Alaska is full of natural beauty with gorgeous mountains, rivers and glaciers- so much of the unforgettable scenery. Me and Pankaj (my spouse) are both fond of travelling and visiting new places, we decided to visit Alaska in August 2018. We plan most of our trips on our own and this trip was no different. It took days of reading reviews, researching, calling hotels, making reservations, mapping out distances, finding good deals but in the end the result was worth it. We found Alaska to be incredibly beautiful and can’t wait to share some of our favorite experiences and pictures with you.
Our 10-day itinerary of Alaska. This has all our hotel stays and the activities along with tour operators we used for booking them.
For things to do in Alaska view my post Highlights of Alaska trip
We tried these places. For their reviews, you can click on them to be directed to my yelp page.
I also want to share some tips for planning your trip:
- Book your activities in advance. Some of them tend to get full soon – especially the ones with good tour operators. Some of these operators will even include pickup and drop off at the hotel in the cost or just charge little extra in addition to the tour cost.
- Make sure to ask for discounts available if any. Many of the tour operators will give AAA, senior citizens discounts, etc., if available. Also, at one of the places I got a discount pass from my hotel for a tour. All of these come in handy with saving money at the end of the day.
- Activities planned in Alaska are weather-dependent. Keep the schedule flexible in the day in order to change the time if needed based on weather.
- Dress in layers that include wind and waterproof outer shell, hat and gloves as the weather can vary from place to place, on land and on sea or in air.
- Carry a good pair of binoculars (in addition to your camera). It comes in handy for spotting wildlife in a distance.
- Getting Around Alaska: Around Anchorage and on the Alaska Highway the road system is decent. I highly recommend renting a car here as we did – we could stop at scenic spots and some of the views on the way were irresistible. With so much of Alaska undeveloped and inaccessible by road, the float-planes to some remote destinations are a good option but the adventure comes at a cost. Travelling by train, wherever available gives you time to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic routes. The Alaska Railroad extends 470 miles north from the coastal community of Seward, all the way to the interior Alaska city of Fairbanks. Keeping in mind all these travel options, one can mix and match them.
- Cruise or Land – It is a personal opinion as it depends on if you like exploring on your own or want to follow the cruise itinerary and just sit back and relax and go with the flow. Cruising is not for us as we like to plan and visit. Either way, you’ll make amazing lifelong memories here.
- Last but not least, remember travel breaks down routines & monotony and brings back some adventure & excitement into people’s lives. You’ll remember the memories if you make it part of the everyday fun. One of our favorite activities during our train journeys was for any person spotting a moose on the roadside to shout “Moose on Left”, and then everyone on board would just scramble and try to get a glimpse outside. Also, Pankaj loves to explore and familiarize himself with the street names as we’re walking by. So, we walk a lot on our trips, exploring, just looking at the architecture, scenes, we eat at local places, and talk to people (the best way to know about the place) which helps us to get familiar to the place.