What to pack on your trip to Israel

What+to+pack+on+your+trip+to+Israel

By Naama Barak, Israel21c

Coming to Israel? That’s great!

If you are wondering what to pack when considering the varying temperatures, cultural differences and Middle Eastern style, we at ISRAEL21c have got you covered.

We’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of must-have items of clothing you should bring with you, neatly arranged by season.

You’re very welcome.

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Spring

Spring in Israel is tricky. By the shore it’s often already hot, but higher hilly regions are cooler, especially in the evenings. This is why you should pack the following items:

1. Short, summery tops and bottoms. Think tees, denim, linen and cotton for that all-important vacation feeling.

2. One or two pairs of jeans, long shirts and a sweater or two. Jerusalem, in particular, is still chilly, and you might make it here for one of the last cool days of the year.

3. Something festive. If you will be in Israel for the Passover holiday, bring a slightly dressy outfit for the Seder but bear in mind that this is still Israel, so there’s no reason to go black tie. A white T-shirt or shirt can do the trick.

4. Hat and sunglasses.

5. Umbrella. While it may strike you as strange to pack sunglasses, sandals and an umbrella all in one suitcase, trust us on this one. Surprise showers can hit Israel all through spring, even in May, and while you probably won’t be cold, you don’t want to get completely drenched.

6. Hiking sandals. Spring is a brilliant time of year to enjoy hiking before it gets monstrously hot. Closed hiking shoes might be a bit too warm, and also get soggy on water hikes.

What to pack on your trip to Israel
Sandals against the Dead Sea. Photo by photoshooter201 via Shutterstock.com

Summer

There’s no gentle way to put it – summer in Israel is an inferno. This means you need to pack your lightest clothes as well as a few choice accessories. For example:

1. Light-colored clothes. Apparently, these reflect sunlight and can help you feel slightly less hot. Also, there’s nothing like a white tee to show off your tan.

What to pack on your trip to Israel
A white tee will show off your tan. Photo by Foxy burrow via Shutterstock.com

2. Breathable fabrics. You do not want to be sweating in polyester-y clothing in Tel Aviv come August. Trust us, we know from experience. Opt for cotton, linen and other airy fabrics for a less suffocating experience.

3. Swimwear, flipflops and a beach bag. Summer in Israel means spending lots of time in swimming pools, beaches, natural springs and water parks.

What to pack on your trip to Israel
Photo by Protasov via Shutterstock.com

4. Sunscreen. Lots of it. And don’t forget to reapply after going swimming.

5. A light sweater . Soaring temperatures also mean soaring ACs, and there’s nothing worse than being freezing cold inside while a heatwave rages outside. Keep a sweater or cardigan in your bag, ready to pull on whenever traveling by public transportation or entering public buildings.

Fall

Fall in Israel doesn’t always quite happen – sometimes, the weather goes from blazing hot to all-out cold. Still, if we’re lucky enough, it’s a great respite from the never-ending summer months, and requires its own dress code:

1. Shawl or jacket. You’ve been sweating all day in the sun, but come evening it becomes pretty cold, especially in hilly areas like Jerusalem. Make sure to have a wrap with you when the sun sets.

What to pack on your trip to Israel
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

2. Long shirts and layering items. Sometimes, it’s not even hot here in fall during the day. Make sure to come prepared for all eventualities.

3. Jeans or other pants. But especially jeans, which can be worn anywhere – from weddings to parliament. We’re a casual nation, and we like our denim.

4. Light coat. A trench-like coat can serve you really well in Israel in the fall. It will have you covered in the event of surprise showers and will be just the thing to add warmth without bulk.

5. Closed-toe shoes. We hang on to our flipflops and sandals for as long as possible, but at some point there’s no escaping the fact that closed-shoe season has arrived. Pack walking shoes such as sneakers or flats for all your day trips, and don’t forget to pack some socks. Leave fancy footwear at home.

Winter

Yes, winter is a thing in our little corner of the Middle East. Especially once you leave the relatively warmer shoreline. Please believe us on this one and bring with you:

1. A warm coat, gloves, scarf and hat. Essential especially when touring Jerusalem and the North.

What to pack on your trip to Israel
Yes, you need a winter coat for Israeli touring, especially in Jerusalem. Photo by DFLC Prints via Shutterstock.com

2. Slippers. Except in hotels, Israeli floors are not carpeted and are usually stone cold. Socks alone just don’t cut it.

What to pack on your trip to Israel
Slippers, sandals and more, at Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Photo by Tupungato via Shutterstock.com

3. Warm indoor clothes. Because it is warm most of the year, Israeli homes and offices are simply not built for cold weather. So if you don’t want to freeze your tuches off, don’t plan on lounging around in shorts.

4. Pajamas. Speaking of which, if you’re staying with friends or relatives you’ll find that Israelis rarely heat their homes through the night, so pack your fleece or flannel sleepwear to stay toasty.

5. Umbrella. Yes, the umbrella again. Every year, we’re surprised anew at how much rain actually does fall in Israel. Sure, there isn’t enough of it in terms of global warming and the like, but you will definitely be needing a large umbrella on the few days each winter when the rain just doesn’t stop pouring.