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5 Tips to Begin Planning Your Dream Alaskan Vacation

5 Tips to Begin Planning Your Dream Alaskan Vacation

Alaska within itself can be overwhelming!  It is over twice the size of Texas and almost equivalent in size to the entire eastern seaboard, so when my husband said “ALASKA”, my mind started fantasizing and then overanalyzing!  Traveling with the entire family including two toddlers, I stressed over every little detail, so I wanted to share a few planning tips for that once in a lifetime (or what you think will be a once in a lifetime) trip to the Last Frontier!  

Order materials

Go ahead and inundate yourself with books, magazines, maps and anything else to scroll through and allow yourself to dream . . . there will be time to hone in those dreams later.

Educate yourself

Five Great Regions:  Southeast/Inside Passage, Southwest, Southcentral, Interior, Arctic

What do you want to see and do?  Knowing your chosen sights and activities will help you narrow down the region.  

Key sights & activities are (but not limited to):

  • Salmon Fishing and Bear Sightings – Southeast/Inside Passage, Southwest
  • Denali National Park – Southcentral & Interior
  • Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights – Interior & Arctic
  • Wildlife, Hiking, Grand Landscapes – All over!

Do your homework!


Determine your budget & save, save, save!  Depending on your style lodging, excursions and “foody tastes”, the sky is the limit on how much you’ll spend, keep in mind – the cost of living is somewhat higher than the continental US.  With the exception of staying at a large hotel chain property and rental cars, all of our accommodations and excursions required payment in advance to reserve the space, date and time.  

Plan Ahead & Early

The earlier you begin planning, the better . . . Once you have narrowed down the “whats” and “wheres”, pick your dates.  Determine your best time for your family’s travel season combined with your chosen sights and activities.  Especially if you are traveling Alaska on a self-guided adventure, planning 12-18 months in advance of travel will be to your advantage.  

Make a plan

Begin planning your itinerary . . . Always be flexible, there may be circumstances outside of your control that change your plans – we had forest fires which forced us to forego one of our originally planned excursions.  Also, include some down time – jet lag may affect your traveling companions.  

And if you’re starting to plan your dream Alaskan vacation, head on over to www.travelalaska.com for your free travel planner and www.alaska.org to order a map . . . Continue to follow our blog for more Alaska tips and insights from our family vacation!

Some fun Instagram accounts & tags to follow . . . @alaskanps  @backpackalaska #alaska #alaskaadventure (and a great Alaskan lifestyle IG to follow is @alaskahaven).

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