Experience Palestine 2023 — Essential Information

“A life-changing experience. What a privilege to be part of such a wonderful group of people. Thank you for making it all possible.”

Thank you for your interest in joining this trip. Please read all the information below carefully.
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1. The Booking Process

Please follow these steps to confirm your place:

1. Fully complete and submit the trip booking form:

  • each participant needs to complete a form,
  • when completing your form, you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood this Essential Information document.

2. Once you have submitted your booking form, you will receive an email from us confirming we have your information. This email will include two links which you will need to follow to complete the booking process:

  • the first link will take you to a payment page for you to pay the deposit for the trip,
  • the second link will take you to a Code of Conduct form, which every participant needs to accept.

If you do not receive this email soon after completing the trip booking form, please check your email spam/junk folder.

Once we have received the details from your form, your deposit payment, and your acceptance of the Code of Conduct, you will receive confirmation of your place on the trip.

Please note that we only have 30 spaces available so please complete your form immediately to avoid disappointment. We may contact you for further clarification in response to the information you give on your booking form.
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2. Essential Information

How much does the trip cost?

  • £1,750 per person

What is included in the price?

  • flights (on group flights booked by Amos Trust),
  • accommodation (based on sharing a twin or double room),
  • all meals. Note: you may have to pay for one or two lunches during free time in the itinerary,
  • group transport in Palestine/Israel,
  • local tour guides,
  • entrance fees and donations to the organisations we visit
  • tips for accommodation, guides and drivers.

What is not included in the price?

  • travel to/from the UK airport,
  • personal travel insurance (please see below),
  • hot drinks (apart from breakfast at the accommodation), all alcoholic and soft drinks,
  • bottled water.

Can I have a single room?

  • Yes, at an additional cost of £250. If you have selected this option on the trip booking form, the extra charge will be reflected on the invoice we send you for your payment balance.

What are the group flight details?
All times are local.

  • Depart: Tuesday 25th April 2023
    Virgin Atlantic VS457, which leaves London Heathrow at 09:15 and arrives in Tel Aviv at 16:15.

  • Return: Friday 5th May 2023
    Virgin Atlantic VS458D, which departs Tel Aviv at 17:55 and arrives London Heathrow at 21:25. 

Each passenger can bring one item of hold luggage weighing no more than 23kg plus one item of hand luggage.

Can I arrange my flights to arrive early, stay later or travel from/to a different airport?

Yes. If you choose to do this:

  • you need to confirm this on the booking form,

  • the cost of joining the trip without joining the group flights will be £1,300 per person,

  • we will confirm a date, time and location for you to meet the group,

  • we will put you in touch with our local partner, Holy Land Trust, who can help you make any arrangements outside of the group itinerary. You will be responsible for all your costs before joining and/or after leaving the group and for paying Holy Land Trust directly for their services.

Does Amos Trust provide travel insurance?
No, you will need to arrange your own travel insurance for this trip. We will ask you for the details of your policy before departure. However, we would recommend obtaining your policy as soon as possible after your place on the trip has been confirmed to make sure that you are covered for any non-refundable costs should you need to cancel your place.

Normally we advise that off-the-shelf packages offered by your bank or the Post Office are fine. However, check that the cover includes the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’. You will not be travelling outside of the main tourist destinations.
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3. Further information

When will I know the full daily itinerary for the trip?
We will send you a detailed daily itinerary for the trip as soon as possible — this should be no later than the end of January 2023. It will include full details of the accommodation we will be staying in.

What will the accommodation be like?

  • we will stay in comfortable tourist hotels and guest houses — most likely in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth,
  • all rooms are en-suite, and the accommodation provides towels,
  • there may be an opportunity to swim, so please bring your swimwear.

And the food?

  • is plentiful and delicious,
  • vegetarians are well catered for,
  • breakfast each morning will be at the hotels,
  • lunch will be fitted into the daily itinerary,
  • some evening meals will be at the hotels, and some will be out,
  • please tell us about any specific dietary needs on the booking form.

Can I drink the water?

  • though the water in the West Bank and Israel is generally safe, we would recommend that you stick to bottled water to avoid ‘traveller’s tummy’,

  • it would be wise to bring some anti-bacterial hand wash for use before and after meals.

What will the weather be like?

  • late April and early May in Palestine are generally dry, warm and sunny. It can get hot. The evenings can be cool so please also bring a jumper or sweatshirt,

  • make sure you bring a hat, plenty of high-factor sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

  • we will ensure that we build sufficient toilet breaks into the itinerary to allow everyone to drink enough to keep fully hydrated.

What currency do I need to bring? And how much?

  • the currency used in the West Bank is the Israeli Shekel; although places also accept US dollars,

  • please purchase your currency before the trip as time is limited once the trip starts,

  • you will need enough money to cover one or two lunches (approx. £15 per lunch) during the trip, and your own beverages, alcohol, and bottled water, plus any souvenirs you wish to purchase,

  • there are cash machines available but be aware of conversion charges,

  • you will also be able to use debit/credit cards in some shops, particularly if purchasing larger souvenirs. For example, you will visit several shops — glass, olive wood/oil, herbs and spice shops. Your visit can be an important source of income, but there will never be any pressure from us or our guides to purchase anything. 

Will there be Wi-Fi?

  • Wi-Fi will probably be available in the accommodation.

Mobile phone usage

  • please check the costs of calls, texts and data usage in Israel with your mobile phone provider before the trip,

  • coverage from Israeli providers is available across almost all of the West Bank,

  • ensure you know how to avoid unwanted roaming charges by adjusting your phone settings.

Will it be safe?

  • The safety and well-being of our groups are always Amos Trust’s number one priority.

  • Amos has been taking groups to the Holy Land for more than 20 years, and we have deep friendships and high levels of trust with our local guides and partners.

  • Our partner, Holy Land Trust, will host the trip.

  • The itinerary will be flexible to account for unexpected events or concerns arising during our visit.

  • We will be welcomed with incredible hospitality, which is both a beautiful cultural norm and a response to how we choose to locate and shape our visits.

How fit do I need to be?

  • Palestine is a hilly place, and some days will involve a fair amount of walking,

  • some of the projects, partners and places we visit are accessed by walking over stony or uneven tracks,

  • we suggest you call us on 020 7588 2638 if you have concerns about your physical fitness to join the trip. However, many people with minor to moderate mobility problems have been able to participate fully in the itinerary on previous trips.

Are there any cultural norms or expectations I should be aware of?

  • we will be staying in a reasonably conservative Arab society, so you should generally dress modestly,

  • women should avoid strappy or low-cut tops and short skirts/shorts; men should stick to long trousers or shorts that come down well past the knees,

  • we will be visiting local families and groups as well as churches, mosques and synagogues,

  • some religious places will insist on shoulders and knees being covered
  • if it is required for heads to be covered, suitable coverings are usually offered by the places of worship concerned,

  • alcohol is available in the hotels in Bethlehem and Nazareth and many restaurants and cafes,

  • whilst it is fine to drink in these environments, it is not acceptable to drink outside of the places serving alcohol or to excess.

Shall I bring gifts?

  • Please do not bring gifts. If we are having meals with families as part of the itinerary, we will suggest some items you could bring, i.e. shortbread, colouring pencils, herbs/spices etc. 

  • our hosts Holy Land Trust ask that you do not bring anything other than these items as they do not want people to start to assume that visitors will always come with presents.

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4. Coronavirus and Travel Rules

We will take expert advice and initiate and follow sensible infection control processes during the trip. If international travel rules or guidance changes, we will notify participants immediately to inform them of any change we have had to make to the planned trip.

Do I need to have had Covid vaccinations?
Yes. Before travelling, you must confirm that you have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine. You will also need to comply with the mandated Covid testing requirements that are in force at the time of this trip. Please get in touch with us on 020 7588 2638 if you would like to discuss this further.

Do I need any other inoculations?
No.

Do I need a visa?
We will keep up to date with the visa and entry requirements between the UK and Israel and advise you in good time if you need to make any applications before the departure date.

If you do not have a UK passport, you will need to check the visa and entry arrangements between passport holders of your nationality and Israel. UK passports must have at least six months of validity to enter Israel.
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5. Climate Justice and flights

  • We are keenly aware of the dilemma of campaigning for climate justice whilst flying groups of supporters around the world to visit our partners.

  • Our Environmental Impact Statement outlines our considered response to this dilemma. It confirms our commitment to donate 5% of the total amount that Amos Trust spends on flights each year to our climate justice work in Nicaragua. This meets the bulk of our offsetting costs over the course of a year.

  • myclimate.org calculates the carbon cost of return flights from London Luton for this trip to be 1.4t of CO2 per person for the approx. 7,200km round trip. The offset cost for this is approximately £30.

  • The confirmation email you receive when you have submitted your booking form will contain a link to a payment page for you to donate towards the carbon offsetting costs of your flights. A £15 donation would match Amos Trust’s 5%donation, and a £30 donation would fully offset the carbon for your flights. 

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6. Payments

The due dates for making payments for the trip are as follows:

  • Deposit:
    A deposit of £600 per-person payment is due on receipt of an email confirming your place (your confirmation will include a link to make this payment).

  • Balance:
    We will send you an invoice for the balance due, including a single supplement if you have selected that option. 
    All balances must be paid by 28th February 2023.

Your invoice will include a link to make online payments using a credit or debit card or your PayPal account if you have one. The invoice will also have our bank details if you prefer to make a bank payment directly from your account. 

You can also pay by cheque (payable to ‘Amos Trust’) and posted to: Amos Trust, St Clement’s, 1 St Clement’s Court, London EC4N 7HB

You can also phone the office on 0207 5882638 during working hours to make a payment over the phone with a credit or debit card.
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7. Consent for photography/filming

Amos Trust is a creative organisation, and we love telling stories. One of the ways we do this is through photography and film. There may be a designated Amos photographer and/or filmmaker on your trip to help us ‘tell the story’ so that we can share it with other Amos supporters and new audiences.

We do this across Amos’ print and digital media, including print publications, websites, e-marketing, posters, banners, advertising, film, and social media channels.

By confirming that you have read and understood the Essential Information for this trip:

  • you consent to Amos Trust using photographs and/or video recordings, including images of you, to promote our work,

  • you understand that images on websites can be viewed worldwide and not just in the United Kingdom and that some overseas countries may not provide the same level of protection to the rights of individuals as EU/UK legislation provides,

  • you understand that some images or recordings may be kept permanently once they are published and stored as an archive of Amos Trust.

Your rights
If you feel uncomfortable being photographed or filmed while on your trip, please inform the photographer and/or filmmaker, and they will happily stop photographing/filming you. If you prefer, ask your trip leader to ask the photographer and/or filmmaker on your behalf.

You can ask Amos Trust to stop using any images you appear in at any time, in which case they will not be used in future publications but may continue appearing in publications already in circulation.
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8. Cancellation

Cancellation by Amos Trust
If Amos Trust cancels the trip, we will issue a full refund of all monies paid by team members.

Cancellation by the participant
If you need to cancel your trip place trip after your place has been confirmed, please let us know as soon as possible. Amos Trust will refund all money you have paid, less any costs incurred that cannot be reclaimed, for which we will give you a breakdown.

CONTACT US

Amos Trust
St Clement’s
1 St Clement’s Court
London
EC4N 7HB
United Kingdom

Telephone:
+44 (0) 20 7588 2638
Email:
office@amostrust.org
Registered Charity No.
1164234

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