Posted in Visiting Alaska

We outfitted you with the basics in our first Alaska blog devoted to packing for an Alaska vacation, but this time we’re going to dive a little deeper. Packing for a winter vacation to Alaska can be daunting, but we have all the tips and tricks to make sure you stay completely comfortable on your trip without weighing down your suitcase too much. Here are eight must-pack items when traveling to Alaska in the winter.

  1. Portable smartphone charger. These are small, easy to throw in a daypack and crucial when your phone is on one percent battery life and you don’t want to miss a potential wildlife or aurora photo opportunity. What’s more, phone batteries can have a tough time in the cold weather – especially the older your phone model might be – and it will ease your mind to have an extra boost no matter where you are.
  2. Lip balm and lotion. Whether you’re spending much time outdoors or not, winter can be harsh on your skin. Stow away a few soothing products in your bag for when your lips get chapped and your hands get dry. These items can be easy to forget when making your packing list at home, but you’ll be glad you brought them. Bonus points if you bring an eye mask to really boost the spa factor when you’re back at your hotel room after a long day in the elements.
  3. Dryer sheets. We’re not joking – winter in a northern climate is dry. Throwing a few dryer sheets in your suitcase takes up practically zero space, will make your clothes smell fresh and is a game changer when you look in the mirror to find a head of hair full of static and clingy clothing. Run one lightly over your hair and attire, and the winter dryness won’t stand a chance.
  4. A large scarf. Large, blanket-sized scarves are a great, multi-use item. They offer a little extra warmth on the airplane, train or motor coach, and they’re a must-have for wrapping up on a chilly day. Plus, if you wear it while traveling, you’ll have a portable blanket wherever you go and you’ll never have to worry about fitting it in your bag.
  5. Insulated boot liners. If you aren’t up to investing in a new pair of heavy-duty snow boots for your trip, a pair of insulated liners is absolutely a necessity. Take some ordinary rain boots and upgrade their cozy factor without breaking the bank.
  6. A neck gaiter. Think of this as the under layer to your scarf. On a truly cold day, a good fleece neck gaiter will stop cold winds from getting in between your scarf and collar. This will make being outdoors endlessly more enjoyable.
  7. A warm hat that covers your ears. No need to elaborate – this is a must.
  8. Packing cubes. Perhaps the most difficult part of winter packing is fitting bulky, cold-weather items into your suitcase. Packing cubes are great at compressing items so everything can fit without exploding the moment you open your luggage, and there’s no denying the improved organization factor.

Whether you’re coming to Alaska for a weekend, a week or even longer, there’s no such thing as a bad Alaska day just bad gear. Now you have all the tips to ensure you can spend your winter vacation enjoying our beautiful winters as much as Alaska locals do!