Offbeat? Out of this world? Overwhelming? All this and more describes Alaska. Sitting like a crown on the head of the North American continent, so much in this state differs from the 49 others of the U.S. You'll be in awe of the huge bears, massive glaciers, unforgiving wilderness, and so much more.
The state of Alaska is big, to put it mildly. It's divided into five regions, each with its own treasure trove of natural beauty. Explore the raw and untamed country here. Climb and hike into uncharted territory. Get up close with majestic moose or massive bears. A trip to the state takes you back to a time of frontier living, digging for gold, and taming the wilderness. Before you head out to explore all Alaska has to offer, make sure you buy
visitors insurance or
as a safety net against any unforeseen accidents, illnesses or injuries.
Alaska's Most Popular Places for Travel
Denali National Park
Officially called Denali, North America's tallest peak, also known as Mount McKinley, towers over the landscape here. That landscape spans more than six million acres (more than 2.4 million hectares) of valleys, glaciers and grasslands, offering a stunning view. The park is home to a large variety of fauna including grizzly bears, wolves, elk, caribou, and birds.
Located near the Juneau Ice Field, the Mendenhall Glacier is a 13-mile (almost 21-kilometer) river that has been around since the Ice Age. There is an observatory in the park where members of the staff will take you through the history of the incredibly beautiful glacier and the surrounding areas. Do also check out the various exhibits on display at the center, along with the informational literature. You can go for a trek along the glacier, or a kayak or raft trip to experience the diverse flora and fauna.
Kenai Peninsula National Forest
The visually stunning Kenai Peninsula National Forest has a lot to offer to tourists. The Kenai Fjords, Harding Ice Field, and the Alaska Railroad are just a few of the must-visit points here. You can take a kayaking or walking tour with a guide. The wildlife here includes sea lions, otters, whales, and a large number of bears.
The Northern Lights
If you have planned your visit between September and April, the ethereal Aurora Borealis - commonly known as the Northern Lights - will leave you yearning for more. Select a perfect spot for viewing based on the advice of guides or tour operators and soak in the beauty. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Brooks Range offer some of the best views of this amazing phenomenon.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Mount Wrangell is the active volcano here. The park also contains nine of the 16 highest peaks in the U.S. This grand park offers abundant opportunities for climbing, hiking, kayaking, and glacier skiing. There are also abandoned mines and once-inhabited ghost towns to be seen. These stand as remnants of a storied past in this area. Spend some time here and soak in the beauty of the majestic mountains all around you.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Alaska
Alaska is not as back-of-beyond as some of you might be thinking. Several major airlines fly into both Anchorage and Fairbanks International Airports. Smaller planes can fly you to more remote locations. You can catch a cruise ship in the summer months and explore the wonderful coastline. Planning to drive to Alaska? You can surely do that. But remember - it's a pretty long haul. Give yourself sufficient time on the road. Take things easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery that keeps on changing as you approach Alaska.
When to visit
The favorite time to visit Alaska for most tourists is between May and September. The sun is out for most of the day and the weather is fairly temperate. Hikers prefer to visit in and around August as the ground is at its driest then. The winters in Alaska can be challenging. But if you can brave it, you can enjoy the ethereal Northern Lights. You can also take part in winter festivals like the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race.
Destinations to visit in Alaska
There are five regions in Alaska. The Far North (right up to the Arctic), the Interior, Southwest, South-Central, and the Inside Passage. The areas further to the north and west are fairly inaccessible and flying there is an expensive proposition. The Inside Passage and South-Central parts are easier to visit. Choose your destinations based on your budget, time, and preferences.
Getting around in the state
Much of Alaska is not fully accessible by road or rail. There are only two rail routes, and while they provide excellent views of the landscape, their service is limited. Taking a cruise is a much better option for traveling between most locations in Alaska. You can also charter a plane, but it is costly. Driving is a flexible option, but the distances are huge and you will incur a fair cost on fuel.
Where to stay
You have the choice to stay in luxury lodges in the wilderness with all the modern amenities, or you can experience camping facilities that cost much less. There's an abundance of budget hotels, B -&-B options and rentable cabins spread across the state as well. Cabins offer basic facilities, but travelers are expected to bring their own food, bedding, and cooking supplies.
Visitors Medical Insurance for Travelers in Alaska - FAQs
Alaska has its share of first-class healthcare facilities, but they are fairly expensive. To protect yourself from this expense in the event of an illness or injury, opt for visitors insurance.
Why buy visitors medical insurance before traveling to Alaska?
Accidents and illnesses can occur without warning, and they may require immediate treatment and/or evacuation. In any case, you could end up on the hook for a massive bill. Therefore, it's advisable to purchase visitors medical insurance so you can be covered in case of the unexpected.
What should I Look for in My Alaska Visitors Medical Insurance?
Check for the list of outdoor/adventure sports activities covered by the policy. Some policies offer add-ons for certain sports if they are not initially included in the plan, so be sure to read the policy first to know what all is included and can be added. Buy visitors medical insurance so you can be protected against large medical bills.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Alaska - FAQs
In the event of a cancellation, you stand to lose all the money you paid in advance when booking your trip. But you can stay protected financially with trip cancellation insurance.
With all the planning that goes into an Alaska vacation, it just makes sense to protect your investment in case of the unexpected.
What should I Look for in My Alaska Trip Cancellation Insurance?
The policy could cover the following reasons:
For peace of mind during your travel, buy travel insurance. The exact instances covered by certain plans will be explained in detail in the policy wording, so be sure to examine it carefully before purchasing.
Before You Travel to Alaska - Do This
Pack appropriate clothing for the weather, and sunscreen if visiting in the summer (remember, the sun never really sets in summertime).
Carry bug-spray, as mosquitos in particular can be a nuisance.
visitors insurance or