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FAQ – Luxury Tours to Israel

We suggest breaking down the Israel travel landscape into four quadrants in order to plan your trip:  

  1. The Jerusalem Region (which includes the Dead Sea)
  2. The Tel Aviv Region
  3. The Southern Region (also called the Negev desert)
  4. The Northern Region (interchangeable with the Galilee and Golan Heights)
Work backwards from how much time you’d like to spend in the country. The Jerusalem and Tel Aviv regions are absolute must-sees, and require 5-6 days to experience well. If time allows, include the Northern Region for 2-3 days and then, if you can, add an additional 2-3 days for the Southern Region. We can also seamlessly weave in a day in Petra, or bookend your trip with a few days in Jordan, Egypt or Greece. (Check out our Countries Nearby page.) In short: a fabulous trip to Israel can be anywhere between 6-12 days, and we will custom-tailor a meaningful experience perfectly suited to your schedule.
The best way to experience Israel is by hiring a guide with a vehicle: it is most comfortable and most efficient. This allows you to maximize your valuable time and see the country in the best way for you. We will match you with one of our expert guides based on your interests. Our guides intimately know the many layers of this complex land - many of whom are professors in relevant fields. The country is relatively small, but travel within it does take some time: the distance from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is 1 hour, and from the center to the northernmost point or deep in the south takes 2.5 - 3.5 hours, respectively. For clients with limited time, we recommend helicopter rides; the flight is a thrill in and of itself, it maximizes time, and it provides a heavenly perspective of the country.

You may also rent a car, an option that affords more independence and is easier on the budget. Israel’s roads are good and clearly mapped, and drivers can navigate reliably with smartphones through Google Maps or the (Israeli invented!) Waze app. We will seamlessly curate and coordinate our guides and local experts to meet you at your choice of destinations.
As we love to tell clients, Israel has 322 days of sunshine. There is zero risk of rain between May and September. July and August are gorgeous, but can be quite hot - reaching up to 100 degrees. If you plan a summer trip, we will make sure to build in plenty of time in air conditioning or in refreshing water destinations nestled throughout the country. The winter months can be cool, especially in the mountain areas of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, with temperatures dropping to 40 degrees. The winter’s lush greenness makes the chill worth it, and sun-worshippers can always warm up in the tropical waters of the sunny Dead Sea or Eilat, both hot year-round.
Even though Israel is located in the Middle East, it functions as a modern Western country and is priced accordingly. The exchange rate hovers around 1 US Dollar = 4 Shekels.

Hotels: Depending on the season, hotel prices range between $250-450 per night. Experts: In Israel, tour guides study for years to become licensed through the Ministry of Tourism. Many guides hold Masters Degrees in relevant fields of study (History, Political Science and Archeology) and have perfect English. Given their high demand, especially during peak travel seasons, a guide can cost approximately $1000 per day. We leverage our relationships with Israel’s best guides to offer our clients the most dynamic experience at the most competitive rates. Food: Israel’s food prices are as diverse as its palate: Mouth-watering street food can be as low as $5, and five-star dining experiences can easily compete with any of the top New York restaurants, and are priced comparably.
Yes - Israel is safe. The real Israel is quite different than the tumultuous one portrayed on the news. We unequivocally feel that Israel is as secure as anywhere - but don’t just take our word for it. According to a recent Huffington Post article, a holistic assessment of Israel’s security situation should lead prudent travelers to conclude that now is a great time to visit Israel.

We suggest the following tips for a safe, seamless journey: Come informed:  Good sense dictates that travelers should always thoroughly research any possible destination before booking. As necessary, the US State Department issues safety advisories to citizens traveling abroad. For travelers to Israel, the State Department most often limits those warnings to travel in tense areas such as certain parts of the West Bank or Gaza. Check Travel.State.Gov for the most current information.

Take comfort in Israel’s world-class security: Security is tight in Israel: you will find checkpoints and other heightened security measures in most public places. Behind-the-scenes, Israel’s counter-terrorism intelligence and measures are among the best - if not the best - in the world. If your visit coincides with escalated tensions in the region, we will assign your group a personal security detail. Not only will they ensure your safety on the ground, but will also be notified in real time of up-to-the minute high-level military safety advisories, and adjust your itinerary as necessary.

Be smart:  Once you’re here, heed our guides’ security protocols, avoiding certain neighborhoods or sectors as the situation dictates.
Travel Composer is the boutique luxury scion of well-established SarEl Tours & Conferences, a leading travel company in Israel with over 60,000 visitors per year and 25 years of experience.

Travel Composer officially launched in its current form in the summer of 2016. However it has been in the making for years. Founder Hani Sand has been bringing clients to Israel on luxury itineraries since she began working at UJA- Federation of New York in their Missions department over a decade ago. Over the past 12 years, she has customized and coordinated thousands of luxury Israel itineraries for her beloved clients, who are as diverse as the land itself. (Read more about Hani here.)
We know and respect many tour operators in Israel and believe they serve their clients well. However, we are not operating tours. We are composing individual luxury journeys.

We believe that our impeccable taste, unmatched access, dedication to exceptional service, passion for pairing clients with their perfect adventures, and true love of Israel makes Travel Composer the best choice for outstanding, custom-tailored, once-in-a-lifetime luxury experiences.

For clients seeking something truly special, we are in a class all our own. You simply won’t find our level of service or exclusive access anywhere else.
Yes - and they’re fabulous. Each itinerary we craft - for a day or a week or a month - is customized and created especially for the individual client. With just a little notice we can arrange spectacular day trips to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Masada, the Dead Sea, and the northern coast of Israel. Any further out and we suggest building in an overnight hotel stay, as destinations in the far north or south will entail more than a 2.5 hour drive one-way. To see more in less time, we can also arrange a day of helicopter travel.
Picking the right guide is essential. Your guide will lead you on this journey. You must connect with him on both intellectual and personal levels.

During our initial phone call we will ask the right questions about your travel style and preferences. Based on years of experiences matching guides to travelers, we will select a guide who will not only bring out the best in Israel - but the best in you. We strive to pair clients with the same guide for the entire duration of their trip, as it creates a seamless flow and a meaningful bond. However, in some cases, especially during high seasons or for trips that are planned last-minute, a client will have more than one fabulous guide. Where we think it will enrich the depth of your experience, we will pop in local connoisseurs of regional food or wine, or to guide a specific experience, like a geopolitical expert to narrate a jeep ride in the Golan Heights overlooking ISIS strongholds in Syria, or a professor of archeology to illuminate the history of the Negev desert.
We have found that most clients prefer to arrange their own international flights to Israel. We are happy to advise which flights to Israel are best and what the price should be. We do book local flights to places such as Eilat, Jordan, Egypt and Greece.
Gratuity at restaurants in Israel is customary, and ranges from 15-20%. Hotel staff are happy to get $5-10 at check in and check out if they have been helpful. There is no need to tip taxi drivers unless you feel like your driver went above and beyond. When it comes to tours with a private guide, we suggest between $75-100 per day depending on the number of days.

Service in Israel has improved immensely over the past decade. However, Israel is not famous for its hospitality. Israelis tend to be very “real” and “honest” people - which are wonderful qualities, but unfortunately sometimes manifest as rude or gruff. If a service provider forgets to smile, please do not take this personally. Travel Composer is dedicated to providing the highest level of service for its clients and strives to only work with happy, “yes”-oriented service providers.
When you book with Travel Composer, every detail is taken care of. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Travel Composer often coordinates geopolitical tours, special excursions and meetings with experts so visitors can really dig in deep and form their own opinions. We often arrange geo-political experiences for our clients, and partner with the country's best tour guides to do so - they often are professors, historians, activisits, or ex-military. Depending on your interests, we can coordinate a day in the West Bank - to include Ramallah and Nablus, the Golan Heights overlooking Syrian movements, a close look at the Gaza border, a seamline tour, a taste of IDF training with Krav Maga, and on special request - tours of IDF bases. We encourage clients to form their own opinions based on facts and experiences, and we impose no political affiliation of our own.