Alaska Tips and Tricks

I am not expert on Alaska-in fact I have only been there once, but I have a few tips and tricks for those who have never been to Alaska and plan to visit there. I have learned a couple of things when I was there and I would like to share them.

  • Make lots of noise when you are on a hike.

I love the peacefulness of hikes. In fact, that is one of my favorite parts-being quiet and just getting to soak up nature with my senses. At some point a reality has to set in though. The reality is that there are lots of bears (and other animals, but especially bears) in Alaska. Most bears do not want to see you just like you do not want to see them (at least close up), but there are cases where bears come up to people because they are curious, or just run into them, or they smell food, or most commonly, they do not know anyone is there. The more noise you make the less likely it is that a bear will come up to you. The sound will tell the bears “Hey! There is someone over here, so don’t come here”.

Whether making noise by singing to yourself, playing music from your phone, or talking to a friend-do it!

  • Drive, don’t take a cruise!

This is definitely a personal preference, but I have good reasons for saying this. First, driving gives you control so you can do whatever you want and go wherever you want. While on a cruise you can only do so much on your own and that is on the ships schedule.

Second, there are SO many amazing places in Alaska that are not on the shore/ on the Alaska Cruise route. You could drive to most of the ports where the ships go, but you also have the option to go ‘into Alaska’ and experience it for what it is. By doing this you get to travel to more secluded place (trust me its worth it)!

Third, on a cruise you have to deal with other people and with the ships schedule. There is always a time and a place to talk and interact with other people. On a cruise you do not always get to decide when and where the time is. This is important on a vacation in general, but especially in Alaska. This frontier is made for peace and adventure. These things could easily be taken advantage for, if you are not careful. Here imagine this for me: You are walking up a mountain you can smell the rain from the night before. As you are walking up this mountain you can hear the birds call as you get closer to the top. Every step you take the more mountain peaks you can see-the more of a valley there is to overlook. You finally get to the top, sit on a rock and stare in wonder at the beautiful sight. As you do that, you look at your watch. “WHAT, is that really the time?” It is time for you to leave because your ship is leaving very soon. The moment was ruined and painfully you have to quickly climb back down the trail. This is a situation you do not want to be in.

Like I said this is personal preference tip, but from one friend to another just drive! It is worth it. I would probably go on all day about this but,  if you go to Alaska, go to Alaska-don’t just go to the shore. (I would never have seen let alone took these pictures-all but especially the ones above-unless I drove).

  • Stay in a cabin

 

This kind of goes along with driving, but stay in a cabin! You won’t believe the difference it will make in your trip. You can really sense the woodsy rusticity feel. It is especially nice to stay in a cabin that is personally owned (basically meaning NOT owned by a company). Don’t get me wrong staying in a company owned hotel/cabin is great, I did this and it is important to do that as well, but make sure it is not all company owned. Their is something about actually getting to talk to a Alaskan lover and someone on a personal level which is harder to do with a company. *I would look at reviews just to make sure the place is safe and hospitable though :)*

  • GO ON HIKES

This is an obvious one in my opinion, but I am sure I would be surprised about how many people do not hike in Alaska (or if they do, they just do one). This really gives the Alaskan feel. This state is BEAUTIFUL and one way to truly see its beauty is by going on my own to feet into the countryside.

  • Eat out AND in

It is always important to keep balance in your life and that includes in Alaska. If the only thing you do is make your own meals you will miss an Alaska experience and that memory from a resturant. At the same time, if the only thing you do is eat out you will miss the experience of eating in. Eating out will help you obtain some culture. It will bring a memory of the food and a thing you do. Eating out will give you the experience and give you the feel that you are on vacation. It is also important to remember to eat in as well-besides nothing is better than making your own picnic in Alaska!

  • Pick an activity!

To make Alaska extra special pick an activity!! Alaska offers so many things to do all over its state, so don’t just pick one or two things to do-pick a handful and get out of your comfort zone. For example, the national parks are a must (next bullet). Another thing is go on a horseback ride! I did this and I could have not been happier that I did! I love horseback riding to start so I already had it on my mind, but when we got there I was all smiles. We went up a butte and saw the most amazing views!! It is a memory I will never forget. Along with a the memories that come with it, by doing this is also supports those people who run small businesses and I love to do that! Along with horseback rides, you can go on a helicopter ride, go on a boat to a glacier, and along with many more things-go on a RV ride.

  • National Parks

This is something that I hope most people do automatically, but I figured I would say it just in case :). National Parks hold the treasures of the United States. To get the whole Alaskan experience it is important to visit some National Parks. Another reason why it is very important to have National Parks in your agenda is because they will teach you things you didn’t know before. I believe that travel is about having fun, but it is also about learning about nature, culture, and lifestyles. The park rangers are very helpful with this aspect and the nature centers are great as well. Going to Alaska without going to a National Park is like going to an amusement park without going on any roller coaster (whether small or big). The pictures about are both from Denali National Park (HIGHLY RECOMMEND). The mountains picture of of Denali and the dog is a National Park sled dog!

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