Philip Kool

Questions and Answers

Q: Group tour or private guide? 
A: If you prefer not to travel as part of a tour group, but also don’t want the stress yourself and hassle over a self-driven rental car, then booking a private tour guide with a specially licensed and comfortable van, is a safe and well-worth alternative. The car is recognizable by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism logo; it is spacious, clean and comfortable, has full insurance coverage and is driven by a certified and specially trained tour guide. If you value your independence and comfort, there is no better and relaxing way to travel. For families with kids, it’s a great way to enjoy a vacation together after a busy year of work and school.

Q: Is a private guide more expensive?
A: Yes, but the rate difference is easily outweighed by what you gain in terms of privacy, independence, flexibility, personal service and peace of mind. There is no better, safer and relaxing way to travel.     

Q: Is Israel a safe country to travel in?
A: In two words: “absolutely yes”. Israel is one of the safest countries around. In spite of what you read and hear, it’s not the Wild West in the Middle East, but a vibrant, well-functioning modern country of 8 million people. In 2012, 3.5 million tourists visited Israel, many of them also visited the Palestinian territories. All returned home safely and full of impressions. Both, the Israeli government and Palestinian authority, have a vested interest in promoting tourism.

Q: What is Israel’s climate like?
A: The weather in Israel is often compared to the temperate climate in Florida and southern California: warm and sunny summers and generally mild winters. However, there can be sharp contrasts in climate, depending upon the season and location. The best time to visit is spring, when nature is at its best (March–May), or autumn (September–November), when temperatures are mild in most areas.

Q: Is it possible to travel between Israel, Jordan, Egypt or Sinai?
A: Yes. Since the peace agreements have been signed between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan, there are normal border formalities between the countries. You should check with your embassy regarding visa regulations. Entrance into Bethlehem and Jericho, within the Palestinian Authority, is free of formalities.

Q: Who pays the guide’s meals, entrance fees and overnights?
A:
You are not expected to pay for the guide’s meals. Guides do not pay entrance fees.
On trips with overnights outside Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, my hotel costs are added (e.g., Galilee, Dead Sea, Negev, Eilat).

Q: Do tourists pay VAT?
A: Holders of a foreign passport are exempt from paying VAT on tourist services.