How to Plan a D.I.Y. Alaska Trip

Among the many types of land transportation in Alaska, domestic flights are convenient, trains are scenic, buses are a relative bargain, and travel planners can make traveling more economical for a group, according to trip planners.

If you fly to Anchorage or Fairbanks, you are in the Alaskan Railbelt, which is served by the Alaska Railroad, which also runs south of Anchorage to Seward. Travelers can switch to domed cars to see Seward on the railroad’s GoldStar service ($ 224 one way from Anchorage in early June versus $ 113 in regular cars) or Denali on the private Wilderness Express service ($ 249 from Anchorage versus $ 176). .

A Park Connection bus between Denali and Anchorage costs $ 100 each way in the summer.

As in other parts of the country, Alaska is also experiencing a car rental crisis as demand exceeds supply, resulting in higher rates almost double what it was in 2019, according to Kayak.

“We are seeing increased rental car prices all over the US, but it can still be cheaper than putting train and coach combinations together, especially if you are more than two travelers,” said Anna Harrison, the owner of the Pittsburgh travel agency.

However, rental cars are hard to find this summer. When I recently searched for a rental car on the Avis Alaska website, I couldn’t find a weeklong rental car until late August, a compact car for $ 473. Travel experts warn against one-way rental cars, which are more expensive than round-trip journeys.

Two other ways to save money are by settling in Anchorage, which has a range of accommodations, taking day trips, or renting a car, RV, or RV and camping.

“Anchorage is a great base for those who are short on time and don’t like to move around every night,” Ms. Harrison said, noting that travelers looking to use loyalty points or miles are more likely to be able to do so in the city.

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