Frequently Asked Questions
What are the accommodations like?
The hotels or lodgings that you will be staying in are not only comfortable but also provide a relaxing environment after a full day of sightseeing. Breakfast and dinner are included in the overall program price. All rooms are double occupancy unless you paid for the single room option in your registration.
How should I dress?
Casual dress is recommended, such as lightweight pants/shorts and T-shirts (shoulders must be covered at all times—men and women). A lightweight hat is a must, preferably one with a brim that covers the neck and ears. During the program, “modesty kits” are sometimes required. A “modesty kit” refers to pieces of clothing (for both men and women), which allow participants to make sure that their shoulders and knees are covered. For women: long pants, skirts, or capris and shirts that cover shoulders. For men: long pants and shirts that cover shoulders. “Slip-over” or “wrap-around” clothing is best for such occasions
Will I need an adapter?
The electric current in Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, and Italy is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 Hertz. The adapter needed for Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece is Type C. For those groups traveling to Italy, the adapter required is Type L. You can buy a two or three prong adapter.
How much extra cash will I need?
In addition to regular tourist-type purchases and daily lunch expenses ($10-20 per day), it is recommended that participants bring cash for incidentals of about $15-25 per day (coffee, water, soda, snacks, maps, taxis, tourist guide books, etc.). US dollars and credit cards are accepted in most situations. During the program, ATM machines exist but are rare. At times they are difficult to locate and are not readily available during the program. It is recommended that participants not depend on ATM machines for their financial needs.
How much water do I need to drink?
The heat in parts of this region is a very real concern. Even during the rainy season (mid-October to midApril), it can still become hot. Staying hydrated is extremely important. CHLS will always have a sufficient supply of water on the bus; however, it is not always available to you during onsite hiking and touring. Dehydration occurs from excessive loss of water from the body brought on by heat, humidity, a lack of wind, etc. It is critical to stay hydrated before, during, and after the daily tours. A steady intake of fluid is most beneficial; consuming a large amount of fluid in a short period of time does not prevent dehydration and is stressful on the body. Some participants bring powdered electrolyte replenishment mix, such as Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, etc. Also, CHLS recommends that you limit your caffeine intake during the program, which may be wise to begin a week or two before the program.
What does the itinerary include?
The daily schedule is pre-established but remains flexible. When circumstances permit, additional sites will be added to the program schedule. When necessary the daily itinerary will be adjusted to take advantage of changing circumstances. Sites may be visited in an order other than what was previously published. Participants should be prepared for flexibility regarding the daily activities. The most updated itinerary for your trip will be located on the individual program webpage (see holylandsstudies.org).
How do I deal with jet lag?
Upon arrival, the initial excitement may cause you to overlook the strain on your body from the long flight and time changes. It is highly recommended that you immediately begin to follow the sleeping patterns of the new time zone. If you arrive during the day, you should do your best to wait until evening before going to bed. If you arrive late at night, you should try your best to rise in the morning with everyone else. Also, you should make sure to hydrate yourself with water after the long flight. Hydration is an important part of overcoming jet lag more quickly.
Are the meals included?
Breakfast and dinner are included in the program cost (usually buffet-style at the hotel or lodgings). Lunches are not covered; however, options are provided each day based on the program schedule. As previously mentioned under ‘Extra Cash,’ please be sure to budget $15-25 per day for lunch.
What are the physical demands of these tours?
CHLS endeavors to maximize your time in the land providing you with a most unique and rewarding journey. At times, the pace is demanding and daily activities often go for a full 8-10 hours. Most CHLS travel locations are not flat, nor are they smooth under foot; therefore, CHLS strongly recommends that you begin preparing for the physical demands of the program long before the departure date. If you are physically prepared, the program will be far more enjoyable, educational, and meaningful.
Is it safe to travel to the lands of the Bible?
CHLS constantly monitors the safety and security issues of the Middle East. CHLS intends for you to enjoy a wonderful time of learning, fellowship, and spiritual development in a safe environment. Rest assured that CHLS will make every effort to ensure your safety. The personnel affiliated with CHLS are trained to assist and instruct you in matters of personal and group safety.
While in the land, CHLS monitors the situation each day and avoids any sites that may not be safe to visit on that particular day. Lodgings are located in safe, gated areas, with security staff. If there is ever a hint of potential danger, CHLS does not travel into those areas. CHLS does not take chances! Almost everyone who returns from their programs remarks, “I never once felt unsafe.” Like any form of travel, though, there can never be a 100% guarantee of safety. Nevertheless, CHLS has an excellent safety record.
What kind of teaching is provided?
CHLS uses the physical settings of the Bible as a doorway into the biblical world. During your tour or study program, you will discover the geographical, historical, cultural, and spiritual realities that shaped the biblical stories and events. As you explore the Bible in the context of its world and physical setting, you will be amazed at how its message speaks to you more clearly than ever before.
Can I film or record the teaching during my program?
Any lectures, commentary, or lessons given by our staff or other members of the team may be filmed or recorded unless requested otherwise. However, such videos or audio recordings must be for private use only and may not be sold or distributed in any manner. Not only is some information privileged, confidential, and restricted, but lectures and other materials are protected by copyright law.
What does a typical day look like?
Most days begin with breakfast followed by a departure between 7:30 and 8 a.m. The group will travel to the sites by bus, where participants will begin their hikes and visits of the sites. Most days will involve moderate hiking. Lunch usually falls between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. It is highly recommended that you carry snacks with you. Eating small snacks throughout the day is best for keeping energy stored up in the body. At the end of the day, we will arrive at our hotel or lodgings for dinner and needed sleep.
For this type of program to be successful and to maximize the limited time in the land, participants must all move as a group. A ten-minute delay here and there of one kind or another can actually require the group to eliminate a site planned for visitation. The schedule is full and requires everyone to be punctual at departure times and to follow their leader and/or guide with diligence and closeness. Participants should not wander off.
What is the weather like?
Please use the below website to check the weather forecast prior to your departure. http://internationalweather.net/ Regional conditions for all of our travel locations can vary considerably. It is important that you take this into account when considering how to prepare, and pack a variety of layered clothing to adjust to varied weather conditions.
Will I have access to Wi-Fi?
Most hotels and lodgings will have internet access either in the lobby or in the sleeping rooms. Fees may be incurred. Most of the buses that CHLS uses come equipped with Wi-Fi as well.