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Too late??

FL
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153 posts
36 reviews
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Too late??

Our family decided we'd like to visit Alaska this summer. Myself, husband, 11 and 7 year old daughters but I'm worried im late since I'm just starting to plan now. We would be there for 2 weeks in July. We are an active, outdoor family, that wants to see as much as possible while enjoying the scenery and animals. Will all activities, hotels be hard to get reservations for in July? Thanks for you help. I've started to read the common questions, etc but don't want to plan if we really are to late to optimize our time in Alaska.

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,104 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Too late??

The main issue with booking now would be that a car rental might be more expensive now than if you had booked it 3-4 months ago. Other than that, you should be fine. Once you book flights you can book the car rental. Then figure out an itinerary - and be sure to think through the itinerary before booking lodging. Start looking for discounts once your plans are firm. For example, there is a Groupon for flightseeing from Talkeetna right now (but limit 1 per flight so it might not work best for a family of four).

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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37,540 posts
44 reviews
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2. Re: Too late??

yes - you should be fine. Get the car reserved as soon as you have your flights or at least your dates. Don't hesitate to ask for help with your itinerary and lodgings before you book . . . just give us the details of the types of lodging you are looking at and nightly budget. Happy planning! :)

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3,796 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Too late??

Maybe price an RV rental for your trip. That will save you the worry of hotel reservations and give you more flexibility with your itinerary. And for 4 people you'll save on 3 restaurant meals a day.

Duluth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
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5,027 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Too late??

Lots of folks start much later than this! The more time you have the more deals and prime time slots you can find, but if you're not dead set on certain specifics and have some flexibility you still have plenty of time.

First, you need to narrow it down from "Alaska" to a specific area or destination. From there you can start deciding on specifics; air, vehichle, destination or road trip, etc...

Many, Many people fly into Anchorage and go from there, hard to argue with as the Kenai Peninsula and Denali both start from Anchorage. I agree an RV trip is a great way to go, if you're comfortable with that. Something to look at at least.

Harlingen,TX
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802 posts
36 reviews
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5. Re: Too late??

Just to give you a little personal experience, we're in the process of booking lodging for a two week tour in June. Although a few places are already booked, most places are wide open still. So I agree with everyone else-you should be fine (and hopefully so are we). However, we haven't yet booked a rental car for when we're out on Kodiak Island, and from the previous post on rental cars, we might have problems there.

Edited: 22 December 2013, 15:06
Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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37,540 posts
44 reviews
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6. Re: Too late??

I haven't seen Alaska run out of rental cars like you can in Hawaii, but the price goes way up the longer you wait. I remember once looking for some relatives mid-summer once, and it was going to be over $1000 a week for an econo car - that would have only been about $300 if they have booked 10 months out. That is the key difference. :)

New York City, New...
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334 posts
43 reviews
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7. Re: Too late??

I have never had a problem renting a car on Kodiak

I rent either at Avis or Budget -whichever is cheapest

Up to this year Budget always gave a 10% AARP discount at the counter

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
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10,150 posts
195 reviews
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8. Re: Too late??

Kodiak? That's a little "left field" for this thread.

Anchorage, AK
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19 posts
35 reviews
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9. Re: Too late??

The smaller the community you go to the smaller the hotels. The less rooms available. If for instance you are flying into a lodge somewhere in the bush, they may only have 4 rooms. They may be booked up far in advance. If you are planning on going to the main hotel area of Denali or Anchorage there will be plenty of hotel rooms available. Be careful in smaller places like Seward and Homer. It all depends on where you go. Wherever you stay, please read the reviews on the hotel, we have lots of places that look like a deal, until you get there, and you found out the hard way why they are a deal. No fun when there are no options to change hotels. Anchorage itself has lots of new hotels, so we have lots more rooms than we did 10 years ago.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
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4,127 posts
82 reviews
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10. Re: Too late??

I made all my reservations in January, so you are earlier than I was. Outline your plan, get your car rented and you'll be on your way.