Alaska Advice - general tips

Texas Travel Blog

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Thinking about adventuring in Alaska?  Here are some tips:

1.  GO!  It really *is* as amazing as people say.  Superlative in every way. 

2.  Take your own fishing pole and some type of boat- there are millions of opportunities for use

3.  Take Mike & Terri Church's book:  Alaska Camping  Exceptional!

4.  Buy the recent Milepost for the year you travel. 

4b.  Take one good travel book like Frommer's.  Read the rest BEFORE you go.

5.  If you're going on tours, buy a "Tour Saver" book - buy it before you're in Alaska for 2-for-1 deals.  Everything in Alaska is expensive, so savings will help, although you can go to Alaska and not go on tours and still have fun.  We did not go on tours with 4 people.

6.  Know what you want to do so you can identify affordable opportunities:  $10 canoeing, $35 rafting, $25 horseback riding:  these options are few and far between, so you jump when you spot them.

7.  Start early in the Season:  Try to get to the Canadian border to enjoy your great adventure by early June, if you can.  The season is short, the distances great.  You'll want to be back near the U.S. border by around Sept. 1st, so take all the time you can to enjoy the vast land.

8.  Don't forget Canada:  Half of the Alaska Highway (formerly called the Alcan for Alaska-Canada) and all of the Cassiar Hywy are in Canada.  Research Banff and Jasper, the Columbia Icefields Parkway, Calgary, Yukon, Alberta, and British Columbia.  Know where the National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites are before you go.  Consider going up to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories to get above the Arctic Circle.  It is an amazing adventure.

9.  Ferry the Inside Passage:  Consider taking your RV on the Inside Passage to see cities that are inaccessible by road.  If you can order a ferry schedule by mail, it will be easier than using their slow website to evaluate your sailing dates and times.  Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Kitchikan are all places fun to see. 

10.  Cruise the Inside Passage:  This is a serious option on major cruise ships that rival the price of the ferries.  Price out a trip from Seattle or Vancouver on the Inside Passage.  Make sure the boat comes back to your same port so you can pick up your RV.  If we'd had time and planned ahead, we could have driven south to the Vancouver port in the RV, taken a lovely cruise through the Inside Passage (with midnight buffets), and returned to our RV in Vancouver for the same cost as the ferry.  Check or for prices.  A different experience than the ferry, but you might enjoy it.

11.  We did not use any protectors on our RV front grill or headlights and had no damage.  Our windshield is intact.  Our tires did not get flats.  Make sure your rig has full preventative maintenance done before you leave, take spares with you just in case, carry some extra gas in cans, drive slowly over difficult roads, and you'll be fine.  The excitement of the Alaska Highway need not incite panic about the unknown to extremes.

12.  Relax and have fun!

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