Travel

We are here to make your travel as smooth as possible. Please explore the sections below for various details regarding your international flights, domestic travel, packing lists, and more.

International Flights

All participants are responsible for their own flight to Israel – we do not arrange group flights. You should schedule your flights in order to be present at the orientation and the closing dinner:

Plan to arrive in Israel by 8 am on Tuesday, October 31st.
Plan to depart Israel after 11 am on Tuesday, November 7th.

If you are extending your stay in Israel, you can book extra nights at the opening and closing hotels on the logistics form.

Note: Passports must be valid for 6 months after your return flight.

Transporting Your Bike

We try to make bringing your bike to Israel as simple as possible. Please note there is an $95 service fee to bring your own bike on the Israel Ride.

Flying with Bikes: In order to bring your bike on the airplane, it will need to be disassembled and stored in a special bike box you can buy or rent. Bicycle storage boxes range in style and price.

Most airlines will allow bikes on board as your second piece of luggage and will add an over-sized luggage charge. Be sure to ask about this before booking your ticket. Often if you have elite frequent flyer status the fee can be waived or lowered.

Through a EL AL sponsorship (CONFIRMED), you can have half of your bike fee waived by EL AL if departing from LAX, JFK, EWR, or BOS. See below for details.

Before the Ride:  The Israel Ride contracts with a storage company located 10 minutes from Ben Gurion airport. Before the Ride, we will send out the contact information for the company. You can call the storage facility when you land to meet you and pick up your bike from you. A crew member of the Israel Ride may be available to help you in the airport. Our crew will drive all of the bikes to our starting hotel in Jerusalem on Tuesday, when we will have mechanics on hand if you need assistance.

During the Ride: After our mechanics assist with reassembling your bike, the empty boxes will be safely stored until the end of the Ride. Each night, your bicycle will be stored in a secure area which will be locked or guarded all night. You do not need to bring a bike lock with you.

After the Ride: When you arrive at our final hotel your bike case will be waiting, ready for you to pack up your bike, with help from our mechanics. All the bicycles will be taken to Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday evening. Before you depart on your international flight, you can call our storage company who will meet you outside the terminal.

EL AL Bicycle Discount- CONFIRMED FOR 2017

If you are flying EL AL direct from Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK or EWR), or Boston (BOS) and bringing your bike, EL AL, the Israel Ride’s preferred carrier, has generously offered to waive the bike baggage fee to Israel for Israel Riders.

This option is only available to those who are originating their travel from Los Angeles, New York, or Boston (LAX, JFK, EWR, BOS). This only applies to direct flights, with no domestic connecting flights before, and no codeshares.

You will have to pay the fee on the return trip.el-al-logo

Please note: This is NOT a discount code! The fee will be applied in the system only after you do the following:

After booking your flight, please forward your flight confirmation (the email you receive from the airline after booking your flight) to jessie@israelride.org with the subject “EL AL Discount Information.”  The email must include all the information for your flight TO Israel (departure airport, flight numbers, date and time of flight, full names of passengers, record locator).

At the Airport

During peak landing times in the few days before the start of the ride, we will have a representative meeting you at the airport. Our representative can help you connect with our bike storage company and direct you to ground transportation.

If you arrive outside of this time, you will need to call the storage company after you clear customs and they will tell you where to meet them so you can deposit your bike with their staff.

Getting to Jerusalem

You are responsible for your own transportation to Jerusalem before the ride starts.  There are private taxis (about $50) and shared “sherut” vans (about $18) from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem. We notify Riders on the same flights so they can arrange group transportation once in Israel, if desired.

Orientation

The Israel Ride orientation is held on Tuesday, October 31st. You need to be at the hotel no later than noon, but your room may not be ready until 3 pm. Bike assembly, mechanic assistance, test rides, and optional tours all take place before orientation on Tuesday.

The Israel Ride includes travel back north from Eilat after the ride.

Buses to Jerusalem

If you are heading to Jerusalem, it is often quicker to take a bus. We will book you on a public bus, or if we have enough demand charter a bus for our riders.

Flights From Eilat to Tel Aviv

We can also book you on a domestic flight from Eilat to Tel Aviv. You can choose your preferred flight time on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday after the Ride. Options will be posted in the late spring and can be booked on our logistics form [coming soon].

There are flights almost every hour. Most fly to Sde Dov, a small airport in Tel Aviv itself, although a few each day fly direct to Ben Gurion International.

In Eilat, we will post lists of everyone’s international flights so you can share cabs to the airport (about 10 minutes), and if needed from Sde Dov to Ben Gurion (about 45 minutes).

Cell Phones and Internet

All participants must have a working cell phone in Israel, as we will be using text messaging to communicate when on the road. This is also in case of emergency and if you need to reach our staff at any point. The Israel Ride is once again partnering with Amigo for Israel cell phones. 

While there is internet access each overnight, some hotels charge for usage. The most cost effective way to have unlimited internet access on the Ride is by renting a USB internet key from Amigo for $6 per day. Many cell phone companies offer daily or monthly international plans as well, please contact your phone provider for more information. 

Insurance

Participants must carry personal health insurance to join the Israel Ride.

Participants are responsible for all personal medical costs incurred during the Israel Ride. For most US-based health insurance policies, in the case of a medical incident overseas you must cover the costs out of pocket and file a claim for reimbursement upon your return home. Your personal health insurance may not cover all of your medical expenses that are incurred overseas.

We strongly recommend that every participant carry supplemental insurance for travelers. This type of insurance has three parts:

  • Health/accident coverage: These policies pay for doctor and hospital bills, and sometimes dental care, and medications.
  • Medical evacuation: These can be expensive. In addition to the coverage, you will have help in making the arrangements.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption: This protects you financially if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip.

Your insurance broker will be able to advise you on the type of coverage that will work best for you.