Finally retired and ready to explore? Alaska is an excellent place for seniors to travel. Read our tips here to have a trip even your grandkids will be jealous of!
Your Next Adventure Starts HereSearch open jobs
1. Take the train
Riding the rails is the perfect way to enjoy the full breadth of the Alaskan countryside with comfort and ease. Unlike driving yourself, you can sit back, relax, and watch the landscape without having to focus on operating your vehicle or finding directions.
Trains also provide easy access to some of the most untamed, rugged landscapes in the Americas. If you don’t have the stamina for a multi-day backpacking trip into the backcountry, but you’re interested in seeing true Alaskan wilderness, the Alaska Railroad cuts through many remote areas of pristine forest. And nothing beats the view from atop a trestle bridge!
2. Ask for accessible options
Alaska is a popular destination for senior travelers, and most hotels are used to accommodating residents with different mobility levels.
Pool lifts are common on cruise ships, which can help folks with mobility issues get in and out of a swimming pool. Many large ships have mobility scooters for free usage or rent to better enable travelers to traverse the length of their colossal decks. Many hotels and lodges offer rooms with support bars and would be happy to give ground-floor accommodations. The key for any of these places is to call ahead and make sure your needs will be met!
3. Seek out discounts
There are many discounts seniors can enjoy in Alaska. Here’s a list of all the discounts offered to seniors at restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores, and hotels. If you’re planning a cruise, train tour, or hotel stay, there’s a very good chance you can find a lower rate if you’re over 65. AARP members who are over 50 can enjoy discounts on lodging, rail tours, and activities. (The AARP also has a great list of events, activities, and travel tips for senior travelers in Alaska!)
4. Make the most of technology
There are some pretty incredible phone applications out there for tourists. Before you embark on your trip, make sure you’re making the most of your smartphone! Not only do most smartphones have built-in cameras that can take high-quality photographs, but there are plenty of apps you might want to explore.
The Alaska App is an iconic choice. It pools all the content from Alaska.org into an easy-to-navigate app interface. You can look up information about wildlife, different cities, attractions, natural history, and so much more. Daylight is an app that can help you keep track of sunrise and sunset times no matter where you are in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Our personal favorite is Touch Note—you can turn any picture from your phone’s camera roll into a postcard! You can write your own note, and Touch Note will print the card, add postage, and put it in the mail.
5. Plan ahead for medications
Prescription pills are an everyday necessity for most seniors. Don’t make this crucial part of your routine an afterthought when it comes to planning your adventure!
Bring an extra week’s supply of any medications. You should also bring a copy of your prescription in case you need an emergency refill, and make sure you have your doctor’s phone number on hand. If your medications require refrigeration, make sure you’ll always have access to a cool fridge. Call ahead and be sure there’s a fridge in your room on board the cruise ship, train, or in the hotel room. If there isn’t, make sure you can store your medications in a secure refrigerator on site.
There’s a very good chance that if you visit Alaska, you might just want to stay! Check out our article 5 Common Myths About Retiring in Alaska – Busted to learn more about what this beautiful state has to offer its senior citizens.