"Why can't I bring everything with me from the US?" "What's the reason to order some things from Israel?" "Maybe, I'll just pay for an extra bag".

We often see this topic discussed among parents on GAP year group forums. While there are some things (like most of your clothing) that are definitely worth bringing from home, there are a lot of reasons to order a lot of other things from Israel. Here are 5 of them...

#1 Save Space and Avoid the Schlepp

Airline weight restrictions have gotten a lot stricter over the years and students are usually limited to one or two bags. Bulky items, like blankets and pillows, take up lots of space in your bag. Ordering these items from Israel saves you valuable space in your bag.

Even if you pay for an extra bag, it can be quite a challenge trying to transport 4 bags through a long journey from your home in the US to your dorm room.

#2 Get Appliances that will Definitely Work in Israel

American appliances typically run on 110 volts and a frequency of 60hz, while Israeli appliances run on 220 volts and 50hz. You can still bring small dual voltage devices like your phone from the US and use them with an inexpensive adapter.

However, if your device does not work on dual voltage, as is often the case with high powered/high wattage small appliances like hair dryers, toasters, and fans, you would require either a converter or a transformer, which are typically expensive and unreliable. For these appliances it is often worthwhile buying the appliance in Israel to avoid these issues.

#3 Buy Linens that Fit Standard Israeli Beds

Your American sheets from home will not properly fit on an Israeli standard bed - Israeli beds are narrower and longer than their American counterparts. When you buy your linens in Israel, you can feel confident that they will fit standard Israeli beds.

#4 Use Toiletries that are Suitable for Local Conditions

The water in Israel is consider "harder" (higher in mineral content) than the water in the US. As a result, local Israeli toiletry products are often more suitable to be used with the Israeli water and for this reason many people prefer to buy their toiletries in Israel. Many high quality, international brands of toiletries that are suited to the local conditions are available in Israel at reasonable prices.

#5 Some Items are Simply too Big to Bring

You're typically not going to fit a chest of storage drawers, a stand-up fan or a toaster oven in your suitcase, but these are super popular items with GAP year students, so the simplest option in this case is to just buy those items in Israel.

Final Thought: What Parents are Saying

In May 2021, someone posted this on the Facebook group Israel Gap Year Parents:

I think it would cost less to pay for an extra suitcase on the plane than to order linens from one of these companies in Israel. Does anyone agree? Usually an extra bag is about $100, and the amount of stuff I can fit in there would cost way more than that on these websites.

The responses were divided - of course you can do that. But we and lots of other experienced parents wouldn’t recommend it. The cost of sending an extra bag seems low (between $75-$200) but the cost can add up quickly if the bag is overweight. In addition, your child will have to wend their way across the world and through two airports with an extra bag.

We like how this mom summed it up:

Having sent many kids to Israel, unless your kid brings almost no clothing or other items to Israel it makes no sense to fill up the suitcase with the linen and stuff. Gap years are so expensive anyway, what is a little extra money. I ordered blankets, sheets and also towels and hangers that were in the dorm at her arrival. Worth every single penny!!

Happy packing!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. At Pack for Israel we provide everything you need for your gap year in Israel. You can order bedding and towelssmall appliancestoiletriesstorage accessories, and more that will ship directly to your school in Israel. We also have years of experience serving customers whose children go to Israel for the year, so if you have any questions please contact us and we’ll be glad to help. Happy Packing!