It might surprise you to learn that an Alaska vacation is within the financial reach of all travelers, regardless of their budget. But be aware that the cost of traveling in Alaska does vary considerably, depending on the time of year you want to travel, the mode of transportation you choose, the type of accommodations you select, and what activities you choose.
Alaska Bargains in the Winter Season
The least expensive time to visit Alaska is during the winter. We recommend the months of December – March. Winter in Alaska is a great value where you can go skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing through Alaska’s pristine wilderness very affordably. These months are also the best time to view the Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis). If you stay in a moderate Alaska hotel and take a few local tours, you should estimate about $200 per person/per day, based on double occupancy. If, however, you choose to take a scenic helicopter or flightseeing private plane flight or stay at an all-inclusive remote lodge, you would probably need to increase your budget to about $500 – $800 per person per day.
Traveling during the “shoulder seasons” in Alaska (late May or early September), reduces the price of an Alaska tour by about 10% versus peak summer prices.
Summer “Prime Time” Alaska Vacations
The summer time in Alaska (June – August) is the most expensive season but of course, also the most popular time to visit.
A 7-night Alaska Cruise can cost anywhere from $500 per person to $5000+ per person, depending on the type of cruise ship and your choice of stateroom.
Alaska land tours with 3-star hotels, train travel, and popular day tours generally cost around $300 per person per day, based on double occupancy. If you prefer to have nicer accommodations and travel aboard the glass domed rail cars on the Alaska Railroad, you should budget about $400 per person per day.
Alaska self-drive tours with a rental car, moderate hotels, and a few excursions are usually a bit less expensive at around $250 per person per day. With nicer hotels and roadside lodges, these trips cost around $350 per day.
Alaskan lodges provide an exclusive experience in Alaska’s remote backcountry. Each Alaska lodge tends to have a different focus, from bear viewing to fishing to just relaxing in the wilderness and getting away from it all. Most lodges in Alaska are located off of the main road system and are accessible only by plane or boat. The majority of these lodges will provide a more personalized, all-inclusive Alaskan experience where all meals and some guided activities are included with your stay. Although prices vary depending on the location and level of service provided, you can expect to spend about $500-$1500 per person per day for the unique wilderness experiences offered through these lodges.
For those on a tight summer vacation budget, camping in Alaska is a great option. Bring a tent or rent one in Anchorage, rent a car, and explore Alaska on your own. We recommend taking a few tours, like a glacier cruise or rafting trip, to get the full Alaskan experience. RV camping is another fun way to see Alaska, though due to limited availability renting a motor home typically ends up costing about the same as staying at a hotel.
Please keep in mind that these estimates for Alaska vacation costs do not include air flights to Alaska or meals and entertainment. Also, if you are a solo traveler, costs would be higher than the double occupancy estimates above. Conversely, if there are three or four people sharing the cost of the rooms, then your costs would be lower.
Tour and accommodation costs for children ages 11 and younger are also usually less than adult rates.
Please contact us to get a price quote on your Alaska vacation