Are we still doing tours?
Yes. Even though Jim has passed, the family knows that getting travelers to Israel is one of the most live changing experience. Walking where Jesus walked and being taught where Jesus taught brings the Bible alive!
Who is teaching?
Pam Reimann, who was on all of the tours with Jim, will be doing approximately 1/3-1/4 of the teaching. Jim's children, Aaron and Bethany, will be teaching, along with some other pastors that will be on the trip (mainly Kent Reinhardt, who Jim mentored for years).
This is a Bible-Study tour. Be sure to take your Bible, notebook and pen. Most teaching from the New International Version (NIV) translation.
It is also important to take a travel alarm clock (or cell phone with alarm).
1. Do I need a passport?
Yes, a valid passport is required and it should be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your departure date. If you do not have one, apply for one immediately. It takes anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks for one to be issued. Once you have obtained your passport, a copy of the photo page must be sent to our travel partner (Noseworthy Travel Services) at least 105 days prior to departure. It is also a good idea to put a copy of your passport in your luggage while traveling. Note: When out of the country, it is also a good idea to keep your passport on your person at all times, or at least keep it in your purse or bag that you carry onto the tour bus, just in case of an emergency.
2. How do I obtain a passport?
Most local U.S. Post Offices have applications and can take your photo for the passport. Be sure to take a certified copy of your birth certificate with you. For more information on passports you can go online to: http://travel.state.gov.
3. Will I need a visa?
U.S., Canadian, U.K., and Australian citizens do not need a visa for travel to Israel or Greece. Citizens of other countries must contact the Israeli and/or Greek Consulate.Visas are required for anyone traveling to Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey; however, we will obtain a group visa for all U.S., Canadian, U.K., and Australian citizens once all passport information has been submitted to our office. This service is included in your tour price.
4. Will I need vaccinations?
None are required, but you may wish to consult your personal physician for his or her advice.
5. How soon do I need to select a post- or pre-tour option (if available)?
Immediately. These tours can be added, if space is available and airline tickets have not been issued, up to 105 days prior to departure.
6. What if I do not have a roommate?
While we will do our best to match you with a roommate, we cannot guarantee one will be available. Therefore, it is best to try to find a roommate to travel with you and then notify us of your selection 90 days prior to departure. If no room mate can be found, you will receive an invoice for the single room supplement charge(s) as listed in the Program Conditions under the heading "Your Accommodations." This invoice may be sent as late as 30 days prior to departure.
7. When is my final payment due?
The final payment deadline for the tour, including optional insurance premium (if applicable), is 105 days prior to departure. Thereafter, a late payment of $100 will be assessed. Please note that once the insurance premium has been paid, it is non-refundable. Final payment dates may be found on the tour brochure.
8. What if I need to cancel?
Call our travel partner (Noseworthy Travel Services) immediately, and then submit your cancellation in writing. Refer to the information in the Program Conditions under "Cancellation Fees" for applicable charges. Please note that beginning 105 days prior to departure, you will be charged the single room supplement, if your cancellation forces your roommate into a single room.
9. Will my tour schedule ever change?
We reserve the right to alter the sightseeing itinerary to accommodate changes in local conditions and/or extenuating circumstances.
10. Why have nametags been provided and when should they be worn?
Please begin wearing your nametag upon arrival at your airport of departure. It helps airline personnel, your tour hosts, and others in the group to identify you quickly. While on tour, your nametag also helps hotel, restaurant, and shop personnel readily identify you as part of our group.
11. What airline will be used?
We use any number of major carriers depending on the departure cities of our passengers, size of group, and availability of seats, etc.
12. May I choose the airline I travel on?
Due to the volume of passengers traveling on various itineraries from many departure cities, you cannot select the airline for your travel.
13. When will I receive my flight information?
International flight information will be available approximately 30 days prior to departure, while domestic flight information will be available approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. E-tickets are typically obtained for our passengers, and complete flight itineraries will be mailed to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure.
14. May I purchase my own domestic airline tickets to the departure city?
Yes, however, we recommend you purchase your ticket through Noseworthy Travel Services instead. If NTS books the flights for you, we will have more control to help you with changes, if such a need arises.
15. May I purchase(or use frequent-flyer miles) for my international airline ticket?
Yes, but please remember: airport to hotel, and hotel to airport, transfers are not provided to passengers who have purchased their own international tickets. If you are a "ground-only" passenger, you will meet the group at the first hotel and leave the group at the last hotel.
16. Who is responsible for any airline schedule changes and/or expenses?
All flight times are subject to change by the airlines without advance notice. The Reimanns and Noseworthy Travel Services are not responsible for changes and/or delays in airline schedules, nor the expenses associated with such changes.
17. How soon should I arrive at the airport on the day of departure?
Due to increased security at airports, we recommend arriving at least 2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights, and 3 hours prior to departure for international flights.
18. What if I miss my flight or it is canceled on the day of departure?
Contact Noseworthy Travel Services immediately so they can inform their overseas office. The airline's responsibility is to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. Be sure to call the NTS office with your new arrival information so we can meet you at your destination airport.
NOTE: If you call Noseworthy Travel Services' office after 5:00pm Eastern time at 1-800-929-4684 or 863-644-6261, please listen carefully for the emergency instructions given in the recording. The emergency line is answered 24 hours a day/7days a week.
19. May I request special seating and/or meals on the flights?
Yes, requests should be submitted in writing no later than 105 days prior to departure. We cannot, however, guarantee your request can or will be honored by the airlines. It has been our experience recently that meal requests are typically honored while seating requests (e.g. aisle or window seat) are not. For special seating requests, we suggest that you make your request known to the airline immediately upon arrival at the airport.
20. How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
Due to limited space available on buses for luggage, only ONE suitcase (limited to 50 lbs. or less) and one carry-on bag per person is allowed. Garment bags are not allowed. For checked luggage, most airlines will accept a maximum of 62 linear inches (length + width + depth).
NOTE: Carry-on bags must fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Porters will not handle your carry-on luggage. Your final itinerary package will include a luggage tag to be placed on your checked luggage. We strongly recommend you also include your own luggage tag on your checked and carry-on luggage.
21. What if my luggage is lost or damaged?
File a claim at the airport before you leave the baggage claim area. It is the airline's responsibility to get lost luggage to you or to compensate you for damaged luggage. We will do our best to follow-up with the airline, but the responsibility ultimately rests with them. We strongly suggest you pack at least one change of clothes in your carry-on bag.
22. What should I expect upon my arrival?
You will be met by our representative just outside the baggage claim area. He or she will be holding a sign saying one or more of the following: "Noseworthy Travel Services,""EO" (Educational Opportunities) or "Jim and Pam Reimann." Retrieve your luggage and follow the instructions of our representative. Luggage carts may be free or available for a small charge, depending on the airport.
23. What is the time difference between the U.S. and Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Greece and Turkey?
Each of these countries is seven hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone, and each country observes Daylight Saving Time. (Example: when its 12:00 Noon in New York, it is 7pm in Jerusalem.)
24. What are the hotel rooms like, and what amenities do they offer? Are hair dryers and washcloths available in the rooms?
We use hotels that are 1st-class or better. Each room will have a private bath, TV, and phone. In Israel, most rooms offer complimentary in-room coffee and tea, as well as hairdryers. Most hotels will not provide washcloths, while some will do so only upon request. Therefore, we recommend taking your own with a plastic "baggie" in which to pack it.
NOTE: Some hair dryers are not as high in wattage as those available in the U.S. If you opt to take your own, remember to take a "European-type" 2-prong plug converter and a voltage converter. The overseas voltage requirement is generally 220.
25. What meals and beverages are included in my tour?
A full buffet breakfast and dinner is included at each hotel where you will be staying as part of your tour price. One fish lunch is also included when we visit Galilee in Israel. Beverages such as coffee, juice, and tea are generally included with breakfast and dinner, although this may vary depending on hotels used. Soft drinks and bottled water are available at an additional charge.
26. How long is the typical sightseeing day?
We typically depart the hotel between 7:30-8:00am and return between 5:00-6:00pm. Breakfast is usually served at 6:30am and dinner at 6:30pm.
27. What are the buses like? Do they have restrooms on them?
We use deluxe touring motorcoaches that are air conditioned, and which accommodate approximately 45-50 people. Most buses do not have restrooms, but sufficient stops will be made for the comfort of our passengers. Restrooms are also available at most sightseeing locations.
28. How much money should I take?
You will need approximately$10/day for lunch. You will also want to take money for shopping. We recommend taking a number of $1 and $5 bills for incidentals and lunch,as U.S. dollars are widely accepted.
NOTE: We also will take up a love offering for the guide and driver. We suggest a minimum of $120/person for the 10-day Israel tour, $48/person for a 4-day extension, and $36/person for a 3-day extension. 2/3 goes to the guide and 1/3 to the driver. The offering will be collected by the tour hosts near the end of the tour and presented to the guide and driver on the final day of touring.
29. What other forms of payment are accepted?
Many stores in Israel will accept personal checks from Americans, and often will offer lower prices on large purchases if you pay by check. Major credit cards are also widely accepted in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Greece, and Turkey. We do not recommend the use of travelers' checks, as you may experience difficulty in cashing them or have to pay high fees to do so. We recommend cash for small purchases and credit cards or checks for large purchases.
30. Are ATM's available?
ATM's are available at local banks and in some hotels. The money you receive will be in the local currency. However, in Jerusalem there will be limited access to an ATM that issues U.S. currency.
31. Will I have any time to shop while on tour?
Yes, we will offer several shopping times along the tour. While some people will feel too much time is spent shopping, others will feel it is not enough. Remember, however, our tour is not a "shopping tour." Purchases are made at your own risk, as we are not responsible for your dissatisfaction with any item purchased.
32. What are the U.S. Customs regulations regarding purchases?
Each returning U.S. resident is allowed $800 ($1600 per married couple) in purchases duty-free. Recent trade agreements however, have removed the purchase limit on products purchased in Israel, Jordan, and Egypt (perhaps other countries as well).Yet it is still a good idea to ask your guide about the regulations currently in effect.
33. What is VAT?
VAT or Value Added Tax is a sales tax that is charged for some goods in various countries. This amount is part of the price, not an amount added at the cash register. VAT in Israel and Jordan, for example, is at least 17%. However, it is possible for you to reclaim most or all of this tax. The best way to do this is to see if the retailer is affiliated with "Tax Free"shopping. If so, they will give you the instructions and a form for your refund. Generally all you have to do is fill out the form and have it stamped by customs before leaving the country.
NOTE: Most shops on our tours do not charge the VAT.
34. How much should I give to the love offering for our guide and driver?
As noted in #28 (above), we suggest a minimum of $120/person for the 10-day Israel tour, $48/person for a 4-day extension, and $36/person for a 3-day extension. 2/3 goes to the guide and 1/3 to the driver. The offering will be collected by the tour hosts near the end of the tour and presented to the guide and driver on the final day of touring.
35. What about "tips"?
Your tour price includes tips for the following people: hotel dining room staff, bellmen/porters, housekeeping, guide, and driver. If you request special services from the staff, however, additional gratuities would be appropriate.
36. What will the weather be like?
There is no way to predict the weather, therefore, we recommend checking www.weather.com before your departure to get an idea of current temperatures and conditions for the cities you will be visiting. In general Spring and Fall temperatures for the countries we offer on our tours are somewhat similar to U.S.temperatures for the same time period. However, many of the areas we visit are in desert locations, and in those areas evenings and mornings can be quite cool, while daytime temperatures will generally be quite mild. Although the climates we visit are typically dry during the Spring, Summer, and Fall, we recommend packing a small umbrella.
37. What type of clothing should I pack?
Pack clothing that may be layered, as mornings and evenings may be cool, and days may be warm. A combination of some short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts or outfits are recommended. A hat and small umbrella will protect you from the sun and rain. Although we don't do a great deal of walking on any given day, comfortable walking shoes are a must! On days when "holy" sites such as churches will be visited, shorts, short skirts, and sleeveless tops will not be allowed. Because the itinerary is subject to change, on days when you wish to wear shorts and/or a sleeveless top, be sure to take slacks or a long-sleeved shirt/sweater with you on the bus in case we visit a "holy" site requiring this attire.
38. What about my prescription medications?
Take your prescriptions medications in the original bottle and be sure to pack them in your carry-on bag. If you have medications that need to be refrigerated, you must inform Noseworthy Travel Services at least 90 days prior to departure so appropriate arrangements can be made with the airlines and hotels.
39. I have limited mobility. What special facilities are available?
Due to the lack of handicapped accessible facilities in the countries we visit, we discourage travel by people who need wheelchairs or other ambulatory assistance. Travel for these people would be quite difficult and many sites would be totally inaccessible.
40. What about travel protection coverage?
If you have purchased the coverage shown under our "Program Conditions," medical and trip cancellation coverage, etc., is provided. It is important to remember, however, that all medical bills and other services must be paid for when the service is rendered. Upon your return to the U.S., a claim will then need to be filed directly with the insurance provider (not Noseworthy Travel Services or the Reimanns). Please review the protection plan that has been included in your pre-tour literature.
41. What if I lose something while on the tour?
We cannot assume responsibility for lost items. It is best to leave valuables, including items of sentimental value, at home. Always be sure to double-check your belongings before leaving the plane, bus, or hotel.
42. What is your advice regarding prepaid phone cards and cell phones?
If you decide to purchase prepaid phone cards either in the U.S. or overseas, you will need a card or access number for each country. Therefore, make sure any card you purchase is for international use. If you desire to use your cell phone while on tour, call your local provider to see if it works internationally.
43. Is there any free time during the tour?
Each day is typically quite full with sightseeing. However, if you would like to take a day off from touring, you can notify your guide (itinerary permitting).
44. What last-minute items should I remember to take?
Your passport, airline e-ticket itinerary (or ticket, if issued), nametag, sunglasses, rain gear, camera with extra memory sticks and batteries, and various toiletry items are a must. Be sure to take cash, credit cards, checks, another form of I.D. (such as a driver's license), and your medications. Also pack a travel alarm clock (or cell phone with alarm) because we can't always count on a prompt wake-up call in other countries. And since our tours are BIBLE-STUDY TOURS, don't forget your BIBLE, NOTEBOOK, and a PEN.
NOTE: Remember that liquid toiletries in your carry-on luggage are limited to 3 ounces each and all of these items must fit into a single quart-sized zip-lock bag. To expedite security screening, your toiletries zip-lock bag should be removed from your carry-on bag and placed separately on the screening belt.
45. Do you have any other travel tips for me?
Yes, here are a few things that will make your tour go more smoothly:
- Be on time for the bus and be prepared to rotate seats daily.
- Settle any personal hotel charges the night before checking out.
- Notify your tour leader or guide if you will not be on the bus for sightseeing.
- Remember that no smoking is allowed in the dining room or on the bus.
- Remember that you are guest in another country, and customs and food may often be different than what you experience at home.