web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



How To Travel Like A Family And Stay A Family (Part III)

Baim-051013

As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.

We met up with a lovely family to hand off a suitcase we had shlepped for them, (that I personally went through to ensure there wasn’t any weapons), and they gave us a warm Pizza Hut pie in return. But as we soon learned, kashrut in Israel is much more complicated than it is in America. Before leaving on your trip, consult with your rabbi as to which hechsharim you can feel comfortable eating.

After our pizza, we went to find a taxi. My brother, who has lived in Israel for the past twenty years, gave us a number to call, promising the ride would cost less then 180 shekel. The driver quoted us a price of 220 shekel. We assumed this was because of the insane amount of luggage we were carrying, but soon realized this discrepancy in price would be a reccurring theme. Prices would fluctuate by 20-40 shekel, and as we were not familiar with the routes, we were an easy target. We did try using the meter, but we found that that made the fare even more expensive. If possible, ask a local how much a taxi ride to a specific destination should cost, and then negotiate with the taxi driver. If he’s not agreeable, find another driver. Often enough, when a driver sees you walking away, he can find a way to bring the fare down.

Before we departed, we discussed renting a car, as rentals in Israel are pretty cheap. We actually found a deal for a $100 a week. Gas, on the other hand, is very expensive. At the time it was almost $8 a gallon. Because we were mostly based in central Jerusalem, we figured everywhere we wanted to go would be easily accessible by buses or the light rail. In the end, we spent a lot of time transferring from buses to trains and taking scenic tours of Jerusalem. Although there was a tremendous amount of time wasted, and not a small amount of aggravation shlepping the carriages up and down the steps and around other passengers, my children loved useing public transportation, something we don’t usually do at home. Plus, with the long circuitous routes, we got to see many neighborhoods we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and had many friendly conversations with our fellow commuters.

There were times when we wanted to save time and take a taxi, and some taxi drivers would refuse to take us, as by law they can only take four passengers at a time. Public transportation in Israel is quite cheap. In Jerusalem, you can buy a Rav Kav, which allows you to transfer from bus to train to bus in either direction within 90 minutes for free. Children under five ride free. However, despite all the money saved, I think that next time, we will splurge and rent a car.

In terms of strollers, I recommend bringing as many as possible, especially if you don’t plan on renting a car. Remember, you can bring as many strollers as children on the flight. Our oldest is five, and technically, she should be able to walk everywhere. But Jerusalem is hilly, and she was dealing with jet lag, and it was in everyone’s best interest to try to minimize any explosive situations. The one disadvantage with strollers is that children tend to fall asleep in them, especially jet-lagged ones. An afternoon nap means they won’t go to sleep until quite late, leaving Mommy and Daddy very exhausted. Our children tended not go to sleep before midnight and couldn’t be woken from their slumber before 12.

We had planned a large itinerary, but a lot of things didn’t pan out because of the weather and our inability to get out of the house on time. Thankfully, my sister-in-law was full of helpful ideas and we were able to make substitutions. Although this may seem like common sense, make sure the activities are child friendly. During a day of freezing rain and 35 degree weather, we choose to go to the Israel Museum, not realizing that a lot of the museum is outside. Then, when my toddler had a tantrum and started running through an open exhibit that had these huge thousand-year-old pottery bowls exposed, just waiting for someone to kick them over in a fit of rage, why, I think my heart just stopped. I picked him up and high-tailed it out of there, and that was the end of our visit.

About the Author: Pnina Baim’s newest novel, “A Life Worth Living”, about finding happiness and meaning in the land of Israel, is now available at all online retailers. Contact Pnina at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How To Travel Like A Family And Stay A Family (Part III)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority students in Gaza rallying for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the enclave in 2011. (archive)
Wow! Turkey’s Erdogan to Meet Jewish, Armenian Leaders in NY!
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

More Articles from Pnina Baim
Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Baim-081514

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

So, my dear sisters in the trenches, remember. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And who is tougher than the Jewish women of today?

People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell? Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/daily-living/how-to-travel-like-a-family-and-stay-a-family-part-iii/2013/05/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: