Packing for Israel can be… challenging! It’s conservative, yet progressive. It’s in the Middle East, but winters can be downright chilly! It’s desert, and yet it’s also a Mediterranean beach destination. To cut through the confusion, I’ve come up with a tried-and-true packing list for you!
Use this for your 5, 7, or 10-day trip (and truly, you can make it work for two weeks if you’re like me!). Here is your ultimate packing list for a bucket list trip to Israel and the Holy Land.
Update: We have a podcast! The Israel Travel Podcast is now live on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!
1 Maxi Dress or Jumpsuit
Modesty matters in Jerusalem more than in Tel Aviv, but wherever you go, you’ll certainly feel comfortable if you’re covered! Go for natural fabrics like cotton or linen, and if you choose sleeveless, make sure to bring a scarf and/or jacket with you, too. And don’t forget the wrinkle releaser spray!
Also helpful: The Perfect Outfits for the Airplane
3 Button-down Tops
Oh, you don’t want to wear a jacket or a scarf? No problem! I love pairing my dresses with complementary button-down shirts. Not only is an easy way to practically double your dress wardrobe options, they can go with skirts, jeans, or linen pants. Roll up the sleeves a little to keep cool while maintaining cultural modesty.
More here: How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on, Every Time
1-2 Pair of Pants
In the winter or early spring, you’ll probably appreciate having a pair of jeans with you (Israel can get chilly in those times of year). In summer, go for linen instead. If you’re indecisive and have the room in your luggage, take one of each!
Israel is very sunny, so you’ll benefit from a sun hat all year round. Also, many churches and all mosques request or require women to cover their heads to enter. The one below will take you from walking around Jerusalem into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and all the way to your float in the Dead Sea.
1 Scarf and 1 Jacket
You can choose one or the other, but I actually recommend both! Especially in the winter or early spring, you’ll be glad you have one of each. Also, your scarf can double as a head covering in religious settings that require one.
More here: The Top 5 Ways to Wear a Pashmina Scarf
1-2 Hiking Outfits
If you’re not into hiking, skip this one. But if you want to see the sunrise from Masada, hike in the Valley of Elah, or explore the beautiful Red Canyon in Eilat, you’ll want to dress for the occasion! I recommend moisture-wicking materials for this one, so you can wash and rewear easily if needed.
Keep reading: The Ultimate List of Hiking Tips
2 Pair of Good Walking Shoes
I recommend wearing one of these options on the plane and packing the other. You’ll be doing a lot of walking in Israel and the Holy Land, so you may as well be comfortable for it. That said, it’s also helpful to have some blister band-aids on-hand, just in case, of course!
Don’t underestimate the needs of your feet: The Traveler’s Guide to Feet from My Podiatrist
1 Pair of Water Shoes
Why do you need water shoes? Because the rocks and sand around the Dead Sea are rough! And I don’t have to tell what it feels like to get salt in a wound! But also, it’s a good idea to wear water shoes at the beach, as well. Yes, Israel has beaches! Whether you’re visiting Tel Aviv, Eilat, or the Dead Sea, you’ll be glad you have a pair of water shoes.
More here: 5 Things to Know Before You Visit the West Bank
While visitors are not expected to wear the most modest of swimsuits, you may feel comfortable with more coverage as opposed to less. But you can still look as cute as you want! Here are some very cute options, as well as a great cover-up.
And also sunscreen: The Ultimate Guide to Sunscreen from My Dermatologist
1 Dry Bag
This is something I recommend for every trip that involves beaches, pools, or solo travel. It’s not good to leave your stuff on shore, but you REALLY want to get in the water, you know? A dry bag is the perfect solution. You can put anything in it, and not only is it waterproof, it floats!
More here: The Best Bags for All Your Travels
And don’t forget to check out Everything You Need to Know to Go to Israel with Elevation Journeys!
Want more? Check out my dedicated Israel and Palestine Page!
Love this post? Pin it for later!