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!
I have been on numerous trips to other countries, but this trip [VFI Plus Archaeology] has been my favorite. My grandson is ready to go next year when he will be 17 years old and I am looking forward to it.
- José L.
Ilana, Thank you!!!! I believe that all of us are grateful for your personal diligence in caring for all of us continually from our first questions, on site, and now. Thank you is not enough. A 1000 thanks for a great VFI Plus Archaeology trip!
- Christine M.
Ilana, thank you for a trip that exceeded my expectations in every way. You and your Gil Travel colleagues were so helpful and efficient, from my very first inquiry to your onsite coordination. The communication and assistance from you, Susan, Fred, and Ariel, with every aspect and question, was wonderful and greatly appreciated. Once in Israel, there are not enough words to describe this amazing experience! Julia, our tour guide, was beyond outstanding: her knowledge is encyclopedic, and her site selection and leadership for our tours was excellent. Our bus driver also deserves a shout-out, as his service was seamless. In Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv University archaeology team (particularly Dr. Yuval Gadot, Chananya Rothner, and Ricki) went over and above to make our volunteer archaeological week SPECTACULAR—from their welcome and guidance on the Givati excavation site, to the unexpected lectures and tours (a real bonus)—I felt like I received a year of the highest quality college coursework in just a few days. It was such a privilege and honor to learn from them and work alongside this prestigious University team. Everyone at Givati was incredibly generous with their time and consideration, I cannot thank them enough! In Haifa and Jerusalem, our hotels were comfortable and ideally located, making it easy to explore independently when time allowed. Together, Gil Travel and VFI created a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget and look forward to reliving on a future trip. Thanks again to you, Gil Travel, VFI, Julia, Dr. Gadot, Chananya, and Ricki for coordinating an exceptional experience. It was a truly remarkable trip!
- Ellen W.
The VFI Plus Archaeology trip was wonderful due to Ilana at Gil. She added a special dimension to our experience that no one else could. And that’s what made the trip so great!!!! The trip was a life changer for me and meeting some truly amazing travel mates was extremely heartwarming.
- Rhonda E.
Thank you, Ilana, for all the help before I applied, and now again for the detailed work with all our pictures after the trip. Many of my friends are now interested in this VFI-Plus Archaelogy Program and I showed them the Gil Travel site. So many people became friends in my heart and hopefully I will see you again. As we say here in Bavaria “Servus” Shalom.
- Fif T. from Germany
I had an absolutely FABULOUS time in Israel. Everything you arranged went smooth as silk. And Ariel Stollar? Simply terrific. What a nice guy.
- Michael L
THANK YOU! The trip you arranged for us met and exceeded all our expectations. Meir More, our tour guide, was the key ingredient that made things happened. We continued to be amazed at the knowledge he has of historical and present-day Israel. We followed generally the prepared schedule but made modifications to accommodate our needs to minimize walking.
Thanks again for everything.
- Jack S
We had a GREAT and MEANINGFUL time on our journey and it was a highlight to meet you. You are very concerned and you take all things seriously. Luca, you are a true professional. It was a pleasure to travel with you. It was a very special and wonderful trip. I think we did some good in the world.
- Eunice and Jim
I wanted to send a quick note thanking you and your staff for the extra help I needed prior to the Morocco trip. I also want to mention what a great job your on site team (Sharon) did throughout the trip. All around amazing customer service. Thank you!!!
- Robert K.
I want to take this opportunity and thank each and every one of you for making this experience as amazing as it was. Your warmth, understanding, patience and support made a huge difference throughout the entire week. It was an absolute pleasure spending this week with you and I look forward to spending more time with you in various events. Gil Travel, Sharon, and Luca – your calmness and energy, your ability to deal with any change request that we made if in advance or on the fly made this experience unforgettable, the level of service you extended to all of us is remarkable, THANK YOU!
Ken and I want to thank you for putting together a GREAT trip. Our Guide, Meir and assistant Elizabeth were knowledgeable, warm and sensitive. The history Meir shared at each site gave us a greater understand of our “Home”. Elizabeth took such good care of the group and added to our understanding of the land we visited. Every site we visited gave us more than we ever hoped. The Group worked so well together. Each and everyone felt we became friends.
- Gail and Ken
If we could use only one word to describe our “Friends of Rick” trip to Israel it would be spectacular! Everything from the itinerary, the accommodations, the meals, the travel accommodations, and especially, our travel guide, Nadov Kersh, were absolutely top notch! Nadov was the best travel guide we have encountered in our many travel experiences. He was extremely knowledgeable, articulate, always open to questions, personable, and really made the trip exciting. I should also mention that our bus driver, Maher, always went above and beyond to take care of us with availability of water and handling our luggage. The pre-trip informational package that you sent was very helpful in planning our trip. Thank you so much for your attention to detail and for a wonderful lifetime memory!
- Cherie and John H.
Overall, an enjoyable and interesting experience. I am even more impressed by the Israelis themselves, what they have created and how they defend themselves and their interests. Just remarkable! I thought our guide was just superb. Very informative, he quoted Old and New Testament sources and phrases that, with the occasional music added, brought a nice touch to it all. But, in all my years of travels, I cannot think of another guide who was more informed about his subject: the varied Middle East past and so up to date with current events. A real gem! Overall, a job well done.
- John G.
I had the pleasure of taking a 2-week trip to Portugal and Spain led by Gil Travel’s Sharon Cheeseman…I found her to be a most extraordinary professional woman. Sharon was so detail-oriented, she made the trip look easy. A couple of times, although she had double-checked the next steps of the schedule thoroughly, something did not go quite as planned. Yet, Sharon had an alternative plan to put into its place without being stressed and without missing a beat. Throughout the trip, there were so many moving parts, I marveled that she had everything falling into its proper place. In addition to her myriad details, Sharon interacted easily with the group of 10. She made everyone feel comfortable and ensured the pace accommodated the group. Her enthusiasm and spirit were infectious…She helped make our trip a great success.
- J. Goldsmith
We have used Gil Travel for over 30 years to book all our air travel for our Missions to Israel, but this was the first time I have booked an entire trip with Gil. Everything went very well, your staff was responsive and helpful, and Sharon Cheeseman was exceptional as our staff person on the trip. We intend to offer the trip again next year. Thank you for the exceptional work Gil has done for us recently, and over the years.
Just want to thank you both for the fantastic trip that we have just experienced! Overall, the experience for everyone was over the top! I want to particularly thank and commend you, Susan, for always being available and incredibly professional in the midst of unfathomable hardships. On behalf of Philip and myself, we wish to thank you for making the dreams of so many a reality. We look forward to, Gd willing, working with you again in the future.
- Marléné & Philip
Got home yesterday from the most amazing trip I have ever taken. I am writing just to thank you for your help through the entire process. You made it completely effortless for me and the trip, as a whole, was more than I had expected or hoped for. All I needed to do every step of the way was to just show up – everything else was taken care of. We also lucked out and had an incredible guide during the week. So thank you for everything!!! I will be in touch next time I start looking to plan a trip!!!
- Eric S.
Our trip to Israel was absolutely great! Tal was a terrific guide and perfect for our group. His knowledge, ability to communicate, guide “instincts” and sense of humor all combined for a wonderful 4 days with him. The itinerary worked well, with some “on the fly” adjustments which we suggested, and which Tal also suggested. The Dead Sea visit and the Herod Hotel lunch and pool was perfect; the jeep tour of the Golan Heights was great, and the Dan Panorama in Jerusalem was perfect. Thank you again for helping to plan a family trip of a lifetime for us! We will be happy to refer any of our friends to you for their trips to Israel!
I want to thank you so much for arranging the Jewish Journey to Portugal for me. It was FANTASTIC. There were only 3 people on the tour, including me! So it was quite personalized. And so meaningful for me. Our tour guide, Cristina Leal, was wonderful. I was constantly amazed at how much history she knew and could tell us about. She was a wealth of information. Our driver Bruno was great. All 3 hotels were excellent. Your partners in Portugal were certainly the consummate professionals as is Gil Travel. You all took care of everything right down to the last detail, which was very important to me since I was a solo traveler.
- Ivy C.
Trip is going wonderfully, a fantastic opportunity for my Christian friends to see and experience Israel. Nadav has been terrific; he and I have tweaked the schedules at times as we discovered not everyone was as physically fit as they used to be. Our driver, extremely personable and friendly. We arrived in Jerusalem yesterday afternoon and begin touring the city in a few hours. So much has changed but I can still find my way around the main streets. Sue and I have snuck away several evenings to visit family and will do so again tonight to be with friends.
EVERYONE is raving about Kfar Blum; rooms and food were fabulous. People will not soon forget Israeli breakfasts either.
I wanted to send a quick note thanking you and your staff for the extra help I needed prior to the Morocco trip. I also want to mention what a great job your on site team (Sharon) did throughout the trip.
- Robert H.
Working on an IDF Air Force base was a privilege and their hospitality was stellar. Julia’s touring sites were as-advertised, off-the-radar and wonderful, each an exquisite learning experience. But the high point was the excitement of extracting 6,000-year-old artifacts from the soil with my own dirty hands, while learning from professional archaeologists. That is quality, tough to match anywhere.
I really didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed actually doing the exhausting physical work of digging, carefully removing dirt around stones, moving debris with the wheelbarrow, sifting, and washing pottery shards, small animal bones, and flint stones. Learning about the site history from our archeology madricha was valuable. I am now more aware of the labor and skill involved in uncovering and preserving historical treasures. It was mind boggling to find objects from 5 to 7 thousand years ago. To sum it all up, I’d say it was a great adventure: team work, patience, exposure to different cultures, learning and discovery.
We are back to Germany after the Archaeology program and having a wonderful time in Israel. There were many important and interesting parts of our journey. The following was particularly important to me: conversations with the group and with the young female soldiers while working in the warehouse. Also, the explanations regarding archaeological procedures. Finally, the very competent knowledge of Julia and her guidance through Israel.
The VFI Plus Archaeology trip was a new and exciting program and time. We had excellent accommodations and facilities on base and at the dig. We met new and exciting people on base and at the dig. I recommend it to anyone.
The top two personal reasons for participating in the program were: 1) To gain a better (basic) understanding of what exactly is happening in the Mideast and why; and 2) To see the holy lands and all the historical sites in Israel. Thanks – we had a good trip and mission accomplished on my goals!
The VFI Plus program was a real Plus in my life! While I am not Jewish it taught me about the need for Israel, the importance of the work that we did while on base, showed me the important sites in Israel and brought a better understanding of why Israel is an important partner for us in the U.S.
- 2018 Participant
VFI PLUS ADVANCED is the Israel experience that offers something for everyone. A true sense of helping, as well as being there for Israelis was achieved along with the excitement of touring new and different areas of a country, I thought I had experienced before. There were numerous ventures previously unknown to me.
- 2018 Participant
Tours of several places instrumental in Israel’s struggle to become a nation gave me a deeper and clearer understanding of the more recent history of this ancient place. Touring Haifa, Akko, the Herodium…I could go on and on. But I will stop with “add VFI PLUS ADVANCED to your bucket list!”
- 2018 Participant
Best experience ever. Rewarding, nourishing, rich, vibrant and brought my heritage to life. Formed lasting friendships with Israeli’s and VFI team.
There is so much more to write about this wonderful program with the VFI PLUS ADVANCED. I highly recommend it for those who like to see Israel, have a great adventure and meet people from all over the world and not cost an arm and a leg as a tourist.
- 2018 Participant
I have been to Israel 5 times: twice on tours and 3 times with the VFI. Every trip has been a wonderful experience and an adventure. This last trip by VFI PLUS ADVANCED has been the best of all 5…
- 2018 Participant
I can say without hesitation that VFI PLUS was one of the most rewarding experiences of our lifetimes. The opportunity to work as volunteers on a military base to help support the IDF soldiers and to have a fabulous tour with other volunteers in the land of Israel was a time we will cherish and look forward to doing again.
- Larry H.
This, my first trip to Israel and VFI experience, affected me in ways that I had not anticipated. As a secular Jew, it helped clarify where I fit in regard to my Judaism and relationship with Israel. The volunteer work was meaningful and fulfilling, and the touring aspect of the program was fascinating and top notch.
- Adele D.
Never could I have imagined the wonderful experiences that awaited me/us/before we began our trip.
Israel has a commitment to 3rd world countries, and nations who have experienced disasters. We become a part of that commitment with our volunteer work and support. Our tour guide, did an exceptional job in bringing the Land and the People of Israel alive for our group; it was a unique program.
- Dr. Wes
Overall the VFI program was wonderful and represented one of the greatest travel experiences we have ever had. An opportunity to interact with the “real Israel” through wonderful young people.
- Terry and Bob
The VFI Plus experience is a magnificent experience for all people who desire to travel to the Holy Land. As an observant Jew I was fully accommodated by the people who organized the VFI Plus program.
- Michael M.
This Volunteers for Israel PLUS was one of the most rewarding experiences of my lifetime. I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer on a military base to help support the IDF soldiers and to have a fabulous tour with other volunteers in the land of Israel was a time to cherish.
- Dale F.
Susan, The trip was fantastic. We were fortunate to only have 6 people total on the tour. Meir Elia was outstanding, an excellent tour guide and I would recommend him highly. Everything else went tremendously well. You were outstanding as well, I will be passing on your contact info to anyone who asks.
- Russell S.
We enjoyed our Israel trip immensely. The hotels were wonderful…we really enjoyed Meir, our tour guide. He was so knowledgeable. His experience as a soldier and commander in the ‘67 war and the Yom Kippur War made us feel like we were seeing the country through the eyes of a person that was instrumental in its formation and growth. A true Sabra! There are many more places we’d like to travel to, but I sincerely hope that we make it back to Israel some time soon. When we do, we will surely turn to Gil Travel!
First off, let us state unequivocally that for Alice and me, this was the trip of a lifetime. We’ve been talking about a trip to Israel for years and because of failing health issues we were not sure we would ever get there. Susan you were the one who assured us that we could do this Active Senior Tour! Well, we both did it and loved every moment of the trip. Besides seeing every highlight stop along the way including unannounced and very interesting side trips, we had a great group of people with us, a number of whom we will stay in touch with in the future. The tour guide, Meir More, was amazing! His love of Israel and outstanding ability to cite historical significances along the tour route were nothing less than amazing. We could never have had a better guide. We saw and learned so much from Masada to The Museum of the Jewish People to the Dead Sea to the Ayalon Institute to having an authentic & delicious lunch prepared by Bedouins to having Shabbat Dinner at a Holocaust Survivor’s home. And Susan, you were the hostess with the mostess. Your sense of humor and friendly, caring manner were terrific!
- Mark S.
Just wanted to thank you for an incredible trip filled with great memories. Meir was an excellent tour guide who was very knowledgeable. He was also very congenial and I always felt comfortable in asking questions or making comments. It was great for you to accompany us and to make sure everyone enjoyed all aspects of the trip. Thanks again for helping to make our Israeli tour, a trip we will never forget.
- Sindy and mark
I had an amazing time. Israel is truly a remarkable country. The itinerary is chock full and our guide, Gilad was an abundance of knowledge… I thought the accommodations were nice and enjoyed our group dinners… I would recommend Gil Travel to anyone planning a visit to Israel. Thank you for a memorable trip.
I want to be sure I thank you for a wonderful trip. I am giving glowing reviews to friends and family and classmates at the Community College. You and everyone else were extremely kind and tolerant of this old man without a phone and a propensity to wander off. I appreciate it. “til we meet again, have happy holidays and a great 2019!
The trip went perfectly. The Dan Boutique was very nice and work well for the group. The staff there are wonderful and always helpful. The airport service we paid for was incredible, especially when leaving Israel. Must have saved us 90 of waiting in line. What a great service, especially upon leaving. All transfers worked well and flights, as usual easy considering the length of time. Great work and thanks so much for your help…will recommend you to any one I know going to Israel.
Thank you so much again for a trip! I will always be grateful for your help in all of the planning!
- Cassie L.
Our tour guide Meir was great! The group really enjoyed being with him. The trip has been excellent so far!
- Marcia S.
We returned last night from our wonderful trip to Spain! We can’t thank you enough for all your assistance in making this trip happen for Jim and I.
- Jim C. and Maura S.
Leonora, I just got back and had a wonderful time! Thank you for everything.
- Lillian R.
Dear Samantha, Just a quick note to thank you for a wonderful trip! Israel is amazing and a place everyone should visit! Our trip was flawless! Everything was on schedule and our tour guide, Elan was wonderful. He sure made the tours very interesting and quite a learning experience! He was like a walking encyclopedia! The accommodations were excellent…Thank you again for your great customer service, always prompt to answer our questions, we felt especially good when we heard other travelers complaining about their travel agents! Sincerely, four happy customers.
- Rafael, Marina, Thomas, and Jessica
You have a number of nice, friendly employees, but one deserves the most accolades. Despite all of the changes and issues, Samantha Sultzer was there: always friendly, timely and helpful.
- Lowell F.
Hi Deborah. Our Israel experience was indescribably stupendous, far surpassing any expectations we had. There were nine in our group – a great number. We bonded with each other and with our guide, Rami who was a real character and quintessentially Israeli. The itinerary was varied and rich with culture, history, and spirituality. Also, our accommodations were top notch. We came home tired and emotionally filled up. We feel so very blessed that we were able to experience to experience Israel this way. You put together a “trip of a lifetime”.
- Michael S.
Let me start by saying this was a GREAT trip! We thoroughly enjoyed the time with had with Meier and Elizabeth and the whole group of Seenagers. Meier was an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable, personable – related historical, biblical and balanced commentary for the entire trip. The best tour guide we have had in ALL our travels so far! Elizabeth was an attentive, wonderful person, who went out of her way to be sure each and every guest was taken care of – she watched over my husband ( challenged with walking) and others who needed a bit more attention ) so well. I can’t imagine the trip without her!
This trip really enlightened me personally – I am not Jewish but do not have a strong religious affiliation. My husband converted to Judaism years ago and his children are Jewish. I never could really understand previously why this State of Israel was SO important – although I support it. I know have a very deep understanding and thank Meier and this tour for allowing me to better understand!!! It as a big AH HA for me. Will definitely recommend to friends and family! AND will consider another trip there in the future!
The trip was fabulous. Meir and Elizabeth provided us with a wealth of information. Our group of “Seenagers” bonded together well. Each place we saw left a lasting impression. I have already recommended this trip to others.
- Barb S.
Outstanding trip. We loved every part of it. Meir was extremely knowledgeable about all the history and Elizabeth was wonderful. Very congenial group. Although this was a trip geared for seniors at a slower pace we feel we could have used a little less “down time.”
- Betty and Saul L.
Hi Susan! Ken and I can’t say enough how amazing the trip was. The sites were so interesting and varied, but what made the trip extra special was our two guides, Meir and Elizabeth. They couldn’t do enough for us and always asked the group its preferences. They always considered our safety and provided plenty of bathroom stops. Traveling with our small group of 20 allowed us to get to know everyone and it wasn’t difficult to keep track of us all. Highlights included the Holocaust Museum, dinner with a Holocaust survivor, the light and sound show and the camel ride, just to name a few. I would highly recommend this trip to any “Seenager” considering a trip to Israel.
- Patricia and Ken H.
In summary, the active senior trip to Israel was fantastic, beyond expectations- everything you said and more. For me it was not only a vacation but an exploration of my Jewish heritage. I can know hold my head up and be proud to be a Jew. There were many emotional moments. The Shabbat dinner at the Holocaust survivor’s home, the trip to Misgav Am, the Tower of David light show and the Western Wall in Jerusalem were some of the highlights. Meir and Elizabeth and Ronnie (bus driver) were all wonderful and took very good care of us. Meir is extremely knowledgeable and transmits his information in a clear and accessible manner plus he is a lovely person. Elizabeth went all out to assure each of us was most comfortable. Ronnie navigated the bus like it was a golf cart plus he had a great sense of humor. All in all, I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wishing to explore Israel. Thank you so much!!
- Betsy O.
Dear Susan, It was an amazing trip. Everything was so well organized. We all felt like VIPs. No lines, no waiting…we just kept moving along. Meir and Elizabeth were absolutely fantastic. I’m so glad I finally went to Israel – it is just an amazing place. Learned so much. Have so much to read up on. Wishing you and your family a Happy Passover.
Thanks again for all your help.
Susan – we had a great time on the Seenager trip! Meir, Elizabeth, and Ronnie, our driver, were wonderful! The group was a really perfect side!
Thank you Susan. Our trip was fabulous. We have wonderful memories that will be with us forever.
- Barbara and Robert
Hi Susan! Ken and I can’t say enough how amazing the trip was. The sites were so interesting and varied, but what made the trip extra special was our two guides, Meir and Elizabeth. They couldn’t do enough for us and always asked the group it’s preferences. They always considered our safety. Traveling with our small group of 20 allowed us to get to know everyone and it wasn’t difficult to keep track of us all. Highlights included the Holocaust Museum, dinner with a Holocaust survivor, the light and sound show and the camel ride, just to name a few. I would highly recommend this trip to any “Seenager” considering a trip to Israel.Thanks for all your assistance.
- Patricia and Ken H.
Hello Sue, We had an absolutely stunning time. We loved the travel with the small group (around 12) which proved to be a quite compatible crowd. The hotel accommodations were absolutely superb!… All of the arrangements worked like a well oiled machine. I could not believe the precision of everything. The Petra arrangements were especially impressive as that required may cogs to fit smoothly together in a functioning wheel! Our Israeli guide, Zeb was energetic, knowledgeable and passionate about his mission to educate us about the country and its history, both past and present. He allowed me to achieve my goals for the trip which were to see the relevant Holy Land sites but more importantly, to gain a better understanding of the 20th and 21st century events that have shaped Israel’s modern day history. The visit to the Knesset was very good and gave me a much better understanding of how the Israeli government functions and reemphasized to me that Jerusalem is already the capitol of Israel! I thank you so much for all that you did to make this trip so successful. Both Don and I would recommend you and your agency to anyone anytime!
- Eileen and Don
Dear Iris and Donna,
We had the most wonderful time at Beresheet! What a perfect weekend excursion. Many thanks for all of your help.
- Betsy and Richard S.
Hi Susan, We had a great week in Israel! Loved the Carlton Hotel on the Beach in Tel Aviv! Discovered our new favorite hummus place, Kaspi on the corner of Orlozorov. Made it to Nachalat Binyamin for the first time…lots of great finds there! In Jerusalem, we found a Beitar Yerushalayim jersey for our son right at the entrance to Machane Yehuda. First time there for both of us. Spent way too much at the Pereg spice/nut shop, swayed by a lovely older gentleman who plied us with lots of delicious samples! And we lucked out with the weather too! All in all, a success. Thanks for your help in planning. And by the way, El Al’s new 787 Dream planes were a great enhancement!
- Ricky and Randi F.
Donna, Just returned yesterday from our JCRC of SNJ Faith Leaders Mission…it was fabulous! EVERYONE had the most incredibly experience and the itinerary and all the attention to detail in terms of registration, etc. was appreciated by all. Look forward to continuing to work with you in the years ahead. David
- David from JCRC
Thank you, Luca, for going Above and Beyond on this trip. We hope to travel with you once again in the future – Ilan K
- Ilan K
You guys did a fantastic job and I greatly appreciate it. Luca was great, He was very understanding and respectful of the religious views of the Orthodox Jews on the trip. Thank you again for making a historic trip. i greatly appreciate all the hard work you guys did – Marc P.
- Marc P
Just returned from Guatemala and Jewish Leaders Mission. It was excellent. Luca was excellent and exceptional. He took great care of the group and were a credit to Gil. Kol HaKavod! Best regards – Elliot K
- Elliot K
The significance of your child’s Bar/ Bat Mitzvah is immeasurable. This time in your family’s life is one that you all want to treasure and experience together for as long as possible. It also serves as a time to reinforce your culture, your Judaism, your Zionism, and your connectedness to Israel. This is the moment to show who you are, to illuminate your values, and to imbibe your family and friends with a love of Israel and the experience of a lifetime. Gil Tours can create that for you.” – Julie C.
- Julie C
Can’t tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. The guides, Gadi and Elizabeth could not be beat. They worked so hard to make sure we were comfortable and taken care of well. Their knowledge expanded our grasp of the land, the people and our history. We were so fortunate to team up with a great group of people. The camaraderie we had made each day a joy.
This trip went beyond our expectations and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone or to use Gil Travel again.
Roberta and Howard Chernawsky
- Roberta and Howard Chernawsky
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience the “Trip of a Lifetime!” Everything and everyone exceeded my highest expectations!I don’t know how you managed to put together such a cohesive group of people without ever having met us. From the moment we greeted each other at the airport in Newark, we became a family. The tour itinerary was well-organized, extensive and varied. Our tour guide, Gadi was extremely knowledgeable and shared his knowledge with enthusiasm and humor. Last, but not least, Moti, our driver, kept us safe and comfortable.
- Crystal Cooper
Richard and I wanted to let you know how amazing our recent trip to Israel was. The Jewish Heritage tour was defiantly the perfect trip for us and our friends and I truly cannot think of one thing that was amiss. Personal highlights for me included swimming in the Dead Sea (and the sulfur pool at the Dead Sea resort), visiting Masada and seeing the vast ruins on top of the mountain, as well as spending the day at the beautiful resort city of Eilat. Visiting these three places were a life long desire for me.
I also want to mention Timna Park in the Negev Desert. It was spectacular and it was strange and unusual being in a place with absolutely no sound. But it was Yehiel Lavi, the guide you hand picked for us who made the entire tour so special and meaningful. He is a fount of information and truly could speak on any topic whether it was history, culture, food, political atmosphere or religion. All of us valued his broad knowledge and the way he imparted information to us. His personal tour style allowed us to feel a special connection to Israel, it’s people, and our shared Jewish heritage.
It truly was a trip of a lifetime.
Jaci and Richard
- Jaci and Richard
First of all, from Betsy and I, thank you so much for everything. You all did a remarkable job- thoughtful, responsive, thorough, joyful. It truly was the experience of a lifetime and would not have been without you and your team.
- Mark B.
Our trip to Israel to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday was amazing. Gil Travel and Susan worked with me to put together a fantastic itinerary and everything was flawless.
There was so much learning, laughing and love during our 10 days. We all can’t wait to go back and we would have Gil Travel and Susan plan our adventure again. Thanks for putting together a wonderful trip.
- Marji G.
Good Morning Samantha, We returned yesterday from our amazing trip to Israel. I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything you did to make this possible for us. I am so grateful to you and Gil Travel for all you did for us. Truly! You all went above and beyond to make sure our trip went smoothly and we appreciate it! More than you know.
- Lori C.
Good Morning Fred!
We are home and fine…..what an amazing journey!
Overall, the trip was simply amazing…..all travel arrangements/lodging/meals/excursions and Ariel Stolar beyond words…….really top of the line…..in every way.
Thank you……we would like to talk with you when you are available.
We kept a daily journal and have more than 600 photos!
- Susan and Daniel
Ya de regreso en Philly. Gracias mil por tu ayuda. Mi viaje fue todo un éxito! Baruch HaShem!
- Maria C.
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
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
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.
- Beth F | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017
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.
- Al and Carol W | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017
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.
- Lynn and Stan B | Active Senior Israel Tour Spring 2017
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
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
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.
- Brian and Estelle R
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
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.
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
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!
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
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.
- Annette S | VFI 2016
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Barbara W | Senior Israel Tour Fall 2016
October 20, 2016
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.
September 26, 2016
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.
September 26, 2016
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.
- Ina Quartner
September 19, 2016
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!
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
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,
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
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
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