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How far in advance should hotels and tours for August 2014 trip be booked?


Nov 23rd, 2013, 07:56 AM
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How far in advance should hotels and tours for August 2014 trip be booked?

Have purchased plane tix for August 15-30 and been reading B&B reviews and looking at tour options.

Will start out in Juneau and then fly to Gustuvus for 3 nights and then fly onto Anchorage for the remaining time. We have booked a B&B in Gustuvus, other than that no hotels nor tours booked.

The rough plan is to rent a car in Anchorage and drive the Kenai Peninsula to Denali loop with overnight stops in Girdwood (2nights), Seward (2 nights), Matinuska or Palmer (1 night), Talkeetna (1 night) , Denali area (2 nights).

I checked on some hotels and they seem to be booked already. I'm thinking we need to have the trip better mapped out before booking rooms, but at the same time I'm afraid the better places will be booked. Then I think I might be too paranoid about this. Any advice as to how far out we should book accommodations?

For tours, in the Juneau/Gustuvus area we are thinking Glacier Bay day cruise, whale watch or kayak trip. For the Anchorage area, we are thinking Talkeetna flight with glacier landing, glacier cruise out of Seward and maybe Whittier, kayaking, and 2 days in Denali. Can you see too many glaciers?? We will purchase Denali tix soon, but what about booking other tours? Can we book when we get there or do we need to book ahead of time? If so, how far in advance? I'd prefer to have more flexibility with the tours, but don't want to lose out either. Much appreciate any advice you can offer.
Jackie is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2013, 09:59 AM
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I am also in same dilemma as for as the Denali/ TALKEETNA glazier landing/ Kenai fjords/and other shore excursions during cruise trip. Someone who is well informed may guide us. What I feel regarding the B&B stay almost all of them have only one or two rooms or cabins so they are are getting filled faster. I could not get one room for one specific B&B, for one night even one year in advance. You need to have multiple choices if you want B&B stay otherwise you have to locate bigger lodges in city areas.
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Nov 23rd, 2013, 05:17 PM
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You should be booking lodging now, and at the same time inquire about booking the glacier landing. ( we have not done that so I don't know when they start booking or how quickly they fill up. )

Your itinerary looks fine for the short time you have, but why Palmer? I would skip that and add a night to Denali. You could put your Girdwood stay after Seward if you are concerned about the long drive from Seward to Talkeetna.

Lodges and BnBs that we loved ( and highly recommend) are the Alaska Paddle Inn in Seward and the Suisitna River Lodge (We stayed in the lodge rooms, not a cabin.)

Denali area lodges do book up very early. Find out what is available for your dates and come back here to ask for opinions if you cannot make up your mind.
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Nov 23rd, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Enzian--the reason for Palmer--We haven't decided yet whether to go north or south from Anchorage. We arrive about 8:30 pm. I was thinking that if we headed north, we would try to go as far as Palmer the first night. If we go south, we would spend the night in Girdwood. The Matinuska option is we go from Seward to Talkeetna.

Seems like the first priority is figuring out which order we do the trip in. Since we are coming from Glacier Bay, it seems like it might make more sense to go to the mountains first and then back to the water-based activities. Any opinion on which route makes more sense?
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Nov 27th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Denali is beautiful in the fall when the tundra changes colors. I am not sure when that happens, but I would think that would be late Aug./early Sept. Maybe visit Denali last??
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Nov 27th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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Thanks LindainOhio. I read your trip report and it helped me alot in planning our trip. Thanks. Because of the flight schedules, we chose to do Denali first, so will be there August 22-25 so maybe get to see the foliage. I booked the Talkeentna and Denali B&Bs just last night. I'm working on Anchorage and Juneau tonight and have run into my first "no rooms available" problem.
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Dec 24th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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Happy Holidays Jackie! If you are looking to book and still receive a discount, it is best to book by Jan 31, 2014. That is when we (the Historic Anchorage Hotel) cut our discounts off. We have a sister company to suggest for your day cruise out of Whittier - 26 Glacier Cruise.
And of course if you are still looking for accommodations we are located in the heart of downtown Anchorage, and with only 26 rooms with complimentary breakfast! For more exciting things to do check out the below link.
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