Ultimate Female Packing List for Birthright

packing list for birthright israel

The following female packing list for Birthright was submitted by Shoshana Gould. See all female packing lists here.

Birthright is a free ten-day trip to Israel for young Jewish adults ages 18-26 that takes you all over the country – from metropolitan Tel Aviv to the mountains in the Galilee. Abbi and Ilana went and, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely planning on going too. These ten days are jammed packed with activities ranging from visiting Israel’s Holocaust Museum to hiking Masada at sunrise. No matter which trip provider you choose, packing strategically is key.

female packing list for Birthright
Tel Aviv

Unless you are extending your trip, packing carry-on only is the way to go. While this is true for most trips, it’s especially important for Birthright. Since you will be constantly on-the-go, spending only 1-2 nights in the same location, packing light and efficiently will make those early mornings loading the bus a lot less stressful.

Additionally, keep in mind that laundry is not possible during Birthright due to time constraints. Planning your outfits in advance and bringing more than enough underwear will serve you well. Remember to adjust this packing list depending on if you are going in the summer or winter months.

HPL note: Consider packing a few quick-drying clothing items (1 full outfit is recommended). You can wash them in the sink if necessary and have them dry in the morning. (Test it out at home first!) Check out these essential items to pack for hand-washing clothes while traveling.

female packing list for Birthright
Akko – one of the places you might visit during a Birthright trip to Israel

Clothing

  • Jeans/Pants (1-2) – If you’re going in the winter, jeans are a necessity. Otherwise, lightweight pants like these would be perfect.

    >> See which are the best travel pants for women.
  • Shorts (2-3) – Israel is known for its hot summer months. A combination of athletic shorts and regular shorts will work well.
  • Leggings (1-2) – Most Birthright trips end up looking like a live Lululemon advertisement. Long bus rides and active activities make leggings a Birthright staple. Bring one pair for the plane and one for athletic activities.
  • Basic t-shirts / tanks (10)
  • Shawl / scarf / maxiskirt (1) – These lightweight items can easily fit into your daypack and double as religious-appropriate attire.
  • Shabbat outfit – Tradition calls for wearing white on Shabbat, but that’s never enforced. Besides your night out in Tel Aviv, this will be the only occasion where “dressing up” is suggested.
  • Underwear, socks, pajamas – Bring extra!
  • Bras (3) – Two everyday bras and at least one sports bra.
  • Sweatshirt (1)
  • Warm jacket (1) – Only if you are going in the winter.
  • Swimsuit (1-2)
  • Towel (1, optional) – If you do bring a travel towel, I recommend one that’s quick-dry.
female packing list for Birthright
Visiting Jerusalem on a Birthright trip

Shoes

Toiletries

Birthright is a free trip, so don’t expect luxurious accommodations with high-end toiletries. While some places might have shampoo and soap, you will definitely be spending some nights in places where you’ll be relying on your own supply (hello, Bedouin tent!). The easiest thing to do is pack travel-sized toiletries.

And, don’t fret if you forget something. You can get anything you want in Israeli drug stores. If you’re comfortable using a Diva Cup, that’s a great way to save some space in your suitcase. Hand sanitizer is also a good idea for your falafel at the schuk.

female packing list for Birthright
Falafel in Israel

Extras

Start your trip with at least $150 of American cash. When you land in Israel, your trip provider will often have an opportunity for you to trade in your dollars for shekels (Israeli currency). While Birthright is a free trip, not all lunches are included and you will want to treat yourself to some ice cream and maybe a cold beverage as well. Using shekels is a lot easier than dealing with credit and debit cards.

Pro tip: If you are planning on making a large purchase or just prefer to use plastic, plan ahead and get yourself a card with no international ATM fees. You can use this handy list from NerdWallet to find a card that is best for you.

Other extras to pack:

  • One small purse for your night out in Tel Aviv
  • One day pack that will fit a change of clothes and a towel
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Water bottle – Water is potable throughout Israel, so save the plastic and bring a water bottle from home.
  • Keep your passport (and copies of it) safe in a holder that will be easy to find.
  • Your trip leaders will have a first aid kit, but you might want to bring some essentials with you too.
  • If you’re not willing to leave jewelry at home, only bring what you’re willing to lose.
It’s important to pack carry-on only for a Birthright trip.

Electronics

  • A good pair of headphones is a Birthright must – especially if you’re someone who needs some extra downtime to re-energize (#IntrovertsUnite). Between the international flight and the long bus rides, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch up on your favorite podcast, listen to an audiobook, or memorize new Israeli songs. Want to make friends? Don’t forget a headphone splitter.
  • You’re sleeping in a room with new people every night. Some of those people might snore. Bring a few pairs of earplugs to ensure you stay well-rested and un-aggravated.
  • Pics or it didn’t happen. There are plenty of good snaps to be taken and a good portable charger will ensure that you’ll always be there to capture the memories. Bonus points if you bring one that’s solar charged.
  • Bring an adapter for your electronics.

About the author: Shoshana Gould is a 20-something California native with a love of outdoor adventure and exploring new cities. She has lived in Cape Town, worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, and backpacked solo through Southeast Asia. Follow Shoshana on Instagram and Twitter.

how to pack for birthright trip
packing list for birthright trip

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Melissa C. says

    Great tip about headphones and earplugs! Birthright was my first trip to Israel (though I’ve been four more times since) and I actually managed with just a carry-on travel backpack. I brought lots of quick-dry clothing and a pinless clothes line. Especially for underwear and shirts, it was really easy to handwash them in the sink once every few nights and hang them overnight. I don’t recommend jeans at all for a summer trip – they’re heavy, take up tons of space, dry slowly and you won’t really need them for the warm summer weather.

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