Frequently Asked Questions

Should I tip the security or medical escort?2017-10-19T21:52:39+00:00

Tipping the security or medical escort is not customary or expected.

Should I give a tip to the driver or tour guide?2017-10-19T21:50:35+00:00

Tips for your driver and tour guide are greatly appreciated and are at your discretion.

Should I tip the taxi driver?2017-10-19T21:50:42+00:00

It is not customary to tip taxi drivers. Please note taxis may charge extra for bags that need to go in the trunk, for extra passengers (someone needs to sit in the front) and wait time if you aren’t ready.


How much should I tip the waitress?2017-10-19T21:50:49+00:00

On average, tips for waitresses are customarily 15%.

Please note that here in Israel restaurant owners are allowed to use customer tips to pay the wait staff’s base salary. This is legal, but often leaves the wait staff with less income. If you want to give a tip to the waitress that will be beyond her base salary (which is most likely minimum wage) hand her cash and say, “This is a tip for you directly. Thank you for your service.”

Tips you hand them in cash directly cannot be legally taken by the restaurant management to go towards salary. Tips added to credit cards or paid in cash with the entire bill, can are most likely are (as that is the general practice) taken by the management and then used to pay the wait staff’s salary.

What is your cancellation policy?2017-10-19T21:50:58+00:00

If you cancel your entire trip, part of your trip or any of our travel services:

  • up to two months in advance – we will refund you any service fees you have already paid.
  • up to one month in advance – we will refund you any service fees you have paid in excess of the 10% required deposit.
  • up to one week in advance – we will refund you any service fees you have paid in excess of 50% of the service fees for the services you have booked. If you have not paid for 50% of your service fees, you will be invoiced for the remaining amount, up to the 50%.
  • less than one week before your scheduled trip or services – we will refund you any service fees you have paid in excess of 75% of the service fees for the services you have booked. If you have not paid for 75% of your service fees, you will be invoiced for the remaining amount, up to the 75%.
  • less than 24 hours before your scheduled trip or services – You will be required to pay for all travel services fees and will be invoiced for any fees you have not yet remitted.

Please note that deposits or payments made for airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals and other third party services are subject to the refund policy of the third party and will not be handled through the Israel First Hand Tours offices. We will be happy to assist you in the cancellation of any services booked through our offices, but can not be held liable for the timely return of any fees or deposits you have already paid to third parties.

In the case where Israel First Hand has paid any fees or made any deposits to third parties on your behalf that are not refundable, for any reason, you will be required to pay Israel First Hand in full for the outlay and will be invoiced accordingly.

Do I have to be in “good” shape to hike in Israel?2017-10-19T21:51:15+00:00

Israel offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails with levels suitable for a wide range of abilities. Make sure to let us know the ages and athletic capabilities of you and your group and we’ll be sure to plan for activities appropriate for you.

How do I recommend your travel services to all of my friends?2017-10-19T21:51:22+00:00

Glad you had a great Israel First Hand experience. Please feel free to pass our info on to all of your friends. You can share photos of your trip on social and tag us at @IsraelFirstHand or send them a link to our website: http://israelfirsthand.com. If you play it old school, ask your guide for some of our business cards to pass out at home, or share our phone number directly with anyone who would like to be in touch.


What is the weather like in Israel? I’m not sure what to pack!2017-11-12T15:45:23+00:00

Israel has two basic seasons; hot and dry from April through early October, and wet and cold from late October through March. The summer season is very predictable, with plenty of sun and high temperatures. The rainy season can be surprisingly unpredictable. We can get a week of rain and cold followed by gorgeous fall or spring like weather, with sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s or 70’s. Temperatures, humidity, wind and rain (or even snow) can vary depending on where you are in the country. In the winter months you can have great skiing conditions on Mount Hermon in the Golan Height and great snorkeling conditions down on the coral reefs in Eilat.

Summer packing should include a hat with a brim, sunblock, bathing suit, cover up, water shoes and a sweater (for air conditioned spots).

Winter packing should include a windbreaker, or similar waterproof coat with a hood ,a sweater/sweatshirt, a warm hat, scarf and one set of light weight clothes for warmer weather (you can always layer up).

Check the long term forecast before you close your suitcase!

How and when do I pay for my tour guide?2017-11-12T15:27:56+00:00

When booking your guide you will be invoiced for a 25% deposit which can be paid via credit card. The remainder of the guiding fee can be paid directly to the guide on the last day of guiding with cash, check or credit card.

What does it cost to hire a private guide for the day?2017-10-19T21:52:01+00:00

We offer half-day, daily and weekly rates for our private guides. In general, daily rates run between $300 and $500 dollars depending on the time of year (summer and holidays are peak season and run towards the higher end). This rate will include all trip (itinerary) planning; however, additional fees will apply for transportation and concierge services.

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