10 Tips to Plan a Trip to Alaska on Budget

Winter season is almost upon us and we can't wait to venture out to spot exotic views, undergo thrilling activities and much more in Alaska. Alaska is among the most beautiful places in the world that actually exist. Alaska is another of the best place to spend Christmas in US and is also one of the best place to visit in December.

Before you hit the road to your destination that is most likely to be Alaska, it is important to plan ahead, if you don't want your trip to take an unexpected turn. If you are like most of us, we know you would be hardly bothered by this thing. Ask any savvy traveler or should I say globetrotter, how important it is to plan your itinerary for a remarkable experience.

An Alaska cruise is a very convenient, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive way to travel to Alaska, a territory that is difficult to travel and see without careful planning. But with cruises everything is much easier. Even so, you have to know that the Alaska cruise trip requires a certain special preparation, different from that of the cruises that sail through warmer areas such as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

You need to prepare certain details more carefully before you travel, to make the most of the days, so that everything is well planned and prepared, and that you do not miss anything during your stay on board the Alaska cruise.

Winter vacation in alaska

So, to help the travelers like you, we have listed down some tips that you can follow, in order to make the most out of your journey to Alaska.

1. Book tickets in advance

If you are planning to go internationally or domestically from USA, make sure to book your air tickets in advance. During the Winter season, the trend in traveling remains at peak. There are chances that you might not be able to book your tickets due to higher demand. What else, you will find the prices of the tickets surging up.

So, if you are convinced to go on vacation in Alaska, just snag up the tickets instead of paying hefty prices for the same. Taking the bus is okay and the bus stations might be in the poorer part of the city. Watch your surround, walk fast, and don’t hitchhike there! Taking the Amtrak train is way better and more comfortable.

Well, the same goes for the tickets of events or amusement parks. If you have planned your itinerary and know where the places in Alaska you will be heading to, it is important to book tickets for adventure parks or events (if your itinerary includes). You don't want to stand there in a long queue, waiting for your turn when the sun is throwing its rage.

Along with that, what about saving your money. Well, when you book your tickets in advance, there are many websites that will offer you cashback. So, the prospect of booking tickets in advance is so luring, isn't it? From music concerts to pool parties, make sure to check the tickets of these events in Alaska.

2. Don’t go hiking in the heat of the day

The National Park Service recommends walking before 10 AM or after 4 PM. Speaking as an old desert-dweller, I know it can stay broiling hot right up until sunset—5 PM or later. So I always recommend doing anything even remotely physical before 12 PM. Well before 12 PM, if you can help it. Walk slow, take regular rest breaks, and for Pete’s sake, drink.

If you’re hiking and you feel tired, resist the urge to recline. As hot as the air is five or six feet above the ground, it’s even hotter closer to the ground. You will sustain brain damage if your body temperature rises above 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s even hotter down near the ground. Stay upright.

What if you reach your destination, feeling sick? Definitely, this is something you don't want for yourself. So, the next thing is to focus on your health and keep your body healthy. When the sun will be throwing the UV rays, there are chances of your skin being affected. So, make sure to carry anti-sun rays cream to prevent your body from sunburn.

Also, the Winter season means that it is essential to carry a hot water bottle with you every time you go out.

3. Keep a sharp eye out for critters

Most creatures are nocturnal. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t potentially run into a snake, spider, or scorpion — any of which can either kill you or make you wish it had. Watch your step, be careful where you sit, don’t stick your hands down holes or under rocks, and be careful stepping over things like downed Joshua trees and cacti carcasses and rocks.

4. Pack Lighter

Packing things for the Winter vacation can be easily done. You can put your clothing, flip-flops and leather jackets. But Winter season traveling can put your mind to test. It becomes important what to pack and what to skip for your journey and that's where the trouble begins.

Well, the first thing, if you are going out on a camping trip with your friends, it is essential to get a camping tent first and cooler as well. Talking about your luggage, make sure to carry the clothing that can give you the Winter season vibe and choose playful colors instead of dark. While packing your clothes, you can consider buying packing cubes to keep your things organized.

5. Be prepared for the bad weather

Seriously, flash floods can come out of nowhere and they are deadly. Be careful hiking through arroyos and across washes (dry streambeds), especially if there are clouds or lightning anywhere on the horizon — you never can tell when a flash flood might well up from somewhere.

Weather is unpredictable which leaves us into thinking about what if it gets rainy there? So, we recommend you to have a backup plan in case the weather takes an unexpected turn. Along with the Winter and heavy clothing, make sure to carry rain jackets in case if it gets rainy there. Definitely, you should keep this thing in your mind since many of the areas can receive snowfall and rain in the Winter and you should be well-prepared for such circumstance.

6. Don’t be spontaneous

Traveling in the US generally feels safe, but it’s good to let a few close family and friends know where you are just in case. If you’re an American, who’s used to traveling in cities and are street smart, you should be good. It may be harder for someone who doesn’t know the country. People (Americans) have hitchhiked successfully but some states might not allow it.

If you’re going to go hiking or backpacking or camping or driving, tell someone where you’re going. Plan ahead and know your route, and let a friend or relative or an authority figure know where you’ll be, so if you do not turn up, they’ll know right where to send the search teams. Each state’s traffic law maybe a little different. In some states, the left lane is a passing lane only, but in some states, it’s a carpool lane.

7. Carry extra water

Take however much water you think you’ll need and double it. No, triple it. You have no clue how long you might be struck out there. You’re not just losing water by sweating. It’s moving across your mucus membranes and literally sucking the moisture out of you with every breath.

Keep drinking. Don’t feel thirsty? Drink anyway. The National Park Service recommends a gallon of water per day per person when you’re in the American landscapes. Some people recommend as much as two gallons per person per day. Stay hydrated. Bring energy bars, too, and keep an emergency supply of high-calorie food on hand. You’d be amazed at how fast the landscapes can sap the life out of you.

8. Don’t go offroading

Being street smart really matters. Research the place you’re going to and look up reviews and comments about safety. Stick to the main roads. There’s less chance of busting an axle and more chance of getting help from passersby if you get stranded. Thousands of square miles of it. It’s easy to get disoriented. Carry a GPS or a compass with you. Carry a chunk of mirror you can use to signal with, too.

Most Americans know there are places off limits or to severely limit exposure to, or places safe during the day but not at night. Certain areas are safe but other areas are either daytime only or considered at your own risk. Lots of foreigners don't know these places. Look at the worst cities of America and avoid these places. Remember, if the police won’t step in a neighborhood or part of town at night, you shouldn't either.

9. Remember that distances are deceptive

How far do you think it is to those mountains in that picture above? Ten miles? Fifteen? Twenty? There’s no way of knowing. Twenty miles can look like five miles. Don’t think you can just walk across that valley in the heat of the day. Be wary that distances can be deceiving even without mirages.

10. Always carry your ID card

It’s wise to keep your ID with you throughout your stay in US. It’s more of a precaution than anything else. It’s a bad feeling if you get into trouble for something you could have easily avoided. If you are in US for a short duration, if possible, download and save a copy of I-94 from the Department of Homeland Security website. Also carrying your ID with you will make buying alcohol a lot easier.

11. Invest in travel gadgets

Thanks to science, now we have travel gadgets to carry and make our journey more pleasing. So, before you depart for your trip, make sure to invest in travel gadgets. Gadgets like Power Bank will make sure that you are never worried about your device’s battery being drained. On the other hand, you can also grab a new headphone for seamless music on the go.

Definitely, investing in these gadgets will seem like a rational decision and to make your journey more rewarding. Well, if you are missing out on any of these things, you can simply buy them during Black Friday but since they are essentials, you can't leave your home without them. So, if you have been looking to get a new headphone or power bank, Black Friday sales will be coming in a few days. So, take advantage of the sale and grab your favorite products at the best possible price.
Kalyan Panja