Kinds of Activities for Teens Traveling to Israel

Travel to IsraelTaking a trip to Israel can have some unforeseen impacts when taken alone. Often, individual travelers are not aware of the security issues and inherent dangers of visiting certain areas of Israel. One of these areas is the Gaza strip.

When a teen travels with a group, it is especially important to keep safety and security in mind. For this reason, using a professional travel agent is highly recommended as they are likely to know the proper tour guides and are often more aware of what is going on in Israel and can make any necessary changes to schedules for the group.

Many group tours hit a lot of the cultural sites. From visiting the Holy Land to Tel Aviv’s vibrant night life. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are visited if they appeal to the visitors, and there are even options for mission trips for Jewish as well as Christian religious groups. Jewish heritage groups can also find their way around Israel, and there are plenty of different organizers to go to. Usually the groups are composed of teens in ninth through twelfth grade, and can be either co-ed, all girls, or all boys, depending upon the provider of the trip and the tourist’s preference.

There are three major kinds of activities for teen trips to Israel:

  • volunteering
  • tours
  • simulations of training in the Israeli army

Volunteering offers extend from basic humanitarian efforts such as soup kitchens to the more extensive efforts such as helping to rebuild a home. Many trips will include some sort of volunteer effort. This brings the trip a spirit of humility and charity.

The touring portion of the trips, which constitutes a large portion of the trip no matter who goes, can span many sites. One group may go to the Holy Land, while another goes to the Dead Sea. At times it depends on safety and what the security notices say about which areas to avoid and what itinerary the group has. Other sites that could be toured include any archeological sites and even Tel Aviv night clubs for the young adults in the group.

The third kind of activity is pretty straightforward. The simulation of training that those in the Israeli army receive is done with officers of the army. While many of these activities span a whole week for the full effect of the training, it is worth noting that it is not for everyone.

Some trips have an optional week touring Europe before they go to Israel. These trips vary from provider to provider, but usually take the group on a whirlwind trip in Europe before ending in Israel and beginning that leg of the trip.

Teens 18 to 26 often have their option called a Taglit-Birthright trip. These trips hit key landmarks around Israel. They all explore a portion of the heritage – whether it’s hi-tech or the arts that are so integrated into the culture in Israel. This particular tour is usually free for those who qualify. There are many providers of this trip, and each adds a twist on the tour.

A brief note on the different kind of tours available: some can be customized to the tourist’s wants, and some cannot. It’s a good idea to ask about who is going on the trip other than the tourist – being able to meet Israelis or being able to relate with those on the trip will either make or break the trip. The chance to make friends is particularly important. The tourist and another person may live in the same area and not even have known it before their trip to Israel.

Some providers offer a semester program. These are offered in spring or fall, depending on the provider. These are also offered in summer, but the ability to count it for credit is not available. This is often available for teens just out of high school or those in high school looking to have a different kind of semester. There are scholarships for this kind of trip to Israel as well.

Whether the tourist is looking to spend an entire summer in Israel or simply looking to get out into the world, there are plenty of options. From getting to spend up to a semester in Israel to getting to meet others from around the world, there’s plenty to see in Israel for all ages and the experience of a lifetime for teens.

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