Israel Travel Tips

Can I Use My American Phone in Israel?

 

Planning a vacation to Israel is no easy feat: you have to find the best price for plane tickets at a time you are able to fly, decent but not unreasonably expensive accommodations and book an itinerary full of activities to show your family the beauty and significance of Israel. There's so much to do that tourists often forget to think about their cell phones. They just assume they can use their US phone in Israel.

 

The problem with this strategy is that cell phone companies charge roaming fees which can generate a huge bill when you get home. Roaming charges for calls range from $1.99 per minute to $3.59, depending on your service provider. Texts will likely cost you $.50 each and data can cost as much as $20 per MB! These charges will quickly add up to a bill of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

 

After all the planning and budgeting for your trip, are you really willing to sabotaged by cell phone usage?

 

Israel Cell Phone Rental Is a Better Solution

 

Luckily, there's a much better method to enjoy the convenience of a cell phone in Israel. NES Mobile Israel cell phone rental plans for tourists start at $4.95/day for a phone or SIM card rental. Order a phone or SIM as part of your vacation planning and have it delivered to your home or your hotel in Israel. Enjoy guilt-free use of the phone for your entire vacation, knowing that their will be no surprises on your bill. We pride ourselves on having no hidden fees or small print, so there is no doubt what service you are getting and exactly how much it will cost you. 

For more information see our Israel Phone Tourist page

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The advantages of renting an Israel SIM card

Renting an Israeli SIM for your american phone

NES Mobile offers both Israel SIM card rental and phone rental. If your phone is locked you have no alternative but to rent an Israeli cell phone for use on your vacation. But if you have an unlocked phone (or can request that your provider temporarily unlock the phone), there are several advantages to using your regular phone with a rented SIM card.
 

  • You are already familiar with your phone. If you aren't tech-savvy, you may spend most of your vacation trying to figure out how to use your rented phone. This is especially true if you plan to rent a smartphone and take advantage of more than just calling and texting.
  • If you plan to stay in touch with friends and family at home by posting pictures and comments about your trip on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, having your own phone will simplify things. The apps are already installed and connected to your accounts so all you have to do is post.
  • If you are in Israel on business or have to stay in communication with your office while you are on vacation, it's much easier to be working with an email app already connected to your email account. You can also bring along documents you expect to need on hand while away.
  • You probably have other apps on your phone which you will want to use in Israel. For instance, if you use Waze for GPS you'll want to use it to get around the Holy Land (don't forget, it was invented in Israel!). Skype and Whatsapp are great for staying in touch and games can entertain you or your kids on a long bus ride. An e-reader can come in handy as well as a substitute for packing heavy books.

 

NES Mobile provides Israel SIM cards of all sizes (Nano, Micro & Regular) for all phone models. For $7.90 a day or $150 a month, you get unlimited voice, text and data. In addition to local Israel calls, you can also call any line in the US or Canada and landlines in the UK, Australia and the EU. A SIM card can be mailed to you before your trip, so you can start using it as soon as you reach Israel. You don't even have to return it when you are done; keep it for your next trip to Israel. For more information see our Israel Phone Tourist page. Back To Top


 

Internet at Israeli Hotels

Gone are the days when people disconnected from home and work while on vacation. Access to email, social networks and various apps that run on Wifi are the minimum requirements of most tourists. Others plans to work or go online for entertainment purposes. Whatever your internet needs, be sure to ask your hotel about internet access.

 

Many hotels offer free WiFi in the lobby. If you want to use the internet when the lobby is relatively empty you may get a good connection, but if many guests are trying to use the internet at once, the connection may be slow and unwieldy. If you plan to work with documents of a sensitive nature (such as private professional documents) the public lobby is not a good solution. Add to this the discomfort of having to go to the lobby every time you want to Google something.

 

Most hotels offer internet in the rooms for a fee. The fee can be as much as $25 a day for each connection. If your trip is more than a few days long, or you have more than one device with you, this can really add up.

 

While planning your travel plans and budget, don't forget to ask the hotel you choose to stay at about internet costs and speed. Consider that for both budgetary savings and convenience you may want to "bring your own internet." NES Mobile offers its customers a number of internet options. If your internet needs are limited, a combination voice, text and data plan may suffice. Or you can rent a MiFi (Mobile pocket WiFi) during your stay, which allows you to connect any device (up to 5 at once) to a fast 3G connection anywhere in Israel. A MiFi will cost you only $7.50 a day and when combined with a phone the total communications cost comes to $11.95 a day. That's significantly less expensive than what the hotels are offering! For more information regarding renting a mobile hotspot go to our Israel Mifi page. For a Combo Phone + Pocket Wifi deal see our Israel Tourist Plans.

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Virtual Tour Guides in Israel

 

Israel App for visitors to Israel
 

How can you best take advantage of your smartphone in Israel? Apps which help you find your way around tourist sites without the need for a tour guide are the latest trend in tourism.

 

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has developed a Virtual Tour Guide for the iPod and iPhone. The guide has information about tourist sites, accommodations and events and includes maps and directions. At specific sites it provides images and information about the history of the site.

 

Israel App provides audio, images and articles about hundreds of sites in Israel. It helps you plan your itinerary, with deals on accommodations and car rentals. It also includes a linked glossary with information about Israel's history and significance. Two unique features of the app are the fact that it lists lesser-known sites and that it can work even without a data connection. The app is available for both iPhone and Android.

 

Another Android app is the Mobile Reference guide, which includes illustrated guidebooks, a phrasebook and maps. GPS locates where you are and displays nearby sites and attractions.

 

Audio tours of the Old City of Jerusalem are available for the iPhone as well. These tours take you all over the Old City and can be downloaded in eight different languages.

 

For Tel Aviv, iTunes has an app called VisiTLV which provides information about tours, restaurants, art exhibits, hotels and bars.

 

Not sure how to go about using your American smartphone in Israel? Check out our other Israel travel tips: Can I Use My American Phone in Israel? and The advantages of renting an Israel SIM card

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Israel Travel Tips Topics

 

Can I Use My American Phone in Israel?

 

The advantages of renting an Israel SIM card

 

Internet at Israeli Hotels

 

Virtual Tour Guides in Israel