It has been a while since I have provided an update on my upcoming trip to the Middle East and North Africa, so I wanted to take a moment to let you all know what is happening with those plans. Although COVID is still having an impact on the travel industry, we are seeing more-and-more signs that things are starting to open up for international travel. In my Middle East travel update, I will provide you with the latest details on my trip planning efforts and I will share some of the wisdom that I have gained through this lengthy and sometimes stressful travel planning process.
The Good News
First, I would like to talk about the good news. If you follow my blog closely, you know that I had to postpone this trip last autumn because the country of Israel was on the verge of re-closing its borders to travelers with a surge in COVID cases. Little did we know at the time that it would still be open during our travel dates but would close again shortly after. As our travel dates approach this Spring, the signs we are seeing regarding the country’s openness are much less ominous.
According to the Tourist Israel website, the country of Israel is preparing to open its borders to all travelers (vaccinated and unvaccinated) on March 1, 2022. We are fully vaccinated and boosted, but the fact that it will be open to all travelers is a great sign that the country should be open when we travel. Some more great news is the fact that Israel will be giving PCR tests upon arrival, with expedited results within 6-12 hours. This means that travelers will no longer need to plan for and time their PCR test before boarding a plane to Israel. This is fantastic news!
The Remaining Uncertainty
The only uncertainty that we have left is whether or not the land border crossings will be open when we visit. Depending on the situation, we may need to either change the order of our travel or change our travel dates slightly. The good news is that all signs point to a re-opening, so we are hopeful that things will be open when we visit. If they aren’t, we are confident that we will be able to adjust our airfare with Delta Airlines if need be. The airline has been nothing short of fantastic as we have navigated the difficult travel planning for this trip.
Our Planned Itinerary
Obviously, with things still a bit in flux, the following travel itinerary that I am outlining is certainly subject to change. However, the things that we want to see in each country will remain the same, even if the sequence in which we see these places may be different. If you are interested in learning about what we are planning on seeing while on our trip for inspiration in planning your own trip, I have included details for you to review in my Middle East travel update below.
We will start our tour in the incredible city of Cairo, Egypt. Seeing Cairo and the Great Pyramids has long been on my travel bucket list, so I am very excited about seeing these ancient wonders of the world. It will also be an amazing experience to tour the infamous Egyptian Museum in Cairo and learn more about the local culture. I have included more details on my itinerary in Egypt in my Middle East travel update below.
- Tour the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx in Cairo.
- Tour the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
- Visit Old Cairo.
- Visit the Sinai Desert.
- Visit Marah by the Red Sea.
- See Elim, Rephidim, and Mount Sinai.
- See the Saint Catherine Monestary.
- Eat a traditional Bedouin dinner.
After leaving Egypt, we will briefly cross into Israel before heading to the incredible country of Jordan. Like the Great Pyramids, I have wanted to visit the incredible historical site of Petra since I was a young boy and saw this amazing place in the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie. I remember thinking that a place that beautiful and that incredible couldn’t be real. It is very real, and I cannot wait to see it with my own eyes and photograph it. In addition to Petra, there are a number of other wonderful spots that we plan to visit while in Jordan. I have outlined these places in my Middle East travel update below.
- Visit Aqaba.
- See the beautiful Wadi Rum.
- Explore Petra.
- Tour Amman.
The final country we will be visiting on our Middle East trip is the incredible country of Israel. In addition to seeing some of the holy sites in the country, we also hope to explore some of the beautiful landscapes in Israel as well. There is so much that we are planning to see during our visit, and I have included a list of highlights in my Middle East travel update below.
- Tour Old Town Jaffa.
- See the Sea of Galilee
- Visit Mount Carmel.
- See Megiddo, the Valley of Armageddon.
- Visit Nazareth.
- See the Lower Galilee Region and the town of Tiberias.
- Tour the Golan Heights.
- Visit Banias, Tabgha, Capernaum, and Beth Shean.
- See the Dead Sea.
- Tour the holy sites in Jerusalem.
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