Boo! Passover is coming. Does that scare you as much as it scares us? Turns out, Passover doesn’t have to scare and make you mentally exhausted each year. Shocker, I know. We asked our 10.1K members on our Facebook group, “Passover Program Reviews, what they should expect at a Pesach program and the answers were juicy. Let’s get into it.
- Food, food, and more food. Oh, did I mention- food? You probably will not want to see or eat food after your ten days stay at a Passover program. Food is constantly available whether it be the poolside BBQs, breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets, 24/7 tea rooms, in house restaurants and bakeries. There is just a ton of food, ask anyone. You will not be left hungry during your ten days stay; it is just impossible. D.M, from our Facebook group, says that Passover program travelers should expect “a non-stop conveyor of food, and then more food!” Need we say more? We will, S.L states, “honestly you wake up to food and end your day with more amazing food and dessert. Not more. You pay for 10 days of amazing Passover food…” You will eat nonstop and that is not an understatement. No more are the days where you must slave in the kitchen cooking and baking for your guests. No more are the days where you have to find replacements that are Kosher for Pesach. No more are the days where you have to dread Passover food. That is all behind you and me because there are Passover programs. Countless Pesach travelers confidently attest that the food and sweets served during Passover are amazing, if not better than during the year. That is a bold statement, something you can only see and test for yourself. Let’s talk about the types of food that is generally served. From breakfast buffets involving warm waffles, fluffy bread, crispy crackers, airy pancakes, all types of flavorful eggs, fresh fruits, refreshing smoothies, creamy milkshakes, a gorgeous array of cheeses, sweet cakes, and cookies, and so on. From dairy or meat lunch buffets including savory pizza, crunchy salads, delicious sushi, flaky fish, juicy lamb, veal, pastrami, turkey, and chicken. To dinner buffets stocked with even more meat, there is nothing that the buffets won’t have. You will need to purchase a new wardrobe afterwards, or better yet bring stretchy clothes with you. Some programs have themed dinners with different cuisines to spice things up. No one wants leftovers for ten days, variety is expected. Let’s move onto the tearoom, no there is not just tea. There are decadent and rich desserts, complex teas, aromatic coffee, sugary confections, exotic chocolates, sweet fruits, and more so that you’re fully prepared for the rare occasion of being hungry. I think that about covers it.
- Entertainment, available for both kids and adults. You are going to enjoy your Passover and be entertained. Whether it be talented chazanim, world famous singers, amazing DJs, mentalists, comedians, amazing speakers, scholars in residence, influencers, chefs, and so on. Each person is hired to make sure that you are having a good time and enjoying yourself. Chazanim are there to beautify your Chag and make davening time something to look forward to. Singers bring music to your ears and glorify Passover during Chol HaMoed or seder night. DJs, mentalists, and comedians there to amuse you on Chol HaMoed and truly enjoy your experience. Speakers and scholars of residence to either educate, entertain, or spiritually uplift your Passover. We cannot forget about the kid’s camp and teen programming that takes place as well. Parents want to go on a vacation, not another trip where they must constantly entertain their children and never have a break. With babysitting and a kid’s program, parents can now take a breather and either relax by the many pools or spa with a frosty cocktail in hand. Everyone deserves to benefit and indulge in a relaxing vacation. As E.M says, people should expect “good entertainment, lots of coffee so we can stay awake for all the activities.” Make sure to fill that cup of coffee up to the brim so that you don’t have FOMO missing out on the delightful activities.
- You get what you pay for, as is true with anything in life. Don’t expect a luxurious and lavish Passover program if you aren’t willing to pay what is standard. It is worthwhile to mention that U.S. based programs are widely different from Europe based. But that comes with its own pros and cons. European programs are usually cheaper than the U.S due to the cost of staff being lower and hotels are often cheaper. European programs are not going according to the U.S currency, making their programs of lesser cost. However, the flights may be more costly if you’re flying to Dubai or Greece, as opposed to New York or Florida. Don’t be upset when the entertainment isn’t top tier or there isn’t food available constantly, if you haven’t paid the big bucks. This is extremely significant to keep in mind when booking your Pesach stay. Go over what is important to your family, whether it be food, programming, entertainment, location, weather, or hotel. Once you have your options reduced, it is easier to plan and pick which program you would like to attend. Keep in mind that European programs primarily consist of those who live closer to Europe and may not be an English-speaking crowd. L.W speaks out on this topic saying that often European programs are “simple, unlike some of the U.S programs I’ve been on where a lot of emphasis is put on food and entertainment, this program (and I’m told European programs in general) are far more basic (which is reflected in the price difference). You will not be hungry, but you will also not have access to food 24/7. If you’ve gone to more lavish programs, be prepared to shift your mindset and manage expectations.” With all that said, European programs may work for one family and their budget, and not yours. Which is why it is key to acknowledge how price makes a difference when it comes to Pesach program planning.
There is a tremendous number of things that you should expect at Passover programs. What better way to understand each expectation than experiencing one yourself. You can do that today! Before you mention how Pesach programs are extremely expensive, just know that that isn’t always true. There are programs for all different price ranges and budgets, but that does directly reflect how luxurious versus modest a program may be. Check out the Passover Listings Pricing Tool and find a Passover program that fits your budget and that is affordable. Our goal is to exceed your expectations, Passover 2024 is the perfect time to get started!