Hi guys, if you’re starting to plan your trip
to Israel and you’re looking for budget tips then this video is for you. Before people come to Israel they are concerned
with safety issues but once they are here they see that Israel is safe but they meet
the real problem and that is that Israel is expensive. Now I’m going to share with you ten tips on
how you can make your vacation in Israel cheaper. My first tip is to take into consideration
the hagim, the Jewish holidays, when you are starting to plan your trip. Now you already know that on holidays the
prices of hotels and flights are more expensive but what you may not know is that in Israel
most of the holidays are by the Jewish calendar and I’ve written a post about the Jewish holidays,
when they are and what you can expect, and I will leave the link down here. Now of course it is really nice being in Israel
on the holidays, on New Year, on Yom Kippur, on Pessach, but if you do come on the Jewish
holidays then book well in advance. My second tip is the low-cost flights to the
desert, to the Negev, most flights will land in Ben Gurion Airport, which is in the middle
of Israel, but if you’re coming in winter or if you plan to spend most of your time
in the desert then you might check if there is a low-cost flight to Ovda, Eilat, or Ramon. The new Ramon airport should be open this
year or next year (2018/19) so it is definitely worth checking, especially if you are from
Europe. By far the biggest expense is accommodation,
and hotels in Israel are very very expensive; the prices of New York and London. The good thing is that there is an alternative:
hostels. In the last couple of years some great hostels
have opened in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other places in Israel, and all offer private rooms
with bathrooms so you don’t need to sleep with people that you don’t know. And it’s like a three-star hotel but the prices
are half. Another thing is that in all the hostels there
is a kitchen where you can cook by yourself so you don’t need to eat outside in restaurants. And the atmosphere is great and the location
of the hostels is also very good. I’ve written a post about the best hostels
in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv so you can check them out. Another great option, and this is the cheapest
option, is couch surfing, where you sleep in other people’s homes and it is for free. If you don’t know this site then I will leave
a link down here below. Another great way to save money in Israel
is to eat street food, now fruits and vegetables are cheap in Israel but the prices in restaurants
are very very high. The good thing is you don’t have to go to
a restaurant to enjoy good Israeli food; there is great Israeli street food. Now unlike street food in Europe or in the
US, Israeli street food is relatively healthy: a lot of fruits and vegetables and sabich,
falafel, shawarma, houmous are just great. It will cost you around 20-something/30 shekels
so 7/8/9 dollars and you are full. Now the prices of alcohol in Israel are absolutely
ridiculous, especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem: you can pay up to 10 dollars, or even 10 euros,
for a beer in Tel Aviv so always look at the menu, always look at the prices before you
order. In 2010/11 there was a wave of social justice
protests against the high prices of basically everything, and as a result of that new coffee
chains have opened up: Cofix, Cofizz, that sell a cup of coffee for 5 shekels, so it’s
about a dollar and a half, a euro, two euros, and they also have like small snacks, also
for a euro and a half, something like that. And it’s not the best coffee, it’s not the
best bourekas, but it is really ok. Public transportation in Israel is fairly
good and the prices are also okay, like inside the cities, inside Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, a
bus ride will cost you around two dollars, two euros, and between Jerusalem to Tel Aviv
I think it’s like 60 shekels, so like 4/5 dollars/euros – really okay. The one thing you need to remember is that
in Israel there is no public transportation so no buses, and no trains, from Friday afternoon
till Saturday night and if you want to go somewhere then you need to take a taxi. And the price of taxis on the weekend is very
expensive, so take that into consideration. I like to recommend a local SIM card. Now in Israel there is wi-fi everywhere, every
hotel, restaurants, sometimes in parks and outside there is wi-fi. But still if you come for more than a week
I would recommend buying a SIM card. Now I can’t tell you which one to buy; there
are many different companies and it changes every couple of months, but it really makes
your life much easier, especially if you’re renting a car and you want to go from point
A to point B then if you have internet then you can use Google Maps or Waze, which is
an Israeli app. And it will take you there straight away;
you don’t need to use maps, and I think that eventually it saves you money. My next tip is very simple: walk. Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and also Haifa are really
really small, much smaller than the big cities in Europe or the US. And if you take a hotel/hostel in the middle
of the city, as I recommend, then you can basically walk to almost all the important
places. Another tip is haggle. Now in most places in Israel, 99.9% of the
places, it is a fixed price but there are a couple of places where tourists go: the
flea market in Tel Aviv or the market in the Old City of Jerusalem, where the prices are
determined by the face of the tourist. If you don’t see a price then you need to
haggle and basically they all sell the same things so if you see something ask for the
price but never buy immediately, look as if you’re not interested or walk away and maybe
come later on but in the Old City and in the flea market and sometimes also in the Carmel
Market you need to haggle. My next tip is about tours. Now tours in Israel are basically a must. In Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, and in other places,
if you don’t understand what you see then you cannot enjoy the places. I’ve said it in many other videos: most of
the sites in Israel are not impressive, it’s not like you stand next to the Pyramid and
it doesn’t matter if you understand it or know when it was built: it is impressive. In Israel most of the sites, like the Wailing
Wall, or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and thousands of other sites: if you don’t
know what it is then the places are not impressive. The best way is to take a private guide, this
costs a lot of money. The good thing is that there are other options. In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv there are also the
free tours, which basically show you the important places in the city, it’s about a 2- or 3-hour
tour. Now I have to say that I don’t like the name
“free tour” because these tours are not free: they are tip-based tours and what the guides
don’t tell you is that the guides have to pay to the company 2/3 dollars on every person
that comes to the tour. So the tours are good but if you do go to
one of these tours then pay like ten dollars or so per person. Another great affordable way to understand
the sites in Israel is to buy my booklets. I’ve written three booklets: one about Jerusalem,
Tel Aviv, and the Judaean Desert, in English and in German, and they are just great with
a lot of good information, I think. But I will definitely say that in Israel,
do take tours, it is worth the money and I’m going to do another video about different
tours in Tel Aviv: graffiti tours, food tours, bicycle tours, so make sure you subscribe
to my channel. My last tip is planning. Now when you are traveling there are always
surprises but from what I’ve seen, and I help thousands of travellers, people that plan
their trip, that know what they want to see, that know the opening hours, that know how
much things will cost, enjoy more and pay less. As a budget traveller myself I must add that
traveling is all about seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new things, it’s
not about saving money. I met quite a lot of travellers, mostly young
Europeans, that take pride in how little they spend. Coming to Israel and not visiting museums,
parks, not doing anything, makes the whole trip pointless, so there are ways to save
money but again this is not the purpose of the trip. That’s it, guys, I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please help me grow my channel
and subscribe. See you in the next video and bye for now.