Start Planning Your Trip to Alaska Now

If you are thinking about visiting Alaska next year, I recommend you start planning and booking your trip in the fall. There is a limited supply of hotel rooms, rental cars, rental RVs, and spots on the Alaska Marine Ferry from Seattle. Even in October, it is too late to get a room in some lodges for the following July.

Our family talked about visiting Alaska for 15 years, and we finally did it this year. Good for us, but bad for the kids as they now have lives of their own and couldn’t go. (Sorry kids.)

Every couple of years in the spring I think, “This is the year we will go.” I look at a map and write out where I want to go and what I want to see, but then when I start planning, I find out spring is much too late for planning a land-based vacation. Prices increase as you get closer to summer, and spring is too late to find availability in cars or lodging. Compare options and prices with our Alaska Travel Guide.


If you want to see Denali, you can get there by train, motor coach (bus), or car. You can explore on your own or let someone else do the planning.  There are many organized tour options to choose from. In fact, that is precisely why there are so few rooms available now; the tour companies book blocks of rooms.

Consider a Cruise

We went on a cruise with Celebrity from Vancouver B.C. to Seward, and we had a fantastic (although unusual) experience. Let’s face it, Alaska is a very big state. You can’t (or shouldn’t try) to see it all on one vacation. A cruise gives you an opportunity to have an overview of many parts of Alaska.

If you are thinking about taking a cruise and you have a certain ship or certain type of Stateroom in mind, book sooner rather than later. For example, the Concierge staterooms with a verandah are already sold out for some 2014 sailings to Alaska with Disney. If you don’t have specific preferences, you can probably wait until next year. Watch for promotions on the itinerary you are looking for in the mean time.

If you would like me to pass on any Alaska Travel specials that I receive, or if you have any questions about our visit to Alaska let me know at Don’t put it off for 15 years like we did.