Alaska is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination and one of the best ways to experience Alaska is by driving. Alaska has an excellent road system, which connects most of it’s main attractions, while allowing you to also seek out hidden treasures. All you have to do is decide what you want to see, mark a trail and go!
Driving through Alaska will give you the experience of being in your own beautifully-shot road movie. Don’t just stick to the big cities and well-known landmarks; stop in small towns and meet some quirky locals, cruise down the highways and experience breathtaking cinematic scenery while being on your own schedule. The only thing you’ll have to remember is to book your accommodation in advance.
Car hire in Alaska is easy and straightforward, with many car hire companies available, such as Hertz, Avis and Alamo Car Hire. Where you rent a car will, of course, depending on where you start your journey from, but the service is very similar in each company. Many people start their journey from the airport in Anchorage, where most major flights land. This page on the Alaska Vacations site will give you a good overview on what you’re likely to experience in renting a car and some of the places you can do it.
If you’re a bit lost or overwhelmed for things to do, there are also self-driving tours available, where you can still experience the freedom of a self-drive holiday, with guaranteed accommodation and excursions. Between excursions, you are still free to do whatever you want. Some of these will ensure you get to see the touristic highlights of Alaska, coastal tours and through some of Alaska’s national parks.
Alaska is fairly huge and where you travel to will depend greatly on what you want to see. Alaska has five regions: the Inside Passage, Southcentral, Southwest, Interior and Far North. The Interior and the Inside Passage is warmest in the summer, with summer highs in the 60s and low 70s and the Inside Passage and Southern Alaska are essential if you want to drive around the coast. The Far North, a lot of which is only accessible by plane, are home to some little arctic communities.
Remember, if you rent a car, you can also use the numerous ferries to visit islands and other out-of-the-way places. A self-drive around Alaska can also be quite expensive, but you can save money by visiting in the off-season during May, early June and September, when hotels and B&B’s, as well as the excursions, will be cheaper and less crowded.
A self-drive around Alaska is highly recommended for a memorable and relaxing holiday. What places would be on your itinerary if you drove around Alaska?
If you’ve ever been on a self-drive holiday, feel free to leave your tips for fellow travellers.