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Holiday travel survival guide: 5 tips!

Does holiday travel planning make you want to scream like Kevin McCallister in “Home Alone?” Whether your holiday travel plans include going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house or on an elaborate Alaska adventure, traveling during the holiday season can be stressful. It doesn’t have to be, though. This year, pack your holiday cheer and leave your worries behind with tips and tricks from John Hall’s Alaska’s holiday travel survival guide.


1. Do your research and plan ahead


From sold-out flights and hotels closed for the winter to busy airports and inevitable traffic jams, last-minute holiday travel planning can be stressful. Avoid, or at least reduce, the chaos by making plans as early as possible. Try to travel on off-peak days. Opt for morning flights because they are less likely to get delayed; and, if they do, you are more likely to still make it to your destination on the same day. Of course, the easiest way to plan your holiday vacation is to leave the details to the experts.

John Hall's Alaska has a full-time staff with more than 35 years of experience planning customized itineraries around Alaska as well as Canada’s Yukon Territory for groups of any size. As a family-owned and operated business, John Hall’s Alaska understands the importance of spending quality time with your loved ones over the holidays, and holiday trips can help you make lifetime memories. With our all-inclusive itineraries, spend less time planning and more time enjoying your Alaska vacation.

Many people think summer is the best time to visit Alaska, but the 49th state is a spectacular winter wonderland, and John Hall’s Alaska knows how to share the best of winter in Alaska with visitors. Don’t let the cold temperatures and snow intimidate you – our resident Alaskan tour guides show guests why dog sledding, chasing the majestic aurora borealis and visiting and reindeer farm in North Pole, Alaska, should be on everyone’s holiday travel bucket list. Plus, with a list of activities so varied as this, our vacations are perfect for the kids, parents, grandparents and friends who feel like family. Plus, winter in Alaska the only time of year to partake in iconic events and one-of-a-kind experiences like Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage, complete with the Running of the Reindeer race, or the , also known as the Last Great Race.


2. Pack appropriately.

Layers, layers and more layers. Depending on the destination, you can expect outdoor temperatures to be cold but the true wildcards come from inside. Don’t be caught off-guard by a chilly airport terminal or surprisingly warm taxi ride.

Layers are key to when packing for any winter trip, but this is even more crucial if you’re headed to Alaska. Don’t forget a good, quick-drying coat to keep you warm in all conditions. Travelers with John Hall’s Alaska receive personalized jackets upon arrival at no extra cost so you won’t have to worry about ticking that item off your packing list. Bring a camera as well as earplugs for the plane ride or to enjoy your own soundtrack while you soak up the sights. We also recommend a portable phone charger, which is especially useful if your phone’s battery gets low quickly in colder temperatures.

You want to be prepared, but try not to over pack if you have to transport your luggage on your own. Luckily, when traveling with John Hall’s Alaska, baggage transfers are part of the all-inclusive tour package. By organizing all accommodations and excursions and taking the time to learn every passenger’s name and individual travel needs prior to departure, our travel experts guarantee a seamless Alaska vacation.



3. Even Type A travelers should take time to relax

Sure there’s increased traffic and longer lines at airport security, but build in extra time for the holiday adventures that feed your soul. Americans are notorious for having unused vacation days at the end of the year. Buck the trend and give yourself some extra time to have some fun and make memories with your loved ones.

At John Hall’s Alaska, we include two full adventure days in our and winter trips. Visitors have the flexibility to choose from outdoorsy excursions like snowshoeing, mushing and snowmobiling in Fairbanks, and they can also go skiing North America’s longest double black slopes or unwinding at the award-winning spa at in Girdwood as part of our winter series tours. You can experience these activities together or split up and conquer different excursions based on your family members’ skill level and comfort level with adventure.


4. Bring (or download) a book

Whether you’re looking for entertainment en route to your destination or just relaxing by a cozy fire, you’ll be glad you have a good book (or two) on hand. When traveling with John Hall’s Alaska tours, the journey can be as exciting as the destination. Many of our tours travel by land, air and sea. If reading about your favorite fictional heroine while soaking in the soothing waters of and watching the northern lights dance from the comfort of a private domed room at is your ideal winter escape, then John Hall’s Alaska has the perfect winter holiday vacation for you.

From soaking in views of the snow-covered mountains from onboard the cars to scanning the backcountry for wildlife from our luxury motor coach fleet, the relaxing and scenic journey will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in awe of America’s natural beauty. Wherever you’re traveling this holiday season, you’ll enjoy our that’s inspired by the Last Frontier.

Step 5. Embrace the adventure

Holiday vacations are meant to help us escape the stress that has built up over a busy year by spending quality time with family and friends. Get into the holiday spirit, crank up the “Jingle Bell Rock,” sip on a glass of eggnog and don’t feel guilty about indulging in all the holiday treats while you book your winter vacation.


Please visit our COVID Travel Protocols page for current COVID-19 information.