Israel: what to prepare before you fly out

Going to live in a new country can be a daunting feat, especially when you are not familiar with the country’s customs, language, and way of life. And because of that, there will be things that you won’t prepare to bring with you because you won’t even realize that you would need them.

If you’re planning on moving to Israel or going there on vacation, here is my list of things that I think you should prepare to bring with you. Some might be quite obvious, but others may not be.

*Please note that these are the things I’ve realized are necessary based on my living in Haifa, Israel. There are other parts of Israel that may be different, but I am unable to speak for those parts as I have not yet experienced them or lived there.

1. Adapter/Converter

Not much more that I can say other than: if you have electronics that have a different voltage and have a different outlet, make sure to grab an adapter and converter before coming to Israel!

These can be found in Israel if you do not have enough room to bring them with you or just wish that you want to buy them here. It just makes life a bit easier that first week when you have an adapter or converter that you can use right away.

2. Medicine

Yes, there is medicine in Israel.

Yes, there are doctors.

BUT you may already know that there is a certain kind of medicine that works best for you from back home and there is a big chance that Israel will not have it. For example, I have yet to see Tylenol Night and Day pills or Neocitran in Israel even though they are very common in Canada.

If you have a specific medicine that is prescribed from your doctor back home, I would bring 3-5 months worth of it with you (ideally 5 months if possible). That way, you will have enough time to settle in and find a doctor or pharmacy that can give you a similar prescription before your medicine runs out. Bring the information about your prescription with you so that your new doctor may prescribe you the same medicine (even if their brand names are different, they will still have the same contents).

3. Travel documents

Israel’s border control is pretty strict, and for valid reasons. But although they are strict, they seem to be quite fair in the way they treat others.

In order for your flight and travels to and from Israel to be much smoother, always have with you all necessary travel documentations (such as your itinerary, boarding passes, etc). That way, when border control wants to know the reason for you entering or exiting the country, you can show them.

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4. Water Bottle

Before arriving in Israel, buy a water bottle that keeps water cold for 24 hours (e.g., a swell bottle).

Mainly for two reasons.

  1. You want to remain hydrated at all times. Dehydration is very common, especially in the hot summer months, so you don’t want to get ill.
  2. Because Israeli heat makes you want to peel your skin off is intense, having a water bottle that keeps your water cold for 24 hours can be a life saver. Believe me, when it’s 30+ degrees Celsius outside with 90% humidity, you’d rather have cold water to drink than hot water.

5. Bring notebooks

I love jotting down notes, writing stories, and coming up with blog ideas in journals. So, one of the first things that I noticed when coming to Israel was that their notebooks opened from right to left – this being the case because that is the direction in which Hebrew is written. English, on the other hand, is written from left to right – and so, our notebooks open from left to right. Although not a big deal, I still prefer English formatted notebooks, and so I stock up at home whenever I travel.

Already in Israel and don’t know where to get a notebook? You can order notebooks off of Book Depository (free shipping). As well, IKEA presents a small selection of notebooks from IKEA that open from left to right.

6. Rainboots are a must during winter

The rain here gets intense.

One second you’ll think there are no clouds in the sky and the next there’s thunder, lightning, and so much rain you might as well take out your shampoo and wash your hair outside.

When it comes to their drainage systems, some places don’t have well-developed ones, so the rain causes the roads to be flooded with water. And boy oh boy, believe me when I say that your shoes will become soaked through-and-through.

Walking through the water since the weather in Israel is crazy. Rain causes the roads to become rivers.

7. External battery/charger

I would highly recommend an external battery or charger.

In cases of emergency, in cases of power outages, or in cases where you just find yourself outside for a long time – you may find that you will have to recharge your phone to remain connected.

Having an external battery or charger helps solve that problem.

For those of you living in a foreign country, was there something that you realized you should have brought with you after living there for a while?