More About Israel In Depth

On this tour we will see basically all Biblical related sites that are accessible. After creating and successfully leading this tour 14 times from 2005-2017, once again this will be led by me, John Hodges (Van), an experienced world traveler who has also visited Israel 21 times in the last 20 years, plus much of the Middle East. I am a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, and have been a student and teacher of the Bible, Israel, Biblical history, and Bible prophecy for many years. This is an excellent tour for laypersons, retirees, students (high school, college, seminary), and pastors. All age groups have come on his tours from preteenagers to adults well into their 80's. Besides America, I have had many participants come from Australia, Canada, Great Britian, New Zealand and Singapore.

Most tours are "cookie cutter" put together by local travel agencies located over there. In other words, no matter who you go with, they are much the same. I have designed my own tour through my numerous travels there and as a tour member on many of the past cookie cutter tours. We still see the standard sites plus much more. I do a lot of teaching and commentary that follows the commentary of our very knowledgeable local guide. Each day we see more sites than other tours, plus the amount of days are more. Then after returning home from the tour each member gets a detailed, chronological written record of all the places visited, along with the applicable Scripture passages, and many of the commentaries done by the local guide and me. I also give my members very complete pretrip information, my own travel packing list I created, and my own historical handouts.

I feel May-mid June is the best time of year to visit Israel. The rainy season ends in April and the pretty Spring flowers continue to bloom until mid-June. We also have the benefit of full daylight hours for touring and good picture taking. If the tour gets too far into June the temperatures can get hot, plus the Israelis are out of school and competing for hotel space. We have yet to have it rain on my tour. We are outside most of the time and rain or snow can greatly hinder. Much of the tour takes place in higher elevations which also helps to keep the temperatures mild.

I work very hard to keep down the costs. In my many years of operating this tour, I have not seen any others that are as low in price as mine considering the amount of days we tour, the amount of entrance fees that are paid at the sites, the amount of bus miles we drive, and the time of year we go. In addition, we stay two or three nights more in Jerusalem than most other tours do, where the hotels tend to be the most expensive in Israel. The hotels on the tour are 4-5 star and I have us stay in the same ones every year because they have exceptionally met our needs and serve very good food. All the hotels are within walking distance of the town centers, and outside of Jerusalem they are on the beaches of the Dead Sea, Galilee, and Mediterranean. Almost all the extra costs of my tour are included in the quoted price.

Many are concerned about the safety of traveling to this part of the Middle East. Every year there are incidents and global events that threaten to disrupt the tour, but in my many years of going there and leading my many tours, I have yet to have one incident or disruption. It has been totally peaceful, and we have done all the planned itineraries. The travel agencies I use in each country constantly monitor the situations to insure a safe trip, and so does their military. In Israel and Jordan over the past 50 years not one tour group has been injured or killed from the conflict, which is an incredible safety record. Violence statistics show that Chicago, Illinois has much more potential for danger for visiting tourists than Israel. In the past 20 years terrorist bombers have hit New York, Boston, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, London, Madrid, and other places, so no matter where you travel you have to be cautious and pray.

A filled application and deposit of $300.00 per person holds your seat. Full payment for the Land portion is not required until about 60-75 days before departure. You can contact me for airfare recommendations and quotes from your preferred city of departure. Because I have an active participation in the tour presentations, seating space and group size is limited to one bus. Please click on the applicable boxes at the top or bottom of this page to learn more about the tours I lead. The travel agencies I use are Pilgrim Tours and in Israel, Sar-El Tours. I hope to see you join us. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Shalom, John V. Hodges (Van)