Most of the year Israel is two hours ahead of GMT and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the U.S., although during the switch between regular time and daylight savings time, there may be some variations.
The unit of currency in Israel is the "New Israeli Shekel" (NIS) commonly known as the shekel. It consists of 100 agoroth and comes in denominations of 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekel notes. Coins come in 5, 10 and 50 agoroth denominations as well as in 1, 5 and 10 shekel pieces. Money can be exchanged at just about any bank in the country. All are open mornings Sunday-Thursday; afternoon hours vary. Banks are closed on Friday, Saturday and most Jewish holidays. Even when banks are not open, ATM's can be found almost everywhere. In addition, licensed shops specializing in money changing can be found in all the major cities.
Most shops, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards. The most common are Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard , Diners Club and American Express.
Tipping is fairly standard in Israel, though at a current norm of between 10-12 percent the accepted rate is still fairly low. A service charge may or may not be added to your restaurant bill. When it is not included, a tip is expected.
Roads are excellent and well signposted. Coaches are spacious, modern, air-conditioned and comfortable, manned by experienced drivers and guides. Car rentals and driver/guide limousines are readily available and of superior quality.