How to Get Around Alaska: Choosing a Car, RV, Plane, Boat, Train or Bus

Alaska is a beautiful state filled with amazing things to see and experience. The scenery, wildlife and activities seem endless, and getting to do all the things you want to do is impossible without careful planning.

Aside from figuring out what to pack and where to go, one of the most important (and often forgotten) parts of planning an Alaskan vacation is identifying how to get around Alaska. You have a lot of options, such as a car, RV, plane, train, bus or boat. Depending on where you go, you may need to use a combination of methods to arrive quickly and safely!

Here are some of the top ways to get around Alaska:

  • Drive:

    If you want to see Alaska on your own schedule, renting a car and traveling around the state on its major highways is sure to result in some gorgeous views. Cars give you the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and you can even take them onto ferries if you need to get to more remote areas.

  • Tour via bus:

    If renting a car isn’t your speed, you can also see a lot of Alaska via bus tours. Touring companies offer guided excursions via coach bus that can bring you to some of the best spots while allowing you to relax, enjoy the ride and dedicate all your attention to the scenery.

  • Rent an RV:

    Renting an RV or motorhome allows you the freedom of driving without needing to stop at or pay for hotels. Motorhomes are an extremely popular way to travel across Alaska and in some cases may be cheaper then renting a car. Also factor in that you can cook meals on the go and things just got more affordable.

  • Travel by boat or ferry:

    Alaskan cruises are a popular tourist experience, but even short trips via boat and ferry can show you a lot of the beauty Alaska’s water has to offer, including its marine life, which you don’t get to see elsewhere. The Alaskan Marine Highway ferry system also offers a full system of boat travel to reach destinations in all major regions of the state.

  • Hop on a bush plane:

    A large portion of Alaska isn’t accessible by road, so many travelers opt to get around the region by taking small bush planes to more remote destinations. Air travel is a great way to get to otherwise inaccessible locations and can provide you with absolutely breathtaking scenery you won’t get on land. You can often catch a flight to get to a destination or hover in the air to sightsee on a tour.

  • Take the train:

    Train routes like the Alaska Railroad offer travelers beautiful views as they relax in cozy train cars and coast through the Alaskan scenery. Taking the train is a great way to get to destinations that are farther away.

bush plane
You’ll want to select the mode of transportation that best fits your goals for your trip. However, some of the best vacations actually use some or even all of these methods!

Part of the fun of planning your vacation will be figuring out how to get around Alaska. If you still have questions, contact a local expert from Alaska Wild Guides, a wilderness adventure tour company familiar with the area.

Of course, remember that planes, trains and automobiles aren’t the only ways you can get around and see all that Alaska has to offer. You can also take more exciting methods, like kayaks, jet skis and snowmobiles! Check out our day and multi-day adventure tours to take your trip to the next level.

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