10 Alaska Travel Tips to Enhance Your Adventure
Are you planning a trip to Alaska soon? Whenever you decide to embark on an adventure in the Land of the Midnight Sun, it’s important to come prepared.
This covers everything from packing the appropriate clothes to setting realistic expectations and finding ways to save money.
At Alaskan Sights & Bites, we welcome visitors from all over the world on our guided food tours in Anchorage.
We’ve spent countless hours exploring our home city and state, so we’re perfectly placed to provide all the tips you need to plan an unforgettable vacation in Alaska.
Let’s dive into our 10 Alaska travel tips that will enhance your adventure in our stunning state.
Do you have any questions about our Anchorage guided food tours? Feel free to get in touch for the answers you need.
1. Have Realistic Expectations of Alaska
Alaska doesn’t have the bustling urban sprawl of New York and LA. And it doesn’t have the rich culinary heritage of New Orleans.
But we do have an unparalleled natural experience, a fascinating history, rich culture, and a vibrant, thriving food scene.
Remember, the allure of Alaska lies in its authenticity, unspoiled beauty, and raw charm. People love our state precisely because it’s not like anywhere else!
Keeping realistic expectations will only heighten your appreciation for this incredible place.
Start to plan the finer details of your trip with our recommendations for the best attractions to see and visit in Anchorage, Alaska.
2. Don’t Underestimate the Wildlife: These are Wild Animals in Their Natural Habitat
Alaska’s wilderness is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including moose, caribou, bald eagles, and bears.
And don’t forget the mosquitoes! We have 35 species of this bug here, but they’re only really an issue from mid-June to late July. If you’re planning a visit during this time, remember to bring mosquito repellent!
It’s vital to remember that the great outdoors is home to animals large and small. And wild animals don’t take kindly to perceived threats.
To avoid unpleasant or dangerous situations, always ensure you’re prepared and always be respectful.
A visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a great way to view our state’s iconic wildlife in a safe environment.
3. Try to Make Big Savings: Keep an Eye on Costs
Traveling in Alaska can be a little more expensive compared to other states, with costs for lodging, food, and transportation potentially 20 to 30 percent higher.
But knowing this upfront can help you plan and budget your trip more effectively.
For example, if you have the flexibility, consider a trip in the shoulders seasons of late May and late September.
November through March also sees a dip in visitor numbers, so you may find a winter bargain or two.
Of course, prices are at their highest in the peak season, from mid-May to mid-September.
4. Plan in Advance: Avoid Disappointment by Booking Early!
In Alaska’s peak season of summer, popular destinations like Juneau and Anchorage typically get fully booked.
This is as true for accommodation options as it is for tours and attractions.
To avoid disappointment, we recommend planning your trip and making bookings at least a year in advance. Make sure you don’t miss out on our guided food tours in Anchorage — our home city’s only guided food tours — by booking with plenty of time in hand.
5. Dress for Success: Don’t Get Caught Out by Alaska’s Weather!
Alaska is known for its dramatic landscapes, but its unpredictable weather comes a close second.
If you’re planning to explore the great outdoors, dressing in layers is key to comfort — and your choice of material is essential.
Opt for materials like polyester, nylon, or merino wool base layers as they are great at wicking away moisture. They also dry faster than cotton.
Even in the summer months, temperatures in the mountains can drop to lows you may not expect. In extreme cases, this could potentially lead to hypothermia.
Consider what activities you will enjoy in Alaska and then plan for every eventuality weather-wise.
Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
Our previous blog What is the Best Season to Visit Alaska? is another valuable resource for trip planning.
6. Understand the Distances: Alaska is HUGE!
Did you know that Alaska’s coastline is longer than all the other states combined?
When we say Alaska is vast, it’s not an exaggeration.
Be prepared for significant travel times between destinations and know that weather, costs, culture, and amenities can differ vastly from place to place.
7. Take Time to Smell the Roses
Seeing all of Alaska in a week is impossible. Instead, pick a region and truly immerse yourself in all it has to offer — the scenery, wildlife, seafood, and delightful local folks.
Building a true connection with one or two places makes for a more memorable experience than spreading yourself too thin over destinations you have to rush through.
Are you heading to Alaska as a couple or on your honeymoon? Find love in the air with our tips for the best romantic places to visit in Anchorage.
8. Anchorage is a Great Base for Alaskan Adventures
Don’t discount Anchorage! It’s a fantastic base camp to explore Alaska, with countless day trips available.
Depending on the season, you can enjoy the following when based in Anchorage:
- Glacier Hiking
- Whale Watching
- Dog Mushing
- White Water Rafting
- Wildlife viewing
- Sightseeing around Denali
And, of course, you can join one of our own Anchorage guided food tours!
Read our blog Why Choose a Food Tour in Anchorage, Alaska? to find out more about this unique way to explore our city.
9. Support Local Businesses in Anchorage and Across Alaska
When you book directly with local businesses, you help them thrive.
Online agencies take a significant cut of bookings they facilitate, so book your tours, hotels, restaurants, and transportation directly through the company’s website when possible.
At Alaskan Sights & Bites, we work closely with the best local restaurants to ensure we support other independent businesses while also allowing visitors to sample the very best of our city’s food scene.
10. Do Your Research!
Alaska is home to many seasonal events and attractions. You can only see bears, the midnight sun, and whales in the summer, for example, while the Northern Lights are a winter spectacle.
Understand that seeing Denali when visiting Denali National Park isn’t guaranteed because of the weather, and that drives between destinations can take much longer than anticipated.
Thoroughly researching your trip will help you make the best possible decisions for a memorable Alaskan adventure.
And if food is the focus of your trip, why not start your research with our recommendations for five dishes that you have to try in Alaska?
Discover Our City on an Anchorage Food Tour!
So, are you ready to take the plunge and explore the untouched beauty of Alaska? By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable journey.
We can’t wait to welcome you on one of our guided food tours in Anchorage!
And remember, if you would like more information about our Anchorage tours, please get in touch.