If you really want to capture the spirit of Alaska, do it in a camper van!
Recently, we took a trip to Alaska to check one big checkmark off of our top destinations list. We started this journey by trying to Google hotels or lodges and got a little overwhelmed. That's when the idea popped up to see about a camper van. One quick search later and we booked our lodging for the entire week. For the cost of traditional lodging vs the freedom of the camper van, it was a no brainer.
We choose our camper van from Alaska Vans, located in Anchorage close to the airport. It was a very simple process to reserve for our dates and the van came fully loaded with everything you would need for the supplies. It included all our roadside cooking needs, a French Press for our morning coffee, and even camp chairs to enjoy the views when we were relaxing, just to name a few. It was clean, easy to drive, and comfortable for our party of two. The only challenge we faced after that was what to see, do, and where to overnight.
Our first night we drove to Homer. We quickly found out that Alaska state parks offer ample parking for camper vans and there are pull offs on the side of the road everywhere you drive that allow for overnights as well. Regardless, just for safety, we stayed in state parks every night for the $20 or so fee. We liked having bathrooms, and a dedicated spot as opposed to just sleeping on the side of the road, even though that is what a lot of people do.
After Homer, we headed towards Seward and spent a few days in that direction taking in all the sights, a helicopter tour, miles and miles of hiking, fly fishing, and eating some amazing food. Between Seward and Homer though, Homer captured our hearts.
Our week was already half over at that point so we headed North to Denali and spent the rest of our time enjoying the small towns along the way as well as the unlimited hiking and nature opportunities that are around every turn. We also tried to hit every pull-off coffee spot which dotted the roadways. All too quickly though, it was our time to leave and head back home, but not before hitting the famous Moose Tooth pizzeria in Anchorage, close to the airport.
If we could go back and do it again, there's no way we would do it any differently. If you find yourself being more of an adventurous sort, a camper van in Alaska is 100% the way to go. It's easier to do than you think.