In Hebrew there’s an expression daka tish’im which means at the last minute. I’ve been able to help people who realized at the last minute that they wanted to see a particular site – the best way to do that is to hire a guide who can arrange everything. One couple hoped they would get to visit Herodium, King Herod’s palace/fortress in the desert but it was the day before they were leaving. They searched on Google and found an article I’d written and contacted me. I picked them up at their hotel, drove them to Herodium and guided them. This is what they had to say:
The tour of Herodium was awe-inspiring, largely because of Shmuel Browns, our guide. He is highly knowledgeable, and comes equipped with graphic documentation that fills the gaps of what one sees. He gave us a taste of the detective work of archaeologists. Further, Shmuel is very professional and a real “mensch”.
A businessman was flying to Zurich, Switzerland in the afternoon, but at the last minute he had the morning available so he contacted me to take him around the Old City before his flight (I ensured that we were back in time to meet his taxi to the airport; alternatively, after the tour I can take you to the airport, I’m a licensed chauffeur). So if you have limited time but want to have the fullest experience while here in Israel (good reasons for hiring a guide) I can guide you for as little as ½ day. The tour will be personalized to your interests and you can book at the last minute. If you’re staying in Jerusalem then phone me at 02 561-0785 or 053 280-6537 when you wake up and tell me what you’d like to do, then you can go for breakfast. If I’m available, I’ll meet you within the hour to start your tour.
Here is what one traveler who hired me shared on TripAdvisor:
First off, I made the very grave error of only booking a private tour guide for one day. That caused me a lot of stress while on vacation. I did a lot of research prior to my departure and based on the forum discussions I decided that one day of touring with a guide would be enough and decided that I was enough of a ‘seasoned’ traveller to be able to guide my party on my own.
The other reason I was swayed away from hiring a guide was the costs involved. I’ve used private guides in China and Africa and the costs for a private guide were very very inexpensive compared to guides in Israel – I had a hard time justifying the $500. per day.
Boy was I ever wrong and was I ever sorry for having listened to the feedback that you can do Israel on your own with a good guide book. This was not the case for me or my travel companions. We found we really needed the professional assistance of a guide for there is just so much a guide book can teach you. Few sights have good signage telling you where you are and what you are seeing or much historical reference. The cost of a guide definitely reflects what you get, an organized and informative visit to a land filled with a very rich narrative history!
If you decide at the last minute that you really do need a guide whether for one day or a week contact me. You can hire an expert, licensed guide at the last minute and for less than $500. per day.