5 tips to get ready for your Alaska experience

words Al Woods

your Alaska experience

From amazing ice fields to fresh spring lakes, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, green forests (Tongass and Chugach) that extend many miles, and lots of other picturesque attractions, the natural beauty of Alaska is just breathtaking. If you’re more of a city life kind of guy, you will never go wrong trying cities such as Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, and Sitka, just to name a few, thanks to the many options they offer when it comes to places to stay, eat, wine, and dine.

The largest U.S. state is also easily accessible through various transportation options, including air, train, and road as well as water transport (cruise). As you explore and enjoy the amazing beauty of the 49th state, there’s also a plethora of fun activities you can indulge in, from sightseeing to camping, hiking in the wilderness, bird-watching, boating, cruising, wildlife viewing, fishing, and even getting a taste of Alaska’s unique wildlife from some of its national parks and wildlife preserves. Simply put, there’s more than a dozen reasons anyone would want to put Alaska in their travel destinations bucket list.

However, nothing beats the importance of understanding your travel destination before visiting. By getting at least some basic knowledge of what the place is like, you can easily make your trip an exciting and successful one. You will go back with life-long memories and who knows, there’s a high chance you’ll keep looking forward to the next trip there. Well, if you guessed right, Alaska is no different, except for its vast size, unique beauty, and picturesque treasures located in an untamed wilderness that you will rarely find elsewhere in the U.S. This often makes first-time visitors want to come back like yesterday.

Without further ado, here are 5 tips to get you ready for your Alaska experience.

1. Plan Your Alaska Trip Early

While there’s nothing wrong with being spontaneous or impromptu in travel, you will want to start planning your trip to Alaska early by a few weeks or months to get the most out of your vacation there. For starters, Alaska receives a thrilling number of tourists each year throughout the year, with the largest number between June and September. This means that especially if you’re traveling during the peak season, getting the hotel that suits your needs can be hectic, not to mention expensive. And in a place like Alaska, where there are lots to do, see, and enjoy, you need the best accommodation you can get.

September is the perfect time to experience Alaska because of its lush landscape and wildlife habitat. Some of the most fun things to do in Alaska in September include whale watching or kayaking around glaciers, visiting Denali National Park and the highest peak in North America, or seeing the migration journeys of moose, caribou, lynx, and grizzly bears. You can even spend some time fishing for salmon in Anchorage or explore the unique and diverse night sky with a trip up to Fairbanks.

The good thing about booking early is that sometimes you can get the most comfortable accommodation even for the whole family for half the price compared to last-minute reservations. The folks at SashasPlaceAK.com believe that a trip to Alaska should be more than a stay in a cabin, it should be a true adventure. By planning your travel itinerary early, you’ll also get to book accommodation that is near to the adventure, nature and some of Alaska’s most breathtaking attractions.

2. Time Your Trip Right

Depending on what you want to experience, any time of the year is a good time to visit Alaska. However, most parts of the state are extremely harsh during the colder months, which is why as mentioned earlier, most people consider June to September is the best time to tour Alaska and get the most out of your trip. If you’d rather travel off-season, May or October could be a good alternative, but you’ll really want to do your homework about the weather, pack right for Alaska, and come well prepared to deal with the moderately harsh conditions that you may encounter. During these off-season months, for instance, mornings can be extremely chilly, so you need to pack a few warm clothing such as heavy-duty socks, coats, gloves, and so forth. You don’t want to be stuck in your hotel for days because it’s extremely cold outdoors and you didn’t carry some extra warm clothing.

3. Try A Cruise Ship

your Alaska experience

If you’re looking for some more diversity while exploring Alaska, one of the best yet unique ways to explore the 49th state is through a cruise. You can even decide to start with a cruise tour and then venture into the vast land for some more adventure. It all depends on what your itinerary looks like and the budget you’ve set for the trip. Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to enjoy viewing the sea life, including whales and even get a close-up view of the glaciers as they drop into the sea waters. What’s even more, you can tour Alaska’s Inside Passage, a stunning stretch of islands, Fjords, beaches, and waterfalls where you can also observe bald eagles and sea lions, in addition to humpback whales all from your cruise ship.

4. Don’t Leave Without Visiting Anchorage

Especially if you’re traveling by air, higher chances are that Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska will be your first destination. If it’s not, then do yourself a favor and don’t end your trip without getting a taste of the amazing experience Anchorage has to offer. While there, you’ll be in close proximity to national parks such as Denali National Park (which houses the beautiful Mount McKinley) as well as Kenai Fjords Park, and the Chugach National Park (on its borders) among others. Other attractions in the city include the Alaska Zoo and the Anchorage Museum, which is home to all you need to know about Alaska’s local history and culture.

5. Don’t Forget to View the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

Alaska tips

Ever heard of places where the sun never sets? Well, it’s true and it leads to a unique natural phenomenon called the Northern Lights, and Alaska is one of those places where this is experienced. Even though the Aurora Borealis doesn’t happen throughout the year, the sun stays visible for more than 20 hours a day (if not the entire 24 hours) at least from towards the end of May to late July. Especially at night, the scenery is just incredibly beautiful, spectacular and breathtaking. This is all the more reason to time your Alaska trip right.

And there you have it! With its striking beauty, incredibly unique attractions, easy of access, and multiple activities to engage in, Alaska has a lot to offer for any tourist. Even the avid traveler would arguably never explore the state’s hidden treasures in months. With the above tips, however, you can be confident of getting a travel experience like no other from your Alaska trip.


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