Is frugal Alaska possible?
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    Default Is frugal Alaska possible?

    We are sending our oldest with her grandparents to work in Alask for the 2011 summer. The rest of the family will meet up with them in Skagway in July/ August. We are campers and eat at the camp, but are there any plan aheads that can save us money on sightseeing things. Any inside advice that you have? Thanks so much for all of the help.

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    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    I'm not from that area, but my friend went with family and because there were a total of 10 people they were able to get group discounts. Hope that can help you.

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    I would check out some 'frugal' travel books from the library and start reading. There is a "Let's Go" series that is geared toward frugal travel......others as well.

    You will be doing the sightseeing in 'primo' travel time so everything will be at high rate. If not opposed, I would check out what type of hostels are in the area that you will be traveling to and stay there........and whatever you plan to do........make reservations ahead of time.............

    One savings............pack PLENTY (read GOBS) of mosquito repellent.......or........maybe a saddle and bridle!!

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    Licence to Kill Luv2BeFrugal's Avatar
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    Hi, sounds like they're in for quite the adventure! I'm a born and raised Alaskan...I'll see if I can answer any of your questions...

    It says they'll end up in Skagway...what other areas will they be in?

    I would look into state campgrounds. Will they be tent camping or motor home? That will make a difference in fees...

    Here is a campground link:
    Find a Park, Campgrounds, Alaska State Parks

    Reservations, though it may sound a little odd, are not a bad idea.

    Here is the fees link for State Campgrounds - 2010 (no, not cheap):
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/feesfs.pdf

    There are MANY privately run campgrounds...googling for those works great! The campground hosts are usually really friendly and a wealth of information. Often these places will send you free info in the mail (state will, too).

    Make sure they have a LOT of bug dope! The joke is that the Alaska state bird is the mosquito. They are BIG and there are MANY of them.

    And, though it's a sensitive subject, I would highly recommend having a gun as part of their camping supplies. Alaska is a rugged place and can be very, very dangerous...yes, even within the campgrounds.

    Summer is what we call "tourist season"...things will be busy in the fishing areas, so be prepared for that aspect of it, and prices are always higher during the summer. If they'll be cooking at their campsites, it's best to stock up on supplies in the larger areas...Anchorage, Kenai, Soldotna, etc. (not sure where exactly they'll be). I assume they'll be driving? Gas is usually in the $4.25 - $4.50/gallon range over the summers (running about $3.40/gal right now in the "big city"...higher prices the farther you get away from the main 'hub' areas).

    If they're fishing they'll need fishing licenses, but that can be a way to defray food costs! =)

    If you have more details I can try to get more specific about things... Sadly, "frugal" and "Alaska" aren't 2 words I would tend to put in the same sentence.
    Kace - Always pinchin' pennies!

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luv2BeFrugal View Post
    And, though it's a sensitive subject, I would highly recommend having a gun as part of their camping supplies. Alaska is a rugged place and can be very, very dangerous...yes, even within the campgrounds.

    Curiosity question.........dangerous from wildlife.........or nutsos???

    If they are driving up from the states, would you still rec. going through customs (at Canada) with a gun? That is one ? they always ask. Would some mace and a 'loaded club' work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalfranny View Post
    Curiosity question.........dangerous from wildlife.........or nutsos???

    If they are driving up from the states, would you still rec. going through customs (at Canada) with a gun? That is one ? they always ask. Would some mace and a 'loaded club' work?
    You can't take a gun through Canada - used to be able to take a rifle if you were hunting (never a pistol), but the laws have changed. To get a gun up here from the lower 48 you have to ship it from an FFL to an FFL (local gun store to another or licensed Federal Firearms licensee). It would be easiest to go through a shop owner.

    If they fly up (which is what I was guessing, as the drive just from Seattle to Anchorage is 5 *days*), depending on the airline, you can check a gun just like you would luggage - NO ammo, and disassembled. No big deal...just declare it all.

    As far as the "wildlife"...I was talking more along the lines of bears, etc. Alaska does have a very high crime rate for things like rape, though...just always BE AWARE.

    Hope this helps...not trying to make it sound awful here! It really is beautiful and there are MANY wonderful people! =) From personal experience camping, I never go unarmed (and have been thankful for it).
    Kace - Always pinchin' pennies!

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