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Alaska Is The Must-See Destination

June 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


I was poking around the Woodall’s site this morning and was very happy to see that Alaska is listed as the June Must-See Destination for Woodall’s. You can read the full story for yourself, but I am happy to be able to offer my own tidbits  because I lived in Alaska about five years ago.

Fortunately, we were able to camp extensively throughout the state while living there. We can assure you that it takes a lot of organization and planning when traveling and camping throughout America’s Last Frontier. When we did so, our children were about 11, 8, and 3 years of age. With our travel trailer in tow, we traveled all the way to Denali National Park for Father’s Day weekend that year. We camped on the Kenai Peninsula along the Russian River on July 4th. And, we spent numerous weekends overlooking  Resurrection Bay at a municipal campground in Seward.

Thankfully, I had lots of wonderful neighbors who camped with us or  gave us tips and advice for navigating the roads and stocking the camper  before we left home. I was carefully instructed to plan accordingly because full hookups were rarely available at campgrounds  in remote areas. I was also told to travel with provisions because in many cases supermarkets would be hours away. This last tidbit proved particularly relevant  when we camped at Denali National Park. We didn’t have hookups at the campsite and the nearest grocery store was in Fairbanks, which was indeed a lot farther than we wanted to drive for a quart of milk.  Luckily, I didn’t need milk but when I tried to get some fresh fruit at a minimart, I was pointed to a lone banana in a basket by the register. All of the available fruit had already been purchased that day.  I bypassed the banana and as a travel writer made a mental note to myself. When my neighbor decided to visit Denali with her husband, five kids, and visiting in-laws later that summer, I told her to pack a cooler and be prepared. When she returned from that trip, she thanked me profusely for that tip.

So, one of my best tidbits of advice for traveling throughout Alaska is to do your research in advance. Research the amenities and the campgrounds. Don’t be afraid to call ahead.  Ask questions. If you see a supermarket or a large grocery store in a town or city, it’s probably worth restocking on any provisions then because it’s sometimes a long drive to the next spot. We also got in the habit of refueling long before the tank was on empty.  On many occasions, we were glad that we did so.

We have fabulous memories of our family camping trips throughout Alaska.  Without a doubt our children saw more than they ever could have imagined. Thanks to our travel trailer and a little sweat equity, we traveled hundreds of miles affordably and within our budget.  If you would like information on any of these destinations, check out Travel Alaska for additional information and resources.

Photo by Melissa A. Trainer

–Melissa A. Trainer

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