travel

Alaska Travel: The Last Frontier Awaits You

traveltheme parks & cruise vacations

Is a visit to the 49th state on your bucket list? Well, it was for me and my husband but not anymore. Why? Because we went this past summer! We took a seven-day cruise on Princess Cruises, followed by a three-day land tour to the interior. How was it, you may ask? “Absolutely fabulous,” would be my immediate reply, followed by, “We’d go back tomorrow if we could.”

alaska travel

5 Reasons to Make Alaska Travel a Priority

Here are five reasons why you should start planning now for your own Alaska adventure.

Amazing Deals—The official tour season for Alaska is May 1 through September 30. Cruise lines and travel agents are already starting to secure next year’s visitors, so they are offering some pretty sweet deals right now. We waited until March to nail down our reservations for a trip in August (the busiest travel month in Alaska). We still got a decent deal, but I now realize we could have saved a lot more if we had committed earlier.

Land and Sea—Whether you prefer cruising in a ship or driving in automobile, whether exploring the ocean or the wilderness, Alaska has something for everyone. This was our first full-fledged cruise/tour. We spent one week on the Island Princess, then an additional four days on land, including a visit to Denali National Park.

Adventure—Alaska is the last frontier. There is so much to see and do. In completing this trip we took advantage of just about every available mode of transportation: airplane,  automobile, WWII amphibious landing craft, coach bus, school bus, bicycle, foot, taxi, tram, train, and of course, luxurious ocean liner. With so much to offer, we were able to satisfy both my husband’s and my own vacation criteria in Alaska: visit quaint sea towns, learn historical facts, hike and bike along trails, and shop unique venues. No two days were ever the same.

alaska travel

Sun and Showers—Part of the fun of discovering Alaska is the weather. Even though the tourist season is during the summer, it is a kind of summer you aren’t used to. The days are long and light. We never saw darkness until the last day of our trip when we had to leave our hotel at 2 a.m. to catch a red eye flight back home. More light means more time to enjoy Alaska. Temperatures were mild; we experienced everything from warm days in the high 70s to drizzle and downpours at a cool 60 degrees. Bring clothes for layering and know that changing forecasts are the norms. It was interesting to find out that the best days to see the famed Alaska wildlife were on the bleakest weather days.

Kind People—From the Native American tribes to the seasonal residents and other vacationers, everywhere we went we were greeted by friendly people to share our Alaska experience with. We went on our trip with another couple from home which gave it a sense of familiarity. But we also had plenty of opportunities to meet all kinds of other folks from all walks of life. Getting to know them and hearing their stories added to the uniqueness of our trip.

A New Perspective—We live in a suburb of a big metropolis. Our lives are all about crowds, traffic, hurry-hurry, busy-busy. Going to Alaska was a great excuse to slow down, breathe clean air, cherish open spaces, and reconnect with myself and to my spouse. I came back rejuvenated and more appreciative for simple pleasures. What a great gift!

Alaska was a magnificent frontier to explore. So, what are you waiting for?

alaska travel

When will you check off your Alaska vacation from your bucket list?

Caryn Payzant writes the blog, The Mid Life Guru and is a public speaker, wife, mother, "grammie," and school board member. Since turning 50 in 2010, she has committed herself to using the experience and wisdom gained from her first 50 years as a springboard to her next 50. Along the way, she is sharing that wisdom with others. On her blog, Caryn writes about healthy living, education, her home life as a mom and grandma, and inspiring stories from women who make a difference. Caryn currently resides in California with her husband of 32 years.

For more tips and insights on visiting Alaska, please visit these links on my blog:

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Jill Greenlaw

Jill Greenlaw has a banking background. She gave that up 17 years ago when she got married and started having kids. She loved being a stay-at-home mom while raising her four beautiful children. A few years ago, Jill went back to work in sales. She is now working for the Mom It Forward team as their Community Manager. She loves her job. Her interests include camping, motorcycling, boating, photography, reading, cooking, and traveling. Put her in flip flops anywhere warm and she is happy.

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