Here is an example of a ‘low-budget’ tour under the $600 range (actually this tour cost $455 per person without guide and $515 with the guide). In this tour, the group (of 20) changed one time their location and focused on the center and north of Israel and they lived in luxury and splendor. They used public transportation and apartments to see and visit the Holy Land. Read here about vacations in Israel on a limited budget and Touring Israel with public transportation.
The way how the tour was created was that they contacted me to have a Catholic tour. As usual, they tell me that they want to have a conventional tour and I offered it to them with some customizations. When I named the price ($1,350), they said that they didn’t have such budget. When asked, they said their budget was $1,000 p.p. So I created for them the low-budget tour and voila, $455 per person, and additionally $20 per person for my services in creating the tour.
A group of 20 Catholic people wanted such ‘low-budget’ tour. They wanted to visit ‘all’ the Christian sights in Israel, but not the Negev or Eilat.
That was an easy one.
They wanted me to arrange a pickup from the airport and place them on the train to Jerusalem and help them with the luggage.
I arranged for them three apartments in Jerusalem (near the city center) for $120 per night (with 3 bedrooms each and one apartment had 4 bedrooms). They paid each person $18 per night for that luxury. And it was luxury, which they didn’t expected at all! TV, Internet, computer, radio, air conditioning, pray sessions and even holy mass in their apartments. I arranged for their pre-made dinners (large dinner (barbecued chicken with vegetables, chips) $20 for 4 persons).
From their apartment in Jerusalem, they toured intensively all the Christian sights in and around Jerusalem and then it was time to expand the tour. They still kept their apartment, and took ‘day tours’ to Bethlehem, Masada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. The next day they said, they wanted to keep it civilized (“… not eating sand …”) and left for Tel Aviv and returned to their apartment in Jerusalem. There is not much to see in Tel Aviv, which might satisfy Catholic people. For all of those ‘day tours’, they bought food for their lunches (prepared in apartment) for picnics and hand food. They spend totally five days in the Jerusalem apartment and used mainly buses as transport (and they took my free day tours as well).
Oh, they also went to two (free) concerts in the evening in Jerusalem. They rented movies at home to watch.
Then it was time to move up to the north and visit Nazareth. The group dragged their luggage and moved by bus to Nazareth, where I arranged for them apartments, which were even cheaper ($80 per night). They paid per person $12.
From their new base, the spent their time in their apartment in Nazareth to visit the Holy Sights in the city of course, and visited the sights surrounding Nazareth like Cana, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Golan and more. They spent totally 3 days in their apartment in Nazareth.
I needed to arrange their trip to the airport for them and I did. With a mini-van they were brought to the airport on time for their flight back home. They spend totally $455 per person on this 8 day tour.
They didn’t, but the group considered to rent a guide for that money. It could cost them $515 per person for the total tour, including guide!
What I did for them to make this tour?
- Found for them the apartments for the prices above
- Detailed for them a schedule for the public transportation from their apartments to the sights and a good itinerary for each day
- Arranged the food and that they knew where to buy more food and what to buy
- Took care that someone was at the airport to welcome them and bring them to their apartments in Jerusalem and someone to bring them from Nazareth to the airport (they were really tired and appreciated the luxury of a large minivan to bring them and their luggage (which has grown extraordinary) to the airport