Relocating to Alaska is exciting, and requires some unique planning.
Relocating to Alaska: Photo by Justin Matley
We love hearing the excitement in the voices of customers relocating to Alaska. For some it’s the first time they’ll ever set foot in the state. Whether they’re changing military duty stations, experiencing a corporate relocation or making a personal choice to live in the frontier, relocating to Alaska seems to put everyone on the edge of their seats in anticipation of such a monumental life change.
While Alaska does have modern cities with all the conveniences one would expect to find in the Lower 48, the region itself is certainly unique and requires a new way of thinking and developing some new habits. In a nutshell, relocating to Alaska broadens one’s lifestyle. It’s a big place, after all.
As an Alaska-based moving company, we can offer some advice and tips on the lifestyle here. More than anything we can offer insight into planning your move, what to bring or obtain when you get here, opinions about the cost of living, and what to expect from your mover.
Relocating to Alaska and your new mindset
Be prepared for the BEST and the WORST of it.
Sure, winters can get cold, but at the same time the snow-covered landscape is beautiful. Dryer air often makes the temperatures more tolerable as compared to other northern states, and the snow and ice supports a wide range of exhilarating outdoor activities. Winter supports access to remote areas that are near impossible to reach during the summer or wet seasons.
It’s true, most of the communities in Alaska experience some very dark days in the winter when the sun barely breaks above the horizon, if at all. On the other hand, our summers are amazingly bright and the days are long. Alaskan’s tend to catch up on sleep in the winter and during the summer they go, go, go to fill the days with fun while soaking up the sun and vitamin D.
Speaking of darkness and vitamin D, the prolonged darkness can make some people a bit depressed. This may be due to a vitamin D deficiency or simply a lack of activity. Well, consider the use of a sun lamp in your home, vitamin supplements, a vacation to Hawaii (maybe even two), and for heavens sake don’t just sit there. Our winters are filled with fun events. Attend outdoor races like the Iditarod, Iron Dog or Arctic Man. Check in on the many winter and spring festivals like Fur Rondy, Willow Winter Carnival and Anchorage Winter Carnival. We know how to have a good time and shrug off the cold chill.
Think and plan ahead. Before winter arrives, do you have studded tires to install on your vehicles? Do you have firewood stacked to help you cut back on heating costs? Are your summer vehicles and “toys” winterized? Do you have a good snow shovel, a motorized snow plow or have you made arrangements for someone to plow for you? Have you stocked up on some staple food items in case of an emergency or particularly bad weather when you don’t want to attempt a grocery store run?
Are you playing safe? The fact is that our extreme climate, terrain and wildlife insist that you be mindful of safety at all times. When exploring in the mountains and trails, are you ready for a wet, cold snap or overnight stay if lost or injured? Do you have bear spray and are you being mindful of bear sign and making noise to keep from catching them off guard? Do you really know what to do when encountering a bear or if you’ve been confronted by one in an aggressive manner? Have you and your family practiced how to react to wildlife encounters? Do your vehicles contain any winter emergency kits?
Relocating to Alaska doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but we’d like for you to consider the things mentioned above with the hope that you aren’t caught off guard once here.
A good resource for living in and enjoying Alaska, especially the Southcentral region and Anchorage, can be found here.
Looking for a snow removal service. Glacier’s Edge Maintenance & Arctic Green Landscaping.
Relocating to Alaska, planning, packing and your mover
World Wide Movers, Inc. has provided comprehensive relocating plans and tips here. Some basic packing tips can also be found on our home page. But we have a little more advice that you probably won’t get from other relocation companies.
1. If you plan on purchasing more furniture for your home, outdoor recreation equipment from clothing to canoes or even an ATV, or if you’ll need kitchen appliances or utility machines such as a snow blower, consider buying these items before you move. If relocating from the Lower 48, often times these items cost far less from your local provider than buying them in Alaska. The cost of including these things, if there’s any extra cost at all, may be less than the extra cost of buying these items in Alaska.
2. When packing, keep in mind that your belongings are making an enormous journey. They’ll likely cover double or even triple the miles as compared to a move in the Lower 48. When relocating to Alaska, be extra sure your fragile belongings are well padded and protected from the added bumps in the road.
3. Depending on the time of year, your belongings may experience some extremely low temperatures. On one hand you need to be sure that cold temps wouldn’t do any harm to begin with. On the other hand, and we can’t stress this enough, make sure your relocation company can simply control the environment your belongings are in. Like World Wide Movers, Inc., your moving company should be able to maintain a consistent temperature where your belongings are stored whether that be the trailer or a storage unit.
4. World Wide Movers offers in-transit, temperature controlled and secure storage of your belongings. Should we arrive in Alaska before your new home is ready, we can store your belongings for you in a safe environment.
We love that you’re relocating to Alaska and hope to see you out there, anywhere, exploring The Last Frontier and enjoying the many splendors Alaska has to offer. World Wide Movers, Inc. will help you in any way we can to relocate to Alaska, but it’s up to you to make the most of your new life here. Plan well, stay safe, and by all means make the most of the many wondrous and wild times only a place like Alaska can provide.
Some helpful links
Alaska Travel & Adventure
State and National Parks