As part of our travel series we were joined by Ayelet, CEO of Naot North America, to discuss travel tips for those venturing to Israel. Naot was started by Ayelet’s family in 1942, when members of a small farming community in Israel’s Hula Valley began making shoes in a one-room workshop on Kibbutz Naot Mordechai. The idea that years later their shoes would be worn around the world was unimaginable. Naot not only evolved into a worldwide brand, but a way of life. Ayelet has fond memories of growing up in Israel and has spent time at the 5 factories there. We are thankful that she was able to give us the scoop on must see destinations while traveling, tips for flying with little ones, and exactly what to pack on your whirlwind Israeli vacation.
She always encourages people to travel to Israel. When we asked her about the scenery she stated, "...it's more beautiful than Tuscany." The culture there is different as well, they invite people they meet there to eat and swim together. Israel has a family feel, in fact everyone is family--very similar to the south. We asked her what some of the must see destinations are. She said that you must visit a "kibbutz" like the one that she grew up on. If you ask your tour guide, they should be able to point you in the direction of one. She also says pay attention to the small signs on the trails, when traveling through Jerusalem near the Dead Sea, where you can see the actual place of many monumental battles and scenes depicted in the Bible. Ayelet says that her go to food order is true hummus or Israeli salad. and there is also no going wrong with fresh falafel and shawarma.
When discussing what to pack she gave a wide variety of things to add to your checklist. When traveling around in the heat you need to make sure to pack tank tops, lightweight clothing, and a shawl to cover your shoulders while walking around the city. Bring a lot of sunscreen, aloe, and hair oil! The water there is a lot harder compared to the water in the States. You want to stay hydrated and moisturized. You are going to walk a lot while you are there so bringing your Naot sandals are a must! The engineered insoles are made of natural cork and latex and lined with a supple suede lining, creating a flexible and shock absorbing base of superior support that is designed to replicate the shape of one’s foot, they are great for walking on cobblestone. The people there even hike in sandals due to the warm temperatures and any possible swelling that occurs. Ayelet says her favorite sandals to travel with are the Kayla, the Dorith, or the Aubrey.
We all know how hectic traveling with little kids can be, and Ayelet had a lot of tips for those traveling overseas. She recommended getting every night time flight that you can! That way your kids can sleep overnight and be ready to hit the ground running the next day. Her biggest key is to pack their suitcase in order of outfits to make it easier to pull it out of the bag. Ayelet also recommends bringing extra clothes for your kids. We all know kids are prone to make messes, so it’s good to have an extra pair of clothing just in case.
If you are planning on renting a car for a big family, be sure to rent it ahead of time and take out the insurance because you will do lots of off-roading. In the bigger cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem she recommends using public transportation. There are also apps such as Gett that give you access to ridesharing like Uber.