Nicknamed “The Last Frontier,” the beautiful state of Alaska features coastal towns, Alaskan Native villages, and urban cities. Alaska, which is formed from the Aleut word “Alyeska” translates to “Great Land.”
And trust us — this is most certainly an accurate description of this rugged landscape that features outdoor adventures, diverse wildlife as well as being home to 34,000 miles of coastland (the longest in the United States) and 100,000 glacials.
Alaska also happens to be the best location to view the Northern Lights, making it a must-visit state for an adventurer at heart.
The majesty of Alaska offers geography that simply isn’t found in any of the other 50 states that make up America. Interestingly, one-third of the state’s line, in fact, lies within the Arctic Circle, which adds to the uniqueness and beauty of this breathtaking location.
It’s no wonder that a trip to Alaska is on many people’s bucket lists! If this is a location you want to visit as well, read on for some helpful information.
The following is a cost outline of what you can feasibly expect to pay for a seven-day Alaska vacation. Of course, taxes and other resort and hotel fees aren’t being figured in, so know that you should round up a bit on all cost estimations.
In addition, food costs do not include the cost of alcohol or specialty drinks. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the cost of visiting Alaska.
Average Trip to Alaska Cost in 2023
The average trip cost per person to Alaska for a duration of seven days is right at $2,600 a person.
- Average Accommodation Cost: $930
- Average Flight Cost: $560
- Average Food, Drink, and Activities: $440
- Transportation: $730
- Total Cost: $2,600.00
Trip Cost: Average by Item
Accommodations within the beautiful state of Alaska range from hotels and lodges to vacation and cabin rentals. There are high-end resorts as well as Bed and Breakfasts and even RV parks and campgrounds.
You can also opt for a cruise option, which takes care of your accommodations on the ship itself. Obviously, the rates for hotels and other forms of lodging will vary based on the time of year you travel.
Alaskan lodging is most affordable between May and September. It might surprise you though that according to numbers from Alaska.gov, a trip here, at least in terms of accommodation cost, is not nearly as steep as you might imagine.
If you select a cruise in order to experience all the Land of the Midnight Sun has to offer, you really won’t have to do much research at all. Just book a trip and get the complete costs, with perhaps only having to worry about adding flight costs to the mix.
Generally, lodging in the form of accommodations will average between $40 to $90 a night for an economy room or standard hotel room to a high-end luxury resort rate of between $90 to $145 a night.
Bed and Breakfast accommodations average between $45 and $80 nightly with Wilderness Lodge ranging from $150 to $425 and private cabins costing between $20 and $100 nightly.
This synopsis gives you a good range of the costs to expect based on the types of accommodations you choose. Most vacations planned in Alaska are a minimum stay of seven days.
As a result, we are basing our information on this vacation time frame. The lower average cost would be typical prices for low tariff or off-season stays with the higher end being more popular times to visit.
While your actual flight costs will vary based on if you want to fly economy or first class, where you are flying from, and what city you are visiting in Alaska, the average cost for flights can be figured by looking at current rates.
When figuring flight costs from Chicago, IL to Anchorage, Alaska, there are round trip flights as low as $520 up to $620. Of course, if you are able to use airline points or other travel perks, or are willing to wait for off-peak pricing, you can likely find these rates cheaper.
It’s important to note that all the flights are figured with Anchorage as the destination because it is more centrally located to all regions in Alaska and is the most frequently used airport in the state.
You might find prices are different if you are aiming for other destinations or combine your flight with your stay in some way for a discount. April is the most affordable month to price airline tickets to Alaska, so keep that in mind when planning your visit to this breathtaking land.
High season or the most costly flights are typically found in June, July, and August. Also, as another money-saving tip, book at least three weeks before your trip in order to get below-average pricing.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
The state of Alaska offers a wide variety of food, drink, and activity options. The state features three primary destination cities, which are where most people visit, these being Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage.
There are considerations to take into account when figuring out the cost of your daily activities along with your food cost. You can opt to eat at your hotel or lodge if applicable, which might save you some money.
In addition, a Bed and Breakfast is going to likely provide breakfast daily as part of your stay. Obviously, meals will range in price depending on the type of fare and your individual choices at the eateries you visit.
Generally, while visiting Alaska, food will cost you between $5 and $10 for a hamburger and is a good representation of a lunch cost, a slightly more expensive meal of perhaps Salmon for dinner will cost anywhere from $18 to$25 per meal, per person.
Breakfast costs are more affordable averaging between $3 and $11 a meal. This ends up being around $36 per person daily to eat. Based on our prior estimation of a seven-day stay that would put your meals alone at $250 a week per person.
When visiting Alaska, though, you will want to do more than eat a few great meals, you will want to explore all this breathtaking picturesque state has to offer either by fishing or opting for sightseeing tours or even charter boat fishing, which on average starts at $120 daily.
If you plan to fish, you will also need to get a non-resident license in order to do so legally. You can opt for a 3-day license for $20 or a 14-day one for $50. Tours in Alaska can include city tours seeing the sites in the more urban areas.
This ranges $9 per person or more. Flightseeing, which is just what it sounds like, seeing the beauty of the land from the air is significantly more expensive and costs around $90 a day.
You can also enjoy Whale Watching cruises, which is a favorite activity to enjoy in Alaska, for $90 daily.
If you don’t do the charter boating trip, but eat daily and get a three-day fishing license along with an in-town tour, Whale Tour, and Flightseeing, you are on average looking at around $440.00 for one person for a seven-day stay.
Obviously, if you choose more costly excursions, such as bear sighting tours, hiking tours, or longer cruises, of which there are many, this average would not be applicable.
The most likely cost you will have under the transportation category is the cost of gas and the daily expense of a rental to use throughout your stay.
You will likely want to rent a vehicle, so you can enjoy many interesting spots and get yourself to and from tours and other excursions. There are highways galore to explore if you enjoy simply driving and sightseeing on your own.
Travel Alaska (an affiliate of Alaska.gov), and The Alaska Department of Transportation has a handy list. As far as costs go for rentals, a good rule of thumb is to plan for around $100 daily in rental costs as well as an additional $30 in gas.
Keep in mind that gas is high in Alaska, around 33 cents to 50 cents more than the national average, so keep that in mind when figuring transportation costs. If you want to instead opt for a motorcoach or train, it will cost around $475 a person for seven days.
If you do opt for a rental, you are looking at around $700 for a seven-day stay, and if you plan on one tank of gas then you would be looking at $730 to get around.
Keep in mind that if you plan on taking cruises, excursions, and the like, you won’t be using gas or transportation much at all, so if you plan on scheduling several of these activities, your costs will likely be less for your transportation throughout your stay.
Suffice it to say that if you are traveling alone, your best bet price-wise will likely be to travel via motorcoach or train.
However, if you have more than three people in your party, then your more affordable option will likely be to rent a vehicle and pay for your own gas while staying in Alaska.
Things to Consider
Now that you have looked through all the typical costs associated with traveling to Alaska, here are some other non-cost related things you might want to consider when planning your trip:
- The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis cannot be seen year-round. Bummer, but it’s true. They are most likely to be spotted between the months of August and April. It’s also ideal for there to be solar flares and solar wind to make them visible. Fairbanks is the best location for seeing the lights.
- Alaska isn’t always covered in snow and ice. In fact, in July, the average temperature in Anchorage is 65 degrees. Fairbanks can even get up to the 80s. Even with that being said, it’s good to pack for the cold just in case.
- There are many wild animals such as elk, moose, grizzly bears, and black bears that call Alaska home. However, you might not see any if you don’t book a tour to view that particular animal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you take a train to Alaska?
Short answer, no, you cannot as there is no connection between Alaska and Canada. There are four ways to get to Alaska: the state ferry system, driving via Alaska’s Highway system through Canada, cruise ship, or flying.
Can you see the Northern Lights from Anchorage?
Yes, you can but only in the winter. You cannot see the lights when the sun doesn’t go down. The best viewing time is from September through April.
How can you find a moose in Anchorage in less than an hour?
There are an estimated 1,500 moose living around the city of Anchorage. It’s much more likely for you to spot one in a backyard or flowerbed nibbling and munching than somewhere remote.
They also prefer marshy clearing, streams, and rivers along with stands of birch, aspen, and willow. You can always opt for a Wildlife Safari in Anchorage for a guaranteed moose viewing!
Is Alaska really far away?
No, in reality, it’s not. If you fly from Seattle, you can be in Anchorage in three hours.
What is the primary transportation in Alaska?
Boats as the road systems are somewhat limited. Conversely, there are over 365,000 miles of rivers bordering oceans, so residents and guests alike use the waterways to get around more often than not.
What is the most common thing to do in Alaska?
Cruising is one of the most popular ways to see all the beauty of Alaska.
What should you pack for your Alaskan vacation?
In general, clothing that can be worn in layers. The first layer should be thin, and the second layer warm but not too warm, such as fleece. Then, the last layer is for rain and wind protection. It’s also a good idea to bring along a hair dryer as most hotels don’t include them in rooms.
Do you need a passport to visit Alaska?
No. Not if you fly. However, if you opt to drive through Canada or take a ferry, you are required to have one.
What Is the Average Trip Cost for Alaska?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$930|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$560|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$440|
|💲 Total Cost||$2,600|
Visiting the vast land of Alaska is for sure a must-do experience for the true journeyman or woman. It offers beautiful wilderness, wildlife, cultural experiences, and more all with a breathtaking backdrop that feels as if you are visiting another world entirely.
The average cost per person for accommodations, flight costs, food, drink, and activities as well as transportation costs to visit Alaska averages around $2,600 a person for a seven-day trip.
If you add extras like ATV tours, excursions, animal-viewing tours, and longer cruises, then the price will go up. However, overall, a visit to the Frozen North is more feasible than most people assume when first looking into pricing.
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Alaska has to offer. Happy travels!