5 Reasons Why You Need to Take an Alaskan Road Trip

April 9, 2019

Happy Tuesday friends! I hope that your week is starting off well! Today I am so excited to talk about 5 reasons that I loved the Alaskan Road Trip that we did last summer (and some of the top reasons I am planning a trip back again this summer!), and why you need to take a road trip in Alaska! 

If you have ever explored visiting Alaska than you know that there are lots of ways that you could travel throughout The Last Frontier! You could choose a cruise (a very popular option and one that I am excited to do someday!), take the Alaskan Train, or take a bus trip. You could even choose to hop around from city to city by plane if you wanted to! All of these options are wonderful, but last summer I fell in love with the road trip option as it opened up so many opportunities that the other options wouldn't have and so today I wanted to share 5 reasons you need to take an Alaskan Road Trip! So here they are...
1. Freedom to Stop, See, and Do What You Want To
The number 1 reason why a road trip is a wonderful thing to do throughout Alaska is that it gives you the complete freedom to stop, see, and do what you want to do. You can choose what time you want to get up in the morning and what time you want to arrive somewhere. If you see something along the way that looks interesting or incredible to do you have the freedom to do it. If you find something that you really love and want to spend more time at a place you can do so because you are not on someone else's time schedule restrictions. You will never have to miss out on exploring anything or having an unplanned adventure (some of the best in my opinion!) because you have the freedom to stop and go as you wish. 

If you read through my posts of our Alaskan Road Trip in 2018 than you know that this is true. Our intinerary was planned for many things (you can find our 9 day Alaskan Road Trip itinerary by clicking  HERE) and hotel/lodge reservations were set, but our days were free to explore as we traveled to our different locations which gave us beautiful adventures. One of my favorite parts was the freedom to choose to do the Worthington Glacier Ridge Hike. I hadn't planned that as part of our itinerary but it turned out to be one of my favorite hikes of the trip!
2. Freedom to Change Plans
Closely tied to #1 is the freedom you have to change your plans as you want or need to. Sometimes you get to a place and you realize that you love the area and want to stay an extra night. Or maybe you found out about a new place to explore that you hadn't planned on before. You can easily change your plans during a road trip. 

One of my favorite "plan changes" that I made during the trip last year was to spend time hiking around Eklutna Lake. I had planned to spend more time hiking a bit farther out than Anchorage, but when I woke up I decided that I wanted something a bit closer to Anchorage and decided to explore Eklutna Lake (it is less than an hour from Anchorage if you are interested in checking it out!). It was the best decision and it was simply stunning. I love the freedom that a road trip gives to change your plans as you want or need. (If you are interested in reading more about Anchorage you can find my Anchorage City Guide HERE!)
3. The Freedom to Have an Alaskan Adventure outside Typical Tourist Locations
One of the best things about doing a road trip throughout Alaska is that you get to have a beautiful Alaskan Adventure outside of the typical tourist locations. Instead of just seeing certain ports or certain cities, you can choose to go into the wild and see things that only the locals do. You can get off the "main road" or past the "main location" of where the trains and buses usually go. You can get to know the locals, get to know the culture better, get to know people, and get to stay and eat at places that are not frequented by tourists but have amazing local roots. 

One of my favorite adventures in Alaska was driving on the Denali Highway. It is the #2 drive in the world for good reason. The pictures that I posted about this beautiful road (you can read Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, and Part 3 HERE and a video of the entire thing HERE) were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It was simply stunning...and it was so incredible that I have included it again in this years road trip. But you won't see this incredible highway if you take the train or a different type of transportation in your Alaskan Adventure. This is a strictly road trip adventure option...and to be honest this point alone makes me want to shout, "take the road trip"! *smiles*
4. This Can Make Visiting Alaska More Affordable
One of the things that I hear a lot from people about taking a trip to Alaska is that they feel it would be impossible because of the costs involved. If finances are a restriction than taking a road trip is a perfect solution for you. For our 9 day road trip we traveled almost 2500+ in the car and I spent less than $150 in gas money. If you are looking to save even more money- you could definitely even sleep in your car. This can save you a ton of money in purchasing tickets that are often expensive. Concerned about car rental prices? They are more expensive than other places you visit but when you break the cost down by day it is still cheaper than the other options. 
5. The Opportunity to Stop and Record the Beauty of What You are Seeing
I can't begin to tell you how many hundreds of times I stopped the car to snap pictures. Around every corner was a new breathtaking view that was absolutely priceless. To have the opportunity to stop, take pictures, and spend some moments in that beauty without being rushed was absolutely incredible and something I will cherish forever.

So y'all- definitely start planning your road trip to Alaska today! You will not regret it as it will be the experience of a lifetime! And don't forget to check out my post on 5 Things you Must Know About Driving in Alaska which holds some extra tips for your trip! You can find the post HERE

Want to step forward and plan your trip but not sure how? Check out all of the Alaska Road Trip posts from our trip in 2018 which you can find them in the Alaska travel section on my blog by clicking HERE or you can click on the specific links below:

Anchorage: // Anchorage Travel Guide//

Chugach Mountains (Alaska 1-South Drive): 

Chugach Mountains: // Eklutna Lake//

Cooper Landing (Kenai Peninsula): // Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge Nature Trail//

General Alaska:

Girdwood: // Winner Creek Trail //

So there are my top 5 reasons why you need to take an Alaskan Road Trip! I can't wait to head back for another road trip in just a few short months! And I am so excited to share a special way that you can get involved in this road trip in the next few days so stay tuned! Happy Tuesday friends!

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