What to Pack for Israel in Summer
Besides the obvious religious significance and historical sites, the first thing most people think of when they think of Israel is the blazing heat of a desert. They’re not wrong – Israel is hot in the summer! Ironically, summer is peak tourist season in Israel, with thousands of people flocking to this tiny country on birthright trips, religious pilgrimages, and more.
I headed to Israel for nine days in the middle of May, and while it’s normally simple for me to pack for a trip, I found myself stymied. How would I stay cool in the hot temperatures while still maintaining respectful modesty at religious sites and avoiding a nasty sunburn? Fortunately, packing for Israel in the summer is simple – you can fit everything you need in a carry-on!
Summer Packing List
- 5 moisture-wicking tank tops – my favorite is the KÜHL ASPIRA TANK.
- 2 long-sleeved button-down shirts with sun protection
- 2 short-sleeved shirts like the KÜHL INTENT SS
- 2 pairs of shorts – try the KÜHL SPLASH SHORT.
- 2 pairs of moisture-wicking pants – I lived in the KÜHL WEEKENDR TIGHT on this trip.
Let me stop you right here. You might think I’m crazy to include long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants, but trust me on this one – you’ll want the sun protection! Besides, when clothing is made out of the right material (moisture-wicking, lightweight), you won’t even know you’re wearing it, and you’ll be cooler than you’d be in shorts! For those of us who are heavy sweaters, this also provides an extra layer for moisture-wicking so you don’t have to worry about sweat pouring down your legs into your shoes. Just me? Oops.
- 1 pashmina for air-conditioned rooms or religious sites where modesty is expected. You can use it to cover your shoulders or wrap it around as a longer skirt.
- 2 nice, modest outfits to wear on Shabbat if you will be visiting religious sites as part of the celebration. Think a knee-length skirt and top with sleeves or a breathable dress and cardigan/pashmina.
- A lightweight jacket for cool evenings. It can get surprisingly chilly in Jerusalem!
- Comfortable pants for the long flight to Israel. I wore the KÜHL SKÜLPT JOGR and was so glad I chose them when my luggage got lost and I had to spend the whole next day in them, too!
- A bathing suit for the Dead Sea
- A sun hat to protect your head and neck
- Comfortable walking shoes or sturdy sandals
- One nicer pair of shoes for evening/Shabbat
- Breathable underwear – goes without saying!
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and any other sun protection you can think of. The sun in Israel is incredibly strong, and it’s hot during the summer. Save yourself the agony and apply sunscreen early and often!
- Electrical converter/adapter for charging electronics
- Quick-dry towel for a visit to the Dead Sea
- Portable charging device for recharging phone, camera, etc.
- Water bottle
Despite what you see on the news, remember that Israel is a developed country with a standard of living equal to the United States and Europe. If you forget to bring something, don’t sweat it. You can easily find it in the shops in Israel. One word about the shops and markets: haggling is expected, so come prepared with small bills (Israeli shekels), and don’t be afraid to barter. Visiting the markets (souks) is a fantastic way to experience Israeli culture and bring home some wonderful keepsakes! Overall, remember to protect yourself against the sun, drink lots of water, and enjoy your trip!
Danielle Cemprola is a freelance writer, marathoner x 52, and the brains behind the popular running and travel blog The T-Rex Runner. Danielle and her husband, AJ, love to hike, travel, and eat their way across the planet. She’s a self-described carry-on enthusiast who loves challenging herself to pack for any trip, no matter the length or destination, in a carry-on bag. When Danielle’s not flying the friendly skies, you’re likely to find her working at her day job as an environmental scientist – hey, someone needs to pay for all those plane tickets!