This month we chat to Melissa from The Family Voyage about her favourite family travel destination in Asia – Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a place we’re yet to venture, and totally fascinates me. So I was so excited when Melissa agreed to this interview! And I was surprised to learn what an easy country it is to travel with kids…
1. Tell us a bit about yourselves. Where are you from and how often do you travel as a family? How old are your children?
We are from Los Angeles and just returned after a year of full-time travel! Our two kids are now 7 and 4.
2. How many times have you travelled to Asia and why do you love travelling there?
We’ve been to Israel twice with kids and to Thailand once. Though both countries are in Asia, they represent very different cultures – representative of the overall diversity seen throughout Asia. It’s amazing for us as Americans to see a place that’s completely different than what we’re used to.
3. Why is Tel Aviv your favourite destination?
Tel Aviv is an amazing place for families to visit for so many reasons! First off, kids are welcome absolutely everywhere. Second, there are activities for travellers of any age and any interest. Third, the city is very easy to get around – you can walk, bike, take buses or even hop in an Uber if you need to.
4. What were your top three things to do in Tel Aviv with kids?
Beach! During our month in Tel Aviv, we were probably at the beach every other day. Our apartment was just down the street so it was easy to just pop by for a few minutes. Our local beach had a playground and even a toy sharing box, so it was ideal for families.
The Nahlat Binyamin craft fair (every Tuesday and Friday) is a great way to expose kids to diverse art in a really fun way – you’ll see everything from paintings to handmade ritual objects to whimsical sculptures made of neon plasticine.
Visit a shuk. Like so many other countries in the Middle East, locals often do their shopping from vendors at open air markets. Our kids love wander Shuk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv and checking out the various stands – they’ve picked out everything from fresh bagels with za’atar to sets of sand toys durig our visits.
5. Where did you stay and do you recommend it?
We stayed in a wonderful GuesttoGuest apartment right near Bograshov Street in the heart of Tel Aviv. We loved taking advantage of the central location to sightsee, and then coming back to two bedrooms, two bathrooms and even a den for the kids to set up with their toys.
6. What did the kids eat?
One reason why Tel Aviv is such an easy place to visit with kids is the wide range of food available at all price points. They ate plenty of chicken schnitzel and cheese pizza along with hummus and falafel (plus the occasional round of Chinese noddle dishes).
7. How did you get around Tel Aviv with kids?
We got around in every way you can imagine! Within Tel Aviv, we mostly walked (it’s a great, stroller-friendly city!) and took a bus here and there. We did rent a car to get out of the city and explore the rest of the country – here are our best tips for renting a car in Israel after five trips.
8. What is your top tip for families travelling to Tel Aviv?
Relax and have fun. Many would-be travellers to Israel get hung up on geopolitics, but there’s so much more to the country than that. Tel Aviv is a safe place to visit as long as you follow common-sense travel safety advice.
9. What item could you not have done without in Tel Aviv?
With young children who may not be great walkers, a stroller is indispensable. We loved our Baby Jogger City Mini in Tel Aviv because it folds up easily in restaurants and small apartments – it’s a favourite among locals too!
10. Where are you off to next?
We’re heading to NYC later this month, and beyond that is anybody’s guess!
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