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Six weeks Alaska on a budget

Travel Forums North America Six weeks Alaska on a budget

1. Posted by erikvansch (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi,

I'm planning on traveling through Alaska this September. And of course I want to experience as much as possible during this relatively short stay. I'm not rich, and Alaska is expensive, so I need all the tips I can get.

I'll get on the plane in Amsterdam, Holland. I guess I'll fly to Vancouver.
I'd like to fit as much items on my wish list into my travel plan.

WISH LIST

Places I definitely wish to visit:

Barrow
Fairbanks
Denali NP
Anchorage
Kenai Fjords
Kodiak
Dutch Harbour
Southeast Alaska

Things I definitely wish to see:

Moose
Polar Bears
Wallrus
Whale
Bald Eagle
Grizzly bear

I'm planning on doing a part by rented car. I also like to travel by boat. Plane, of course, if I want to see Burrow. And then I'd love to do a train tour.

Oh yeah, I really want to be staying in a small cabin for a couple of days. No luxuries needed. Just nature and me.

Right... This ain't gonna be cheap. So, how to go about it? I'm just started my search. All help is very welcome!

Thank you,

Erik

2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Not for me to plan your itinery for you, but I'd go along with pretty much what you've said about your transport ideas.
Just look out for the difference in rent-a-car costs between Vancouver and the USA. I've hired cars in both countries and as long as you do a bit of homework before you book, the prices are pretty much identical.

3. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 7y

Firt off Alaska on a budget is an oxymoron but you probably know that already. We ended up renting an RV and used it as a combo rental car and hotel to save money. The beauty of Alaska is unlike down here you don't have to pull in (and pay for) a campground, you can literally pull over at any spot and spend the night. It also allowed us the flexibility to go where and when we wanted. But you have a big agenda that will require a ton of driving so maybe 8 MPG won't work for you.

You've probably heard about the mosquitoes but let me put your worries to rest. We went in early July and the only place they were bad was on the drive north from Anchorage to Danali. And trust me, they were BAD. But once we got into the park they were gone. It's a very interesting drive, we didn't go all the way to Fairbanks. The part of Alaska I liked the best was just south of Anchorage, the Kenai Penninsula. If you have the time take a drive down there. To the left goes to Seward, a bit touristy but nice, to the right is less so and just as beautiful.

Good luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-May-2009, at 08:31 by DaveinMD ]

4. Posted by erikvansch (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Quoting DaveinMD

We ended up renting an RV and used it as a combo rental car and hotel to save money.

That is our plan too. We're thinking of renting a 'budget camper'

Quoting DaveinMD

The beauty of Alaska is unlike down here you don't have to pull in (and pay for) a campground, you can literally pull over at any spot and spend the night.

Same as in Norway. I love these countries!

Quoting DaveinMD

You've probably heard about the mosquitoes, and trust me, they were BAD.

We'll, in general mosquitoes don't fancy me. However they love my girlfriend. So she's worse off than me. I've seen films of Alaska where mosquitoes blocked the lens of the camera. It seemed impossible to even breathe. Especially for vegetarians.

Quoting DaveinMD

The part of Alaska I liked the best was just south of Anchorage, the Kenai Penninsula.

Our plane arrives at Anchorage. I'm thinking of going to Kenai from there. Maybe take a boat trip, maybe even as far as Dutch Harbor. Hey, I'm from Holland! ;)

5. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 198 posts) 7y

Quoting erikvansch

Quoting DaveinMD

We ended up renting an RV and used it as a combo rental car and hotel to save money.

That is our plan too. We're thinking of renting a 'budget camper'

Quoting DaveinMD

The beauty of Alaska is unlike down here you don't have to pull in (and pay for) a campground, you can literally pull over at any spot and spend the night.

Same as in Norway. I love these countries!

Quoting DaveinMD

You've probably heard about the mosquitoes, and trust me, they were BAD.

We'll, in general mosquitoes don't fancy me. However they love my girlfriend. So she's worse off than me. I've seen films of Alaska where mosquitoes blocked the lens of the camera. It seemed impossible to even breathe. Especially for vegetarians.

Quoting DaveinMD

The part of Alaska I liked the best was just south of Anchorage, the Kenai Penninsula.

Our plane arrives at Anchorage. I'm thinking of going to Kenai from there. Maybe take a boat trip, maybe even as far as Dutch Harbor. Hey, I'm from Holland! ;)

LOL, my family is Dutch too, my dad was first generation and grew up on a tulip farm. We're also in the same boat regarding the mosquitos, they don't bother me nearly as much as they do my wife.

Kenai is close to Anchorage, in fact you will be there in minutes. An old friend of mine from High School lives in Homer, at the bottom of the Kenai if you go to the right, and she works on the ferry, They have a very elaborate ferry system that you may want to check out. The view as you jcome over the mountain and descend on Homer was one we will always remember. Didn't see the same on the other side of the Kenai, as I said that was a bit more of a tourist deal. Seward is where the cruise ships come in. One place the locals told me to see if I come again (doubtful) is Valdez. It's a long way to the southeast of Anchorage but since it sounds like you've got the time.... I didn't get the impression that we missed a lot by passing on Fairbanks. The one thing I regret to this day was not taking the plane ride that goes right by Denali (Mt. McKinley). It was big bucks, something like $350 per person, but looking back I wish I had made a different decision.

But I"m glad you are considering the camper idea, you save a ton on food. But damn I sure got tired of canned spaghetti and hot dogs. ;)

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2009, at 07:33 by DaveinMD ]