30 Biggest Alaska RV Travel and Tourism Mistakes

30 Biggest Alaska RV Travel and Tourism Mistakes

Hello, guys from headquarters in Seward,
Alaska… My name’s Ben and this is Rebecca and… Welcome to the biggest RVing and Overlanding mistakes people make when visiting our home state…Of Alaska…Yes!
Before we get into the video, we do have to share a few things with you…Uhhmm…If
you’re planning on coming to Alaska, be sure to check out our two Facebook
groups…We have one for RV travelers and one for Overland travelers…We’ll put the
links in the description below… Fantastic resources! We also would be
remiss if we did not mention our new website: www.HisandHhershub.com
Fantastic resources as well! In particular, we’ve got a 101 course that’s
about to go up about RVing to Alaska… And we also have our paid course, “How to
create mobile income and location independence.”This is our flagship…His
and Hers University course…Really excited to be sharing it with you guys!
Be sure to check it out…Look forward to seeing more of you guys out on the road!
Alright, what are our qualifications ?… We are Alaskans!… Yeah! Our viewpoint is actually quite
different from the tourist…That’s true! And I’m not gonna say one holds more
value to the other…But I will say, ours is priceless and…We will really help you
make the most out of your trip and stay safe!… Well, there’s things that you
realize when you live here…Not just visiting…You don’t think about…And then
as we live here, there’s things that people who visit say and we’re like “Ah
gee! That never crossed our mind!’ So there’s benefits of both!…Yep! So real quick on
qualifications…We moved to Alaska in 2007, we bought an RV in 2011 and from 2011
to 2015…We spent as much time during the summer months, April to October on the
road exploring Alaska in the Motorhome! We were those people like…First to de-winterize, last to winterize…Diehards out on the road until it snowed!… And then
we did 3 massive road trips around North America, coming home during the summer…To
obviously, enjoy this amazing state! As for what is happening now…
We started with an RV blog back in 2014 called; His and Hers Alaska
and it’s more of into what you’re watching today! Alright well, let’s dive
right in and start with number 1…The biggest mistake people make is not to
come here in the first place! Alaska is gorgeous! It’s the land of
adventure! One of the most beautiful places on the planet…Very accessible!
Whether you drive the Alcan…Very doable these days or fly…We have nonstop
flights from all over the country and you can rent an RV or a car when you
get here! Biggest mistake number two; Giving in to
fears! Whether that fear is what might happen to your rig on the…We’ll call it…
5,000 mile-ish journey from the lower 48 up and back…Or whether it’s fear of
being in such remote places! There are times when you will be hundreds of miles
from cellphone service… And literally, the only person around for
tens or hundreds of miles…The land is very vast guys!…Mistake number three;
Forgetting that Alaska is more than a destination! It is a state of mind and we
regularly encourage people as they plan their trips to remember this! Like…It’s
not about seeing everything as much as it is about really experiencing it while
you’re here! It’s the last frontier and… You go home a different person! So make
the time to really enjoy that!… Mistake number four; I know a lot of people do it…
But, over planning their trip! You do not need to map out every single night of
your journey! It goes back to embracing Alaska so do
not over plan your trip!… And a lot of time for rest!… Mmm-hmm… And driving… It takes a lot longer to get where you’re gonna go and you’re gonna get a lot tired
than you think you will!… Mistake number five; Trying to do too much in too short
of a period of time! You know if you don’t have much time the option of
renting an RV does exist and you can do seven nights! But the kicker is; Don’t try
to do… I’ll call it the grand loop… Kenai, Peninsula, Anchorage, Fairbanks and
all the way back around in seven days! And Valdez…And Valdez! It’s
ridiculous! You will spend the entire time driving! If it’s your first trip and
you have a week and you’re renting an RV… You know, start with the Kenai Peninsula
and then you know what? Do the interior! But it falls right back on embracing the
destination!… Mistake number six; Pretty much falls in line with what we’ve
already been discussing but…Not spending enough time here! Really take as much
vacation as you possibly can or get here early and stay as late as you can!
Because once you’re here, you won’t want to leave! There’s so many things to do!
It’s so vast like we’ve talked about and you’ll just…Which I guess is a good
thing…Leave wanting more! But allow as much time as you possibly can while
you’re here! Number seven; Leaving too late! Yes, winter
comes quickly at these latitudes and it is possible to get stuck in a snowstorm!
And we’re speaking from experience!… Yeah… The other Alaska Highway is not horribly
treacherous in the winter months… You know the men and women who serve our country
at the military bases up here, when they’re relocated…They do it year-round!
Number 8:Continuing with our winter is coming theme… If you do encounter winter weather, that either you or your vehicle
are not comfortable or safe in…Don’t push it! Just pull over and wait it out!
It’s not worth it!… Mistake number nine Is gonna kind of contradict the previous
two here but…Leaving Alaska too early! You are really cheating yourself out of a special experience by not hanging out into September for the
interior portions of the state! The coastline like where we live in Seward;
It’s a miserable rain forest in September! But in autumn, the interior is
very special! The northern lights are out year-round but it’s dark enough so you
can see them…And there’s no light pollution so…Make sure you stick around
into September! Number ten; Moving away from the weather now…Listening to the
wrong people for advice about coming to Alaska!
Let’s just say take everything with a grain of salt! People are the sum of
their experiences…And it doesn’t necessarily mean that what they
experience is applicable to you or anyone else for that matter!
So when in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek a second or even third opinion ideally
from people who have been here…Or an Alaskan!…Or you can ask us…
Mistake number eleven is kind of a funny one because we see it time and time
again…2015… Our friends Jason and Nikki came up to
visit Alaska and…It is amazing how many people followed their summer trip to the T…
You know what? Use videos like ours and theirs as inspiration…Make it your own!
That’s all I have to say! You know, you do not have to have the security of…You
know, knowing that Ben and Rebecca and Jason and Nicki stayed here…You just
need to know that this is Alaska and embrace the moment!… And with that, I would
say, spend some time figuring out what you want to do while you’re here and
enjoy those things because…People who visit, can’t do every single thing in one
trip and…You might find something really fantastic that you find out and you want to
do!… And from my cheapskate point-of-view…
My objective would be to avoid backtracking paths to make a loop! So if
you want to look for an objective, a loop is a good thing!… Number 12;
Not taking dirt roads! And it doesn’t matter what kind of rig you bring up
here, there are dirt roads that you can take. In particular two of our favorites
are the top of the world highway from Chicken to Dawson City as well as the
Denali Highway! Both are dirt…Both are amazing! Literally our favorites! And one
of the greatest things about Top of the World Highway is you can actually take a
ferry from the Alaska side to the Yukon side across the river there…How many
other opportunities are you gonna have to load your entire Motorhome over
the fifth wheel or whatever you drive…On a water going ferry and get across the
Yukon River… I mean seriously…That’s like a bucket
list item all by itself!… Mistake number 13; Not embracing the boondocking! Alaska
is the land of free camping! That was a big adjustment we had when we went to
the lower 48 and…You have to pay…Yeah and the locations that you can camp here are
absolutely breathtaking! You’re in the middle of nowhere…No noise, no light,
no pollution, no other humans…Just you and nature! So yeah, it’s a big mistake not to
embrace the ample boondocking…Number 14 and I say this one with a grain of salt
because you can bring any sized rig you want up here! That’s a common misnomer in by itself! But bringing a giant rig as opposed to something a little smaller
limits you! So a lot of folks have downsized…Bought slide in campers for their
trucks or a small class C to come up here…It lends itself to mobility and
freedom and just ease of travel…And you can get off on those dirt roads a lot
easier and have more fun! Do more Alaskan things!
Having said that, we towed a 16 foot trailer behind a 32-foot class A
Motorhome, all over the state without a single problem! So while it’s more
convenient, you can come in anything you want!… Mistake number 15: We have a hard
time wrapping our minds around this one but…Taking the RV Caravan tours from the
lower 48 all the way up here…You know it’s safe up here!
I’m gonna say it’s fairly darn safe! Unless it’s the only way you’re
comfortable traveling up here to Alaska… I would say…There’s no problem making it
a do yourself adventure!… Well, I would say they really kind of miss out on the
state of mind thing and you go home so exhausted! Everybody we’ve ever talked to…
Totally worn out if they do one of the caravans!… Yeah, and it’s a very fast pace and…It’s a set pace so that it doesn’t really
leave too much room for variables and if you’re on the road for months on end…
Life is full of variables!… Number 16… One that I am really passionate
about given my background as a medical professional…You must carry a legitimate
first-aid kit! If you don’t know which one to get, check out the description
below! We love the first-aid kit from my medic! It is actually put together to
save lives especially in roadside conditions and ahh…Really important coming
up here…Because there will be many times where you would have a distance between
you and the nearest healthcare facility! Have some skills…At least carry
something that, if you don’t have the skills…Someone else will have the skill
set to use it! You might come upon… But be prepared…Really important!
Speaking of something that will save your life…Make sure both drivers or
all the people in your camper know how to drive a vehicle!… Imagine what’s
called the stereotypical situation…Where the man does all the driving and the
woman does all the housework…What happens when the old ticker gives out on
that old dude and…The wife has no idea how to park up a camp or drive the vehicle…
Dude, you’re dead! Make sure everybody knows how to drive the rig when you’re
in these remote locations!… That’s exactly what I was gonna say! Especially
critical when you can be hundreds of miles and not to say it to deter you…But
because there’s nothing to deter, it’s just to be prepared for whatever might
happen!… Mistake number 17; Not bringing enough tools and maintenance items that
might be specific to your rig! Every one is unique and make sure you are prepared
because you don’t want to be held up waiting for something as simple as a
fuel filter or air filter! Now on the subject of tires, you know there’s the
old adage of…Carry two spare tires! That’s not necessarily the case anymore!
The roads have changed, the services have improved…But I will say that’s probably
not a bad idea if you have a travel trailer or a fifth-wheel trailer! Those
things tend to really chew up the tires and be hard on and having two would be an
asset!… Mistake number 18; Thinking that you must bring a gun to
Alaska with you! Now we’re talking bear protection here!
And in truth, most scenarios where you’ll encounter bears…Bear spray is your
better choice! Especially if you’re maybe not as experienced with the gun…Uh-hmm
having said that, Alaska is very gun friendly! If you want to bring one with
you, you can as long as you can get it through Canada…And you should do
your homework about how to get it here… Just don’t feel like you must or can’t
come because you don’t have one bear spray honestly…It’s a better choice
anyway!… And number 19, kind of segues off of 18 is that people feel
that they need to bring a gun for people protection! When we’re home in Alaska, we
carry a loaded gun with us because we can and we have them and…We’re out in
wild places!… And we’re trained to use them! Yes…Now back to number nineteen… Spending
too much time in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley! These are the population
centers of Alaska and they are not immune to the problems related to… I’ll
just say human beings! There is crime! And the crime for the past few years has
been really bad due to some…Catch and release legislation but that has now
changed…And we’re not talking fishing legislation here…Yeah, the troopers can now catch and keep
criminals so…Things are on the mend and we know a lot of people have had their cars
stolen in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley…And somebody even got their car
stolen twice! So…I have to say…Just, you know, don’t spend too much time in
Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley! Use them for what they are!…Places to restock,
resupply…If you have family or friends… You know, visit there but Alaska is 30
minutes away from Anchorage!… Number 20 Let’s get back to having a little bit of
fun! Be sure to take advantage of all of the water sports that are
available in Alaska! There’s water everywhere!
Bring some kayaks with you and of course some life vests! There are little streams,
lakes, oceans…Everything! And if you can’t bring them with you, rent them once you
get here! But this is the land of having fun on the water so take advantage of it!
Mistake number 21; Not taking advantage of the do-it-yourself fishing
opportunities! These are free guys! As long as you have your own fishing gear
and a fishing license…It’s not like you need to go to the lake office
and get a permit like you do in over 48 guys! This is the land of freedom here
and there are fish in the water! Just make your way around the state, do your
research and target the fish runs if you want to…Make the most of the
do-it-yourself fisheries! But if you’re on the lakes camping, there’s trout grayling… Dolly Varden and… It’s a lot of fun!… Mistake number 22; I’m
so glad I get to talk about this one! Tailing off of what he said, not going
deep-sea fishing! It is so much fun! Once-in-a-lifetime experience to catch
lean Cod that you hold up here by your chin! I’m 5.4” and it was touching
the deck or barn door sized halibut that you bring off the bottom of the ocean at
300 feet…It really is like this incredible once the lifetime experience!
Not only the fishing but the wildlife and the scenery you get to see while
you’re out there…You know what they say… “Worst day fishing is better than the
best day working!”And it might be a little pricey but it’s an opportunity
worth taking advantage of…Which segues perfectly into mistake number 23…
Is that when you go fishing in Alaska… You actually bring home meat!! And we’re
talking about tens of pounds of meat per fishing trip! So you need to be prepared
if you’re out there railing the salmon… And all filleted out, you have 15
pounds of meat and you’re in a camper van with a little wee freezer…You need
to be prepared or practice restraint! Know that “Hey, I just can’t catch any more
fish!… There are lots of great options up here though…You can have it
processed and backpacked and they’ll even ship it home for you! And they can
hold it until the day you’re ready to go home!
Mistake number 24; If you are a sportsman in the field, you can have a do it
yourself hunting adventure quite easily!
You need to pony up for the hunting license and buy some tags but…You can
hunt grouse, caribou ahh…A lot of the bear and moose and sheep and goat hunts
require guides but…There is a lot of do-it-yourself hunting and that’s in
August and September which is our favorite time of year!…Mistake number 25;
Misconceptions and unreasonable expectations in regards to the wildlife!
This in particularly relates to going to Denali National Park! Number 1, thinking
that you have to go to Denali to see the animals! And number 2 being disappointed
if you don’t see them while you’re in the park! Like it’s a zoo…Right, it’s not! And
you’re just as likely to see the wildlife outside of Denali as you know…
On your drive out of Anchorage, you’re likely to see a moose! On the drive up the parks, you’re
likely to see a black bear! Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see them while
you’re there! You know, the weather maybe too warm and they’re hunkered down… You might
be socked in, and you can’t see them! One pro tip if you’re gonna stay into
September is check out the Denali Road lottery! You can actually drive your own
vehicle in and stay in the park…The tickets are very…Or the lottery is very,
very early registration in the year! So be sure to check their website and get your
application in super early!… Mistake number 26; Not riding the Alaska Railroad!
You know it took us way too many years to take the first railroad trip and it
was amazing! Not only can you focus on the land because you’re not driving, but
the tracks do not always follow the highway so you get to see some very
special places!… Mistake number 27; Not ponying up for once in a lifetime adventures! I’m not talking ziplining, which you can do here and it’s
amazing…I’m more talking about taking a helicopter up to a glacier and getting
to go for a dogsled ride on the snow. That’s one of my favorite things that
we’ve ever done here! A little on the pricey side but where else in the world can you do that?
So maybe pick that one special thing at least that you really want to do while
you’re here! Once-in-a-lifetime, can’t do it anywhere else and just do it!… Number
28 is right in line with the once-in-a-lifetime experiences but…
Alaska is humongous! Though it’s the last frontier…
Hence what the license plates say but you can easily catch a quick flight out
to places like Barrow or Nome, Alaska and you’re in Native Alaskan villages! A lot
of them have become hubs for regions but it’s a privilege! It’s a very special
experience and it’s a side of Alaska that not everybody gets to see!…Mistake
number 29; Talking a little bit about rules of the road and not pulling over
to let people pass! Alaska is a state where most of the roads are two-lane
highways… You add to that, a lot of tourists in the summertime…Road
construction…Congestion because we have Motorhomes and people renting cars and
then…Maybe it’s the weekend and Salmon Fest is happening in the Ninilchik…You
kind of create a recipe for disaster! People get impatient and they pass
inappropriately and you know how the saying goes…You eliminate one of those
factors and you could prevent disaster! So consider pulling over letting those
people who are in a hurry pass on by you!
You can keep enjoying the beautiful scenery and everybody gets to where
they’re going safely!… Mistake number 30; Not spending enough time in Canada and
we are actually very guilty of this one! To this day…To this day! I don’t want to
give you an excuse but when you live at the end of the road…And it’s 2,400 miles
from the lower 48 to get home…You tend to just make a beeline…You know,
Canada is an amazing neighbor! Their land is beautiful, the people are nice and
welcoming…Right now with the exchange rate, fuel prices aren’t all that bad! So
if you’re coming up and you have the time, make the time for Canada, you won’t
regret it! Well, there’s your 30 biggest mistakes
people make when RVing or overlanding to Alaska! There are a few more
though and that would be not hitting the SUBSCRIBE button on our channel here;
His and Hers Vlogs and…Not visiting our website; www.hisandher.com and
embracing the educational resources that we have on this topic and…Not joining
the two Facebook groups; Alaska RV travelers and Alaska overland travelers.
Thanks for joining us on this video today, we hope we’ve made your trip to
Alaska a little bit more enjoyable! And we look forward to seeing you out there
on the road!

35 thoughts on “30 Biggest Alaska RV Travel and Tourism Mistakes

  1. Also do some research on the building and original purpose of the Alaska highway —-Books and Youtube… lots of history to be found, it will make you appreciate the Hwy that much more

  2. Thanks neighbour for the last one…as a Canuck much appreciated! I plan to travel to Alaska, Yukon, Nunavit May-Sep 2020!Hope I get to meet you guys???

  3. Iโ€™ll be up there next summer and stay until October. Iโ€™ll be in an overland rig, so pretty compact. BTW, which MyMedic pack do you carry along? You have a 12v freezer but would you recommend I have my catch seal wrapped and flash frozen, before packing it in my freezer.

  4. Y'all really need to start a business setting up trips for us. Sort of part travel agent part guide. Let us tell you our bucket list items and you help us fill in the blanks. Would be something I'd pay for. We can't make up for a couple of years though ?

  5. Thanks! Seeing Alaska and spending proper quality time on that visit is on my bucket list. Your advice dispelled a number of wrong ideas, misconceptions and out dated ideas I had about it.

  6. If you are going I like to drive. Try to find good maps of Canada the only maps I could find on the road changed scale as you went north. the farther north you are the less info there is which I found to be a problem. I have driven 4 round trips. have fun Darold

  7. Great video.. my husband and I want to visit when we can get vacation time after this deployment.. we love the beautiful country.. it looks amazing plus your advice is sound!

  8. In British Columbia there are signs everywhere to warn tourists not to ride the bears. Even on a good day bears are in a delicate state of gruntlement and kicking their ribs to make them giddy-up may be yet another mistake. Putting a marshmallow between your front teeth and offering it to a wolverine like that is also just plain risky…

  9. Thank you! We have a trip planned for 2022. Until then we have some great places to visit in the lower 48.

  10. Of all the Vlogs I follow yours is my favorite for your down to earth presentation. Can you tell me how long do the northern lights hang around before and after the summer time, really want to photograph them on our next journey in 2021. I agree with you about Anchorage, seem a big different in the city between our 2015 and 2018 trips in Alaska.

  11. Great video. I lived in Alaska years ago. 1976 – 1978 at Fort Greely (Delta Junction). I loved your list. We drove up to Alaska from Tennessee in 2017 and are coming back in 2020 so your list will help. We would love to meet yโ€™all if you are around then.

  12. surprising Canada was a great surprise on our trip ot AK. We love AK advantages, thanks Ben and Rebecca. We loved Seward

  13. Not taking the Alaska Marine Highway, even if it is just from Valdez to Whittier. SE Alaska is totally different from mainland Alaska. Go whale watching in Juneau. Explore Sitka, the Russian Capital of Alaska, Watch the bears catch salmon at Anan Creek. Visit Ketchikan. And my favorite, spend a week on Prince of Wales Island.

  14. Excellent, thorough info. Iโ€™ll be watching this video several times. Would you recommend changing factory tires to a more durable tire like Lynn & Owen did? Just bought a Ford Transit Van. Gonna do this very soon. Coming up from Georgia. Iโ€™m a licensed gun owner? Does that qualify me through Canada or is it more complicated? Where was that beach you were motoring down on the video? Do you still do charters? Would love to catch some of those incredible Halibut ??. Yum. Thank you for this video.

  15. What, exactly, are "Alaska Things"?!!???? (do you ALSO recommend a degree?!!) (A MEDICAL DEGREE…or, just a first-aid kit?!!? ?? And…the GUN…!!) .

  16. Nice couple; even though i DID kid y'all…just HAD to; guess it was some sort of "Texas thing"… Your synopsis of all things Alaska was helpful!! (Especially the prts about The Alaskan RR, and the comments regarding Canada: those comments were "spot-on"— ??? Again, THANKS for a VERY GOOD review!!

  17. I hate to say this, but you folks have totally dissuaded me from an Alaska adventure. You tried to tamp down the stereotypes, and focus on the positive. That's great, but stereotypes exist for a reason. Crime, foul weather, isolation, lack of medical care, and natural threats (than can and do kill) are omnipresent. Alaska may be the last frontier, but visitors come from civilization.

  18. Sorry, I have trouble considering someone who moved up in 2007, spent several season out of state on road trips and apparently does their exploring on the road system in an RV any sort of expert qualified to dispense guidance. But then I did not really see anything in your vid that anyone with common sense could not figure out on their own, so, I guess no harm done.

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