After you decide WHERE you want to go in Alaska - you need to decide WHEN. You need to be a little flexible and BOOK EARLY. Remember, the entire season for tourism is 100 days - from mid June to mid September. The very best time - July - goes quickly. It is always expensive to tour in Alaska so choosing what YOU want to do and planning your own special tour has many benefits. We left the day school was out in late June and found the weather to be colder and wetter than we imagined. We were prepared so the weather did not dampen our spirits or limit our activities at all. Next time, however, we will book earlier and go a little later.
9 months to a year in advance:
The first thing to do is go on the web and explore flights and costs of the most expensive part of your trip….getting there. If you are renting a motor home it is good to send out feelers for price and availability at this time as well.
I spent an entire day on the internet booking flights, motor home (on phone), rail, hotels, car and sightseeing - all in one day, all at one time because every piece needs to fit and while a bit stressful - it is really easy!
Airline, Car and Hotel to and in Anchorage - book together for additional savings - there
are many sites for booking transportation and the bottom line is pretty much the same.
We understood the necessity to get the everything we wanted to do…booked so we
chose a date and booked through Cheap Tickets.
Airline - $1,824.34
Anchorage hotel - $240.00 (2 nights)
Car Rental - $120.00 (1 day)
Motor home - We booked Great Alaskan Holidays after a lot of research. They have
new, well maintained coaches and a very professional operation at their Anchorage
location. Their reservation process by phone and via mail. We reserved a 27' for 10 days, prepaid gasoline and propane and every single type of insurance they sold. Call 1-888-2-ALASKA.
Motorhome Rental - $2,291.98
Alaska Railroad to Denali - You can access the Alaska Railroad website and check
fares and schedules for the Denali Star train and then go ahead and book it online.
Round trip train fare - $810.00
Denali Hotel - I used Cheap Tickets and was able to book the Denali Bluffs Hotel
and the Nenana half day river rafting trip with one click.
Hotel - $798.30 (3 nights)
River Rafting - $294.00
Denali Kantishna Wilderness Trails Trip - I called them at 1-800-230-7275 and booked
the premier all day, 95 mile trip (including lunch and sled dog demonstration) to the
Kantishna Road House.
Full Day Bus Tour - $417.00
Total prepaid (3 adults) $6,795.00
What I would do different - book a really nice hotel in downtown Anchorage. You can walk to the railway station, shopping and food. You can actually walk down to the river and watch people fishing for salmon. We booked a motel out across from Merrill Field
(a small private airport) in the red light district amid street walkers and men's clubs and it was neither worth the savings or appropriate for the family. Typing this makes it sound a lot nicer than it was! It is important to get a trip like this off to a great start so by all means learn from my mistake! I saw hotels that seemed nice for about $100.00 more per night.
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