Travel Alaska On A Budget

By Nicole

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How to Travel Alaska on a Budget

It’s no lie: Alaska is f&*%^!@ expensive. Everything in Alaska is expensive. I know, I live here. Tourism in Alaska seems to be geared to target people on high budgets and with almost zero public transportation; traveling Alaska on the cheap can be daunting . But that’s where I come in. Here’s some recommendations to help you travel Alaska on a budget as well as general information on how to travel Alaska and what kind of activities are available.

*Some links in this post are affiliate links, if you choose to purchase items through these links it’ll help offset the cost of running this blog at no extra cost you 🙂

Quick budget tricks:

Come Early or Visit Late– Alaska has a short summer. It realistically spans May to September at its outer limits. The tourist season falls along the Alaskan summer. Tourism isn’t in full swing yet in May, and weather is typically nice and clear, making it in my opinion the most optimal month to visit and making flights, rental cars and excursions a little cheaper. September can be a beautiful month with the change of color but it can also sprinkle a little snow from year to year as far south as Anchorage.

Visit in the Off Season- Are you into wintersports or want to chase the aurora borealis? If you’re up to the cold and snow the winter can be a rewarding and equally as stunning time of year to visit in Alaska. Not to worry though many different winter temperatures can be found around the state, Alaska spans 1,420 miles north to south (2,285km). Temperatures in the southeast can be balmy in comparison to the rigid interior and frozen north.

DIY- Yup, do it yourself. Cut down on costs by self driving, pitching a tent and preparing your own meals.

Keep your eyes peeled for Airline Sales- We already know, getting here is expensive! Compare flights on Skyscanner and keep an eye out for the best deals.

Use Mileage- You think getting here is ridiculous, try getting around Alaska. Alaska Airlines has a pretty good stranglehold on the intercity travel within the state. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and United all fly to Alaska. Check to see if your preferred airline or a partner flies to Alaska and cash in them miles. If you have a mileage plan through Alaska Airlines many times a roundtrip ticket between two cities in Alaska will come in at 15,000 miles. Good to keep in mind.

Get Outdoors– There are endless opportunities to enjoy the nature Alaska is known for, for free! Some parking lots at recreation sites and state parks will require an on average $5.00 parking fee for the day, $10 for overnight spots.

Northern Lights Coupon Book- Many tourists swear by it, I’ve never actually purchased one, although I did have a couchsurfer leave one with me as he was leaving the state and it had some good deals in it. This book comes out each year will set you back $55 for a copy but offers some big savings on tours, hotels and more. Can be a good value depending on if you plan to book a lot of tours and hotels, etc. You can purchase one online or pick one up in Alaska. Check out their website here.

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Alaska Map. Public Domain, by Ian Mackey. Red=Roads, Purple=Rivers, Black=Railroad.

Money and costs:

You ended up here because you’re most likely looking for way to travel Alaska on a budget. Here is some general money information:

Currency: Alaska is one of the fifty nifty United States. Yes, I have to mention that because many people aren’t sure what we are. Canada? Our own country? Russia? Are all likely guesses from people. Alaska accepts the US dollar as payment, although near the Canadian border you can sometimes find shops accepting Canadian dollars.

ATMs are easily available in cities and towns, although once you get away from civilization banks and ATMs disappear.

Exchange Rate: Last updated May 2017.

1 Euro= $1.10 USD

1 GBP= $1.29 USD

1 CAD= $0.73 USD

1 AUD= $0.74 USD

1 NZD= $0.69 USD

1 JPY= $0.01 USD

1 CNY= $0.14 USD

1 RUB= $0.02 USD

Don’t want to worry about getting cash? No problem! Travelex offers good deals for currency exchange.

Costs:

Costs will vary widely depending on your style of travel and comfort level. These are all ballpark averages and should be treated as such. To give you a rough idea for planning here are some general costs in May 2017:

Gasoline= $2.88/gallon.

Campsite= Free to $10 per night.

Hotel= $150/night.

Hostel= $60/night.

Small car rental= $35/day in the winter and shoulder seasons, but average closer to $100/day in the peak time when booking closer to arrival.

Larger car/SUV rental= $50/day in the winter and shoulder seasons, but average closer to $140/day in the peak time when booking closer to arrival.

Food= $1-5 per meal if cooking for self (even less if you plan to forage or live off ramen noodle packets), $10-15 per plate at a budget restaurant/cafe, $20-30 per plate at a midrange restaurant and $30+ per plate at a higher range restaurant.

Entrance to museums, cultural centers= $10-15 per person.

Entrance to parks= Free to $10 per person. Most of Alaska’s state and national parks are free to enter. Denali charges $10 per person to enter. Many state parks with road access and a parking lot will charge a $5 parking fee.

When to Visit:

This is all heavily dependent on what activities you want to partake in and what kind of temperatures you like. With that said Alaska’s weather is a bit of a rollercoaster and highly unpredictable. Plus, it’s a huge piece of land- 663,300 mi² ( 1,710,000 km²), the biggest state in the USA and roughly about 1/5 the size of the ‘lower 48’ states combined therefore making the temperatures and weather vary widely.  YES- It’s bigger than Texas, so leave your ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ shirt at home. Note that the following seasons are according to whats to be expected in the southern part of the state. Expect winter to be longer and summer slightly shorter from the interior and further north.

Summer:

By and far the most popular time to visit. It’s safe to say the June, July and August are officially Alaskan summer, but it can arguably be extended to May and September. Summer is the warmest with long long days as the sun will either barely dip below the horizon or never go down depending on where you go. June is usually a drier warmer month with July and August typically giving more rain, though this is unpredictable.

Fall:

Most people would regard the end of August, September and to mid October Fall. Snow can fall at any time, although usually will stave off until mid to late October around Anchorage (can vary big time year to year). Temperatures tend to fall steadily as the season goes on but is still a good time of year to get out on hikes and go camping. This is more of a shoulder season and costs tend to drop and most the tourists usually have left by September. September (and sometimes if lucky into October) is a great time to get out and enjoy the changing fall colors.

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Winter:

Winter will usually last from mid to late October until mid March. These are the darkest months of the year, with December through mid February in particular, the darkest. Expect cold temps and snow. Good time to visit for winter sports enthusiasts.

Spring:

Spring usually stretches from Mid-March until April-May. The days are getting longer and the skiing is getting good as the season begins. Weather tends to be clear and warm, although it’s not unheard of to have a surprise dump of snow even into May.

Getting to Alaska:

You have three options to get to Alaska

By land:

If you have the time and are already planning to pass through Western Canada driving into Alaska is an option via the Alaska-Canada Highway. Or the Alcan as most Alaskans refer to it. This is also part of the great Pan-American Highway Adventure- the road spanning from Ushuaia, Argentina to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

By Air:

The most common way to arrive in Alaska by far. Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks and Ketchikan all are international airports with connections to other US states as well as Canada*, Germany*, Iceland* and Russia*. US cities that have direct service to Anchorage include Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake and Seattle. Keep an eye out on Skyscanner and Expedia for deals, or cash in mileage for a ticket.

*All international flights seasonal flights to/from Anchorage and/or Fairbanks. 

By water:

An option is to take a cruise up from Seattle though the Inside Passage to Anchorage or the Alaska Marine Highway System. Shop here for Alaska cruises. The Marine Highway starts (or ends depending on how you look at it) in Bellingham, Washington (state), makes an international stop in Prince Rupert, BC, and connects the following communities by ferry:  Akutan, Angoon, Chenega Bay, Chignik, Cold Bay, Cordova, False Pass, Haines, Homer, Hoonah, Juneau, Kake, Ketchikan, King Cove, Kodiak, Metlakatla, Ouzinkie, Petersburg, Port Lions, Sand Point, Seldovia, Sitka, Skagway, Tatitlek, Tenakee Springs, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Valdez, Whittier, Wrangell, and Yakutat. It is possible to bring vehicles by ferry. To check on prices and see the route map click here. Although the Marine Highway is in a sense a form of public transport, it’s not that cheap but still can be a good option.

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Cities, Towns, National & State Parks in Alaska:

Anchorage: Largest city in the state with every amenity you can imagine. Good jumping off point for exploring South-central Alaska. Only have a couple days to spare in Anchorage? Read my Anchorage in a weekend post for ideas of what to do in Anchorage. One a tight budget? Here are free things to do in Anchorage. Visiting in the winter and are a ski/snowboard bum? Here are the free places to ride near Anchorage.

Juneau: The state capital, located in the Southeast. Great start to explore Alaska’s panhandle, Mendenhall Glacier and nearby Glacier Bay National Park near Gustavus. Read further on my posts on to see why you should include Mendenhall Ice Cave and the Shrine of St. Therese on your visit to Juneau.

Fairbanks: The golden heart city, a great starting point for Alaska’s fierce interior. Best general area to see the aurora in winter (of course you’ll want to head out of town a little ways to get away from light pollution).

Matanuska Valley: Palmer and Wasilla are the two biggest community. Lots of outdoor explorations available and also a great jumping off point for south-central Alaska. Only a 1 hour drive north of Anchorage.

Kenai/Soldotna: Good place to stop off, resupply or use as a base for adventures in the Kenai Peninsula. Other nearby communities include Seward, Homer, Kasilof and Ninilchik.

Barrow (Utqiagvik): Point Barrow, the northernmost point of the USA, where the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas meet. The annual whale harvest and celebration is an amazing time to visit.

Nome: In northwestern Alaska. Ceremonial Finish of the Iditarod.  Not reachable by road from other parts of the state.

Bethel: Small town in southwestern Alaska. Not reachable by road from other parts of Alaska.

Kotzebue: In northwestern Alaska, very remote and no road access to other parts of the state.

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Savage River, Denali National Park.

Denali National Park: Alaska’s most visited national park and home to Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). $10 per person to enter the park and camping fees do apply (anywhere from $16-30 per campsite per night). You can only self drive yourself to the Savage River campground in the summer (this is only a short distance into the park). If you want to go further in you are welcome to cycle or hike the entirety of the road or opt to pay for one of the park’s buses. The non-narrated shuttle buses run between $26.50 and $34.00 depending on distance for adults 15yo and up and free for children under 15yo. The narrated tour buses will set you back about $80 per person. There is also are also free courtesy shuttles between the sites accessible by public road (that means the cut off is Savage River), the courtesy shuttles do the following: The Savage River Shuttle, Riley Creek Shuttle and the Dog Sled Demonstration Shuttle. All Make stops at the Denali Visitor Center and Wilderness Access Center. Click here for more information from the US National Park Service. Did you know in mid to late September each year you can self drive the length of the road to Kantishna in Denali National Park? Check out my post on how to get a Denali Road Lottery Permit to find out more and apply!

Kenai Fjords National Park: Another popular stop on the tourist trail on the Kenai Peninsula. Free to enter as there is no entrance fee or camping fees.

Glacier Bay National Park: Near to the tiny town of Gustavus, a short air taxi, flight or ferry ride from the capital of Juneau. Free to enter and to camp.

Katmai National Park: That postcard picture of Alaska with the bear catching a salmon right out of a waterfall? Yeah, that’s in Katmai. Brooks Falls to be exact. No entrance or camping fees.  Camping is backcountry style and careful planning is essential because this national park is crawling with bears. The only spot to camp that is serviced is Brook’s Camp Campground and is protected with electric fences Costs: $12 per person per night June 1 through September 17 and $6 per person per night in May and September 18 through October 31. Campers are limited to 7 nights in July and 14 nights per calendar year. Group size is limited to 6.

Wrangell/St. Elias National Park: Accessible by road, biggest accessisble settlement is McCarthy. Free to enter and to camp as there is no entrance gate to the park.

Kobuk National Park: In northern Alaska and extremely remote. Known for its sand dunes. No camping or entrance fees exist, although getting here can very expensive as there is no road access. Most visitors arrive by air taxi from Bettles or Kotzebue.

Gates of the Arctic National Park:

Remote park in the north of Alaska. Beautiful treks out into the Brooks Range. No park entrance of camping fees. Accessed only by air taxis from Bettles, Anaktuvuk Pass, Coldfoot or by hike from the Dalton Highway where the eastern park boundary runs along the highway.

Lake Clark National Park:

Located on the Alaska Peninsula, just north of Katmai National Park. No roads, no campgrounds and only one maintained hiking trail. This is the backcountry. Access is usually by air taxi. No entrance or camping fees.

State Parks: There are many state parks in Alaska. Click here to view the full list. More popular ones include Chugach, Denali, Hatcher’s Pass & Independence Mine, and Prince William Sound State Parks to name a few.

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Alaska, from above!

Getting around Alaska:

Going about it on your own is going to be your best bet at keeping to a budget. The only public transport in existence is within cities. Between cities? Forget it. In the summer months there are some tourist buses that go between common points of interest, but are expensive. Another option is by train, which you guessed it can be expensive but can be a great option for sightseeing but many times is more expensive than the price of a roundtrip airfare outside the state. Very little of the landmass is reachable by road. In fact, 82% of Alaska’s communities are not on the road system, making the use of boats and planes both commonly used modes of transportation to many places in the state.

Rental Car:

Renting a car can be a cost effective way to see the state, especially if you’re traveling with others. It also gives you the flexibility to go where you want, when you want.

Buy a Car:

Buy something cheap and used, resell it at the end. This is a common tactic you see for longer term travelers in New Zealand and can be done in Alaska as well. If your plans include a longer term itinerary in Alaska this could be a great option as you will be able to get a decent return when you sell the car off in the end.

Hitchhiking:

Hitchhiking is a good way to travel Alaska on a budget. Although not recommended in the winter because of long stretches of road and bitter cold temps. Of course hitchhiking comes with risks; there can be wildlife to be wary of along roads and of course you could get picked up by someone who has motive to do something bad to or rob you. It is possible and majority of the time goes without hiccup, but be careful out there. A great place to post or look for hitchhiking opportunities is Couchsurfing. I get e-mail updates from the Anchorage page and often see people posting that they are driving from point A to point B on date C and have D seats available, or for people looking for a ride headed from point E to point F on a range of dates.

Cycling: 

If there’s a road, there’s a way! In the summer you’ll see many cyclists cruising around Alaska. Make sure to review the road rules and be cautious; plenty of Alaskans plow around in giant SUVs and are quite oblivious to anything else on the road and just like in other parts of America they’re too busy texting while driving whilst snap chatting a selfie and Facetiming. Unfortunately bicyclists are at a disadvantage in an accident here by about a metric tonne, so be careful.

Marine Highway:

No, it’s not a tunnel underwater (I once had a friend ask this when referring to the Marine Highway), it’s a ferry system connecting a few parts of the state. Not cheap by any shot but can be used as a way to get around the vast state. The Marine Highway connects Bellingham, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia to many ports in Southeast AK, South-central, AK and the Aleutian Islands.

Flights:

Depending on where you want to get to in Alaska, flying may be your only option. Alaska is largely inaccessible. Alaska Airlines, Ravn Air, Penair, air taxis and several charter flights connect Alaska’s towns, cities and villages. Larger airports served within the state are Aniak, Cold Bay, Barrow (Utgiavik), Bethel, Cordova, Deadhorse, Dillingham, Homer, Kenai, Kind Salmon, Kodiak, Kotzebue, McGrath, Nome, St. George, St. Paul, Sand Point, Sitka,  Unalakleet, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor and Valdez. Keep checking on Skyscanner and Expedia for deals. Air taxis are your best bet of getting to very remote places.

Accomodation:

Yet another area that can be expensive, but if your willing to tent it or stay at a strangers place you can save big time on sleeping arrangements. There are very few hostels and guesthouses in Alaska. If you plan to go remote and away from cities, towns and major tourist centers indoor accommodation options can be non existent.

Camping:

There are countless opportunities to camp in Alaska! It’s not only a great way to save, but also gets you outdoors in nature. Some popular hikes allow free camping along routes (no cost), larger parks and national parks may have designated camping sites and will on average range from $10-$30 per site, per night. There are privately owned camp sites as well around the state. You can expect fees to be higher and may include amenities such as electricity and water.

Hostels:

Mostly found in cities or towns. Expect to pay in the $40-100 per night range.

AirBnB:

AirBnb gained a lot of popularity over the last couple years. I’ve had in general good experiences using it. Click my link here to sign up for AirBnB and receive $20 off your first booking!

*I do get credits toward my bookings if you sign up using the above link. Upon signing up you will get your own link that you can share with friends that will get you credits.

Public use cabins:

There are many public use cabins available around the state. Fees can vary from free to over $60 per night. Check out what cabins are available in state parks here.  If you join the Mountaineering Club of Alaska and pay the $20 yearly membership you can have access to seven beautiful little cabins scattered through the Talkeetna & Chugach Mountains. A word to the wise: many of the public use cabins book up far in advance especially for the summertime. Plan to book months in advance, but you can always check for last minute cancellations. The Mountaineering Club cabins are generally on a first come, first serve basis.

Couchsurfing:

I have used Couchsurfing quite a bit in my travels. If you don’t know what it is; Couchsurfing is a website where you can look for people offering free accommodations in places you plan to travel or you can opt to host travelers if you’re at home. I have both surfed and hosted on numerous occasions and have had all positive experiences, in fact most the people I have met through Couchsurfing still keep in touch and have even visited and met up with me again! Sign up for your Couchsurfing account here. Couchsurfing can be perfectly safe, read on to find out more on safety and more info in my post on Couchsurfing.

On etiquette: In most cases where I have surfed, I usually offer to buy groceries and help prepare meals for my hosts since they are after all, letting me stay for free. Everyone I have hosted in my home has always showed up with a bag of foods to prepare a meal with. This isn’t a must-do, but it is a nice offer. You can always bring small gifts from home to thank guests as well. Be creative. 

Hotels & Lodges:

Hotels can be found in most areas that tourists venture, unless you plan to get off the beaten path. Hotels typically are expensive and will run a minimum of $100 per night. Many hotels and lodges that cater to tourists come with a price tag much higher.

Activities:

There are endless activities to get out and explore in Alaska. These can range from free to thousands of dollars.

Hikes:

The trekking options in Alaska are endless! Most are free (may have a parking fee for use of car lots). Good websites to check out for hiking trail information are Alaska.org, Alaska Hike Search and All Trails.  Like to have a book in hand? Check out these books with information on Alaska hikes.

Fishing:

Alaska is known for its world class fishing. Whether you want to fly fish from the bank of one of our famous rivers or charter a boat to catch some delicious wild halibut in the open ocean, Alaska has it all! Apply for you Alaska fishing license online here. You can also pick up fishing licenses and tags at most grocery stores and even some gas/petrol stations around the state. Fishing charters can range between $100 to $350 or more.

Explore a glacier:

With an estimated 100,000 glaciers (only 616 have actual names) around the state you have endless opportunity to get out and enjoy at least one! Alaska has a number of easily accessed glaciers that you can almost drive a car right up to view. Check out this list of Alaska’s roadside glaciers. Other great ways to see glaciers are by longer hikes, flightseeing & heli tours.

*Glaciers can be a dangerous and treacherous place. People do get injured and killed by them. Glaciers can calve, people fall into crevasses and more. If you choose to walk out onto, ice climb, go ice caving, etc. you are taking your life into your own hands. Go at your own risk.

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Chasing the Aurora: Predominately a winter activity. Head to Fairbanks and the surrounding areas for the best viewing opportunities. The months of March and September are typically when they are the most active and the cold isn’t too bitter either! Aurora can be seen all over the state. just head to an isolated dark place away from city lights. Watching the northern lights dance is always free, unless of course you opt to take an aurora tour, and remember that this is no guarantee you will actually see them. Aurora is difficult to predict and weather needs to be clear to see them.

Ski/snowboarding:

If you plan a winter or spring visit hit the slopes! There are several resorts around the state, the biggest of which is Alyeska Resort in Girdwood about 40 minutes south of Anchorage. Girdwood is regularly ranked as one of the best ski towns in the world. You can find lifts operating at Hilltop Ski Area and Arctic Valley in Anchorage; Eaglecrest on Douglas Island near Juneau; Aurora Ski Land, and Moose Mountain near Fairbanks; Mount Eyak in Cordova. Numerous backcountry operators around Alaska can take you out on skiing and snowboarding excursions around the state. If you are experienced you can go into the backcountry without a guide at your own risk. Having avalanche training is extremely advisable as well as a shovel, probe and beacon and of course knowledge of how to use them. Shop for outdoor and ski gear here! Always go with others and check avalanche conditions before you go.

*Skiing and snowboarding are all at your own risk, even at a resort. Avalanche danger is very real. Many people die every year in avalanche and ski/snowboard related accidents. Avalanches can occur at any time, even when conditions appear to be safe. You can die out there and/or be incredibly injured.

Mountaineering:

There are plenty of mountaineering options in Alaska. Hello! you know the highest peak in North America is here right? Yup, that would be Denali. Most mountaineering trips in Alaska are not to be taken lightly and many are very treacherous. For example Denali has the biggest vertical rise of any mountain with a base above sea level on Earth, even in summer temps can dip far below the freezing mark and avalanches are a real worry. Many mountaineers prep themselves for months before climbing Denali. Another famous but rarely summited peak is Mt. Foraker, one of Denali’s neighbors and is basically to Denali what K2 is to Everest. More technical and more difficult than their high flying neighbors. I personally know someone who has died on Foraker.

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Ice climbing:

Plenty of ice climbing chances around the state in the winter and even year round on several glaciers. This can be quite dangerous. If you have your own equipment ice climbing can be enjoyed in most places for free. Several companies offer ice climbing tours that you can expect to pay over $100 per person, per day for.

Fishing:

Alaska’s fishing is world class. From combat fishing on the Kenai to reeling in 100+ lb. halibut out in the sound, we got it all. Apply for an Alaska fishing license here.

Kayaking:

A popular activity for Alaskans and tourists alike. With all the lakes, rivers and coastline Alaska has there are countless kayaking trips to be had. Kayaking tours are offered and usually average in the $100 range per person.

Mushing:

Are you an Iditarod fan? There are a few companies offering tourists their chance to mush a dog sled.

Glacier cruises:

A great way to view Alaska’s glaciers from the comfort of a ship. $60 per person and up. Some do include lunch and can have transportation to/from hotel for an extra charge.

Flightseeing:

Personally if I recommended anywhere to splurge on you Alaskan travels it would be for at least one flightseeing tour. This is probably my favorite angle to view Alaska from. Prices can get quite expensive, but it offers you a very unique way to see the state’s beautiful sites. Expect to pay $150 and up per person for a fixed-wing airplane flight tour, $350 and up per person on helicopter tours. Some tours include landings on glaciers, lakes, etc.

Cycling:

Alaska, particularly the Anchorage area has a great network of bike trails.

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Wildlife Viewing:

Bears, Moose, Dall Sheep, Caribou, Musk Ox… the list goes on. Hiring a guided tour can prove costly, some costing $400 per day! Don’t worry wildlife doesn’t charge a fee themselves and with a little luck can even be viewed while keeping your eyes peeled during long road trips. A great place to view wildlife is in Denali National Park on a bus tour which would set you back about $80 per person and will stop for wildlife so you can pour out and take photos or watch through binoculars.

Cultural Activites: 

Want to learn more about Alaska Native People’s traditions, culture, history, and languages? Check out the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage (Admission: $24.95 adult, $16.95 child) and the Anchorage Museum (Admission: Free for Members of the museum, $15 adult, $12 AK residents, $10 seniors, $10 students, $10 military, $7 children age 3-12yo and kids 2yo and under are free). In Barrow (name recently restored to Utqiagvik)  you can find the Inipiat Heritage Center ($10 adults, $5 students, $5 child, Seniors and Children 6 & under are free).

*Enjoy and partake in these activities, but remember: At your own risk. You can die or be injured doing any of these activities. 

Eat:

Alaska has some damn good food, especially when it comes to seafood. Your best budget option for eating is to stop by a grocery store and stock up on your own food and supplies. If cuisine isn’t you’re priority your money can last a bit longer in Alaska by preparing your own meals. Depending on where you’re going and what your plans are there may be no restaurants in your path anyways.

In most cities Carrs, Fred Meyers, Walmart and Target chain stores can be found. There are always locally ran food stores and or general stores as well to purchase goods from.

Foods to eat before you leave:

Fresh Alaska salmon (especially Copper River Red)

Fresh Halibut

Alaskan King Crab

Blueberries (sorry, only available in the late summer & fall)

Reindeer Sausage

Alaska has several great micro breweries!

If you happen to be around Anchorage on the weekend in the summer months, stop on by the Anchorage Market and Festival at 741 E 13th Ave. Several food vendors from around Alaska offer up some yummy Alaskan dishes (and some from the outside too). On Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays check out the similar Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market in Fairbanks at 2600 College Rd.

In most cities you can find restaurants serving up popular dishes from all over the US and the world. Alaska has a lot of good sushi restaurants. Some of my personal favorite restaurants in Alaska include: Moose’s Tooth, Glacier Brewhouse, 49th State Brewery, Double Musky, Silver Gulch, and Mile 229 Parks Highway Restaurant. These are just a few, of course there are many many more!

Foraging:

Yes it’s possible, although mostly limited to summer months to forage for your own food! It can be challenging but it is an option for those really looking to live off the land and save money. DON’T FORAGE ON PEOPLE’S PROPERTY! They tend to get pissed, and many Alaskans have guns and might shoot. Here a couple books to check out:

Safety:

Alaska can be a wild place.

Take your usual precautions when in towns and cities that you would in cities elsewhere in the world. Note that Alaska does have an extremely high rate of violent crime and sexual assaults, abuse and violence. Anchorage especially is particularly rough as of recent. Violent crime has always been high here, but seems to be elevating at a staggering level. Be careful.

Much of Alaska is wild, remote and treacherous. Attacks by wild animals do happen but aren’t common. Always make lots of noise when in the wilderness to help ward off animals, they are usually more scared of you than you are of them and it is always advisable to go as a group or at least with a buddy.

Natural disasters and forces of nature can and will kill you in Alaska. Alaska is very prone to Earthquakes, extreme cold temperature, avalanches, wildfires, tidal waves, treacherous roads and much more will not hesitate to maim or kill you.

Alaska’s weather is horribly unpredictable. You can even have extreme cold as well as extreme heat. Always be prepared, always bring layers and check the forecast but expect the worst. The weather can and will kill you.

Still want to travel Alaska on a budget?

Check out my Alaska page with more Alaska related posts!

If you’re coming to Alaska and you’re not a US citizen, head over to my post on the ESTA to see if you’re eligible for the visa waiver program.

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