One of the things that come to mind when you think about Alaska is wilderness; endless wilderness and everything that comes with it, like bears, moose, and bison.
You’ve probably imagined a scenario where you’re driving through a forested Alaskan road only to spot a wild bull standing across the road. That happens, but isn’t that part of the beauty of The Last Frontier?
A trip to Alaska is the ultimate adventure for most people because there is much to see and much to experience. Some things will be new and unexpected, which is why it makes sense to plan that journey well.
Here is our list of travel tips that will make your Alaska trip a complete success:
1. Research the Weather
Alaska sits in the arctic zone, and extreme weather conditions are not uncommon. Before traveling, it would be best to look up the areas you plan to visit and what to expect since weather conditions can vary dramatically from region to region.
Anchorage and south-central Alaska have the typical Alaskan subarctic climate with short, cool summers and long, cold winter months.
The southeast is the warmest and wettest part of Alaska, while the north is what you’d expect of the arctic circle, with super cold winters and cool summers.
If you want to enjoy much of the outdoors, the best time to visit Alaska is in July, the warmest month.
2. Make Reservations Early
It can be fun to just wake up one day and hop on a plane to California or, better yet, make it a road trip.
Alaska is different in many ways.
For starters, it’s a world away and poses challenges you may not face in other states. One of those challenges is finding good and affordable accommodations during peak tourist season.
Making early reservations would save you much trouble, and you will most likely get amazing deals.
3. Create a To-Do List
Alaska has plenty to do, and see that you’ll be spoiled for choice. You may want to touch down first before figuring out what to do, or you may want to go with the flow.
Whatever you want to do, you’ll have a memorable experience, but to get the most out of your vacation, create a list of activities and destinations.
Nothing should be set in stone. You can switch things up as needed, but it’s better to have tours, cruises, and even individual expeditions planned.
4. Consider Your Health
The cost of healthcare and health insurance in Alaska is ridiculously high. There are also only 28 hospitals in a state much bigger than a dozen other states in the contiguous United States.
It’s safe to say you’re better off bringing any meds you’re on and taking good care of yourself once you land.
Be careful to look up state rules, especially when it comes to weed. While cannabis is fully legal in Alaska, it’s against the law to bring any from outside the state. The drug’s legal status should make it easier to follow proper channels when acquiring it.
5. Research the Natives
One of the worst feelings is offending people without knowing what you’re doing.
As you plan your trip, try learning more about Alaska natives, who are the indigenous people of Alaska, and they comprise about 16% of the population.
It’s important to understand the local way of doing things so that you can remain respectful throughout your stay. Having an idea about the locals broadens your horizons and makes your interactions and experiences more beautiful.
6. Budget for Your Trip
Alaska does have a higher cost of living compared to other states, which is partly due to the state’s isolated location.
Statistics show that over 90% of store-purchased food in Alaska comes from outside the state. The added cost of importation means that eating at a restaurant or even buying groceries will cost you more than it would elsewhere in the country.
You’re better off drafting a budget, knowing you may have to spend more on certain things.
Budgeting will also help you come up with affordable alternatives to keep from going beyond your estimates.
Alaska is one of those places that will give you pleasant memories years after your visit. But it’s also a place you visit after a good amount of planning to get the best out of the trip and avoid unfortunate incidents.