Who can join as a HIT member? Everyone who can prove to be an Israeli (Israeli ID, passport, driving licence) or partner of the above, provided they have been in exclusive relationship for at least 1 year.
Who are the HIT hosts? All of our hosts have one thing in common – they love the nation and people of Israel! The very large majority of our hosts are evangelical Christians who believe that the Jewish people are God’s covenant people. Some of our hosts are Jews (being Orthodox, Messianic, reformed or secular) and we even have among our hosts some Israelis that are living out of Israel.
Why are HIT hosts hosting us? All of HIT hosts have a love for the nation and people of Israel. The very large majority of our hosts, who are evangelical Christians, see this as a great opportunity to bless us, the people of Israel as God’s chosen people, and to do so in the most practical way possible. For our Jewish hosts, this is a great opportunity to come in contact, and learn more about their own people and culture. For our Israeli hosts, this is a great opportunity to have some form of “an Israeli atmosphere” and to speak some Hebrew and have a little bit of Israel outside of Israel.
Why should I join as a HIT member? For an unforgettable “home away from home” experience and to save hundreds of $$$ on your travels. Many people travel to different countries but never really get to meet the locals. With us, you’ll be able to meet the local people in the most personal way possible – being hosted at their homes.
How do I join as a HIT member? It’s easy. Just go to this form >>> (http://hitinternational.net/he/%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%94/) and fill out all the required information.
HIT membership card
Why am I being asked by the HIT network to give my passport details and other sensitive information about myself? This is so we can distinguish between each individual member and to prevent non-Israelis from using the HIT network. Also, in case of an emergency (like accident, earthquake, and other things that can happen when people travel) we will have a record of you which has already proven in the past to be vitally important.
How do I access my membership card on the HIT website? You need log into your Username (@ “Members” – the red button @ the top left-hand corner of our website) >>> click on “Edit Profile” and go to the bottom of the page that has been opened, and click “Continue”. This will take you to the place where you can print see your membership card and take a screen shot of it.
Can I edit my membership card? How? Yes, you can. To edit your HIT profile, you need to log into your Username, (@ “Members” – the red button @ the top left-hand corner of our website) >>> click on “Edit Profile” and go to the bottom of the page that has been opened, and click “Continue”. This will take you to the place where you can print see your membership. This will take you to the place where you will the option to “Edit Profile”.
Anything that I need to be aware of when coming to stay with HIT hosts? We ask you to be appreciative and respectful towards our hosts who open their homes to you according to their ability and will. It is important that you will read all the information provided by each individual host, at their prospective hosting profiles in order to prevent any possible problems and misunderstandings. Also, when you’re in somebody else’s home remember that “in Rome act like a Roman”. Always remember that you’re an Israeli ambassador wherever you go outside of Israel…
What is the quality of accommodation which HIT hosts provide? The quality of our hosts’ accommodation varies. We have hosts with +5-star type-accommodation and hosts who can only offer very basic facilities and anything in between. We try to include this information on each hosting profile, but this is not always the case. If it’s important for you to a high-quality accommodation, it will be good to ask the hosts about this when you make the initial contact with them.
What things am I to expect my hosts to provide me with when I come to stay with them? We only ask your host to provide 3 elementary things for their HIT guests: (1) A bed (or fold-out couch / mattress on the floor or a place to pitch a tent or park outside with a camper / motorhome) (2) Toilet & shower you can use and (3) a kitchen you can use for cooking. Anything on top of that (such as internet, laundry, meals, etc) are not to be expected though many hosts will provide some of these extras (and even more). This information will mostly be included on the personal hosting profile of each individual host.
What expectations do hosts have from me? Our hosts will expect you to respect them in their own homes and to be a good ambassador of Israel when coming to stay with them.
Why do I have to pay to use the HIT network in countries like New Zealand, Australia and Fiji? In order for us to provide our services to you, and to keep expanding and growing the HIT network into other countries as well, we need to generate income. We only start charging in any particular country once our network is well established there and you are able to save a significant amount of money using our services there.
I’m asked to pay for specific packages. Why am I also being asked to pay to HIT host as well? The packages you pay for goes to HIT international in order for us to continue developing and expanding our hosting network and providing these services to you. Our hosts too, have costs that are caused as a result of being hosts (these includes things like tea / coffee / sugar, toilet paper, power, water, internet, laundry and sometimes even food and other things). Since in various places some of our hosts can have 100’s of visitors a year, this means that their costs for hosting can be quite significant. We don’t believe that any of our hosts should pay and little alone go bankrupt for hosting you. This is the least you can do – help them to bless you. You can still save lots of $$$ using our services, far more than any other network may be able to offer you.
Working with the HIT website
How do I find HIT hosts on the website? There are two ways that you can use in order to search for hosts and services on the HIT website. We have the Google maps search (http://hitinternational.net/he/main-screen/) and the systematic search . Please note that you will not have access to the personal information and contact details of HIT hosts and services without first joining as a HIT member and, in some places, buying an appropriate HIT package. This year we’ll introduce the HIT app which, among other things, will help you looking for hosts and services when you’re in an area without internet connectivity.
How do I work with the HIT app?
I’m not religious. Will HIT hosts hassle me about religious stuff? This is obviously not the purpose. Our hosts’ aim is to bless you. Most of our hosts will not start talking to you about religious issues without you asking them about it first. The very large majority of our hosts are evangelical Christians who believe that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people. Normally, people like to talk about the things that are important to them, and this includes the things they believe in. However, every host who signed-up with us has agreed “not to talk to their Club Member guests on religious issues against their guest’s will” (see clause 2.5 @ Terms and Conditions for Hosting Providers – provide link http://hitinternational.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HIT-International-Travel-Club-Terms-and-Conditions.pdf)
What do I do if hosts starts talking to me about religious issues against my will? If you are not interested with any religious talks and, for some reason the issue comes up, you can always say to your host something like: “Thank you so much for opening your home to me. I understand that you do that because of your faith and the things you believe in. However, I am not religious and I came to your country to travel. Do you mind if we talk about something else?” This should be sufficient, as our hosts, who agreed not to speak to their guests on religious issues against their will, truly want to bless you. In the unlikeable possibility that this won’t help, you can always show your host our answer here…
Safety and security
How do I know that it is going to be safe for me to go and stay with HIT hosts? How can our hosts feel safe opening their homes to you? As you can see, it takes two to tango and both you and the hosts have to exercise some sort of trust in the other party. We cannot guarantee 100% security neither for you nor for our hosts, but there are some measures that we can take in order to make sure that we don’t have the wrong people hosting with us – see the following question.
What do I do if I have a bad experience with any of your hosts? It is safe to say that 90% of our hosts enjoy 90% of their HIT members and vice-versa. However, if you had a bad experience OR if you feel that you, as a guest, have been abused by any of your hosts, please accept our sincere apologies. Also, in such a case, please lodge a formal complaint and email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) ASAP providing as much information and be as specific as you possibly can. Receiving 2-3 complaints about any particular host, we can discharge these people from being hosts on the HIT network. IF you won’t let us know about the bad experience you had, how can we than do anything about it?!? Moreover, there are other Israelis who may have to experience the same in the future.
Staying with HIT hosts
How long before coming to stay do I need to contact my hosts? The longer the notice you give our hosts – the more of a chance you will be able to secure yourself a bed. However, we understand that this is not always possible. Most of our hosts, say in their hosting profiles, “just call” under Advance Notice so you can always call on the same day, even at 7-8pm. In such a case, say that you are sorry for calling so late, ask them to forgive you for that, and say that you would love to come IF they can have you. Saying it is OK, in case they cannot have you.
What do I do if I arranged to stay with somebody and my plans have changed? In such a case, please notify your supposed hosts as early as possible, once you know you will not be able to make it at their place, apologising for the inconvenience you may have caused them. Please note that if you won’t inform your hosts, you will not only cause them to worry that something might have happened to you, but in some case you will occupy the bed that someone else could have used…
How can I show my thankfulness for the hospitality of the hosts? The most important thing is the have the right attitude. Appreciate the fact that people go out of their way to bless you. It is the little things that are most important. You can always offer to cook for your hosts / do their dishes / help in the garden / etc. Leaving a note or a small gift (especially if you bring it from Israel) will always be appreciated (please do not bring superstitious things).
I am planning to travel by public transport. Is it still viable for me to use the HIT network? Yes it is possible. In most countries we operate, the public transport system is well established and it is easy to get from one place to another. Most of our hosts (at least in New Zeakand and Australia) who live out of town will be, in most cases, quite happy to pick you up, as this is quite normal for them to go “into town” for school, church, shopping, etc.
Traveling with other people
I won’t be traveling on my own (this can be boyfriend, girlfriend, family, travel partner/s, etc). Do we all need to be HIT members or it’s enough if only one of us is? HIT membership is personal and for individual use only. Everyone who wants to use the HIT network needs to join as a HIT member and in the relevant places (New Zealand, Australia and Fiji) buy an appropriate HIT package. There are no special deals for couples, families and travel partners.
I am travelling with my partner. We heard that many HIT hosts do not allow unmarried couples to sleep together in their homes. Is this true? Probably 50% of our hosts would have an issue with unmarried couples sleeping together in their homes, while the other 50% won’t mind if you do. Please note that this information does appear in the hosting profile of each individual host so you can know this before getting into the hosts’ home. We think that it is not too big of a tragedy if, once in a while, you and your partner won’t be sleeping in the same bed…
I am gay and am planning to travel with my partner. Will HIT hosts be OK with this? We would like to hope that most of our hosts won’t mind hosting you but somehow we are afraid that many of them will… We would think that those who would be willing to host you – will have you sleeping in separate rooms. In any case, if you are a gay couple using the HIT network, when contacting HIT hosts in order to come and stay with them, please let them know the situation, to prevent any miss-understandings and awkwardness.
Can we Party?
When travelling I enjoy going out to party – do HIT hosts have any issue with this? Generally speaking, our hosts will have no problem with this, though some may ask for a curfew (and this information will appear in their hosting profile). In any case, our hosts will not be appreciative if you return to their home drunk or with a partner you picked up during the night. If you do happen to come back late at your host’ place, it would be good to keep the noise level down.
Would the hosts have a problem with me drinking, smoking or using drugs? Our hosts would respect the fact that you can make your own choices regarding any of these. However, probably 99% of our hosts will have an issue if you use any of these in their home. Most of our hosts will be OK with you smoking outside their home and some of our hosts won’t mind if you drink alcohol moderately. Don’t expect any of our hosts to allow drugs in their homes, though… Information about these things will appear on most hosting profiles.
How can I help to promote HIT? Let other Israelis know about our network. Using the HIT Facebook group, you can post photos and stories of your time with your hosts, and commenting on, and liking on posts by others. You can also write comments on the hosting profiles of the hosts you stayed with and the time you had with them. If you’re interested to host in your home HIT hosts who are coming to visit Israel – it will be fantastic and there’s room for this also.
Are there any other ways which the network helps, apart from accommodation? In New Zealand, where we’ve been operating since the year 2000, we also offer discounts on various tour operators (like bungy, skydive, rafting, etc) and information about the local Jewish communities and other Jewish-related points of interest (such as Israeli folk dance groups). We are only in the early stages of expanding the HIT network into other countries as well, and in the future we may include similar things there as well.