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taking luggage from Jerusalem to Eilat to Aqaba

taking luggage from Jerusalem to Eilat to Aqaba

Old Mar 9, 18, 1:33 pm
  #1  
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taking luggage from Jerusalem to Eilat to Aqaba

We are considering going directly from Jerusalem to Eliat to cross the border for 2-3 nights in Aqaba. we will be staying at the Doubletree and plan to join a guided tour of Petra and Wadi Rum. After Aqaba , we will be heading north to Tel Aviv for another 3 nights. Hubby doesnt want to drive a rental car so we are planning to take the bus from Jerusalem to Eilat.

1. Is it practical to take the bus from Jerusalem to Eilat? How many hours of travel is it? Our other option is to go to TLV to fly into Eilat, which is better?
2. If we take the bus or fly into Eilat, can and do we need a guide to help us with the border crossing ? Is the process something we can do on our own? Once we’ve crossed the border, we plan to take a taxi to Doubletree Aqaba. Sign up for guided tour of Petra from our hotel.

3. We will be going from Jerusalem to Eilat with our luggage because we want to go straight to TLV from Eilat so we dont want to leave our luggage with our hotel in Jerusalem. We will be staying at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem and Hilton In Tel Aviv. Since both belong to same hotel family, it might be possible for WA to forward our luggage to Hilton Tel Aviv although I havent inquired from the hotel about this. Do buses from Jerusalem to Eilat allow suitcases on board?

4. We will be leaving Jerusalem on a Friday, are there any buses that run that day to Eilat?

We will be taking this trip from May 6-18. Not much flexibility on the inbound date but have a little bit more on the outbound. I was able to book a room at the WA for 5 nights on Hhonors points for only 90k/nt - same room and date now costs 170K points/nt. Hilton TLV has good availability in May for 70K points/nt.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
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Old Mar 9, 18, 2:13 pm
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1. Yes it is practical just as any other long bus ride, it takes almost 5 hours, you could also go to TLV (which even though it is named after Tel Aviv, is actually half way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) and fly from there
2. You'll need to get a taxi to the border crossing, I don't think you per-se need a tour guide, but since you want to go to Petra/Wadi Rum you could probably find some that will include assistance in the Jordanian side of the border as well as the taxi to town for the same price
3. Yes no problem with suitcases on board
4. Yes there are, check the schedule @ http://www.egged.co.il/
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Old Mar 9, 18, 9:53 pm
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Thank you Ditto for the info. I looked at 2 night organized tours to Petra and Wadi Rum, the’re around $500 per person, excluding visa and other border crossing fees. Would you recommend that we arranged for someone to assist us with the visa formalities at the border vs doing it ourselves?
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Old Mar 10, 18, 1:59 am
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Last I crossed the border there was maybe 2 years ago, there was no need for any assistance unless you are travelling with (only) Israeli passports, however we did get a quote for border crossing assistance as well as taxi into town and taxi back to the crossing all included with a day tour to Petra.

You should note that there are different "exit fees" when you come back, they range from 60JD to nothing or 10JD depends on how long you stay etc.
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Old Mar 10, 18, 11:08 pm
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You have to pay the Israeli exit tax when you leave for Jordan. You can pay at the crossing or pay in advance:
  • Any postal bank branch in Israel, with no extra charge*.
  • the "Milgam Co." website, by credit card.
All intercity buses in Israel have large luggage bins.

You should book bus tickets to/from Eilat: http://www.egged.co.il/Article-809,1...-to-Eilat.aspx
You can see the Jerusalem-Eilat schedule on the same website.
If you decide to fly, look at the "Arkia" and "Israir" websites for schedules and fares. If you fly back to Tel-Aviv it is more convenient to fly to Sde Dov airport (and not to Ben-Gurion).
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Old Mar 13, 18, 3:55 pm
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It's a few years ago since I took the bus between Jerusalem and Eilat, but it took no more than 5 hours, includiong two bathroom stops at places where you could also grab some food. It's a very scenic and beautiful ride.

If you want to fly, you will first have to take the bus from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport, you need to be at the airport 2-3 hours before the flight, and the flight itself is around one hour. Doing this could very well end up taking more time in total than taking the direct bus from Jerusalem to Eilat. Personally, I don't see any reason to spend the extra money on that flight.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 5:57 pm
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thank you everyone for your helpful replies. i feel very confident now about out plan to DIY our side trip to Jordan from Israel, to see Petra and Wadi Rum. a follow up question: after we’ve crossed to the Jordan side, we plan to take a taxi to our hotel in Aqaba, the Doubletree. The map says it’s 6 km from the border. For the short taxi ride, im assuming we will need Jordanian Dinar. Is there an ATM or money changer before or after we cross the border in Eilat to pay for our cab? Our plan is to stay at the Doubletree for 3 nights and pick up some guided day trips to Petra and WR. We are also open to doing a night tour of WR but I havent checked the camping/tent accomodations to see how much “roughing it” is involved. The idea of stargazing in the wilderness of a desert is enticing. We can cancel 1night in our Doubletree reservation if we need to.

Please share your input, comments and suggestions regarding our plan. Thanks again.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by pocahontas View Post
... We are also open to doing a night tour of WR but I havent checked the camping/tent accomodations to see how much “roughing it” is involved. The idea of stargazing in the wilderness of a desert is enticing...
The Bedouin in that area operate a "camp" for visitors. It consists of tents on fixed frames that contain all the comforts of civilization: a standard bed and a full bathroom (stall shower, no tub) in each tent, with a door that locks for Westerners who worry about that sort of thing. As best I recall from almost exactly 12 months ago, the nights got a bit chilly because the tent walls don't provide much insulation and I don't think they were heated, but all in all it was camping in name only. They also provided a full traditional dinner for our not-very-large group. This is the inside of a "tent;" the bathroom door is at the left end of the far wall.



(Can't help with your ATM question; we entered Jordan at AMM.)

Last edited by Efrem; Mar 13, 18 at 8:28 pm
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Old Mar 13, 18, 9:02 pm
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Wow!!! That tent is pretty rough �� Thanks Efrem for sharing the picture. what should we expect to pay per night for a similar accomodation? We will be in Jordan from May 11-14. and what is the name of this camp?
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Old Mar 14, 18, 3:43 am
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Yes there is a change in the Jordanian side, it is at the far right just as you pass the security/customs check, you probably won't get the best exchange rate, but the taxi is only about 11JD or so.
Just make sure you go there before you leave the border crossing
Otherwise, there are plenty of ATMs and at least one change in the street of the double tree.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by pocahontas View Post
Wow!!! That tent is pretty rough �� Thanks Efrem for sharing the picture. what should we expect to pay per night for a similar accomodation? We will be in Jordan from May 11-14. and what is the name of this camp?
It's called, reasonably enough, the Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp. Rates are 35JD per person for two in a tent, 50JD for one in a tent, including dinner and breakfast. More information on their site here. The site also has information on activities such as camel riding, hiking, sandboarding and more.
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Old Mar 15, 18, 9:09 am
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Thank you Efrem and Ditto for the link and the info on money changer. I will book with the WR Bedouin Camp and will report back on here and with TA on our experience. It looks like the overnight camping comes with some form of entertainment or activity. We would like to know more about Bedouins and their lifestyle. I hope we get to meet some “real” ones and not just those that are “made for tourists” just like any place in the US that are popular tourists.
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Old Apr 21, 18, 1:42 pm
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Efrem,

would you recommend Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp ? i am looking at booking their half day jeep tour with overnight. mohammed looks like one cool guy, does he actually lead the tours or just sends his employee/guides out on the tours ?

the different tour operators at WR all have excellent reviews in travel forums. and for someone who’s never been there, it’s hard to tell which camps are better located and i think the answer lies too with what you want to see and do.
we want to do a little exploration of some of the interesting spots but not interested in a lot of hiking because of the heat. we will save the hiking for the Petra leg of our journey.

Thanks for your input.
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Old Apr 21, 18, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by pocahontas View Post
Efrem,

would you recommend Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp ? ...
We were quite pleased with the whole experience, but we can't compare it to any of the other options. We didn't do any comparing before the fact; our group organizer picked it. And we have no experience with alternatives to compare it to after the fact. It might be like fried clam shacks on Cape Cod in the summer: you have to look pretty hard to find a bad one, and you have to have sampled lots of them to be able to tell them apart. I don't know that it is like that, but I also don't know that it isn't. I hate to "recommend" it for that reason - but only for that reason. I don't think you'll go wrong with it, though.
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