Alaska

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Visitors come to Denali National Park, the crown jewel of Alaska's national parks, to witness Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America at 20,320 feet. Getting to Alaska can be expensive, but you can save on Denali and Alaska travel with the Great Alaskan TourSaver coupon book. The book costs $100, but it can help you save much more with coupons that entitle you to two-for-one deals and other discounts on travel. For example, you can get two-for-one tickets for the Mt. McKinley flight-seeing tours and Anchorage-to-Denali rail packages.
 
(Photo: iStockphoto)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 14, 2007. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Alaska, destination, France, Massachusetts, Sarah Pascarella, summer, Tuscany, Wyoming.

Summer in Alaska brings good weather and wildlife viewing. If you want to see bears, moose, whales, and birds, this is your place.

To get the insider's perspective for your trip, it's good to hit the books. The Great Alaskan TourSaver coupon book costs $100 and offers discounts, two-for-one offers, and freebies at a host of businesses across the state. While the cost may seem steep at first, it can save you a bundle once you put it to use. Participating vendors include tour operators, hotels, day cruises, restaurants, and many more. The Milepost, a phonebook-sized guide to the state, is the ultimate road-trip companion. Chock-full of maps, suggested itineraries, and lodging recommendations, it costs $28.

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Most travelers arrive by plane or cruise ship. You can compare prices by either means of transport using our price-comparison tools, both for airfare or cruises.

"June through August is the high season for travel in Alaska, so you won't find many bargains for lodging during those months," says Kristine Valencia, The Milepost's managing editor. "Generally, your best bet is to compare room rates in places that have enough hotels and motels to be competitive, which is basically Anchorage and Fairbanks." For Denali National Park, Alaska's most-visited attraction, "the farther away from the park entrance you are, the higher the savings," she says.

If you like group tours, you may be able to save. "Operators like Princess Tours house their guests at Princess properties and transport them in Princess motor coaches, allowing them to charge a package price not available to the independent traveler following the same itinerary," Valencia says.

For accommodations, consider the state's more than 200 public use cabins, which cost around $50 per night. You may have to act quickly, however—cabins are rented on a first-come, first-served basis.

And remember, Alaska offers a variety of attractions that don't cost a thing. From hiking and wildlife viewing to road trips, you can certainly fill your trip with low- or no-cost itineraries.

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