Why visit with Travel2Palestine?
We started Travel2Palestine in 2011 to give people an opportunity to travel around Palestine in a way that would be extremely difficult to do as a lone traveller. It is also a chance to make new friends – Palestinian, Israeli and fellow travellers – and learn from expert organisers and local guides.
Travel2Palestine have taken more than 450 people to see the occupation and conflict for themselves. We can organise visits for Labour, Conservative,Liberal Democrat, trade unions or other political groups. We also organise regular visits that individuals can sign up for.
It is a political tour in several ways:
- Seeing and learning about the political situation in Palestine and Israel
- Meeting politicians
- Travelling with fellow politicians and people involved in politics so you can discuss together what the political response should be, developing and deepening your understanding throughout the visit
If you are into politics it will be the right visit for you.
It is essential to see both sides of this conflict to even begin to properly understand it. And if you visit the OPT you really need to do so with the Palestinian side to get to areas and people you would never see if you went with the Israeli side.Philip Hollobone MP
What will I see?
Over 450 people have visited with us.. And we have achieved over a 97% approval rating for our visits from past delegates.
Some of the things you will do on our Encounter Palestine visit include:
See the Wall and enter a checkpoint
Meet with Palestinian and Israeli politicians at national and regional level
Discuss the realities with Palestinians whose lives are blighted by the occupation
Learn about the impact of Israeli settlements, closures and ID system
Hear from experts such as the UN, Military Court Watch and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
How big are the groups?
Our visits are small, normally around 8-9 but never more than 16. They are run by experts, people with years of experience of working on this important issue.
How much will it cost?
The usual cost applies is £780, there is a cheaper rate of £690 for young people and a higher rate of £870 if you need a single room.
The cost will be the price of your plane journey which you book yourself (we usually fly Easy Jet to Tel Aviv) plus the costs of the visit. The usual cost applies of £750 (includes all hotels, lunches, and itinerary related transport inside Israel / Palestine). There is a cheaper rate of £690 for young people and a higher rate of £820 if you need a single room.
Included in the Cost:
- Accommodation for the duration of the programme
- Transportation for the official programme
- Transportation to and from the airport at Tel Aviv (at a specific time as advised – at other times it is not covered)
- Breakfast and lunch
- Palestinian and Israeli guides for programme
- Your airfare
- Dinner (from £15 to £90 for the week depending on choice – street food or restaurant food)
- Transportation in the evenings or off-programme (for example, taxis to restaurants)
- Postage costs (normally around £15)
- Health or travel insurance. All participants must ensure that they have health and travel insurance in advance
- Some visitors like to give donations to organisations that they meet. If you wish to do so, please bring personal funds
A very powerful experience. Completely exhausting, absolutely devastating, but incredible as a way of gaining knowledge and essential for understanding this part of the world today.Amy McDonnell
How much spending money should I take?
Most of your costs – such as hotel bed and breakfast and travel during the visit – are included. You will need some money for dinners. When we do go out to eat, you can choose between a falafel at a stall for £1 or a restaurant meal for around £10. Most people take about £100 worth of spending money but often find they don’t spend it all. If you want to buy presents there are many lovely gifts and it is worth taking extra.
Where do you stay?
We stay in Ramallah, with one night spent in Jerusalem. This allows you to experience night-life inside Palestine and helps to keep your costs lower, as hotels are generally cheaper in Ramallah than Jerusalem.
How do you travel?
We are driven in a private bus by Palestinians from East Jerusalem. The travel costs are covered for the visit. If you want to take taxis during the evening, that will be an additional (small) cost, but we often walk to restaurants in the evening too.
Can I drink alcohol?
In Ramallah and Jerusalem many restaurants serve wine and beer and a number of bars cater particularly for the NGO Europeans. Some shops sell alcohol too. You’ll not be surprised to learn there is not a ‘heavy drinking’ culture though.
What should I wear?
Dress code is pretty relaxed in Palestinian areas. Generally you will feel comfortable in shirts with a sleeve and you should avoid tops that show your chest area and upper arms (neither men nor women should wear vest tops). Knee length or below skirts and trousers are very suitable. Women may wish to take a shawl to cover their heads when visiting religious sites and some establishments provide garments for visitors.
In some orthodox Jewish areas of Jerusalem, such as Mea She’arim, women are required to wear long sleeved shirts and skirts. Men are also expected to dress modestly. We don’t usually travel to these areas in our visits, but you may wish to visit on your additional days.
You should take smart casual clothes for meeting with politicians. You won’t be expected to wear formal suits.
Is it safe?
Although no guarantee can be given, we have never experienced any major security problems during any of our delegations in the West Bank. Of course when you are in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, you are in an occupied territory and there are clearly many tensions between soldiers, settlers and locals. But generally speaking, there are low numbers of incidents affecting internationals. The group most at risk of harm are Palestinians. We travel with guides and drivers who are Palestinian or Israeli and know the area well and understand all the security issues. Please do follow their advice and the advice of our organisers all the time. The vast majority of our visitors have commented afterwards that they felt safe all the time.
We follow Foreign Office safety advice. You can read the latest advice from the Foreign Office here>
There are inherent dangers in attending demonstrations due to the tear gas, rubber bullets, sometimes live ammunition used by the Israeli Army. If you attend a demonstration you do so at your own risk. But we can offer advice on how to minimize that risk.
It is worth adding that street crime is very low.
What about healthcare?
Jabs, water, insurance
Visit your health professional before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Most people don’t. The advice generally is to make sure you are up-to-date with your routine immunisation:
Detailed health advice about Israel
Detailed health advice about Palestine
You should drink bottled or sterilised water when you are there. And we normally avoid uncooked food, such as salads or fruits, as it is not much fun if you get a stomach upset.
You must make sure you have taken out adequate travel insurance, including health insurance. Healthcare is very expensive in Israel, and it is not worth the risk to your future finances.
What if anything goes wrong?
We will do our best to ensure that you have an interesting and rewarding stay. We don’t expect anything to go wrong but if it does we will do our very best to help. But we cannot cover the costs if you incur unexpected problems, for example missing a flight or becoming ill. Everyone who comes on our visits must have organised their own travel insurance. Most insurance companies seem to cover the occupied Palestinian territory, but do double-check directly with the insurer before you buy.
Some insurance companies you could consider (although we are not in a position to recommend them)
- www.worldnomads.com – recommended by Lonely Planet
- www.letsgoinsure.co.uk – judging by Which? reports may offer better pricing for older travellers
Are your visits ethical?
We do follow the Palestinians’ code of conduct when travelling.
It is very important to ensure that – whatever the nature of your visit – you make sure it is ethical and considerate. Read the Palestinians’ code of conduct for travellers and the travel business>
The official website on tourism in Palestine>
I’m young and/or Arab/Asian/black – will I be able to visit?
There is no doubt that Israeli airport/border security do employ ethnic and age profiling techniques, and if you are young, black, Asian, Arab and/or Muslim you are more likely to be asked questions than someone older / of European heritage, though still not very likely. On the whole this will not prevent you visiting and will be an inconvenience rather than a barrier.
Most Muslim members of our delegations have entered without being questioned. A tiny number of people have been refused entry, but this remains rare.
We offer extensive advice on how to make your visit– including your entry into Israel and Palestine – as easy as possible.
Hmmm, will my social media be an issue?
One of the best things about travelling with us is we can give you lots of advice about this kind of issue. It is not as big a problem as you might imagine.
I’m an older person – is the visit suitable for me?
We’ve had delegates ranging from 18 years old to early 80s. There is no doubt that it is a very intense experience, physically and emotionally. Most people find the visit enormously rewarding …. and exhausting. We try our best to balance the wish to ensure you have a comprehensive overview with all of our needs for breaks and relief. Many of the visits are on foot and the terrain is not always flat. If you would like to discuss whether you will be able to cope, or whether you want a visit slightly tailored to you or to a group, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Travel2Palestine a charity?
We aren’t a charity but we are a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. We submit our accounts to Companies House.
We make no profit from the visits. in fact we rely on donations towards the cost of running of the organisation. We would welcome your support!
We cover the incurred costs of volunteers and organisers for the visits.
Sounds great! What now?
Contact with email@example.com your phone number and we will be able to sign you up for your visit!
You can also join our mailing list – sign up to our emails about visits, which will make sure you know about and can sign up for all of our latest tours.
Or you can go right ahead and fill in our booking form. We will then confirm the visit with you once we’ve received all your information, and have guaranteed the visit is going ahead.
Look forward to meeting you!
Any other questions? It is not possible to cover everything so if you want to know about something we haven’t mentioned, get in touch!