding this length will be cut off (this is not a problem, as your actual reservation contains your full name). Please also carefully review the itinerary provided to ensure that all departure and destination cities, as well as dates, are correct. Please contact Medjugorje Web immediately should any discrepancies be found. *Please note that late payment/bookings can cause delay in the shipment of your final documents.
We recommend that you check in for your international flight three hours prior to the scheduled departure time. Passengers must personally check their luggage at the airline counter. Please advise the airline representative of your final destination upon check in so that you will not need to claim your baggage and recheck it during flight connections. Please note that our pilgrims travel from across the world. You will be traveling independently for all flights until your arrival at your final destination. You will not have a tour escort with you during your flights. Please be advised that Medjugorje Web attempts to centralize as many pilgrims as possible on the same flights, so you may arrive/depart on the same flights as many of your co-pilgrims (for additional information see "Arrival Procedure" below).
Our booking agent will book your airline reservations based on the routings provided to us, including connection time, cities for connections, and partner carriers. Airlines determine the standard for the required minimum connecting time to transfer from one gate to another for each specific airport. At times, the connection times provided by the airlines are quite tight (i.e. 45 minutes) and require passengers to make haste during their connections. At times the airline connection times are quite long, due to the flight availability at the time of booking. While we wish we could determine the connection times for each of our clients, we are subject to the rules, regulations, and availability of the carriers we work with. We also must ensure that all reservations correspond so that each participant is able to meet the group transfer to/from the airport to hotel and hotel to airport. We promise to do all in our power to provide you with the most convenient flight schedule available to us with our partner airline carriers at the time of your booking, however, we must still follow all appropriate airline rules and regulations.
Airlines now require that we provide electronic tickets (a.k.a. "e-tickets") in place of paper tickets. At check-in, you should be ready to provide your flight itinerary which was provided with your final documents and passport to the agent. The airline agent will then check you in for your flight, check your luggage, and provide you with a boarding pass for your flights. In the very rare occurance where an e-ticket cannot be issued, you will receive your tickets in a paper form. Please note that paper tickets must be present in order to check in, and or board the plane.
Many airlines participate in agreements/alliances with other airlines which permit passengers to travel from one point to another using more than one carrier. While your ticket may indicate that you are flying with one carrier (eg: Air France), you may find that you are actually seated in a plane belonging to another carrier (eg: Delta). Please review your airline itinerary carefully to determine which airline you should go to for check-in; if your flight is operated by a carrier other than the primary airline indicated on the itinerary, your itinerary will state "Flight Operated by (Airline)." You should check-in for your flight with the agent the plane is "operated by." If you have any concerns regarding which airline to check-in with, you may contact the airline directly or Medjugorje Web for clarification.
Airline Mileage Accounts:
Please contact the airline directly to open a mileage account and to obtain credit for the miles flown on this trip. Please be sure to save all boarding pass stubs from your trip as you may need them for proof of travel when obtaining milage credit upon your return.
Passports and Visas:
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to enter Mexico. Please note that for most travel abroad your passport MUST be valid for 6 months after your scheduled return date. For additional information on obtaining a US passport please visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. A visa is not required for citizens of the USA for most of our destinations. For example the following countries do not require US citizens to obtain a visa for entrance: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Turkey, Greece. Please be advised that it is the passengers responsibility to reconfirm if any visa's are required for their trip itinerary.
No inoculations are necessary for travel to Mexico from the US. But consult with your health care provider before traveling. In order to prevent "Montezuma's Revenge", avoid the tap water, including ice cubes. Your stomach may still become upset due to the change in diet. Bring anti-diarrhea medicine just in case. For the latest overseas travel health information, call the Center for Disease Control's travelers' hotline at 1-800-232-4636. Or visit their web site at www.cdc.gov.
US State Department Travel Advisories: For up to date US State Department travel advisories you may visit:
After disembarking from the plane you will clear immigration, and proceed to the baggage claim to locate your luggage. You will exit the baggage claim through customs into the "arrivals hall/ lounge." Look for the Medjugorje Web representative who will be holding a sign with your name and/or "Medjugorje Web." You will be transferred to your hotel where you will meet your guide and the rest of your group. Please remember to look for the sign!
If your plane arrives late, or you are re-routed you will probably miss the group transfer which is included in your package. In such circumstances you will need to pay for a taxi or private transfer to take you to your hotel. This cost will be at your own expense, and you may submit a claim to the airlines for reimbursement upon your return and/or to your travel insurance. For most destinations taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel is the easiest and least expensive course of action. However, for some destinations even a taxi can be very expensive due to the distance you are traveling. If you prefer to have a private transfer arranged for you in lieu of taking a taxi, you will need to contact Medjugorje Web to advise us of your flight delay and new arrival time at least 4 hours prior to your new arrival time. In this case will do all possible to arrange for a private transfer to meet you upon your arrival, however, you will be responsible to remit payment to your driver upon drop off at your destination. If you arrive at your destination, and are unable to locate your driver or a taxi, please call your local emergency contact (listed in your Final Instruction Booklet) so that they may dispatch a transfer for you. Please remember to save your receipts. We strongly recommend the purchase of Traveler's Insurance for this reason (http://www.medjugorje.org/insurance.htm).
Please contact your air carriers prior to packing and again with in 24 hours of your departure to verify their current baggae policy, as they are subject to change and frequently evolving. In general, most international flights permit one piece of checked luggage, one carry-on bag, and one personal item. Although many airlines will permit you to check a second piece of luggage at an additional cost. International air carriers are becoming stricter about the size and weight of baggage and carry-on luggage. In most cases your checked luggage must be under 50 lbs (23 kg), and not exceed external dimensions of 62 inches (length+width+height). For most carriers a carry on bagg may not exceed 22" x 14" x 9" and 20 lbs. You are also permited to bring aboard the plane 1 personal item such as a purse, laptop bag, camera bag, shopping bag, or similar. Porterage for one suitcase on tour is included in the tour price. Due to limited coach capacity, this single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 45 in overall dimensions (length+width+height) and weight not exceeding 50 lbs (23 kg) on most airlines. A charge of USD 3 per traveling day will be collected by the Tour Director if a second piece of baggage is carried, or if the suitcase exceeds the established weight and/or dimensions. For health reasons, porters may refuse to carry very heavy suitcases.
Be sure to carry ALL travel documents and money on your person but not all in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss. Do not keep money, important documents and medicines in your checked suitcase. Please leave your jewelry at home. We recommend a money belt worn inside your clothes, while touring. On departure from your hotel, remember to double check that you have your money belt with you, and that you have collected any items left in your room safe or the hotel safe. Please, at all times, be as vigilant as you would be in any major city, especially in crowded places such as subways, squares or churches/cathedrals. Never leave your bags unattended or out of sight in public areas, including airports, hotel lobbies or dining rooms.
Be sure to keep ALL medications in your carry-on bag during your trip in case your suit case should be lost. Also bring enough medication for several additional days in case you should get delayed upon your return.
Keep a separate list of important numbers, i.e. passport, traveler's checks, and credit cards, in your luggage, together with photocopies of airline tickets and the relevant pages of your passport/visas.
The same common-sense rules of safety and security apply here as to anywhere else:
Avoid excessive displays of jewelry or cash (only carry sufficient for daily needs)
Use room safes or leave items with the hotel manager
Make certain that any valuables are insured against theft
Avoid exploration on your own of unfamiliar streets or areas
Be especially cautious if gypsies approach you begging
Please note that travel insurance is STRONGLY recommended for all pilgrims. Be advised that travel insurance can not be purchased after you have paid in full for your trip. For those who have purchased Travelers Insurance through us, a pamphlet will be included in your final documents. Please refer to this brochure for specific stipulations or questions. For more information you can also visit http://www.medjugorje.org/insurance.htm
Transportation is by Motor Coach:
During travel days with extensive driving the coach will stop for bathroom/stretch (approximately every 2 to 3 hours) breaks.
Money / Currency Exchange:
Most banks in Israel are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm, and a few are open Sunday; ask at your guide for the location of the one nearest you. USD dollars can be used throughout your trip, make sure to bring lots of $1, $5, $10 bills. Currency exchanges are also at most airports and along most of the major boulevards. They charge a small commission. Make sure to bring along a credit card for convenience and security.
Credit cards offer a reasonable exchange rate and can be cancelled should it be lost. Visa or MasterCard are the best option and accepted in many stores. It is also practical and cost effective to withdraw local currency using your ATM/Debit card during your trip. ATMs are very similar to those in USA. Most offer English as a language option. It is recommended that you contact your local bank and credit card companies before departing on your trip to advise them of your itinerary. We recommend that you refrain from exchanging money at hotel as the fees are high.
The basic unit of currency is the Israeli Shekel (ILS). Fluctuating exchange rate stands now approximately at one 1 US Dollar = 3.73450 Israeli Shekel. For up to date currency exchange rates please visit www.xe.com. It is hardly necessary to change currency during your Holy Land journey as most shops will take US dollar.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
All prices in Israel include 16.5% VAT. On each purchase exceeding $200 (including V.A.T.), the V.A.T. will be refunded upon presentation of the special invoice at the port of departure. In order to acquire the refund, the following procedure must be obtained:
1. Look for the “tax refund” sticker on the business door or publications
2. Ask for a VAT refund invoice – the invoice must be an official ChangePalce document, which Is the official VAT refund broker in Israel.
3. At the airport VAT desk, show the original invoice, the green VAT tax form, and the goods you have purchased.
4. At the end of the procedure, you will receive a cheque drawn in your favor which may be cached at the same day.
For additional information on the VAT refund http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAT
Weights and Measures:
The metric system is used. A kilometer is a bit over 1/2 mile (.62 miles). A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.
The Holy Land operates on a 24 hour clock. This means that 6:00 pm is 18:00, etc.
Regarding the Sabbath in Israel – below please find some basic information about the Sabbath:
• The Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday and ends on sundown Saturday.
• During the Sabbath, religious Jews are not permitted to work (stores are closed, as well as public transportation, they can’t handle money, or use phones (except for an emergency). They are also not permitted to create a fire (if a fire is lit prior to the Sabbath it is permitted to be used – such as a stove, oven and heating) – in modern times this has been expanded to using electricity and driving a car (same as a before, if an electrical item was turned on prior to the Sabbath it can remain on but it cannot be adjusted or turned off.) Therefore if you arrive in your hotel prior to the start of the Sabbath, you may want to adjust the heating, lighting, air-conditioning and fans in their rooms before the Sabbath commences. ( Not all the hotels in Israel are Sabbath Observant.)
• Hotel elevator: during the Sabbath, the elevator is set to automatic and will simply run the entire Sabbath and open and close on every floor – allowing anyone to use it but they cannot control it.
• Additionally, being Sabbath Observant does not apply to anyone who is not Jewish, therefore you may be able to make adjustments to electrical or heating items.
Tour escort and Bus Driver
Tips are an important part of guide’s and driver’s earnings. Although you should tip according to your discretion and satisfaction, we recommended that you bring $110. per person and place in (enclosed) tip envelopes as follows:
• Guide: Total $80. (approximately $8-10 per day)
• Driver: Total $30. (approximately $3-4. per day)
It is suggested to provide the tour escort and the bus driver their tip money day prior your return. Tip envelopes are enclosed for your convenience.
Spiritual Director / Your Priest: Gift or donation to Spiritual Director is at your own discretion.
Restaurants, hotel staff, luggage handler & bell boy tips are included in your package price. No additional tips should be given.
Hotels / Accommodations:
We use first class hotels of good standard. Mini-bar items and access to pay TV channels are at your own expense. In some hotels, key cards operate the room lighting systems and/or the elevator. most hotels do offer a hair dryer in the bathroom. Most hotels do toiletries (shampoo, lotion), we recommend that you bring an adequate supply with you.
The voltage used is 220 volts AC, single phase 50 cycles (the U.S. uses 110/120 volts). Unless you use a good quality electric current converter, the heavier voltage will instantly burn out any electrical equipment you wish to use abroad. Before leaving home, you will need to purchase an international adapter so your two-prong plug will connect to the various local electrical supply outlets (check that it is sufficiently powerful for your appliance), and a converter to convert the 220 volts to 110 volts. Adapter/converter kits that include the entire range of plugs can be purchased at better electrical supply stores. Stores such as Radio Shack, Walmart, K-Mart, Target sell adaptor/converter kits readily. Buying electrical devices in foreign places is not recommended unless you are sure that the current they use is compatible with the current at home. It will likely cost you more than the original price to have an appliance converted.
The telephone country code for Israel is +972 (from US 011 + 972 followed by the city code and telephone number)
You may bring your cellular phone, but make sure to contact your wireless phone provider and inform them, that you will be traveling out of the country (giving them destinations). Most have an "international plan" if not get one for the trip. This will allow you to make calls to the United States while you are out of the country using your wireless phone. If you have a smart phone with a data plan please make sure to contact your cellular provider to inquire about an international data plan. International data usage can be VERY expensive. We suggest you get a generous plan or disable your data while traveling.
A Magnificat book has been provided to you for daily prayer and reflection. Please note you can now download the Magnificat App to your smartphone. However it will require international data consumption so make sure you have an international data plan prior to departure with your provider. This will be at your additional cost with your mobile provider.
While telephones offer convenience, they do tend to cost substantially more than public phones so avoid making calls from your hotel. To make a direct international call, first dial 00, listen for the tone, and then slowly dial the country code, the area code, and the local number. The country code for the U.S. and Canada is 1. You may choose to utilize a calling card to be more cost efficient, however, be advised that most hotels charge a connection fee which ranges from $1.00 to $5.00 for such calls.
Public phones in Isreal are not as easy to find as they once were. Finding a coin-operated telephone in Isreal is an arduous task. A simpler and more widely accepted method of payment is the télécarte, a prepaid calling card available at kiosks, post offices, and Métro stations and costing € 7.50 (EURO) - € 15 (EURO) ($9.75-$20) for 50 and 120 units, respectively. A local call costs one unit, which provides you 6 to 18 minutes of conversation, depending on the rate. Avoid making calls from your hotel, which might double or triple the charges. To make a direct international call, first dial 00, listen for the tone, and then slowly dial the country code, the area code, and the local number. The country code for the U.S. and Canada is 1. A reasonable way to communicate.
If you are bringing a digital camera, make sure to bring extra batteries. If not digital, remember to bring plenty of film (200 or 400 speed is recommended for outdoor and indoor-flash photography). Photography is not allowed in some museums and in some security-conscious facilities.
Isreal is based on a myriad of old buildings, and there are split-levels and uneven surfaces everywhere; please watch your step! Due to the structure of old buildings, access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchair use, and facilities for the disabled in general may be limited. Many areas are pedestrian only and have cobblestones. High-heeled shoes are not suitable for cobblestone streets; rubber-soled walking shoes are recommended. Many streets in Europe are narrow, and due to strict traffic regulations, the buses are not always permitted to drop groups off directly in front for their destination. Please be prepared to walk.
All transportation is included, but should you wish to venture out on your own, be wary of any person approaching you offering unofficial taxi services. Choose only those vehicles with a meter and a taxi sign. We recommend you pre-negotiate the fare, as taxi drivers in some countries may attempt to overcharge unwary travelers.
A different way of life in some countries on tour may take you by surprise, but if you travel with an open mind and respect local customs and culture, you should find it easier to adapt to and enjoy your new surroundings. Standards of living may not be quite what you are used to, but there are compensations – a closer sense of reality and a more authentic feeling of locale. Due to cultural differences in Europe you may not be greeted quite as cheerfully as back home; smiling is generally reserved for intimate friends! So be especially wary of people presenting themselves as “instant friends” and never accept any offer of food or drink from strangers.
The usual shopping hours in Israel are from 8AM to 7PM Sunday through Friday. Most shops are closed on Saturday and some remain closed on Fridays. Israel provides magnificent opportunities to the shoppers with its state of the art shopping malls along with the local market to catch up with some of the local artifacts as the souvenirs. The problem is that we really do not have much time allocated for “shopping”
Israel offers a wide choice of shopping to the shoppers with an array of shops especially at the Arab markets where one can hit a bargain. Tourists buying leather goods from the shops enlisted to the Ministry of Tourism and are paying in foreign currency gets an exemption from VAT (see VAT notes) and can also enjoy a discount. The Israeli market is best to buy the jewellery, diamonds and other precious stones along with ceramics, embroidery, glassware items and Christian religious articles handmade olive wood statues. Enjoy some stress-free Christmas shopping during your travels; small, light items that you can easily carry home make splendid and festive gifts. Don’t forget to buy something nice for yourself too, to take home to evoke pleasant memories of your vacation abroad. If you purchase a video or DVD, please check very carefully that it is compatible with your home viewing system (for USA and Canada – VHS NTSC and DVD region 1; for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific – VHS PAL and DVD region 4). Whenever traveling abroad, be aware of your personal belongings when shopping in crowded areas.
U.S. citizens who have been in Europe for more than two days may return to the United States with up to $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. For those who wish to bring more home with them, a flat rate of 3% duty is levied on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. It's a good idea to retain the receipts from your purchases should they be requested by a Customs Inspector upon your return to the United States. For details visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel.
Traveling International – Register with US State Department
Enroll with The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) - https://step.state.gov/step. It is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For 24 Hour Consular Emergency Line: U.S. 1.888.407.4747 / Outside the U.S. 1.202.501.4444
Meals and Food:
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included throughout your stay! You will love your meals in Israel. Breakfasts and dinners are buffet style with array of delicious and healthy Mediterranean and Continental cuisine.
Wine and mineral water is included with your dinners.
Due to differences in mineral and micro-biotic levels, we recommend that you avoid consuming local tap water (including ice), as it may upset your stomach.
Israel has a Mediterranean climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. January is the coldest month, with temperatures from 42 Fehrenheit to 52, and August is the hottest month at 68 to 100 Fehrenheit. About 70 percent of the average rainfall in the country falls between November and March; June through August are often rainless.
Layered, easy care, loose-fitting clothing, Light-weights for summer. Wear a sunhat and loose-fitting clothing, drink at least one liter (one quart) of mineral water a day if you can (carry a small bottle in your hand luggage); avoid eating too much ice-cream and reduce the amount of ice in drinks. A small battery-operated fan may be useful in warm weather.
The official language of Israel is Hebrew and Arabic. English is widely spoken, and many signs appear in English too.
All foreign (non-Israeli) nationals need a passport to enter Israel. For an up-to-date country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirements" page of the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.
A visa is not needed for US citizens to enter Israel.
Embassy in Israel:
Americans living or traveling in Israel(Holyland) are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's Travel Registration web site https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ , and to obtain updated information on travel and security issues. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in cases of emergency.
U.S. Embassy, Israel
71 Hayarkon Street
U.S. Embassy, Israel
27 Nablus Rd.
Telephone: (972) (0) 2-622-7216
Fax: (972) (0) 2-627-2233
Emergency Telephone Numbers in Isreal (Holyland):
100 police emergency
102 fire department
For Additional Information About Your Destination:
Please visit the official tourism website as follows: http://www.goisrael.com/tourism_eng
US Offices for Israel: Washington Dc: 3514 International Dr. N.W. Washington DC 20008
Tel. (202) 364-5500
Wireless Internet WiFi:
Pilgrims enjoy FREE wireless internet access on all coaches in Israel. If you bring you laptop of Ipad feel free to use it while on bus. Although all hotels do offer wireless internet some do charge fee of $15- $20 per day.
What to Pack: Clothing
We recommend layered, easy care, loose-fitting, conservative clothing. For Winter, Early Spring, and Late Fall: be sure to back a warm jacket, a hat, scarf and gloves. Just in case. For Summer, Late Spring, and Late Summer: Bring a sunhat and plenty loose-fitting clothing. Don't forget a lightweight sweater for the evenings as some places may be a little cooler than others. A note about summer attire; shorts (or mini- skirts) and bare shoulders are considered inappropriate at some religious sites. For men, shorts that can be transformed by zippers into trousers may be convenient.
On the plane you will want to wear loose-fitting clothes and pack a pair of slippers to wear for the flight, as well as a lightweight jacket. Make sure your shoes are lace-up, as your feet may swell a little.
General Clothing for Men:
Jeans, casual slacks, short and/or long sleeve shirts, socks, undergarments, and light jacket or coat.
General Clothing for Women:
Jeans, long skirts, casual dresses, casual slacks, short and/or long sleeve, socks, stockings, undergarments, and a light jacket or sweater is suggested. We recommend that women bring a shall or sarong which can be placed conveniently in their day bag, so that they may drape their shoulders, or tie around their waists in the more religious sites.
Other Suggested Items to Bring (check list suggestions):
* 10 short sleeved shirts (6 in winter)
* 3 pairs of jeans/pants
* 1 -2 pair of long shorts (1 in winter)
* 3 long sleeved shirts (7 in winter)
* 3 sweaters or sweatshirts
* 1-3 long skirt (women) / nice khakis (men)
* 1-2 nicer blouse or shirt
* 1 mid weight jacket or sweatshirt w/hood
* Winter: 1 heavy jacket, hat, scarf, gloves (carry on plane)
* 1 bathing suits
* 9 pairs of underwear
* 9 pairs of socks
* 1 pair of water/shower shoes
* 1 pair of hiking boots (and/or rain shoes)
* 1 pair of sneakers
* 1 pair of nice shoes
* 1 towel
* 1 hat or scarf
* 1 wristwatch
* Passport* must be valid 6 months after return date (no visa for: US, Australia, Canada, European Union)
* All medicines (including copies of prescriptions)
* Prescription glasses/contact lens supplies
* Cash/ ATM Card/Credit Card
* Adapter for electrical appliances
* Bible/ Books/reading material
* Camera, charger/batteries
* Journal/address book
* Mini flashlight or penlight
* Inflatable head & neck rest, eye mask, foam earplugs (for flight
* Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
* Toiletries (Soap-small bar travel size, Shampoo-travel size or put some in a small container (don't carrybig bottle!) , Toothbrush & Toothpaste-travel size, Deodorant-travel size, Chap stick, Comb/Brush , Aspirin/Advil, Etc. Feminine protection, Laxative/Imodium, several band-aids, Dramamine or Bonine - if subject to motion sickness, Pepto Bismol- tablets, Sominex, Allergy/cold medicine; tablets (put medicines in a ziplock sandwich bag)
* if you don't have a cell phone, Iphone, Blackberry- bring an alarm clock
* Umbrella/rain coat (November thr March)
* Waist pack/day pack
A good tip: If you can't lift it yourself, then you've got too much stuff in your bag. Remember -- it will only get heavier once you buy gifts and souvenirs! Note that it is unlikely you will be able to do laundry while on the trip. Also, although luggage handling is included you will be responsible for packing and moving your bags within room and repacking, between luggage belt at the airports and customs. And if you forget anything, don't panic. You can purchase whatever you might need in Israel!Some people find that taking themselves off caffeine and taking compounds high in anti-oxidants to be helpful in combating jet lag. You can also take Jet-stress or Cell Guard which are herbal complexes designed to combat jet lag. Ginger can be helpful in motion sickness. Melatonin helps to allow you to sleep on the plane. These items can be found at most health food stores.
Booklets for Holy Land Votive Masses - www.custodia.org/default.asp?id=5239
What If...& Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I do if my flight is cancelled or delayed?
If your flight is cancelled or delayed it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange alternate flights. Please note that once your tickets have been issued or you have checked in for your flights, we can no longer make any changes to your flight itinerary. This can only be done by the airlines. Be persistent and remain courteous. Remember that the delay is not the airline agents fault and being patient and courteous you will receive more help and assistance. Please be advised that the airlines are not required to offer reimbursement for personal expense or overnights when delays/cancellations occur due to weather. We strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance for this reason (http://www.medjugorje.org/insurance.htm).
What should I do if I miss my flight due to late arrival at my departure airport?
If you should miss your flight, due to your own late arrival at your departure airport, it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange alternate flights. You will incur additional costs (minimum of $200 per person) for such changes. Please note that you should contact us once your alternate arrangements have been made so that we can arrange for a private transfer (at your expense) if necessary.
What happens if I miss my group transfer upon arrival?
If your plane arrives late, or you are re-routed you will probably miss the group transfer which is included in your package. In such circumstances you will need to pay for a taxi or private transfer to take you to your hotel. This cost will be at your expense, and you may submit a claim to the airlines for reimbursement upon your return and/or to your travel insurance company. For most destinations taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel is the easiest and the least expensive course of action. However, for some destinations even a taxi can be very expensive due to the distance you are traveling. If you prefer to have a private transfer arranged for you in lieu of taking a taxi, you will need to contact us to advise us of your flight delay, and new arrival time, at least 4 hours prior to your new arrival time. In this case we will do everything possible to arrange for a private transfer to meet you upon your arrival, however, you will be responsible to remit payment to your driver upon drop off at your destination. If you arrive at your destination, and are unable to locate your driver or a taxi, please call your local emergency contact (listed in your Final Instruction Booklet) so that they may dispatch a transfer for you. Please remember to save your receipts. We strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance for this reason. (http://www.medjugorje.org/insurance.htm).
What happens if I have a problem or complaint during my trip?
If you have any problems, concerns, or complaints during your trip, please communicate them IMMEDIATELY to your tour escort. Your tour escort is at your disposal to assist you with all your needs, including issues with your hotel room, meals, etc. Remember, there is very little that can be done to solve a problem once you have returned home. Most of the time your tour escort can quickly address any concerns you may have. If an issue is not resolved to your satisfaction by your tour escort, then please contact our office.
What should I do if I want to change my ticket?
If you would like to change your ticket, for any reason, once it has been issued you MUST work DIRECTLY with the airlines. You will incur additional costs (minimum of $200 per person) for such changes.
For more on our general terms and conditions visit http://medjugorje.org/tandc.htm
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Any questions? Call 877-Web-Medj (932-6335) or Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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