Entry & Exit Requirements
U.S. citizens need a government-issued photo ID to enter Alaska from another U.S. state. A passport is required if traveling to Alaska through Canada.
If you are not traveling from the United States or Canada, please check with the U.S. Embassy for requirements based on your nationality.
The CDC recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, and your yearly flu shot before every trip.
Please consult your physician for additional information and recommendations based on your individual circumstances.
Frostbite is damage to the skin from freezing and is due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Symptoms include patches of reddened skin that become white, hard, and swollen; or skin that burns, tingles, or is numb or painful. Severe cases can result in blisters or ulcers forming and may involve deeper tissues. The most common sites for frostbite are the fingers, hands, toes, feet, ears, nose, and cheeks.
To avoid frostbite, dress warmly and in layers but avoid tight clothing as it may reduce circulation. Keep the face and extremities covered. Avoid overheating and excessive perspiration. Change wet clothing, especially socks and gloves.
Hypothermia is life threatening. It is caused by cold, wet, or windy weather that causes the body to lose heat faster than it can produce heat. Hypothermia can occur in rugged mountain terrain where the weather can change extremely fast, or after being soaked in a stream crossing or a boating accident since most Alaskan waters are very cold all year long.
Symptoms include feeling cold, uncontrollable shivering, clumsiness due to loss of muscle coordination, slurred speech, inability to think clearly, and eventual unconsciousness and cessation of reflexes including heart and lung functions. Many victims in the later stages of hypothermia feel warm and try to shed clothing.
To treat hypothermia, first warm the core of the body before the extremities. Remove any wet clothing. Re-warm the victim slowly; do not warm fast by immersing in warm/hot water. Provide shelter out of the weather. Warm drinks are not necessary, but may help in the psychological recovery. Do NOT give alcohol. Try to keep victim awake as this helps keep the body temperature up.
Avoid wild animals that seem curious or don’t run away from humans. Arctic fox, red fox, wolves, caribou, dogs, and possibly river otters are known to carry rabies in Alaska. In the unlikely event of being bitten, clean the wound and control bleeding. Seek medical attention immediately.
The currency of Alaska is the U.S. dollar. Communities closer to the Canadian border will accept Canadian or American currency and some local banks will exchange currency.
The electrical current in Alaska is 110V 60Hz AC. Travelers from the lower-48 states do not have to use converters.
The time zone in most of Alaska is Alaska Time Zone (UTC-09:00).
Alaska does observe Daylight Saving Time.
Departures and arrivals on flight schedules are always listed in the local time.
Some parts of Alaska are in the Arctic Circle. In places at the very top of the state there is a two-month winter period during which the sun doesn’t rise, but that’s the extreme, and winter’s long nights get shorter the farther south you go. South of the Arctic Circle, every place has sunlight at least part of the day. In the summer, all of Arctic Alaska gets 24-hour sunlight for at least one day at the solstice. Northern cities have continuous daylight for 85 days. South of the circle, every town has a night every day, though sometimes brief.
Alaska has cell phone coverage in most of the larger cities and road systems. However, expect lots of blind spots especially when traveling to more remote areas of the state. Due to power limitations not all features found in the lower United States will work, so contact your service provider for more details.
WiFi access is available at many hotels and campgrounds throughout Alaska, as well as at some visitor centers, libraries, and coffee shops.
If you are using U.S. Postal Service, the cost for Priority Mail is no different than shipping to the opposite side of the lower 48 states. However, if using Fed-Ex or UPS to ship packages to or from Alaska there will likely be a surcharge.