Making the Most of your Money: Anchorage on a Budget
Anchorage is one of the most popular vacation spots in Alaska, with the plethora of activities both in the city and in the local area ensuring that there is plenty to do for groups of all ages. In addition, there are hundreds of reasonably priced restaurants, bars and hotels to choose from – ideal for those looking to stick to a budget when visiting.
According to a study conducted by CareerBuilder, 24 per cent of Americans claimed not to be able to afford a vacation in 2011; and while the economic situation may have improved somewhat since then, there remain around 50 million Americans living in poverty today. Clearly, cost cutting is essential for many households in the country, but this should not mean sacrificing an annual vacation – instead, those visiting Anchorage should simply take steps to set an affordable budget before leaving home.
Researching your Budget Options
When writing out a budget, start with the essentials – accommodation, food and transportation. There are many options for hotels in Anchorage, but if traveling with a large group it may be worth considering a hostel instead, as these tend to be a little cheaper. When it comes to dining out, limiting your restaurant visits is a great way of saving a few dollars here and there; if going on a day trip or even just exploring the city, a sack lunch made up of bits and pieces from a convenience store tends to cost much less than a proper midday meal. Transportation tends to be the largest cost, especially if you are traveling from overseas, so researching peak vacation seasons and looking out for deals is the easiest way to bring this price down. It is also worth comparing a number of different travel money suppliers and monitoring the exchange rate from your home country as the further you can make your money stretch, the more you will be able to do when you arrive.
Local Knowledge and Coupons
The best people to ask for great deals are those who stay here all year round, so asking an Anchorage native can really help in saving you money during your vacation. Hotel receptionists, servers and cashiers at supermarkets will all be happy to point you in the right direction should you require a little insight into local haunts – after all, Anchorage was rated 18th in a poll of America’s friendliest cities! Most of the businesses operating in Anchorage also offer special promotions, group discounts or coupons which will give you money off some of the top attractions on offer in the city, so doing a little research before embarking upon a day trip is definitely worthwhile. No matter what you look for in a vacation, whether you prefer relaxing by a pool on a spa trip or braving the great outdoors on a dirt bike, there are plenty of ways to cut corners on cost and allow you to fit in everything you wish to do without breaking the bank.
Activities to Splash Out On
Of course, not all of the activities on offer in Anchorage are overly purse friendly, but many are worth setting aside space in your budget for. H2Oasis Indoor Water Park, for example, is definitely worth a visit, especially if traveling with young children or teenagers – Alaska’s largest indoor water park offers a multitude of rides and splash pools, and even better is not reliant upon good weather so is ideal for a rainy day. Alternatively, the Alyeska Ski Resort, based just south of Anchorage, is great for those who prefer to take their recreational enjoyment outside. Depending on the season, this resort is perfect for biking, glacier hiking, skiing and even dog sledding, so no matter what time of year you choose to visit there are always a number of options. For those seeking relaxation, the aerial tram ride is a great way to see more of the scenic Chugach Mountains – plus, there is always the spa waiting for you back at the hotel!
Taking a vacation is, for most of us, one of the highlights of the year, and worrying about finances certainly shouldn’t be allowed to ruin that. By carefully budgeting for the essentials and occasionally spending a little more on an activity which gives you more bang for your buck, your whole family can enjoy all that Anchorage has to offer.