Amazing Grace Holy Land Tour, “Baptized in Adventure!”

October 9-17, 2023         


Embark on a divine expedition of enlightenment, creativity, and spiritual metamorphosis with us! The magnificence of Israel, unparalleled on this planet, radiates sacred history in every corner. Each day, you will behold life-altering locations accompanied by moments of contemplation, insightful teachings, and soulful worship. This extraordinary odyssey commences in Jerusalem, a city that humbles the spirit as you pass through its gates and follow the path of Jesus. Explore the wonders of the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Mount of Beatitudes, Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, Dead Sea Scrolls, and numerous other awe-inspiring sites that will captivate your imagination.

Imagine how history unfolds as we explore Bethlehem, Cana, Cesarea, Nazareth, Tiberius, Capernaum, Mt Tabor and more. Then imagine sailing the Sea of Galilee and getting baptized in the Jordan river. Holy hidden treasures!.. it’s not just the sites, but the amazing culture and friendly people to welcome you. We add in so much fun along the way, from beaches, walking tours, and colorful markets.  You’ll love the new Sound and Light show in the City of David.  

Each day is meticulously arranged from your arrival to departure. Just pack your bag and buckle up for the joy ride we prepared to make your heart leap. You’ll love our fine hotels, all meals and our local faith-based guides to assist you. But it’s Pastor Justin Craig who brings it all to life for you!

Now is the time to reboot your spiritual walk and truly feel the wonder of God. This unique, must-do vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that won’t come around again. Invite your friends, believers or not – everyone is moved by the Holy Land. Together, we’ll step back in time and shout, “Hallelujah, He really is alive!” Make this dream your reality. It will change your heart.

“What an incredible trip this was Suzy. Literally, Jesus came alive before me! My faith is so much richer. Thank you for taking us deep into Israel, and for being so organized with the best guides and hotels. Since this trip, my soul has been transformed with a spiritual awakening. I can’t wait to return again!” Juliette M  (2020)

Please note; faith-based tours are new for AFS. We respect all faiths. This is Christian oriented vacation but all are invited if interested. Our code with the Divine is relationship over religion.

Bio – Pastor Craig

Justin Craig

While in college in 1999, Justin realized his purpose in God’s Story through the guidance of mentors and the collision of a few divine moments: To plant a church for people far from God in a major city in the United States.
This began a 12 year journey of preparation for Vinings Church. The first seven years, Justin spent leading college ministries in Atlanta and Dallas, TX. The last five years, he served as a church planter in residence at Crossroads Church west of Atlanta.

Justin holds a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary (2006) and a bachelor degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech (2000). He and his wife Elizabeth were married in 2000 and have two sons, Landon and Lincoln, and a daughter named Noelle.

Bio – tour company



Suzy Davis is a Vinings Church member and a successful tour operator since 1989. Over 35 years, she’s led countless groups around the world to over 80 different countries. Her love of the middle east is boundless and she knows Israel well. You can read all about her background at



Our Glorious AFS Itinerary


Click for printable PDF itinerary (ISRAEL)


Fly in as you like but we will be presenting group air from Atlanta soon.

Tel Aviv

Oct 10           ARRIVE TEL AVIV        

Arrive Tel Aviv. You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Welcome to the Holy Land, where scripture comes to life!  Welcome Dinner at the hotel to get to know your fellow travelers.

Meals Included : Dinner
Overnight at Tal By the Beach Hotel –  HaYarkon St 287, Tel Aviv-Yafo

Just a minute’s walk from Tel Aviv’s Metzizim Beach, the exquisitely renovated Tal by the Beach is the ultimate location for those seeking the most fun from the White City. Combining upscale style and design, the beautiful property offers guests a superb Israeli buffet breakfast, in addition to lunch and dinner options, a range of seminar halls, a breezy rooftop and also a gym and sauna. The definition of comfort and convenience, the hotel resides at the epicenter of all things Tel Aviv, including trendy restaurants, bars, nightclubs, the port, the designer boutiques of Dizengoff St and the sprawling beaches.

Oct 11          TEL AVIV – JAFFA – JERUSALEM 

After a briefing, we begin with a tour of uber-cool Tel Aviv and Jaffa lined with sandy beaches on the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. After a scenic panoramic view of modern Tel Aviv, we stroll the artsy shops and cafés on Shankin Street, the “Greenwich Village of Tel Aviv”. Visit a colorful open-air market for some unique craft items. Next we visit the old port city of Jaffa, the first Jewish city, established in 1909.

Journey on to Jerusalem with a stop for sweeping views from atop the Mount of Olives. At Temple Mount, you’ll get the best Instagram photos here of all the Old City. Then visit the heart touching Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified.

Meals Included : Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at Legacy Hotel Jerusalem (4 nights)


Oct 12         FULL DAY TOUR JERUSALEM                   

Visit the City of David and see the newest and exciting excavations of Jerusalem during the time of the first Temple period. Here we’ll also walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel which still flows with water through the Herodian drainage system that will lead straight to Robinson’s Arch & the Southern Wall Excavations.

Then we take a walking tour of the atmospheric Old City; wander through the Armenian and Jewish quarters to the Cardo (ancient Roman road). We continue on to the Christian quarter and the Arab Bazaar, where haggling has been raised to an art form. It’s a sacred moment to walk along a portion of the Via Dolorosa 12 stations of the cross to the 4th Church of the Holy Sepulcher – most sacred sight in the world for millions of Christians.  This is the sight of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. ( Free time to enter the Holy Sepulcher.) With time permitting, we enter the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) next to the Dome of the Rock. Tuck your prayer in the wall and observe the orthodox Jewish people in their rituals here.

Overnight at Legacy Hotel Jerusalem

The Legacy Hotel invites you to experience a whole new means of visiting Jerusalem.  This sophisticated modern hotel located in the heart of Jerusalem, is a pleasant five minutes’ walk from the Old City and a mere ten minutes’ walk from the New City center.  There are several dining options: The Cardo Restaurant, located on the fifth floor tempts all the senses – perfectly combining the aesthetics of dining together with a versatile menu. With the open kitchen, dining becomes an experience where guests can see, hear, and smell their food as it is being prepared. For lighter meals the Regalia bar with its enchanting ambiance and The Coffee Bean Café with its captivating aromas are tempting alternatives.  The hotel offers its guests a wide range of facilities including a Spa, fully equipped GYM, health club, indoor pool and more.  We aspire to give the highest quality of food, service, and accommodation. Whether you are a business or leisure traveler – the distinguished staff of the Legacy Hotel are dedicated to make your stay an enjoyable one.

Oct 13            VALLEY OF ELAH / BETHLEHEM / JERUSALEM             

Today we visit the lush Valley of Elah from the biblical books of Judges and Kings. This was a border between the Philistines and the Judean mountains where the Israelites camped. Young David began his military service here and conquered the Philistine Goliath with only his slingshot.
Later we cross the security border into the West Bank to tour the beautiful town of Bethlehem. The birthplace of Jesus is a top destination for Christians and we make it seamlessly easy to explore this peaceful holy site. Visit Mangers Square and Church of the Nativity, that is built around the Holy Grotto where Christ was born. Continue to the Church of Saint Catherine to view the ancient altars below the church. We depart passing Shepherds Field and the biblical field of Ruth.
Meals Included : Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at Leonardo hotel, Jerusalem

Oct 14     FREE DAY TO PLAY –   JERUSALEM          

Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times in the Bible. So much to explore here, so leisure time is a must for you. Everyone loves the fabulous Yehuda Market, famous for the finest culinary delights in all Israel. So colorful, one can spend hours here among the spices and sweets. You can also visit Yad Vashem and Israel’s finest new museum – Shrine of the Book housed inside the expansive Israel Museum. See here the great manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls and a life-size model of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Your guide can offer you dozens of suggestions on how to enjoy this city to the fullest.

Included Night time experience at the Tower of David –  The City of David’s Evening Presentation tells the story of our return to rebuild ancient Jerusalem. A thrilling, outdoor cinematic experience projected onto the ancient ruins in the actual site where this story unfolded. Under the stars of Jerusalem’s night sky, cutting-edge video mapping technology, the first of its kind in Israel.  It reveals a story 2,500 years in the making where you watch how Jerusalem was destroyed and the Babylonian Exile began.
Seventy years later and against all odds, Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah, with the support of Persia, then the world’s greatest empire, embarks on a dangerous journey to rebuild ancient Jerusalem. This show is spectacular.

Meals Included : Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at Legacy Hotel Jerusalem

Oct 15               JERUSALEM / TIBERIAS / JORDAN RIVER           

After breakfast, we drive towards Cana (John 21:2) where the first miracle of Jesus took place, and then to Nazareth (Matt 2:23) to visit the place where he lived as a young boy and visit a typical house of his time.

Drive to Caesarea (Acts 10:1), the port city built by King Herod. Apostle Paul was put in prison here until he was expelled to Rome and then took the gospel message to reach the whole world.

We continue over Judean hills to the Baptism site on the Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. Those who wish may renew their baptism in this uniquely special place! We reach Tiberias (John 6:1; 21:1) for dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at Leonardo Tiberius Hotel (2 nights)

A contemporary and relaxed lakeside refuge, the Leonardo Tiberius Hotel is situated just opposite the serene and clear waters of the Kinneret. Offering all the necessary amenities for a comfortable and welcoming home away from home experience. At the Leonardo Tiberius Hotel, we provide comfortable accommodations for you to unwind, as well as a range of amenities to enhance your vacation. From an outdoor pool adorned with sun loungers for sunbathing, to a variety of delightful culinary options from morning till night. The Leonardo Tiberius Hotel is conveniently located near many popular tourist attractions. These include the Old City, home to the Turkish Citadel atop its highest point, the Hamath Tiberias National Park with its baths and a magnificent 3rd-century synagogue featuring a breathtaking zodiac mosaic, St. Peter’s Church along the promenade, and Aqua Kef, a floating water park at Ganim Beach that is sure to entertain the young at heart. Tiberias offers such an abundance of activities that you’ll want to indulge in a lengthy holiday to truly appreciate everything the city has to offer.

Oct 16           TIBERIAS, GALILEE, JEZREEL VALLEY         

Beautiful Galilee was the center of Jesus’s ministry and where he performed many miracles. In the morning we board a wooden boat and enjoy the ride with teachings on the Sea of Galilee. In the middle of the sea we shut the engines to read moving scriptures: Matthew 14:26-27.

We reach Capernaum (Luke 4:31) to visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and the Byzantine chapel at the site of Peter’s House. Today, this region looks the same as it did in biblical time. Soak in the beauty of the land where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. We then continue to Tabgha (Matt 14:17, 19), the site of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fish, Mount of Beatitudes (Matt 5-7) and Magdala – home of Mary Magdalene.

We will then ascend to Mt.Tabor under a golden sunset – the site of the transfiguration of Jesus (Matt. 17:1-8).

Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.   Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at Leonardo Tiberius Hotel



After breakfast, we are transferred back to Tel Aviv airport for our departing flights home with our hearts filled overflowing. You will reflect for years to come on this powerful journey that brought the Word of God to life!


Land Price:  $2595 pp twin share plus $80 pre-paid gratuities for guides and drivers.

Includes: 7 nights accommodations in first-class hotels in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Tiberius. Air-conditioned transport by deluxe coach. Airport arrival and departure transfers. Professionally guided tours daily. On-site teachings by Pastor Craig. All entrance fees. Local taxes on hotels and sightseeing tours. Hot buffet breakfast and dinners daily.  Price is based on a minimum 28 participants

Not Included:  Personal expenses. Airfare. (All details on air options including affordable group air rates on Turkish airlines will be coming soon.)

GROUP AIR   none. See trip tips about air

Itineraries are prepared up to a year ahead and things can change.  Modifications may be made.



Thank you for booking this fabulous adventure deep into the holy land with us. Prepare to be thrilled by each site where Jesus and his disciples walked. All my past groups loved our Israel trips, but this one is specialized for you with teachings each day from Pastor Justin, an astute theologian who knows well each place we will visit. Then we add talented Tim with his guitar for the icing on the cake of large fun! I’ve led groups to around 70 countries over 35 years and so excited to join you. I felt God whispered to do this trip for my church. Some of our regular AFS clients grabbed a spot when they saw this and we welcome them!  18 spots are now held for our church promoting this now. Our deluxe motorcoach holds 55 so there’s plenty of space for all.  This medium-sized group is easy to manage. (You’ll see mega churches there with hundreds in a dozen tour buses blocking entire hotels.) Our trip is an intimate and diverse group of seekers, and our price is far less than all others. 

I promise you will be in awe of all that we will explore in Tel Aviv, Java, Jerusalem, Cana, Caesarea, Nazareth, Capernaum, Tiberius, and more sites in between where scripture comes alive!  Israel is wide open to receive you now with no restrictions. More details will come by email to each of you. For now, let’s connect on our private group Facebook page to get to know each other. A link was sent to you in your welcome letter. 

Political Unrest Concerns:  Tensions flared up again in Israel with protests. But by experience, I know and “this too shall pass.” It’s understandable to be cautious considering how conflicts are displayed in the media. Sadly, several canceled this trip based on fear. There will always be “flareups” in the Middle East, like rain, it comes and goes. This has been going to go on not for decades but for centuries. I’ve been to the Holy Land countless times over 40 years – sometimes peaceful, sometimes in political unrest, yet on arrival, I always find it as calm with life going on as usual. I actually feel more unsafe visiting NYC. Tensions mainly center around Garza and the West Bank. But did you know that Israel is rated the “5th safest country in the world?” The safest way to visit is with an escorted reputable tour group. Please understand we work closely with our expert local ground team who monitors situations daily for visitors and we receive updates from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. If for some reason they deem it unsafe to visit, we would cancel and refund your payment or postpone and apply payment to a later date. It’s what all tour operators do, yet 99% complete their tours.  At AFS, I have led thousands of people to 80 countries since 1989 without one incident. We would never put a group in harms way.

How tours work:  We deposit 10K to hold space on hotels and land services. (Tourism is now exploding in 2023 with thousands of groups. I have tracked and printed out dozens of their tours from CBN, Bible Recap, TBN, Passion City, 700 club, Saddleback, etc. These tous average around $5000+ whereas ours is half their cost!) 120 days out, hotels must have us release rooms not used. At 90 days out in July, our trip will be closed to bookings. Often there’s a late surge of inputs from people who will plan to book our trips but find it’s too late. Final payment will be due July 5. A notice will be emailed. Please cancel now if you must. Unfortunately, with each cancellation, it affects the price of the entire group. Trip costs are always based on number of participants.  Post Covid, most travelers buy travel insurance to protect their investment. See details on this in our trip tips.  The fact is there can never be a guarantee of visiting Israel conflict-free. So if one waits for such, they will never go. Tourists often have trepidation, whereas Travelers boldly go forward. They trust God and they trust us. This vacation will not be presented again. There is no more powerful way or place to witness scripture come alive! Please be a Traveler and plan to go. I’m leading a group through Australia now. Call Terry’s cell anytime at 770-367-4909 if you have questions after reading the trip tips. We have our air tickets ready and can’t wait to meet you all in glorious Israel with forever memories etched in our hearts.


Trip Tips are designed to answer trip-related questions. It’s your responsibility to read this information.  Updates and addendums will be posted here.  Check back from time to time.

In August, will send you the final room list and set up a zoom call with all.  Your fearless GTL (Gracious Trip Leader, not a guide but liaison between our guides and group to ensure things run smoothly).  Pastor Justin Craig is the star lead on this along with the assistance of our local Israel Guide, myself, Terry, Elizabeth, and Tim, so you will be in great hands.  Suzy Davis

Suzy DavisAs a former flight attendant of 14 years with free travel, Suzy has logged over 140 different countries in her 6 tattered passports.  She founded AFS in 1989 to share the world with others.  For the first 10 years, she led ALL solo travel tours but now leads four or five each year. Her favorite group leads are to places outside the boundaries of normal comfort zones where one wouldn’t travel alone because she loves all the challenges. As a cultural ambassador, Suzy is fearless and loves to connect her groups with locals. Her enthusiasm, travel wisdom and patience are extraordinary.  She says, “I deeply care that my tribe blends well and that each member is having Large Fun.  My head is always churning with intuitive preemptive thoughts, and communicating these to our local guides. I make sure there is downtime for relaxation and provide suggestions for activities outside our itinerary.”


Trip Prep:

  • Read the revised Heading Abroad with AFS, especially if you are new to AFS.
  • Ensure your passport is valid 6 months after return date with two blank pages.  We recommend renewing your passport well ahead of any planned international travel. Take a photo of your passport to store in the cloud or bring a copy. If you lose your passport, US embassies now except a digital copy from your email.  Also good to scan any docs, Covid test, trip tips, etc.
  • To speed through US Customs download Mobile Passport.  Look in your App Store for details.
  • Notify bank and cc company of travel dates so they don’t block charges.
  • Covid vaccine card is not required nor is a test needed.
  • All airline rules differ.  It is imperative to read your airline rules on their website to ensure a smooth departure!  Airlines are in the process of making routing and scheduling changes now. Always check your flight before departure.

Fitness level –  Easy walks

General Air – Air challenges today – Many route changes now on domestic flights to get to your international flights. Consider flying in early to ensure you’ll be there once trip begins.  Airlines must protect you if problem with flight.  They are required to notify you of changes.  Ask airline to rebook you and cover expenses or get full refund even on non-refundable ticket.  Always download and use your airlines app! Use app to track your booking, delays, bags, to show boarding pass and to contact them. If you have a flight problem go to the airline’s website “contact us” page or reach them by text, social media, Skype or call their international number.  Also, premium credit cards often offer many air perks, assistance, insurance, lounge passes, global entry and more. Read more at for best cards.

No Group Air – We checked group air, but the fares came in high, so we will not offer it.  We love and suggest looking at Turkish airlines because they have excellent prices and a good schedule via Istanbul. Many like to add a stopover there en route home.   (Sometimes we offer a group air; however, we find few people book group air now and may find better rates on own direct from hometown.  This provides you better flexibility to go early or extend at trip end.)

Doing Own Air –  You can start searching now rather than later for round-trip flights USA to Tel Aviv October 9-17. Airlines include; Delta, United, El Al are the most direct. Others are Turkish airlines, American, Air France, British, Lufthansa, and more you. Use points if you have them.  Put in fare alerts on Kayak or other. Sign up for deals on Airline websites. Note fairs are always cheapest from JFK.  We like Google Flights, Kayak or Momondo. (3rd-party booking engines like Expedia are good to follow but make it nearly impossible to handle air problems.)  Buy direct from airline or pay a travel agent to ticket you.  For all classes of tickets, email your exact air dates, destination, passport name and details with birthdate.

We’re finding individual tickets are much cheaper. Now is the time to buy your air. Please refer to this link ->TRIP TIPS for more details. We found the best air for the those from Atlanta area! Pastor Justin and some VC members are flying together on this. Lufthansa out and United home. Quality airlines, no long layovers or forced overnight and a crazy low price of $1256.

10-Oct DL248 9:15 AM

Airport Transfers- We get one airport, transfer in and out for a group. We received all your air schedules and we set it to match Delta 248 arriving at 9:15AM on Oct 10 date.  If your flight is a few hours earlier, simply wait to join the transfer. (It takes 2+ hours to clear customs, so plan accordingly if you plan to join this transfer and not on the Delta flight). If you arrive outside this time just take a taxi or Uber to Tal hotel HaYarkon St 287, Tel Aviv-Yafo.  Our first day is dedicated to arrivals; no tours are scheduled so nobody misses anything.

(With travelers arriving and departing on different days and times, it is insurmountable to manage. Transfers are not expensive. First google your arrival airport website to see the transfer tab. Suggestions to appear like airport bus, taxi details, Uber and more. Then connect on group Facebook page to set up sharing transfer cost if you like.  If you go early and check-in AFS hotel before group arrives, it’s your responsibility to change rooms with your roommate if necessary day one when trip begins.

Meet Up With Group-   Land starts October 10! Meet in the lobby of our hotel Tal by The Beach in Tel Aviv at 4 PM followed by dinner at 6 PM. I love this trendy boutique hotel with free bicycles to ride the 3 mile promenade along the Mediterranean Sea.

Click here for More Tips on transfers, packing, money, shopping and more

Supplemental Trip Tips Info

Baggage– Think light to ease your burden, not like you’re fleeing your homeland.  You change hotel properties several times. 1 carry-on bag& 1 medium suitcase not to exceed 45lb checked bag – weigh on a bathroom scale.  If you overpack by adding pre-or post-trip luggage, make prior plans as to where to stow the excess luggage. You may be responsible for any overage charges. Apple AirTags works great to track checked bags when the airline cannot, also good for carry-on.    The new hard cases are difficult to fit in safari vehicles. Leave space for great souvenirs. Be sure to attach ID to carry-on and bag to assure your bag never gets left behind.

Packing – Check Google Weather a week prior to departure. Read Packing 101 in Heading Abroad with AFS  Pack your hygiene kit and munchies in clear plastic bags.  This trip is so easy. Simply pack summer clothing with a light jacket for nights and long flights. Think umbrella, daypack, wide-brim hat, sunscreen, comfy sneakers, swimsuit.  Dress conservatively. Men – no shorts at religious sites. Ladies – modesty is covered elbow to the knee at most sites. Jeans and short sleeve shirts are fine. Bring a shawl or scarf.

Electric– Don’t forget a portable backup charger, cords, gadgets, etc. Cell phones and tablets do not need a converter; you only need an adapter plug.  AFSers often leave charger cords in room, so be sure to double-check your room before check out. All properties have hairdryers.



Money Matters – Always bring some cash!  You will need some cash for personal tipping, meals, and shopping. $300 or more cash should suffice.    Change currency arrival at airport, bank, or hotels or withdraw local currency from an ATM.  Note -independent ATMs are risky due to skimmer scams. Safest ATMs are at airport and banks. Always shield your pin number when entering. Avoid using unless it’s an emergency.  Master Card and Visa widely accepted.  Amex rarely accepted. Credit cards are far safer than using your debit card.

Currency  Exchange Rate  $1= 3.40 Israeli New Shekel

Gratuities – (Prepaid)  It’s protocol to tip our local guides, assistants, porters, wait staff, drivers and ground staff. Guidelines have increased globally, but around $10 to $15 per day should cover all for the trip.  A $80 total has been added to your invoice. Please understand this is only the suggested minimum.  For ease of distribution, your GTL will tip the different ground services for the entire group each day.

Tipping on own – If service is stellar, feel free to give more directly.  All we tourists leave behind is our reputation. I carry a stash of US ones in an envelope to draw from as needed. Porters – AFSers roll bags to their room.  If you use a porter, please tip.  For group lunches or dinners included, please leave $2 for waitstaff!


Communication– Internet is available. With smartphones, be sure to check with your provider for rates and coverage for international phone plans before departure. Data Roaming rates can be expensive. To reach home – Texting, iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook messaging when using WIFI. Be cautious using public Wi-Fi without using VPN. Without VPN never open attachments or view financial or personal accounts on the Internet while abroad.  Phone calls, text messages, and data usage of all kinds, it is crucial to understand that, unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, every use of your phone incurs a data toll. That means that viewing and downloading email, browsing the web, viewing social media, and mapping all incur data charges, as do applications that we sometimes assume to be “free,” such as Skype and WhatsApp. Unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, however, WhatsApp is using cellular data, so you are getting charged at your provider’s international roaming data rate.  Facebook Messenger Phone is an easy free way to make calls.

Israel Notes: 

  • On arrival, customs will give you a separate arrival document instead of putting a stamp in your passport. Keep this secure inside your passport. Yes, you can enter now if you have visited Arab countries.
  • We will ask if you’d like to be baptized in the Jordan River by email after final payment. Bring something to get wet in. You can rent robes there for $10 on site.
  • Most things close on the Sabbath here starting Friday 4 PM to Saturday 6 PM.
  • Please stay with group on walking tours! Every time I turn a corner here, I lose several who get enticed by other stuff along the way. Jerusalem is always crowded so you will get lost. If so, meet back at the Legacy hotel. Plenty of free time to wander on own, and I’ll provide ideas.
  • For centuries, security is always tight here yet millions of visitors encounter no problems. You will go through many checkpoints.
  • To VC – If you feel you can’t afford this trip, get creative on creating income for your Vacay fund. Social Media can do wonders. Tell all your friends. Don’t miss this biblical adventure that will not come around again.

Get Smart: Avoiding Hackers on Vacation.  Thieves not only want your money but also your data.    Change passwords often. Check device security settings before you leave for your trip. Back up, update, and encrypt your devices and data using a virtual VPN.

  • In hotel rooms, hide iPods or laptops to avoid “evil maids” that want to clone your tech.
  • Bottled water is always best abroad, as our gut isn’t accustomed to local tap water.
  • Never carry your passport outside of the room.
  • It’s wise to grab a business card from hotel desk before heading out on own.  To get back just show the card to a taxi driver- no memory or English needed.

Photography – Before taking pictures of locals, know it is polite to ask.  Your AFS Private Facebook Group Page is a great way to share your best shots with each other. AFS loves photos with group participants (not typical churches, monuments, or any shot that looks like you pulled it off of the net, etc.) for our website. The best photos are ones that include a group member with a local, children, animals, or at iconic sites in the same frame!

Retail Therapy – even non-shoppers delight in olive wood, carvings, Dead Sea, spa products, pottery, Palestinian, embroidery, religious, art, Arabic sweets, exotic fragrances, jewelry, cool crosses, and more. Bargain all. Israelis love to haggle.

Chewing – Fresh, organic Israeli and kosher cuisines are delicious! Hummus, baba gannous, shawarma, kebabs, seafood, pomegranate juice, and endless sweets. Best breads and pastries on the planet. You will love grazing through Yehuda market.

Websites of Interest:,,

Accommodations –– Our itinerary has links to each hotel.  Hotels can change, but it’s rare.

Roommates –  Rooms are based on a twin share. I’m great at matching up roommates if you don’t know anyone.  Single supplements have significantly increased in price– if available at all.  Save money and buy yourself an awesome local gift. We all live alone, but save money when traveling by rooming together. Suzy spends a lot of time on roommate matching.  99% of our clients are wonderful and you’re only in your room to sleep at night.   (The best option is to invite a friend.  We be able to give you a $100 discount.). Note, kindness begets kindness.  How many of our season travelers bring headsets to drown out any excess noise.  We share rooms only to sleep at night.  If AFS room list ends up with unbalance gender, and forces a single room we will offer it to all in group or share in the added cost. If none want it, if you were the last to book we may have to remove you from the trip.

Leisure Time –  our daily itinerary is pretty full, but guide can offer suggestions of other activities. I highly recommend visiting the Shrine of the Book Museum, and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.  (For your free time, it’s best to arrive and ask our local expert guides for suggestions.  We notice many newer clients pre-plan many activities on the AFS trip well before they arrive, often with disappointing results.  Our daily itineraries are pretty full, but there will be some free time. Expert travelers revel in the element of surprise in a new destination and allow the wind to blow them where it will. Use Google Maps on your phone to find everything nearby.)

Amending tour pre-or post-trip. We honor your independent spirit, but encourage you to extend more days at the trip’s end when you’re acclimated well to the destination.   Arranging private tours during free time.  We often see many AFSers on Facebook urging others to join them to countries before/after our trip. Stopovers are great to add, but understand AFS has no responsibility for the quality of your trip.

Private Facebook Group Page  –  The benefit of the Private FB Group Page is that you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to your fellow travelers before departure and share trip photos during and after the tour.  The link can be found in your Wetravel welcome letter after your initial deposit.  (We found that some never read the Trip Tips jumping right to the Private FB Group Page assuming they will get all trip info needed. Often, they only receive rumors or misinformation. All important information is ALWAYS emailed to each participant and posted in Trip Tips under UPDATES. Nobody misses a thing.)

Emergency Contact – Local number or text Terry 770-367-4909, or email us at    More contacts will be provided with your Final Docs email 2 to 3 weeks before departure. Your guide can handle a call home for a true emergency. Do not expect to use your trip leader’s cell phone; you’ll need to use your own.

Cancellation Penalty –  At booking, we sent you our terms and conditions. Click here for our Terms & Conditions   Briefly, on land packages we’ll refund your deposit less 50% until 5 weeks prior trip’s final payment due date.   Any cancellation after this date will result in full forfeiture of your deposit. AFS reserves the right to resell or otherwise use the canceled space at our discretion.

Travel Insurance– While travel insurance is optional, in today’s world we highly encourage you to get standard coverage to cover trip interruption and cancellation.  Best source for all is   CFAR or cancel for any reason covers Covid but is expensive.  Note that no company covers for fear.

Preexisting conditions – If you would like the security of travel insurance and have a pre-existing condition (elderly parent, medical, etc.), you must purchase insurance within 15 days from your initial trip deposit in order to assure full coverage.  The trip cost can be amended or adjusted as needed after your initial purchase (eg. like adding an air ticket cost later). You can buy travel insurance at any time, just know that there may be some possible limitations if purchased outside the 15 day period.  We like TravelSafe, Allianz or Seven Corners.

Travel Psychology 101  – Prepare for your departure joyfully with no contempt before investigation upon arrival. Please understand that with travel, things are not like at home and changes may occur. Great trips work best for those with an open mind, flexible attitude and adventuresome spirit.  If changes occur, embrace them with serendipity. Who knows?… The unexpected may prove to be a better experience.  Adapt and go with the flow with a laid-back attitude.  Be spontaneous. Be tolerant of foreign cultures in respecting their centuries of traditions. Embrace the differences. Be curious, not shy. Smile – locals will sense your energy of kindness and kindness always begets kindness.  Our common goal is to experience different cultures, make new friends, get great photos, have large fun, and return home safely with memories worthy of recollection.

The best spirit of an Explorer requires the openness of a child – Suzy

“When traveling, remember that a foreign country isn’t designed to make you comfortable.  It’s designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clinton Fadiman

Please note that AFS is non-partisan – With our homogeneous groups, we all want to focus on the common denominator – our love of travel.  In today’s divisive world, we suggest members not discuss politics and if you must, please practice my rule of TOK:  Tolerance, Open-mindedness and Kindness.

Please be advised that the operation of some tours may need to be rearranged or modified to suit local conditions, but all activities stated will be included.  We are here for you to address any questions about your trip. In time, we believe travel will begin to normalize with less rules and we appreciate your cooperation until then.  Now more than ever before, travelers value the privilege of travel to explore our world. You’ve been waiting so long, it’s time for recess!