I saw all the photos and they are incredible. I am also planning a trip to Alaska but don't know where o start. I definitely would like to hear from your experience when is the best time and how to plan? what can be the budget ? I would really appreciate if you post those information in detail.
>I saw all the photos and they are incredible.
Here's some info that may be able to help you get started on your planning.
>I am also planning a trip to Alaska but don't know where o start.
We drove around in Alaska, so that is the part I can comment on.
First get a copy of The Milepost. It a great book with detailed description of all major highways in Alaska. (http://www.themilepost.com/)
A quick overview will tell you that Alaska is quite big to cover in a short 1-2 week trip.
So unless you are retired and have months to travel, you'll need to decide which part you'll want to travel. Search around these forums and read people's recommendations on where to go.
>when is the best time and how to plan?
The best way to plan is you use the internet. There is a wealthof information available.
Unless you are fond of cold/snow and ice, Mid May to early Sep is the best time. Each months has its pros and cons. Like its cold in May and some places are not open. Its also not that crowded in May. Days are long in June, but its crowded and there are mosquitoes. Late august and early Sep is the time when the leaves turn yellow/red making the country side beautiful.
>what can be the budget ?
Alaska is much more expensive than the rest of the country. Car rental, food and lodging are all quite expensive. We saved quite a bit on lodging as we rented a camper. If you are inclined to do that, it can be a great way to see the land. The big advantage of doing that is you can practically stop anywhere and have a meal or stay the night. Also most of the state owned campgrounds are located at very prime locations.
I think we ended up spending around $4000 for the two of us including everything (flight + rental + food + tours)
Let me know if you need anything more specific.
And yes start planning early. Places get filled up fast.
Thanks for the Info.
lshah, where did you rent your camper? Where you happy with the service and what did it cost?
I used ABC Motor homes.
I wasn't very satisfied with the camper. Some problems:
* They promised a new model yr 2005. Instead they gave me an old one: yr 2001.
* They told me that it comes with a generator. But it did not.
* They said that the batteries recharge when you drive. That was not true. The batteries recharge only when plugged in to an electrical outlet.
* The outer door would not lock. So everytime we left the camper, we had to move the valuable stuff like cameras to the front.
* While driving the drawers and cabinets inside would open spilling everything out.
* In the front, they told me it had a cd player (I carried CDs to listen while driving), and it had a cassette player.
* There was no ladder to get in/out of the camper. Instead they gave us a small construction ladder, which was a pain to use.
Some good things:
* The staff was nice and courteous.
* The camper gave me no mechanical problem.
* I read some harrowing experiences of people renting campers in Alaska. So in that respect other than minor inconveniences mentioned above, I had a good experience.
If this is your 1st time renting a camper, I suggest you get to your rental company in the morning so that you can locate these problems and have time to get fixed.
Let me know if you need other information.
Ishah, thanks a ton for the information. I hate to hear there are horror stories! Still, we'll know to check the camper out very carefully when picking it up.I think we have it narrowed down to 2 rental agencies; ABC is one I think and the other is Alaskan Camper Adventures or something. Any other places you'd suggest to stay away from?
Can't comment on which RV places to stay away from but its safer to stick to big ones.
Checkout the rec.outdoors.rv-travel (…google.com/group/rec.outdoors.rv-travel…) and alt.culture.alaska (groups.google.com/group/alt.culture.alaska…) newsgroups. I gathered significant information from reading old posts there.
One more point, if possible stay at state owned camgrounds. The facilities may be minimal but the location is perfect. Better than any privately owned RV park. Also the state owned camgrounds are more spacious, unlike the privately owned ones where RV sites are packed like sardines.