Tour Planning FAQs2019-10-08T22:41:49+00:00
What is a “Tour Operator” and what do they do for my tour?2019-10-07T11:25:25+00:00

Once a request for a tour or tour quote is received by Christian Tours, it is assigned to a Tour Operator, who’s responsibilities include working with you to provide you with the best suitable Israel tour itinerary to meet your group’s expectations. They will also provide you with a selection of hotels at the standard you expect and provide you with a detailed quote, which will include everything on the itinerary.

The tour operator will continue working with you throughout the tour planning stages, providing you with information and answers, organizing special visits, local contact or special needs for your group.

On arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, your tour operator will welcome you and introduce you to your guide and driver and answer any of your questions or concerns, if any will meet you. They will remain in contact with you throughout the tour; ensuring that everything runs smoothly, managing hotel check-ins and any special arrangements made.

If anything goes wrong, such as a tour participant falling ill or needing to return home due to an emergency, your tour operator will assist with providing the help needed, leaving you with the peace of mind to continue leading your group.

You will get to know your tour operator well and consider them a friend by the end of your journey as they attend your farewell dinner. Our tour operators’ jobs are very challenging, however they are also highly rewarding!

How do I compare quotations / understand my tour quote?2019-10-07T11:27:10+00:00

Like with most purchases, it is good to compare and shop around. The problem is that unlike a home appliance which you can compare model to same model, a tour is very different and sometimes difficult to pick up the differences or discrepancies. Most quotations will be detailed, but sometimes too many details make it difficult to pick-up on the hidden traps.

The three main areas you need to observe are:

  1. What hotels are being offered? Do not follow the grade or level (stars) described by the agent. Do some research, read reviews on sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor, and if you know someone who has been in Israel before, ask for their thoughts. At Christian Tours, we select the hotels in your quotation carefully and can provide you with detailed information on why we selected this hotel based on your wishes and/or budget. Hotel choices will make a major impact on the quote you receive.
  2. What entrance fees are actually included in the quote? Some quotes you receive may appear like they are a bargain, charging less for what seems like the same itineraries, however you may not be getting the same experience. For example, a visit to Caesarea should include entrance fees to Caesarea National Park. Some tours will include Caesarea on the itinerary, but the stop will actually be by the Caesarea aqueduct, which is outside of the park and excludes the entire experience of the real site and costs nothing! All Christian Tours itineraries and quotes include full admission costs to every location listed in the itinerary. We will never surprise you with extra costs and never provide you with less than the full experience!
  3. Check the itinerary for “free days” or half days. How many full days of transportation and guides are included? Free days mean less expense for the tour operator and more expense not included in the quote for tour participants.

There are of course other things to look for like, “Does my visit to “Abrahams tent” include a camel ride? Will my bathing experience in the Dead Sea include towels? Will each group member receive a wireless headset to be able to hear the guide? What size bus will my group have?”

Make sure you read and fully understand every quote you receive. You should not be asked to add any extra expense while on tour. This tactic used to underbid quotes is frustrating and can be embarrassing to you as a tour leader when you have to ask participants for money on the tour.

Why should I receive a detailed entrance fee breakdown?2019-10-07T11:28:01+00:00

Some agents may include different site names in their quotation but do not include an actual visit to the site itself.

For example, a visit to Caesarea should include entrance fees to Caesarea National Park. Some tours will include Caesarea on the itinerary, but the stop will actually be by the Caesarea aqueduct, which is outside of the park and excludes the entire experience of the real site and costs nothing!

Another example is when the itinerary includes the term “drive by”. The itinerary will say it includes Megiddo, for example, but in reality they will simply stop by the side of the road or just slow down long enough for the guide to mention the site as you try to get a picture of it from a distance. Sad, but it happens.

All Christian Tours itineraries and quotes include full admission costs to every location listed in the itinerary. We will never surprise you with extra costs and never provide you with less than the full experience!

Ask for a detailed list of entrance and if in doubt – ask.

Which meals are included in my tour quote?2019-10-07T11:28:50+00:00

A typical tour package will include breakfast and dinner, both served at the hotel your group is currently checked-in to. If a group should arrive in Israel in the afternoon, the meal arrangement will begin with dinner at the first hotel the group is staying at. Sometimes, dinner on the day of departure may be served at a restaurant rather than the hotel as it may be at the end of a touring day and en-route to the airport.

Farewell dinners are generally held in restaurants, special locations, or a special dining area in the hotel.

For your reference while comparing quotes:

B/B = Bed and Breakfast, only breakfast is included.

H/B = Half Board, breakfast and dinner are included!

F/B = Full board, you’re getting it all! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

What about travel insurance?2019-10-07T12:58:43+00:00

For a minimal amount of money, travel insurance is a must. Travel insurance can be purchased for a minimal amount of your travel investment, and can cover the following:

  • Hospital and doctor needs. Many seasoned travelers don’t realize that their health insurance may not be valid outside of their home country.
  • Cancelled trip coverage. If you need to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen emergency or serious illness, most of your trip may be non-refundable. This can help you save thousands of dollars.
  • Travel insurance also covers lost baggage, and worldwide emergency assistance coverage.
What are payment terms? Is my group’s money safe?2019-10-07T12:59:31+00:00

The payment terms may vary depending on how far in advance the booking or the confirmation is made, or the season (peak, regular or low) the group will arrive. In any case, the terms follow the same schedule of:

  • Deposit. At this stage we confirm the entire arrangement and provide you with final confirmation of number of rooms held for your group in particular hotels.
  • Down payment. This happens 60 days prior to arrival and includes payment of up to 50% of the total cost of package.
  • Full payment. Full payment is due 30 days prior to arrival.

Your money is always safe with Christian Tours! We keep detailed record of all money received as well as all money paid out so you understand exactly where your money is going.

What about tips?2019-10-07T13:00:11+00:00

It is customary to tip the following persons: Tour Guide, Bus Driver and Hotel Staff (covering Front Desk, Dining room staff, Housekeepers and Bell Boys).

We are happy to provide you with customary tip rate suggestions upon request.

Do our guides and drivers stay with us the whole time?2019-10-07T13:00:56+00:00

Your tour guide and bus driver begin their day’s work after breakfast and spend the day with the group as per the detailed itinerary. In many cases, they too spend the night at the same hotel with the group and will join you for dinner. They may choose to not do this every night if they live close by and wish to return home and see their families.

What is a farewell dinner and what does it include?2019-10-07T13:01:45+00:00

The farewell dinner is a great opportunity for the entire group along with the guide, bus driver and your tour operator to get together for a special meal during which the tour leader (Pastor or other) can address the group and reflect upon the tour. It is also customary that the guide, driver and the tour operator say a few words before tour participants get a chance to share their favorite moments of the tour. This is a memorable evening, and we at Christian Tours try to make it a special one with attention to detail, and selection of a suitable venue. Ask your tour operator for suggested locations.

What should I expect the tour bus to be like in Israel?2019-10-07T13:02:34+00:00

The tour buses you may expect to find in Israel are mostly the latest generation of luxury touring buses, all of which are air-conditioned and many of which are equipped with free Wi-Fi. There are three basic bus sizes available:

Full size bus – 53 or 55 seats

Midi size bus – 42 Seats

Mini bus – 18 Seats

Please confirm with your Christian Tours tour operator what is the best bus size for your group. Be sure to not only consider the people in the bus, but the luggage below it! It is not unheard of for some tour companies to not consider this and end up having to bring in an additional truck to transport the luggage from hotel to hotel, and adding these additional charges to you while on the trip.

How will I handle a case of a participant falling ill or getting injured while on tour?2019-10-07T13:03:20+00:00

In an unfortunate event of a participant falling ill or having an accident, Christian Tours staff will provide you with the necessary help and coordination and in needed cases, the amendment of flights to return the participant home. It is of course important to ensure all tour participants have the adequate travel insurance.

What size of groups does Christian Tours service?2019-10-07T13:04:13+00:00

Throughout our fifty years of service, we have handled groups of all sizes and from all corners of the world, ranging from groups as small at 10 people to groups in the thousands.

Do you have questions about what to expect on your trip to Israel? Find many answers you may be looking for on our FAQ page about travel to Israel. CLICK HERE. 

What People are Saying about Christian Tours

  • Linda Arnold

    My first pilgrimage to The Promised Land was with Christian Tours and the entire trip exceeded my expectations. I liked it so much that my husband and I signed up for another tour the following year and took 5 family members with us! Okay, so if that wasn’t enough we signed up again this year and took 4 more friends! Yes, that is three years in a row!

    When I go back to Israel, I will only travel with Christian Tours. Outstanding guides, exceptional drivers, and first rate service. Christian Tours is truly excited to be a part of your incredible, experience in the Holy Land and care about every little detail.

  • David Chavers

    Christian Tours provided very personalized service to us. Two of our group flew in from Egypt ahead of the others by about 8 hours. The two were settled into the hotel, picked up by car by Susan herself and driven to the airport to meet the rest of the incoming group and ride the bus back to the hotel as a group. No extra charge, ''just part of it'' they told us. There were six employees on hand to meet us at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly.

    I could continue, but this email cannot do justice to the service and accommodations Christian Tours provided us. I guess the strongest statement I can make is that we are returning with another group this coming year. The thought of using someone else has not even crossed our minds. These people took care of business, and became our friends in the process.

  • Gina

    I must tell you I give both Christian Tours and Mordi my highest recommendation – Donna and I had an amazing trip. The personal service, hotels, attention to detail and most of all the flexibility of Mordi (he learned I like frozen coffees – so there was always a stop somewhere) to change up the itinerary when timing/location deemed necessary.

    Now a special word about Mordi – his knowledge and passion for Israel is so evident in his spirit it is a joy to spend time with him. He has a great sense of humor (which I’m sure he needed with us) and loved sharing his Jewish faith and Israeli heritage during our unending questions.

    Yoav – a note of thanks for all your help with our pilgrimage – I know you did all the legwork for the sites, hotels and details. It was flawless and we appreciate all your hard work. You’re the best!

    Again, thank you Christian Tours – it was a life changing experience and you made it happen.

    Next year, in Jerusalem!