"We have great faculty who are not just great at teaching archaeology and teaching the Bible, but they are great archaeologists."
Cameron Coyle, 2013 Field Archaeologist
Introduction: foreign travel
Electricity is 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are standard. Most current electronic equipment purchased in the states (e.g. cell phone, laptops, PDAs, etc.) are already adaptable for 110V (U.S.) and 220V. All you need to do is buy a two-prong adapter that fits over your 2-prong (or 3-prong, if it has a ground) and can fit into an Israeli plug. The hotel front desk usually offers some of these plugs free of charge, or you can purchase them (about 50 cents).
New Shekel (NIS; symbol ?) = 100 agorot (singular, agora). Notes are in denominations of ?200, 100, 50, and 20. Coins are in denominations of ?100, 50, 10, 5 and 1, and 50 and 10 agorot.
Currency Exchange: Foreign currency can only be exchanged at authorized banks, hotels and change shops. Change shops found in most cities charge no commission and equal the bank exchange rates. It is advisable to leave Israel with the minimum of Israeli currency. Payment in foreign currency exempts tourists from VAT on certain purchases and services, and is sometimes preferred by shop keepers.
Exchange Rate: Exchange rates fluctuate, but a general rule is $1.00 = 4 NIS.
Cash is safe to carry in reasonable quantities, provided you keep it in a safe place (inside pocket, money belt or waist bag, etc.). As a precaution you should only carry the amount of cash you would need for that week. Cash is almost always easier to exchange than any other medium, and has the benefit of being changeable in most circumstances.
Dollar to shekel rates fluctuate so it is best to change money on a weekly basis.
Israel has excellent postal service. Every Wednesday we stop by a small market and there is a post office nearby to purchase stamps. The hotel sells postcards and they can mail letters and postcards for you.
Postage Rates (prices in Shekels)
Average price to mail a letter to the US is $1.40.
Clothing: The climate in Israel during the summer is very hot and dry, although it can be relatively cool in the evening. One should have clothing appropriate for hot weather, and a light sweater or jacket.
NOTE: towels, sheets, pillowcases and blankets are provided by the kibbutz.
Hat with brim
Short sleeved and long sleeved cotton shirts
Cotton pants (slacks)
Touring shoes (tennis shoes, etc.)
Toothpaste and toothbrush
Athlete's foot powder
Insect repellant (mosquitos)
Canteen/water bottle for personal use
Small bag/backpack for carrying daily equipment and weekend travel
Bag for laundry/Laundry Detergent
Camera and film