How to Pack for an Alaskan Adventure

Written by: Melissa on March 15, 2021

Car driving down a road toward a snowy mountain range
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Alaska’s majestic coastlines, mountain vistas, icy glaciers, and abundant wildlife make it a unique travel experience. This incredible diversity also makes knowing what to pack for an Alaskan adventure a challenge. How can travelers avoid overpacking but still be prepared for everything Alaska has to offer? Experienced travel agents know that answering a few key questions will help.

Which tours and activities are part of the itinerary?

3 hikers trekking next to a frozen stream

Alaska offers an abundance of outdoor and active excursions. Wearing appropriate footwear and clothing is key to enjoying each experience. Some tours have specific requirements and may include the use of specialty items, such as waterproof outwear. Carefully read all the tour provider’s instructions to understand clothing requirements and inclusions.

TIP: Don’t forget about non-clothing items like binoculars, foldable trekking poles, and camera equipment.

What are the luggage allowances for each travel segment?

Most travelers have become accustomed to airline baggage limitations and charges. But travel in Alaska often includes using tour buses, trains, and even floatplanes. Be sure to review the luggage allowances —including quantity, dimensions, and weight— for each section of the itinerary and pack according to the strictest limitations.

TIP: Wear your bulkiest shoes while traveling to save space and weight in your suitcase.

Will there be access to laundry facilities?

Empty washing machines in a laundromat

Packing the necessary clothes for Alaska’s variety of weather conditions doesn’t have to mean lugging around your entire wardrobe. Take advantage of laundry service or self-serve machines in order to wear items multiple times, even if they’ve gotten wet or dirty during outdoor activities. Washing just a single load during your trip can significantly reduce the amount of clothing you need to pack.

TIP: Lightweight, quick-drying fabrics won’t take up much room in your luggage, are easy to layer, and can be hand-washed and hung to dry.

For Alaskan cruises, does the ship have a dress code for onboard dining?

While they aren’t an option for summer 2021, cruises to Alaska are typically more casual than voyages to other destinations. Some ships, however, will provide a dress code for specific evenings or dining experiences. Review the guidelines in travel documents or on the cruise line’s website.

TIP: Bring mix-and-match clothing and swap out accessories like scarves, jewelry, and ties to create a variety of looks from the same pieces.

Packing tips are just part of the helpful advice you can provide as a travel agent. As a professional travel advisor, you’ll be helping travelers compare options and craft the perfect itinerary for their once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan adventures.