The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.
If you're planning a trip to Alaska this year, add about a hundred dollars to your budget and spring for the Great Alaska TourSaver (tel. 907/278-7600; www.toursaver.com) coupon book, compiled by travel writer Scott McMurren (www.alaskatravelgram.com). Priced at $99.95 and currently in its 8th year, TourSaver is loaded with 150 free and two-for-one vouchers, offering up to $20,000 in savings on hotels, tours, cruises, fishing, national parks, railroad tours and adventure travel. Many of our readers have successfully used the book to explore the state's natural wonders, which include Glacier Bay, active volcanoes, forests, and a dozen and a half of the tallest mountains in the United States. The deals are organized by geographic region, making for easy navigation, and then broken down into hotels, tours, adventure travel, tickets and admission, etc. You can place your order online, by phone, or through the mail -- the address is on the site.
There are numerous breaks on accommodations, including one at Denali Park Resort, where you can receive one free night's accommodation with the purchase of an accompanying night at the McKinley Chalet Resort or McKinley Village Lodge; a value of up to $269. But the fly-in deals at Bettles Lodge, Denali Wilderness lodge are also noteworthy and perhaps the best return on your investment. The Bettles Lodge offer is a buy one-get-one arrangement: Purchase a three-day, two-night wilderness fly-in adventure and receive one free. The lodge is located 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The deal includes a flight from Fairbanks, all meals, guided adventures and a summertime river tour on the Koyukuk River, a value of up to $740. Similarly, there is a buy-one, get-one deal at Denali Wilderness Lodge. Receive one free, three-day, two-night wilderness lodge adventure with the purchase of an accompanying adventure. The offer includes flight from Healy or Fairbanks, all meals, guided adventure hikes and a two-hour trail ride, a savings of up to $995. Both offers expire September 10, 2006.
McMurren says a new addition this year is Kodiak, which is sometimes called the Emerald Island of Alaska. Eight different incentives and discounts are available for museums, a dinner cruise, Mill Bay Coffee Company, lodging, and a charter fishing trip; the waters are populated with trout, halibut, and salmon.
Lest you think that the book only offers promotions that are good for outdoorsy types, there are discounts for the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, and two museums, Alutiq and Baranov, both in Kodiak. And if you're headed to the Inside Passage and like local cuisine in old towns, the Alaska Garden Gourmet Tour deal in Skagway entitles you to receive one free garden gourmet tour with the purchase of one accompanying tour at the historic Skagway Inn. You will receive a tour of their kitchen and flower garden, recipes and Alaska wildflower seeds and experience taste testing. Or opt for the buy-one, get-one free deal on accommodations offered through the book.
Other helpful tips on the site include a list of wireless spots (southcentral Alaska has the highest concentration), maps of Alaska's inside passage, interior and southcentral region, and suggested itineraries for each spot. Many of the deals expire at the end of September 2006, the end of their high season, but some others run through October 30. Still, McMurren says, some hotel deals are valid through December 31, 2006.