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. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great position to be in, but I’m not a cold weather person and not exactly Nature Girl, so I’d had some island-kind of places in mind. I quickly realized that being outvoted is sometimes the best gift of all. 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 don’t cut it in glacier country.

2. Lower your expectations.

Yes, you’re on vacation and there are plenty of photo opps. Don’t beat yourself up about your hair. It’s not going to look great. It’s just not. Get over it and focus on the scenery.

3. Bring a great camera.

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

4. Step away from your comfort zone.

I didn’t want to fly in a tiny plane to go bear watching. And I wasn’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 there’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 wouldn’t even come in a close second.