Please note that once we have given you the official clearance, you are free to proceed to make your airline bookings to and from TLV (Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv). Please wait for our notification by email.
NOTE: KEY DAYS CONCERNING YOUR ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE FROM ISRAEL:
DAY 1: Your travel period en route to Israel. This may be one day or, if you plan other travels, it could be several days.
DAY 2: Called Arrival Day, this day is always Sunday. It is the day all pilgrims have arrived and are assembled and accounted for at TLV. This is the day the tour of Israel officially begins.
DAY 13: This day is always Thursday. The tour officially ends on the evening of this day, after a Farewell Dinner.
DAY 14: Called Departure Day, this day is always Friday. This is the day you book your return flight back to your home city or book another flight to extend your tour to some other destination.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT POINTERS TO KEEP IN MIND:
In order to connect with the group at Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) on DAY 2, Arrival Day, Sunday, you must arrange your travel schedule so that your flight touches down at TLV no later than 12:00 noon on that day. Pilgrims arriving earlier will be waiting for you in the Arrivals Hall while you go through immigration and then gather your luggage. When the group has assembled at or near Exit #24 in the Arrivals Hall (veer right as you exit the luggage area and enter the Hall), we will depart from TLV by bus shortly after noon that day. Please be there on time. If you anticipate being late (not recommended), please let us know so that we can help you arrange safe transportation to the Dead Sea.
If you are arriving directly from a North American city, you will have to allow for one extra Travel Day. Plan your departure from North America on Saturday (DAY 1) or one day prior to your Arrival Day at TLV in order to arrive in Israel by noon Sunday (DAY 2).
Choosing an air carrier, which flies either direct or offers only one stopover in North America is preferred as to avoid lengthy layovers in Europe and is less tiring for the traveller.
Once you have confirmed your flight arrangements, please let us know those details by emailing us the single page with your airline, flight number, arrival and departure times etc.. This is the only way we will be able to keep track of your comings and goings - an important detail when assembling and dispersing a group of people.
Upon arrival at TLV, you should be wearing your name tag provided - on the strap around your neck. That will help us to find each other and assemble together. Also, have your hiking boots, sunscreen and hat handy upon arrival, as we will be hiking that afternoon.
The recommended 'return home' Departure Day from Israel is after mid morning of the second Friday (DAY 14). This will allow one final night (your Thursday night hotel room is included) in Jerusalem to get a good rest before flying home. If you do not mind forgoing sleep on the final night (the Thursday/Friday), you may book a flight home anytime after Thursday midnight or 12:01 early Friday morning, DAY 14.
There will be one free shuttle provided (using our own bus) from the hotel in Jerusalem to TLV. The timing of that shuttle will be based upon the flight on DAY 14 booked by majority of our pilgrims. People on other flights who choose not to use our bus to TLV will have to find commercial rides with a taxi or shared rides with a Sheroot (small van), at their own expense.
Some people choose to fly in earlier than the Arrival Day (Sunday, DAY 2) in order to acclimatize and some like to leave later than the suggested Departure Day (Friday, DAY 14). You have the freedom to do that but it is your responsibility to ensure your flight arrangements agree to the recommended tour Arrival and Departure Days mentioned above.
If you need hotel recommendations while in Israel, outside of the tour dates, please go to Helpful Links at the top of the Fifth Gospel Encounters home page on our website for hotel suggestions in Tel Aviv. At the conclusion of your trip, if you prefer, you may also be able to extend your stay at our hotel in Jerusalem (subject to availability). If you desire this kind of assistance, we recommend you to our travel agent, Ari Bauer, in Toronto. He can be reached by Phone: 1 (800) 267-9994 Ext 415 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Hotel costs and bookings outside of the tour dates are your responsibility.
If you are thinking of adding another excursion before or after our Israel excursion and you would like some assistance, please contact our travel agent, Ari Bauer, in Toronto. (See above #9 for contact details.) Tell him you are travelling with Fifth Gospel Encounters and the date of the trip you are taking.