We may be known as the Alaska Travel Experts, but credit to our past guests for sharing some darn good advice, insights, and tips on how to make the most of a trip to Alaska.
Earlier in the year we posted this question on Facebook:
Past Alaska travelers, we'd like your insight! What's your best travel advice for those who want to come to Alaska? What do you wish you'd known, or what great advice did you get that you'd like to pass along?
Where to Go
- Homer...can't come to Alaska without seeing Homer!
- Take the train to Denali, take the bus tour there then take the train to Seward and take a boat into Kenai Fjords National Park. Breathtaking beauty plus wild animal viewing. If you drive, go to the reindeer farm in Palmer and stop off at Talkeetna.
- Everyone should put Alaska on their bucket list! With family up there I got to see all the area around Fairbanks. Do the Discovery Riverboat Cruise, see the gold mines around there. Also get close to the pipeline, see Denali. So many wonderful things. Love the way it never gets dark in the summer.
- Take the train for sure, the trip between Seward and Anchorage is amazing! Visit the smaller towns. Seward was our favorite, followed by Talkeetna (we saw Denali from there).
What to Do
- We did the 13-hour backcountry [bus] tour and would absolutely do it again. Remember to layer as we had snow in the morning! We loved Denali and will go back.
- Definitely do a land portion as well as cruise if you can. The Wilderness Express train from Anchorage was a wonderful experience.
- Try to fit in a flightseeing experience. It was awesome. I loved Talkeetna. Do the full-day Denali bus tour. Absolutely do the longest Kenai Fjords boat tour out of Seward. It was a dream come true to see whales and calving glaciers. The Alaska Railroad was a relaxing, fun way to see the scenery. And Alaska Tour & Travel made the whole trip pretty carefree. They took great care of us.
- Bear watching from Homer was incredible! If you are there on the longest day stay up to watch the night sky. Amazing.
- Do it! All of it. We did the 15-day cruise and Yukon Trail and loved it. Loved the variety (ship, trains, planes, bus, ocean, mountains, cities, parks, etc, you get the drift) and the time to explore on our own (whale watching in Juneau, local bars and bands in Whitehorse and Dawson City, hiking and fishing in Denali, golfing the tundra). The only thing I would do differently would be to have gone later in August so we may have seen the northern lights.
- Do the land tour first because it can tire you out. On the cruise you can take it a little easier. Take in as much as you can afford and for as much energy as you have. Talkeetna was my favorite place.
- Gary & Karen
- This summer will be our fourth trip to Alaska, and our third cruise (17-day land tour first, then seven-day southbound cruise). This time, we are looking at the length of each shore excursion on the cruise. In the past, while great excursions, we didn't have much time (if any) in the port, and it seems most ports deserve some time themselves. And as far as must-do excursions...in Skagway, you MUST do the White Pass Railroad (tip, sit on the left side of the train going up).
Alaska Travel Tips
- Before going be very familiar with your camera. I took one SD card per camera (2) per day. Take smaller cards instead of high capacity cards. The smaller capacity cards will keep you from putting all your pictures/memories on one card. If you only take a few high capacity cards you run the risk of losing your pictures if the card becomes corrupted.
- Be open to everything, magnificent area.
- Plan extra time. Take the train and upgrade. Upgrade to a mountain view room in Talkeetna and do the plane ride. Definitely do the bus tour of Denali and sightseeing trip at Seward. We packed A LOT into our week but only scratched the surface. So much to enjoy in this beautiful state!! Alaska Tour & Travel can customize whatever you want, take advantage of their expertise.
- Go in the middle of May, BEFORE the skeeters get to bad!
- Plan a 20% extra budget. You'll want to do more once you arrive and you'll be prepared. Flightseeing, glacier landings, and jet boats rides are all great and worth the extra expense.
Want to Know More?
We've got all the tools you need to plan an epic Alaska vacation. See more FAQs and travel tips, use our Trip Finder to discover itineraries you can then customize with My Trip, and even make quick purchases of bus or train tickets using our Express Checkout.
At Alaska Tour & Travel, we specialize in building custom trips for every timeline, personality, and budget. If you'd like to have an Alaskan plan your Alaska trip, give us a call at 800-208-0200.