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How to plan a trip to Alaska?

Dallas, Texas
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253 posts
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How to plan a trip to Alaska?

I would love to visit Alaska but not quite sure where to start.

1.Is there such thing as Alaska on a budget?

2. What's the best place to visit?

3. What airlines fly there or where in Alaska? I know there's Alaska Air but what others?

4. Are there package deals or inexpensive cruises?

5. Is it expensive compared to say California or New York?

Thanks,

Adirondack, New York
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1. Re: How to plan a trip to Alaska?

mayday2073, welcome to Alaskan forum. You already made a first step by finding this forum. Now, I suggest you spend a couple days reading posts right here and find out what appeals to others. The most inexpensive way is to book your own trip and travel independently. How many people are traveling in your party?

Read posts on Anchorage, Denali National Park, Girdwood, Seward, Fairbanks, Valdez, Cordova, Homer, Arctic Circle. First figure out what is your budget and how many days you can stay in Alaska. Decide what are your preferences on lodging. You may chose B&Bs, hotels, cabins, chalets, lodges, campgrounds or opt to rent a RV. These decisions should be yours. I highly recommend flying to Anchorage, renting a car and going on your own. You need to reserve your lodging in advance. Many airlines flies to Anchorage. We usually fly with Continental via Houston. When would you want to visit? Are you thinking about 2007? If you enjoy cruising you may want to consider that too.

Pennsylvania
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2. Re: How to plan a trip to Alaska?

If I may add...

My sister and I will be visiting for the first time in May. The first thing we realized is that we could NOT visit everything. If we were visiting PA and NY, we would never think we would visit everything in 9 days. So we are focusing on a few areas and comfort ourselves that it will be the first of many trips! You'll find lots of help here! Good luck!

Penny

Anchorage, Alaska
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3. Re: How to plan a trip to Alaska?

Alaska on a budget? I doubt it.

We rented a Jeep Liberty which has a back seat that folds down completely flat. So we slept in the back when we didn't have our lodging booked. Brought camping type sleeping pads and bags in a duffle bag. Ate in restaurants except when on the kayaking legs of our trip.

We flew into Anchorage, picked up the car,

drove down to Valdez by way of Glenallen and Chitna (interesting fish-wheels there),

did some guided kayaking in Valdez (with Anadyr, spectacular! Well worth the money)

and then backtracked through Anchorage,

went down to Homer, and did more kayaking (stayed at Otter Bay Cove, $80/night, bring your own sleeping bag, cookshack was available, get there via water taxi from Homer Ocean Charters.)

We skipped all of the flightseeing and cruises and opted to go out and do it ourselves. It was superb!

Adirondack, New York
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4. Re: How to plan a trip to Alaska?

First, you need to define what does "on a budget" mean to you . We have friends who travel to Alaska and for them being on a budget is spending $12,000.00 for two weeks excluding flights. My husband and I never have any specified budget but we spend around $3,000 for minimum two weeks. We never sleep in a car, do not camp, stay in nice places and always include bear watching trips and many other activities. Remember, hiking/walking, bird watching, photographing scenery, fishing are the most inexpensive yet amazing ways to see Alaska. Visiting museums and nature centers are always inexpensive way to get acquainted with a culture, history and flora and fauna of the area. Yes, you definitely can visit Alaska on any budget as long as you don't have to stay at high end accommodations. Just like California or New York, you can visit both states regardless what's your budget. If you decide to go in September, for example, right now Enterprise has special rates and you can rent a mid-size car at the airport for under $150.00 per week including all fees and tax. When booking accommodations book places with kitchen facilities. Once you get to Alaska get your membership card for Safeway supermarkets. I only gave you a sample to show that it is possible to visit Alaska on any budget.

5. Re: How to plan a trip to Alaska?

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