Top 20 Shopping Guide for your Alaskan Adventure
The Grans have been busy working up a packing list for the Alaskan cruise and want to share it with you. Travel in Alaska requires some special gear. Use this Alaska shopping guide to find products, ideas and tips that will help make your visit more comfortable. Check back here often as we will add new items closer to the trip.
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In Alaska, it’s all about layering. It might be warm and rainy, cold and rainy, warm with sunshine, anything in between, or all three in the same day! So with layering, you will be prepared for all possibilities.
Thermoball Jacket (like North Face) or a down coat. We prefer a Thermoball hoodie for our warm layer. It’s lightweight and packs easily. You can travel nine months of the year to most destinations with this type jacket…except tropical destinations. A fleece jacket would also be a good choice, but you will need a rain jacket on top.
Our suggestion: The North Face Women’s Thermoball Full Zip Jacket
Make it a waterproof — not water resistant — rain jacket. This jacket should fit over your warm layer. We prefer those that come below the hips for sitting on wet seats on boats.
Our suggestion: Under Armour Women’s ArmourStorm Sonar Waterproof Jacket
We like to use the warm puffy vest under the other two jackets for extremely cold days. Most of these fold up into their own pockets so you have the option to shed a layer as the day warms up. A fleece vest would work as well.
Our suggestion: The North Face Men’s Thermoball Vest
Waterproof Rain Pants
With unpredictable weather ahead, rain pants in your day pack can save your bottom half on a wet day. Grab something like these Columbia rain pants, available for men and women. Just put them on top of leggings or even blue jeans. They fold up small and are lightweight.
Our suggestion: Columbia Women’s Storm Surge Waterproof Rain Pants, Mesh Lined
Waterproof Hiking Shoes
We suggest taking a pair of waterproof hiking shoes that double for a pair of sneakers. You can’t always use sneakers as hiking shoes, but you can always use hiking shoes for sneakers. There will be slippery decks on board the ship and many boats for excursions. You will be prepared to go all day in whatever the weather has in store for you in shoes like these.
Our suggestion: Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Your beach hat might not work for Alaska because of the changing climate. Invest in an all-weather sun hat WITH A CHIN STRAP! The wind will grab your hat, and you don’t want to spend your time shopping for a new one.
Our suggestion: Camo Coll Outdoor UPF 50+ Boonie Hat Summer Sun Caps
A warm hat for almost any day in Alaska is a good idea, but for glacier days when the cold wind comes off the glacier, a wool hat is a must-have item. There are many colors to choose from here. I suggest choosing a wool hat that breathes.
Our suggestion: Minus33 Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie
Travel scarves are so useful, especially in Alaska. This infinity scarf will not disappear from around your neck and has a hidden pocket for change, a few dollars, passports, etc. An attractive scarf can be worn during the day or in the evening with a “little black dress”, and you can change it up with, a vest, or a blazer. They come in a variety of colors. I love using it in airport security for my passport and driver’s license.
Our suggestion: Infinity Scarf with Zipper Pocket
Phone/Wallet Crossbody Case
Ladies, when onboard the ship in Alaska, you will want your phone handy at all times to take those beautiful pictures as well as staying in touch with family and friends onboard through messaging. Consider something like this wallet/billfold crossbody that keeps your phone securely attached at all times, and also prevents you from dropping it on the deck or overboard. This one is for an iPhone, but make sure you choose the one for your particular phone.
Our suggestion: Vaultskin Victoria Crossbody iPhone Leather Wallet Case, Fashionable Bumper for Cards and Cash – several colors available
Toiletry Bag for Men and Women
When traveling to Alaska, you will want a toiletry bag that holds enough for an extended time. Choose a toiletry bag that can hold a few full-size bottles as well as smaller items. This is my favorite bag for traveling onboard a ship because it holds all my toiletries securely in place on a hook for the wall and takes up no counter space. I can even move it to the vanity and apply my makeup when getting ready for dinner.
Our suggestion: LVLY Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag for Women and Men
Whether hiking in Denali viewing bears or standing on the deck of the ship searching for Beluga whales, travel binoculars are a must for Alaska. These binoculars get great reviews on Amazon. They also come with a smartphone mount, carrying case and neckstrap.
Our suggestion: Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars for Adults, HD Professional Binoculars
Digital Camera – Easy to Use Point and Shoot
On a trip of a lifetime to Alaska you’ll love having photos that are memorable and beautiful. A good point and shoot camera for under $200.00, the Canon Power Shot ELPH 360, will produce better quality photos than those taken with a Smart Phone. You’ll take scenery and long distance shots of wildlife with the 12x zoom lens and cut down on the effects of movement while shooting with the image stabilization feature. You can’t go wrong with this lightweight easy to use camera.
Our suggestion: Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera w/ 12x Optical Zoom and Image Stabilization- Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled
Digital Camera – For Creative, Professional Photos
Are you ready to take a step up to professional looking photos with an easy to use camera? A trip like Alaska is the perfect time to expand your creativity. Just look through the lens of a DSLR camera and you’ll see the difference! Canon’s EOS Rebel T7 has many creative options to grow into as you gain experience. But to start you can use the point and shoot mode and let the camera adjust the settings to take beautiful shots of every scene. Use your cruise time on the ship to learn about your camera and happy shooting on the trip!
Our suggestion: Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera EF-S 18-55mm and EF 75-300mm Double Zoom Lens
Wool T-shirt (base layer or outerwear)
When traveling in Alaska, you must dress in layers as the weather changes dramatically throughout the day. A wool t-shirt makes a great base layer to keep you warm in the mornings/evenings when it’s chilly but also serves as an outer layer for when it heats up during the day. It’s breathable and dries quickly.
Our suggestion: Minus 33 Merino Wool Algonquin Lightweight Short Sleeve
Lightweight Hiking Pants
If you are planning some excursions with long walks through nature, the lightweight hiking pants are a must. These pants convert to shorts (not tight fitting like some) for those days when the sun shines and almost never sets in Alaska.
Our suggestion: Nonwe Women’s Outdoor Water-Resistant Quick Drying Lightweight Cargo Pants
Don’t forget your merino wool socks when traveling to Alaska! TOP-NOTCH QUALITY WINTER SOCKS- Velice women wool winter socks are made of premium and merino wool, softness and comfort. Also, the women’s crew socks are, soft, comfortable, breathable, warm, cozy and durable.
Choose for men or women.
Our suggestion: Velice Womens Super Thick Merino Wool Knit Warm Wool Crew Winter Socks
Motion Sickness Prevention
I have a very sensitive stomach but have never gotten sick on an Alaskan cruise on the inside passage because the seas are usually very calm there. But that does not mean I go unprepared. With planes, trains, automobiles, and ships on my itinerary, I travel at a minimum with Bonine or Non-drowsy Dramamine. Sometimes the non-drowsy versions are hard to find in the middle of a trip, so be prepared.
In addition, there are all-natural ginger medications, wrist bands, and patches.
Our suggestion: Bonine Motion Sickness Relief Chewable Tablets, Raspberry 16 + 12 ct.
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