Why Alaska Should Be First in Your Post-COVID Travel Plans
More than half of Americans have now been vaccinated against COVID-19, and it looks like we can finally start making travel plans again. Though necessary precautions are still in place, it certainly feels like the world is opening up again finally.
While you might be itching to book that flight to another country, it might be a good time to think local for now. Apart from the travel restrictions still in place in other countries, it would be nice to support local businesses.
If you’re looking to get as far away as possible, you’ve probably already considered Alaska. But what’s up there anyway? It turns out that the state has so much to offer for any traveler.
But first, the rules
The great news is that the State of Alaska doesn’t have any entry or travel testing requirements, though certain communities might have their own. It’s best to check before getting there.
If you’re not yet vaccinated, you can actually request free COVID testing and even free vaccinations at participating airports! We’re still technically in the middle of a pandemic, so throughout your travel in Alaska, you must still practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, and the wearing of face masks.
Proceed with caution, but don’t forget to have fun! Alaska has lots of that.
As the country’s northernmost state, the first thing we probably think of when we say Alaska is ice and snow. And we’re not wrong. There are so many quintessentially arctic (or near-arctic) activities that you can do in Alaska.
The region has a lot of glaciers, and many of them are open for tourists to get onto. Like mountains, they vary in difficulty, so it’s best to coordinate with guide companies for your visit.
Another classic northern experience you can have in Alaska is watching the northern lights (aurora borealis). Sure, you can see them in other parts of the United States, but there’s nothing quite like seeing them on an Alaskan cruise or lodge. Of course, catching the solar spectacle can be a matter of luck, so book your tour with the pros for a better chance at seeing them.
Owing to its geography, Alaska’s flora and fauna are unique in the United States. From glacier bays to hot springs, you can explore the natural wonders that the state has to offer.
As for wildlife, you can visit a reindeer ranch or go bear-watching. If it’s the famous wild Alaskan salmon you’re looking for, then you can stay at a lodge for a fishing trip and maybe catch some yourself.
At this point, it’s important to note that, as with any trip, we should always be conscious of the environmental impact of our activities. We have to be extra conscious of the waste we generate and the resources we consume as we travel along. Remember, we are only guests in nature’s home, so we must be respectful and mindful of our actions.
For this reason, it’s crucial to book tours and activities with reputable guides. Before booking, ask about their environmental policies and the measures that they take to safeguard Alaska’s natural resources.
Back in Time
One of the best ways to learn about history is to live it. Or at least experience something close to it.
Alaska has many historical sites and cultural experiences. It’s important to learn about the indigenous peoples who were the region’s earliest inhabitants, so a stop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must. You can also visit a totem pole park to learn about this craft.
There are also historical and cultural experiences pertaining to the later European settlements, like the Russian churches, remnants of Alaska’s Russian past. Alaska was also witness to the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century. You can learn more about it by traveling back in time to visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. There you can take a train along the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad just like the old prospectors used to do.
Excited yet? These are just a few of the experiences that you can enjoy in this northern state—suggestions to inspire you to get your trip planning started. After all, it’s your trip, so you know best how to plan it. Just make sure to follow local guidelines, stay up to date with the latest travel advisories, and respect the land and its indigenous cultures.
Your Alaskan adventure awaits!
Meta title: Post-COVID Travel Plans: Tourist Activities in Alaska
meta desc: Looking to get out after being stuck at home for a long time? Look up north and visit Alaska! Read on to learn more about an Alaskan trip.