Travel Guide

In Search of the Mysterious 458 Bus Etiquette For Israeli Travel

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The busing system in Jerusalem is quite intricate. Many buses doing the same thing and going the same places. However for those interested in traveling to other further away areas of Israel you will find few buses and their locations further away from main bus station. Any English speaking person will be able to maneuver at most stops as they are in Hebrew and English. The problem comes in with special buses in that there arrival and departure points vary drastically. They also travel less frequently so you can easily tie your whole day up waiting as we did for our bus to Dimona. Now of course only God can make lemonade out of lemons and he did so. Special note English speakers if you see the word “alighten” next to bus number on bus stop this is for drop off not pickup. This mistake cost us valuable time in our day. Having started at 7:30am in Bethlehem from taxi to bus to train with 5 pieces of heavy luggage to the central bus station waiting till 2:16pm for a bus stop that neither information or any other person could correctly guide us to proved to be a futile effort. After missing the 458 bus we opted to go through Beersheva rather then wait on the 8pm 458 bus to appear in Jerusalem and lose an entire day. But again Yah orchestrated all, so after getting to Beersheva we met a couple who are attending the same event at the bus stop and they being English speakers have guided us as well. By the way after two hours of ministering to a young man from Canada even our six hour delay produced fruit for the kingdom of Yah and taught us something else, when you are delayed sometimes it’s on purpose.
Getting even closer to finishing the informentary on traveling as a native in Israel.  This will be a must have guide to getting the most out of your trip.  The more you go the more you learn.  We have made three trips now in less then 365 days and the knowledge and tips we acquired will be well worth purchasing this informentary and its accompanying workbook.

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Gett Taxi – Israel

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gettaxiA must have app to have in areas that the train doesn’t go in after 7pm.  Straight forward, pay before they arrive and you can schedule in advance.  A safe, and excellent way to meet people indigenous to the area.  The rate is much more reasonable then haggling with regular taxi drivers.  I want to be charged a fair price for fair work and that’s what I got.  Depending on where you are traveling Get Taxi also provides you the option of paying a flat fee or “by the meter”.  In remote areas usually the only option available is “by the meter”.  Personally, this is a wild card for me because if you aren’t sure what the distance is from the location you are picked up at to the location you are going to you cannot estimate whether or not you are getting a good rate or not.  Sources online state that “by the meter” is best because Israel has a set rate that they can charge so this is allegedly regulated.  However, depending on the distance you could come out better using the flat fee.  Besides which if you’re like me I like knowing before I go what I am going to pay.  It gives me peace of mind and I can already have the money available in hand before we exit.  Don’t like surprises.  Also, I do like the fact that the money is taken out automatically with Gett taxi from your account through the third party vendor.  This means you can just get out, get your things and leave.

Also in Israel it is not customary to tip, so you pay in advance and go, and if you would like to pay a tip Gett taxi offers you that option as well. That’s what I call a sweet ride.

Beware, however the cons to this is if you are in an area with too few taxi services which we found to be the case in Nazareth. We never got a taxi even though we booked two hours in advance.  In Yeruham (pronounced Yerocham) service appeared to be available coming from larger areas only like Dimona, but the problem is Yeruham is virtually a new community area that doesn’t have street addresses properly posted so you run the risk of not being found. This is only a problem if you are carrying lots of luggage and traveling to a bus stop roughly a quarter of a mile away. Moral of that story if staying in Yeruham I suggest car renting or travel lite. Bus system however in Yeruham is regular, convenient, and is ALWAYS cheaper no matter what city you are in in Israel or Palestine. Also beware Gett taxi does have a lot of hidden fees to consider. If purchasing in advance there is an additional cost, 4.80 shekel, if you are late to your pick up additional cost, and if you have lots of luggage requiring assistance with additional cost. Biggest issue these additional fees other than the advance set up is not made known to you upfront. However when traveling in Israel/Palestine this is a convenient option, while again not most inexpensive, but you have lesser margin of error then you do if you travel public transit. As traveling outside of Jerusalem area by bus insures greater possibility your bus driver won’t speak English. This could mean you missing your stop if you’re not able to find signs in English, which is more frequent the case if traveling beyond the city.  These factors, plus the ability to pay in advance via credit card and know in advance the main fee by Gett taxi made this a great option where available.

Overall, where available Get taxi is an excellent tool to use even with the hidden fees.  It’s customized features include deciding what type of taxi service you use along with the ability to take a private taxi or a shared taxi also called in Israel a Sherut.  Shared taxi’s with get taxi will be based on availability and clearly will be a more affordable option where available. Due to the complex nature of renting a vehicle this may be the next best option where public transportation is not available.


 

Paris App Review

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parismapI know it’s been a minute, life happening stops a sole proprietorship in its tracks.  But don’t fret I have not neglected my travel business despite the craziness.

Our layover in Paris consisted of wanting to see one place and we had 6 hours only to make it happen.  Did as much planning as I could with all the possible apps I could and none were helpful.

Be sure when choosing apps going overseas that they are functional offline.  The main thing I needed was transit instructions on how to use public transportation to get around.  Travel or tourist by taxi or tour guide is ridiculously high.  Over $60 round trip for two travel from CDG airport to Tour Eiffel by transit would have cost me over $400 by private tour and by taxi at least double.  Though public transportation and traffic ate up the bulk of our time in Paris the ultimate goal was met, we made it to the tower.  I must admit it wasn’t what I expected, but it was amazing seeing how huge the city is.  One could easily walk in circles and we were almost one of them.

Reliable WiFi would be needed or an international phone to function overseas.  Unlike Jerusalem WiFi on the streets was not as easy to come by and GPS service unavailable without it.  The best thing you can use in the 21st century to maneuver the Parisienne streets is a good ole fashion street map.  Paris map allowed you to download maps, but make sure you know where it’s saved to and you have ample space on micro sd card to save it.  Sorry Apple users without extended space this could eat you up and if your phone is your camera space is gold for high quality videos and photos.

So with limited time to figure out how to maneuver offline and with one battery for my phone it was a race between finding the Eiffel and having enough juice on my phone which was also my camera to take pictures once there.  At the end of the day the app gets an “A” rating for organizing useful information for tourist, especially while you are in your home area, but a “F” for use when you need it once there.  It’s functionality becomes useless once you’re there, without WiFi, and let’s face it, being able to walk the streets of Paris from your home area with your fingers is not quite as useful as being able to maneuver around Paris once you’re there.

This app allows you to get general information when in your home area concerning attractions, currency converter, points of interest with GPS coordinates, maps, and history of the city.  Mostly information found online such as Wikipedia, centrally in one place.  An app with much promise, but not quite there yet.

Okay so, if you have been on my website you know that I am working on a documentary sharing how we traveled in Jerusalem as a native and saved a bundle.  The purpose of this documentary is to empower, encourage, and inform those interested in traveling abroad on your own terms with my personal reviews, tips, and resources to help you overcome the international travel phobias that may hinder you from taking the plunge.  If you would like to be kept abreast of when the documentary is available or to stay tuned for more useful reviews encourage you to follow the Critique and begin your adventure today.

Looking to make extra money for your trip but you don’t have much time to work another job?  Click here to find out how you can save money on your regular purchases and begin saving money for your next adventure.

Traveling Internationally As A Native

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I am back from my Jerusalem trip and my quest to travel as much as I could as a native is complete.  Considering all the potential pitfalls one can have not knowing the language of the lands you visit, as an English speaking person it is very possible with adequate research and limited navigation skills to travel in foreign lands, at least Paris and Jerusalem with limited skills, and take advantage of the travel benefits of public transportation.  

But the next question is which is better?  In Israel, public transportation was easily accessible, but in Palestine the bordering state it was not as easy to find public transportation, nor the English language as well known.  The language barrier indeed is the biggest problem one can have to international travelling.

However, for those of you adventurous enough to attempt world travel the native way I am working on a documentary of my trip.  The documentary is called, “Under The Jerusalem Sun” This documentary will aid you in your travel goals, from safe plane travel to useful apps, travel, hotel and food recommendations.  Enjoy photos taken from the trip, non professional, just with a smartphone, and video narration of Holy Sites as well.  Reviews of places stayed, foods eaten, and transportation taken.  What areas accepted American cash, and when local cash is essential to have.  Which is best when doing currency conversions, exchange in your country or abroad.  All the things I had to research and what was more cost effective for us. 

Find out why even on the nicest of planes you need to disinfect and AVOID complementary blankets, use your own jacket to stay warm.  My plan is to provide you with enough information to make travel for any English speaking individual possible, affordable and safe.

The goal of this documentary is to help make travelling to exotic places possible even on a modest household budget.  If you are looking for an affordable way to travel, look no further for a ten percent finders fee I can help you plan the trip of your dreams from plane fares to accommodations, saving you thousands of dollars.  In one hour I can save you days of research and in NO TIME you will be looking forward to a trip of a lifetime.