Travel Testimonials

We pride ourselves with the positive testimonials we receive from our clients; however we always strive to improve our services every day. Hearing what our returning tour participants have to say plays a vital role in understanding how we can enhance our tour programs, airline, hotel and guide selections for future participants to come. We encourage our clients to give us their feedback, both positive and negative, so we can better serve our clients in the future. Thank you!

 

Dear Susan and Ayelet,

Issie and I want to thank you for a wonderful trip. It more than exceeded our expectations.

Jacky Maayan was professional, knowledgeable, an all around gentleman, besides being a comedian!  The hotels were great (thanks again for the switch). An all around perfect experience.

We have been raving since we got home, in fact our friends Barry and Sue will be contacting you soon.

All The Best,

- Cathy and Issie S

Hello Susan,

Thanks for the email list.

The trip was excellent. All the venues/events you chose were great, particularly the Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem, the trip to Mizgav Am, and the mini seminar at the hotel (can’t recall his name.)

Although several people were not really “active” 55+, most kept up with the pace of the tours.

Our guide, Natalie, and trip operator, Elizabeth were simply extraordinary!!!!
My recommendation would be to use them again and again for your tours. I have experienced many tours over the years, both as a participant and as a working employee…Natalie and Elizabeth are by far the BEST.

Thank you, Susan, for all your hard work to make the tour memorable.

Please let me know if you need any other feedback.

Best regards,

- Beth F | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

Susan Blum,

We have enjoyed our trip to Israel and we are glad that we toured with Gil Travel Senior Tours. Our guides, Meir and Sharon are knowledgeable and looked out for our safety every step of the way. Our bus driver, Mickie, is a professional driver in every sense of the word, driving and parking our bus with expertise. We were treated with respect by the crew and enjoyed the camaraderie with our fellow travelers.

We have recommended Gil Travel to others and intend to continue to recommend Gil Travel.

Thank you,

- Al and Carol W | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

The trip exceeded my expectations.  It was fantastic.  I loved Maier’s lectures and the way Sharon took care of every need.  I loved the places we visited and really want to go back in a year or two.  Everything was great.  Please let me know if Sharon will be taking a Gil trip somewhere.  I very well might consider joining.

- Nada T | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

Susan,

We had a great time with the group on our Israel adventure.
The tour was well-organized and extremely informative.
This was our first trip to Israel, and we learned so much.
Meir is fantastic, both as a guide and a mensch.
He and Sharon made the days easier and more pleasurable in every way.
We won’t hesitate to recommend Gil and you (specifically) to friends interested in Israel.

Happy Passover

- Lynn and Stan B | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

Hi Susan,

I loved the tour. Meir was a fantastic guide. His diverse knowledge of archeology, customs, politics, history, and the Bible made for wonderful lectures. Sharon, too, was very professional, competent, and friendly. I thought the organization of the tour was excellent, too.

Our only problem was with the quality and presentation of the food. Eating food prepared for a steam table night after night was very boring and repetitive. As Terry mentioned to Sharon, we would rather have paid more and gone to restaurants. There are now so many good restaurants in Israel, and those that we went to on our own were excellent.

Not everyone may feel as we did about the food, but the rest of the tour more than compensated for that disappointment in my view. Thanks for your help.

- Linda D | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

HI-

In the words of Natalie I rate the trip “great, terrific, brilliant.” Natalie and Elizabeth were true
“traveling treasures” and I look forward to further travels with them.

- Jean B | Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

Our trip to Israel, touring with Gil Travel Senior Tour, more than fulfilled our hopes and expectations. It was worth every detail and investment of both time and finances. Over the years we have studied about the land, its history, its people. Biblically speaking, we had yearned for this opportunity for about 40+ years. But now we devoted extra time and effort in learning more about the specific places on the itinerary. Even learned enough Hebrew to be able to say some of the most important phrases, including, “Please” and “Thank you.” It was so rewarding to see faces relax in a smile of appreciation, because manners count.

Bus 2 : Fabulous, caring, helpful, warm and funny leaders (Nat and Eli); always smiling, great driver (Meier) and a bunch of congenial people together for the ten days…
A wonderful miracle of coincidences we hope you can manage again!!

- Nana M. | Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017

Hi Susan,

The trip was fantastic and everything that Estelle and I had hoped for.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of places we were able to see each day.  Although we were unable to spend a lot of time at any one place in particular, the tour let us absorb and appreciate the essence of Israel and the Jewish history in the area.

The hotels were perfectly fine and although I am unable to eat a lot of the food available at breakfast, I was amazed at the number of offerings as well as the excellent service.

However, in my opinion, the true standout of the trip was our tour guide Doran.  The breadth and depth of his knowledge regarding all facets of Israel including history, archeology, geology, politics, culture, religions, military. etc., was only matched by his eagerness to share it with the tour group.  He had a lot of responsibility in keeping everyone together, getting to the stops on time, and dealing with the assorted personalities, all of which he accomplished with great humor and professionalism.  Also, I need to mention the driver who was able to maneuver the bus through many tight and awkward spaces without incident.  In fact some of his moves actually elicited applause from the passengers.

As you know we arrived in Israel a day late due to the unexpected snow storm but the driver that met us at the airport brought us directly to the tour which allowed us to only miss the first half hour or so.  On our last day at the Carlton in Tel Aviv we were supposed to vacate the room by 12:00 PM but were scheduled to be driven to the airport at 9:00 PM for our 12:30 AM flight home.  However, the staff at the Carlton allowed us to stay in the room until 2:00. We called Moshe Eitan to see if he could get us to the airport earlier and he was able to pick us up at 6:00 which allowed us to get through the VAT line and spend some time at the EL Al lounge before our flight home.

Lastly, I want to thank you for your excellent advice (hotel choices, staying at the airport, etc.) and quick responses to my emails.  You essentially saved our long awaited trip when you were able to quickly rebook us on a flight the day after the storm caused our original flight to be canceled.

Regards,

- Brian and Estelle R

Dear Susan,

Don and I wanted to thank you for an extraordinary trip to Israel.

Everything from the travel arrangements (including your VIP escort service), itinerary, choice of hotels, restaurant accommodations and especially our fantastic guide; exceeded our expectations. We felt secure, pampered, educated and constantly excited.

In addition, we enjoyed the group that you matched us with! Such nice people with so much in common! We got along so well that after our days of touring, we chose to dine together each evening and had so much fun! We are now discussing our next trip together!

The highlight of our trip was our incredible guide, Meni Tzabari.

He was like a human Wikipedia! So knowledgeable, fun and responsive to our needs.  He planned our days efficiently (avoiding traffic, giving us “facility breaks”, arranging food and water replenishment), that we were able to add sites to our itinerary, without feeling rushed or tired out. Meni even planned a birthday surprise for one of our group and made that whole day a little more special.  Also, I had a “special request” to take a camel ride and he was able to fit this into the schedule without taking us off our path. We were all amazed at how many people Meni knew and how he was greeted with such warmth and respect.

Meni’s enthusiasm was contagious. He exuded and passed to us, such a sense of history and pride for the people and history of Israel in all of its diversity and complexity.  We all felt so lucky to have him guide us through this amazing adventure!

Again Susan, thank you for all your efforts to make our dream trip… also a perfect one!

- Cheri and Don P | VIP Israel Tour

What a fantastic trip! I really didn’t think I was “ready” for a “senior” tour, but I was. “Senior” on this tour did not mean “old.” It meant accommodation for all participants. What a gift!

- Stewart | Seniors

I just want you to know that we had an amazing trip!  It was life changing for me personally!  Thank you for being so patient as we worked out all the details for this group!  We look forward to working with you again!

Have a good day!

- Starla S | Epic Church Group – February 2017

Hi Susan-

Thank you so much for the refund for the dinner at Genesis Land. I really appreciate it.

I also wanted to thank you for organizing an amazing family vacation in Israel.  It went so smoothly and we had a really wonderful time!  Brandon’s bar mitzvah was simply perfect. It was so meaningful having his service in the Old City.  Rabbi Michael Klein Katz did a great job officiating.  We ended up taking pictures with a photographer by the Western Wall, but had his service at Beit Shmuel since it started to rain (and actually hail!). Thank god we had an indoor backup plan for his service.  Our lunch at Between the Arches was delicious too.

Our time in Israel was magical.  We learned so much about the country and experienced so many new things.  My boys loved Caliber 3, the jeep tour in the Golan Heights and all the amazing ruins, tunnels etc… The Palmach Museum and Aaylon Institute were so interesting too.  Our only negative was the rainy weather on a lot of the days, but it did not stop us at all.

I can’t thank you enough for all your help.

Happy New Year!

- Sue B | Bar Mitzvah

Everything on the trip was perfect. The seats on the flight were great. Kibbutz Lavi was the perfect place to take my family. Thanks for all that you did.

- Lynn

Hi Susan,

Trip was great!  We loved Amir and really had a fantastic time in Israel.  Kids fave activity was the Dig.  Adam and I love the tunnels and Hall of independence.  Amir added the Supreme Court and the Zoo and we skipped the Israel Museum because he thought it was getting too boring for the kids.   Only negative was that we had limited access to the resort/ locker room in the Dead Sea – they told us no kids and no locker.   The Inbal and Alexander hotels were both great.  The hotel room in the north was not quite our style but maybe because it was cold and rainy.  Anyway – thanks for all your help.  I may be sending some friends your way.

- Audrey E | Israel Family Vacation

This was a wonderful trip to Tunisia. Our guide was terrific…full of knowledge and our driver, Ridha was great.  We had a chance to meet with his family. A real treat. I also want to thank you for the lunch we shared. I had a terrific time…Will keep checking your website for trips.

- Phyllis S | Tunisia

Hi Susan,

I can’t thank you enough for planning this fabulous trip. Everything went smoothly.

Please let the Israeli office know that our tour guide, Doron Hoffman, was phenomenal. He was very kind to my mom and was extremely knowledgeable. He was fun and we felt very safe the entire time.

In Tel Aviv, Ralph, the person at the front desk treated us like VIPs the entire time with arranging additional free tours and making dinner reservations.

In Jerusalem and on the Kibbutz, our accommodations and food were great.

This trip surpassed my expectations. I am so glad we booked it with you. 🙂

Happy Chanukah and New Year!

Best,

- Barbara

The Peru trip was AMAZING! I returned with a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the Incas. The boutique hotels were exceptional… Peruvian food was a true culinary delight. The highlight of the trip was Machu Picchu. The trip was far more than I had hoped for and it will be one of the highlights of my life …

- Marian Y. | Peru

Dear Steve:

Sometime after this note will come a short response to your request for a blurb why VFI/SAR-EL. In the meantime I want to thank YOU repeatedly for a wonderful time with our group “plus”. Never could I have imagined the wonderful experiences that awaited me/us before we began our trip. YOU made the event fault-free with ever so much quality time. There seemed no issue that you could not find a solution. Actually I don’t think there were any issues––but if there were, YOU made them disappear quickly. I shall always remember that first night in the dining room of our hotel for our shabbat dinner, Wes, in introducing himself and commenting on things that might occur, mentioned, “oh yes, and Steve Plotkin would be joining this group.” That seemed important to him, so I reasoned it must be an important to me also. Well, YOU surely did make a difference. YOU are masterful as a leader, gently guiding, urging, nudging, whatever seemed to work. And your sense of humor was the way into all of our hearts. Thank you so much for pushing for the SAR-EL plus. I plan to promote this program as much as I can. Today, hearing of the earthquake in Indonesia I assume that the IDF was on the forefront with “our” supplies helping the injured and the traumatized. I truly felt that our work was valuable. The weekend sorties were an unexpected bonus. Our Last Supper was too amazingly delicious and such a wonderful way to conclude an experience of a lifetime. Thank you thank you for all of your labors. What do you hear from your little sister? You two were my favorites!!

In addition to the wonderful memories mentioned above another person who made the journey so very memorable was Fallon Robinson. What a dear. She is perhaps the most competent travel agent we have ever worked with. As she began to enter our lives this summer I was always heartened that she knew all of the answers/or was eager to get the right answers for me as quickly as possible. What amazed me was that she thought of things I never dreamed of thinking and acted on our behalf with our total confidence that her reasoning was correct. She was delightful to speak with and was always six steps ahead of my thinking. She was never annoyed by my constant phoning and questioning. She was very professional and a delightful young lady with whom to work. Please let her know of our pleasure in working with her––and you could even let her superior know of our gratitude as she repeatedly went the extra mile on our behalf.

I am quickly getting back into a normal sleep schedule, mail sorting and becoming germ-free. Happy tiling and other carpentry joys.

Shalom,

- Annette S | VFI 2016

Susan,

Can’t believe it’s two weeks since I last saw you at the airport.

The trip was wonderful, I enjoyed almost all of it. There are a few changes I would suggest to you.

Ayalon was very interesting and educational as well, as most of us new nothing about it.  I think most of us wanted to see more of what Israel was & what it’s become. I am speaking for myself although I did discuss this this with Mim & some others.

The hotels were all beautiful, breakfast was wonderful, but we didn’t come for the food & we all ate well. Do I think having the meals included in the tour is important, yes. It saves time & more time to tour.

Visiting Yad Lakashish was wonderful, to see that Israel has a place for it’s elders to work in & have a warm meal was heart rendering.  How can you not want to buy their goods. I have sent what I bought to my daugher-in-laws as well as for me. I’d go back in a minute.

I guess I could go on & on because it brings everything back so clearly I don’t want to forget a thing.  Especially our group of 55+ Prunes, whom I miss. Also Mier & Micky who without them and you our trip would not have been as great as it was.

You can definitely quote me if you like & even change some of it.

I am looking forward to hearing from you & receiving some of the pictures you took.

Fondly,

- Fran | Senior Israel Tour Fall 2016

Thank u Susan. I had the BEST time ever. I again Susan thank you for the best trip I have have so much confidence in u, Susan, I’m ready for my next trip! Just tell me where and when to show up. going with a light weight suitcase and one empty one.❤️❌😘😍🌹.

- Linda H

Susan, Again, I want to thank you for changing the tour itinerary to include Misgav Am. Several people on the tour said to me that it was eye opening and a spectacular highlight. I know I asked Meir a lot of questions…several on the tour thanked me for asking them. Meir is remarkable and you should be very proud that he is part of your program.

I hope we meet again.

Shalom,

- Steve N

More than any dream could have imagined. Everything was flawless up to that. We could not have been more excited by any other tour, guide, or plan. For all of this we thank you and have been singing your praises.

- Joy N

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of this wonderful group. The people, the sights and the magnificence of Israel are truly amazing!

- Rita S | Senior Israel Tour Fall 2016

Dear Susan, Meir and Mickey,

Thank you for the experience of a lifetime.

Just became a great aunt for the 4th time this morning.
Sorry about your furry friend. Hold on to the memories.

Love,

- Barbara W | Senior Israel Tour Fall 2016

October 20, 2016

Hi Susan,

Beth and I wanted to express our gratitude to you for yet another wonderful vacation in Israel! Everything went smoothly  — flights, Dan Caesarea hotel (with early check-in), car rental and more.

By the way, upon Departure at Newark Airport, Beth downloaded the Mobile App from U.S. passport control for American citizens.  We used it to skip the entire line upon our return home — that was amazing!

Again, thank you for everything you did on our behalf.

- Gadi

September 26, 2016

Hi Susan,

Thanks for writing. I had a great trip. The guide, Amir, was terrific. He has a tremendous wealth of knowledge of the sites that we visited. He gave us a very good historical perspective of what we were seeing. He had the ability get along with everyone.

It was a jam packed trip. We started most days at 8am and kept going until 6pm. I feel that I got a good overview of the State of Israel from the past to the current. The two Saturdays that were free were also great for me as I could go exploring on my own. I am glad that was built into the trip. The list that you gave for things to do on Shabbot was very helpful.

Thanks,

- Scott

September 26, 2016

Hello Susan,

We want you to know that we had a fantastic time and it was all because of you!
From the moment we were picked up from the airport everything just flowed.

The gentleman who picked us up was wonderful and he also drove us back to the airport. Jacky, our guide, was fantastic! He was so knowledgeable and funny. We met some really nice people on the trip and the hotels were beautiful. The Kibbutz was interesting. I think one of the high points was the jeep tour. We saw some beautiful sites. It was just amazing! There was one glitch, when we arrived at the Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv, our room wasn’t ready and without a room number we couldn’t order food or anything (for some reason we were told we couldn’t pay with cash) however, Ralph, took care of it!

So, it was just a wonderful, wonderful trip! Thank you for everything.

We have already recommended you to a number of people.

Best regards,

- Ina Quartner

September 19, 2016

Hi Susan,

We had a great time….random thoughts in no particular order…

Flights were great…the 747 experience was much better than the 777…but both were on time and service was good…
We enjoyed the three hotels…breakfasts were incredible…and dinners at Mizpe Hayamin were good…King David was an experience…although not sure that the additional cost…whatever it was…for the view was worth it…
We did vary slightly from the itinerary….skipped the detention camp and the winery….went to Rosh Hanikra and Zippori National Park…..spent two hours at Yad Vashem….definitely not enough time for us…..also visited the site where David slew Goliath…the girls enjoyed that story and experience….the kids liked the Jeep tour more than me…when we visited the Golam Heights we could see smoke and hear shelling from Syria…but we did visit with some tank crews on the way back…met a volunteer from North Jersey….

Our guide was super…both kids questioned him to death…he had a lot of patience and was extremely knowledgeable….took us for great local food lunches….

Planning the next trip…hopefully with my wife and grandchildren…..

- Robert B | Israel Family Vacation

What a fantastic trip! I really didn’t think I was “ready” for a “senior” tour, but I was. “Senior” on this tour did not mean “old.” It meant accommodation for all participants. What a gift!

- Stewart

I will make this note of appreciation short, but we could go on forever with regards to how perfect our recent trip to Israel turned out, much to the credit and hard work of you and our guide. You both provided such attention to detail, flexibility for change, and great recommendations throughout the trip.

- Greg O

The India travel experience was incredible and everything worked out perfectly. The three day experience at the school in Bangalore was priceless. Not only were all the hotels wonderful, the touring, guides and personal attention to travels needs and safety were first class…I would highly recommend to those clients who want something different.

- Roberta V | India

Hi Jeanne,
Once again, a huge thank you for all your work and making us, as always, feel so special.
I returned yesterday with the session 2 campers and all was easy and flawless. Eviatar had a good night’s sleep in Philadelphia before his morning flight to Detroit.
Thanks for everything, you make it all so pleasurably.
Hoping to see you in Israel in the not too distant future,

- Naomi

Dear Armanda,
This thank you is late, but never will you be forgotten. What an amazing vacation we had. Everything was planned out perfectly, as only you can do. We had a lifetime of memories and I’m trying to talk mom into another next year! I’m in the process of creating another fabulous photo book, but it takes a lot of time. I’m in the middle of France , which was my favorite! The tour guide is France was not to be believed! He was so knowledgeable, fun, exciting and gorgeous to the eye! We all had the trip of a lifetime. Thank you again for all of your impeccable planning.

Attached are some photos…Cheers to you from Portofino with Limoncello!
Much love, always,

- Ree Ree

Hi Sue,

On behalf of our group I would like to thank you for your help in planning our 2 day excursion trip in Israel. Upon disembarking our guide, Zachary was waiting for us. He was terrific as both a driver and a knowledgeable guide.

We loved our days in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They were fun filled and so interesting.

Thank you so much and when we plan our next trip to Israel I will be in touch with you.

- Judi L

Susan,

Mitch and I have traveled all over but this was by far one of the best vacations I have ever been on. Mitch will be writing you about future trips. Make sure Mitch books business class or first class in the future.

- Wendy K

Great Trip! Guide was wonderful. He was very knowledgeable about the bible as well as Israeli & Palestine history.

The only change I would recommend is to visit the model of ancient Jerusalem BEFORE visiting the Old City. It would help to understand where and when everything occurred over the long history, when actually visiting.

- Larry P