This has revolutionized my trips to Israel and is well worth every penny if you don’t want to find yourself stranded in a foreign land where English is not the first language. The potential disadvantage of not having a prearranged tour package to Israel is thwarted by this little device that makes communication at home so easy. Let’s face it everything and everyone communicate via cellphone and while renting a car to travel the land is doable a phone is a lot more affordable and will allow you to go beyond the Israeli/Palestinian borders to explore the Holy Land in its entirety.
Having a phone in Israel allows for you to arrange transportation when it is convenient for you, not on a pre-scheduled format. It also allows for you to get current up-to-date news which could require you to have to change your plans for the day. No different then it is in the U.S. if there is an accident on the Highway you don’t want to use up a vacation day sitting in traffic, or if there are major closes in the city then access to wifi will give you access to what’s new in Israel.
Gett Taxi is a service similar to Uber and Lyft and when you are in Israeli territory a very useful taxi service that allows you to arrange taxi service in advance. However, fortunately if you want to save a few more pennies then public transportation is usually available unless you like to travel late at night. Wifi in Jerusalem is usually available at least on Jaffa St. but other places it can be skippy and although the buses promote WiFi usage I have found that to be unreliable in several occasions and when you are on a bus where the majority of the people on it don’t speak English this is not a time where you want to be without cellular service.
Arranging last minute sleeping arrangements: Its also a nice feature when traveling by bus. Sometimes because of public transportation, and the distance from Southern to Northern Israel it is more convenient to rent an apartment that can be your home base in Bethlehem and carry an overnight bag to stay in another distant area in Israel or Palestine. This is especially true when traveling by bus for a number of reasons, one your travel can take a considerable chunk out of your day which means you may not see what you wanted to see the day you get there, secondly buses don’t travel to and fro all day unless you’re talking about within areas in Tel Aviv and the like. The more remote the less frequent the bus or train stops which means that you could miss the last bus or train out. With a phone this is not a problem within minutes you can find an airbnb, or a hotel and secure an overnight stay at a fraction of what you will pay as a walk-in. Shopping around always has its perks.
So you can imagine how excited we were when we found out about froride a service that you can purchase from the U.S. that allows you to reserve a phone and pick up directly from the airport. You just choose what you want online using their very simple program, provide them with your flight number and arrival time and they email you information as to where to go to meet them. There they will be with phone in hand and ready to go. If you feel confident that your phone can use an international simcard and function well then save yourself even more money by purchasing an international sim card. We personally have always used the cell phone, although you can try the card once you get there we have found that should they run out of phones when you arrive and the simcard doesn’t work then you are out of communication while in the land and this can make maneuvering the land very difficult. Last minute phone finding just doesn’t sound like a good idea, not to mention you run the risk of paying more money simply because well you need the supply which increases the demand and in the wash this scenario never works out in the best interest of the savvy traveler. Thus my advice is unless you are 100% sure your phone will work with a sim card that you get the phone. Another very helpful feature of the phone is apparently in Israel calling the U.S. is much cheaper then it is for us to call from here and as such calling the States or Canada comes with any phone you borrow. The battery on these phones are amazing I can literally go a day and a half without charging no matter how much I use it, and trust me I use it a lot traveling the way we do.
So if you are planning a trip in Israel I HIGHLY recommend investing in renting this phone, its simple, easy, and well worth every penny when traveling as a native. Click here to reserve your phone today!
FYI, they also offer other services as well so if you absolutely insist on renting a vehicle you may find their rates to be more competitive for your navigation device. Also, they offer mobile hotspots this also is a viable option for those who would prefer to use their own cellular phone and service plan. Having mobile date means you can communicate with Whats app, facebook, and other social media apps to stay connected. If your accommodations are through Airbnb this is also a useful way to stay connected with your host family. However, my personal preference is the phone simply because even if mobile data doesn’t work for some reason you still can have phone access. If your phone doesn’t work in some places or for some reason you can’t get service everywhere the phone although it too can fail you it is still usually much more reliable in the long run.
Unfortunately, Froride is currently only available in Israel so if you are traveling anywhere else and find yourself in need of reliable cellular service then you’ll have to do your research. If you should find some other services comparable in other countries please write a comment I will definitely check it out and would love to add it to my resources for others as well as for my own use.