Touring Alaska without reservations

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 20-26, 1997
Touring Alaska without reservations
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Guided trips through the Smokies
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Exploring the wilds of Iceland

Touring Alaska without reservations
Question: Our family of four is planning a three-week trip to Alaska in July. We are probably not going to do the Southeast. We are planning to do most things "on the spot," without advance reservations, in order to maintain maximum flexibility. Do you see a problem with this? Thanks for your comments.

Joe Streator
Des Plaines, IL
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: As long as you have a tent and sleeping bags in the trunk as back-up, you'll probably be pretty safe. There are places to camp practically everywhere, so if you run into a jam (namely, a plethora of "No Vacancy" signs), you should have no trouble getting through the night. What I would recommend, however, is that you try to pin down at least one or two accommodations per week; that way, you can be guaranteed a bed and hot shower every now and then without having to stick to a regimented travel plan. And if you find that you just can't bear to commit to the next stop on your itinerary, most inns and motels will gladly accept cancellations, as long as you do it 48 hours before your scheduled arrival. For suggestions on where to go and what to see, check out "Go North and Prosper," the Alaska write-up in Outside's Summer 1997 Family Vacation Guide. Another recommended read (also good for the glove compartment) is Moon Publications' Alaska Handbook, by Deke Castleman and Don Pitcher ($14.95; 800-345-5473).

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