Hello dear readers,
I was thinking about the exodus recently, and what the first Pesach was like. The Jews in Egypt sat frightened in their slave houses and ate wearing their traveling clothes so they would be ready to go. They ate matzah because they didn’t have time for their bread to rise, and left without a clear itinerary (after all, they wandered in the desert for forty years!).
Today, when we talk about the exodus and put ourselves in the story, some of it is hard to do because the Seder environment is so different from the original exodus: we wear our finest clothes, eat carefully crafted matzah, and make a festive celebration in our homes. However, even today, I do see Jews who approach Pesach without a clear itinerary, so let me give you some advice for traveling during the Pesach holiday. In this case, I will focus on traveling abroad, as this kind of travel can invite more complications than traveling locally.
The first and most obvious thing is to decide what country (or countries) you will be traveling. Are you going to a kosher Passover hotel, or are you going to do your own thing? Are you going with family, and will you be a small, medium or large group? This could impact how much food you would have to bring, for example, or where you will be staying.
For international travel, it’s important to have a passport, and that the passport is valid for six months after the end of your trip. Some countries might require a special visa, so be sure to check that as well. Then there are a bunch of small things that are still important to take care of in advance. For some exotic countries, you might need a vaccination record (or you might need to get vaccines). If you plan on driving, you should check whether your driver’s license alone is enough, or if you need to get a special international driving permit. (Japan, for example, requires special documentation, though I have been myself, neither for Pesach nor in general.) You could also look at purchasing sim cards if you want to be connected to the internet when you’re on the go, or perhaps it’s sufficient for your purposes to just have internet in your room or hotel.
Then there are other things you can consider, like getting a guidebook or deciding if you want to learn a few phrases of the local language (assuming, of course, that you’re not traveling to an English-speaking country like Canada, England or Australia). Checking the weather is important too, to make sure you’ll have the right clothing for your travels; yes, it will be spring, but will you need sweaters, raingear, bathing suits, sandals …?
Hope that gave you something to think about before traveling for Pesach!
No matter where you are planning to go for Pesach, Leisure Time Tours offers several vacation packages. Contact us at 718-528-0700 to learn more.