Rasons to visit Alaska

Our view of a glacier at 5am.

When my family voted for Alaska as our cruise destination, I was a bit disappointed. Donโ€™t get me wrong, it was a great position to be in, but Iโ€™m not a cold weather person and not exactly Nature Girl, so Iโ€™d had some island-kind of places in mind. I quickly realized that being outvoted is sometimes the best gift of all.ย Here are the 5 reasons to visit Alaska and things to know before you go.

1. Pack well.

Even on a cruise, this trip also requires excursion clothes that protect you from the elements. Think rain and cold and layer like crazy. Comfortable shoes are a must. And make sure your teens get that memo. Flip flops donโ€™t cut it in glacier country.

2. Lower your expectations.

Yes, youโ€™re on vacation and there are plenty of photo opps. Donโ€™t beat yourself up about your hair. Itโ€™s not going to look great. Itโ€™s just not. Get over it and focus on the scenery.

3. Bring a great camera.

The landscape is amazing. The bears. The eagles. Youโ€™ll feel like a National Geographic photographer when you look back on your portfolio.

4. Step away from your comfort zone.

I didnโ€™t want to fly in a tiny plane to go bear watching. And I wasnโ€™t totally comfortable watching those bears fish for salmon just feet away from me. But I did. It was one of my favorite vacation experiences.

5. Get up outrageously early when thereโ€™s a once in a life time opportunity.

Our ship passed the glacier at 5 in the morning. My husband and I sat on our veranda wrapped in blankets with a champagne breakfast. The breathtaking view is pictured on this post. Sleeping in wouldnโ€™t even come in a close second.