FAQ: Alaska Jewish Group Tour
Who comes on your trips? What is the age range? How religious is everyone?
Our trips are very diverse. Our last trips had attendees from more than 4 countries. The age range in this trips if for those from their mid 20s to late 40s. Most participants are affiliated in some way with the Jewish community, whether they identify as Reform, Conservative, Traditional or Conservadox.
What makes your trips different from your competitors?
First, our trips focus on small, local hotels and providers. We do not use “all-inclusive” resorts, as we believe that they are not the best way to experience the culture of our destinations and to benefit the local community, one of the goals of eco-tourism. Second, we strive to make our group trips affordable while including as many items as possible. We believe it is a high value to include as many items and facilitates in the price, to complement our primary goals of giving you a fun experience in a group setting where you can meet new people.
Do I have to do all the activities? Can I get a partial refund if I skip one of the activities?
We try to make our trips accessible for travelers of most abilities and encourage all travelers to fully participate in the activities unless a traveler is afraid of a particular activity or cannot participate due to a medical condition or ability level. However, if you do not want to do a particular activity, you can opt out for any reason. Because we make our best efforts to offer an alternative activity for opting out travelers for no additional cost, we cannot generally offer a partial refund for opting out travelers.
Who will I be rooming with if I chose double-occupancy?
If you are joining the trip with someone you know, we will honor your requests to room together if you wish. If you are joining the trip by yourself, we will match you up with another same-sex traveler to share a room. If during the trip, you meet someone with whom you want to share a room with, we will try to honor your request at that time.
How much is airfare to Anchorage? Can you help me choose my ticket?
Round-trip airfare to Anchorage in June from major metropolitan areas in the U.S. is generally roughly $650 to $800 from the east coast and about $450-550 from California - however, that depends on your origin and travel dates. We advise travelers to check rates prior to booking a trip with us, however, you should not purchase your travel before the trip has been “called.” At that time, we would be glad to give you advice on which ticket to purchase.
Why would I want to travel in a group?
Alaska is far more vast and varied than most visitors recognize, and traveling independently can be quite challenging. Reservations are required long in advance for most lodging and activities, as the summer season is so short. Past attendees of trips organized by our outfitter express appreciation for the convenience of planning that a set itinerary offers, as well as for the professional experience of what and where truly is of interest. While many options exist for visiting Alaska, small group travel is among the most rewarding, combining the ease of travel arrangements with a very personal experience, highlighted by the perspective of knowledgeable guides. As the quality of experience for each participant is our overriding goal, group size is limited to ten on this trip.
What about the price?
Travel options in Alaska obviously vary widely, and are generally more costly than elsewhere. When making comparisons, consider how the size of the group might help define the experience that you are looking for, and that the costs are necessarily spread accordingly. Our trip includes a full first and last day of activities, which is not the industry norm.
Do I need to have prior outdoor experience?
No, every trip includes instruction in basic back-country skills.
How strenuous is the trip, really?
On our tour we stay only in established accommodations , and dine in local restaurants, with light to medium hiking options. We aren't always able to guarantee the weather or unforeseen circumstances of travel. No special skills are required and beyond good health, the only requirement is a keen spirit of adventure and a true desire to appreciate what is unique about these lands.
Will we follow the itinerary exactly?
We will attempt to stick as close to the itinerary as possible, but due to the wild nature of Alaska and the remoteness of some of our destinations, occasionally weather conditions, road construction delays and other unforeseen events require us to alter our plans. Flexibility is the key to fully enjoying your trip.
When is the best time to visit Alaska?
Every summer month has something special to recommend it: late May and early June may still have snow on the ground and fewer leaves on the trees. This makes spotting wildlife (with their Spring newborns) easier. Late June and July feature stupendous wildflowers (including the famous fireweed) and, generally, warmer temperatures. This time period also offers the opportunity to experience Alaska's midnight sun. Berries are the stars of August visits to Alaska - and with berries, come the bears who eat them. Visitors in late August may be able to glimpse the first displays of the Northern Lights of the fall season, as well as the beautiful fall colors starting to spread across the tundra.
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
We strive to provide reasonably healthy and tasty meals with ingredients chosen for maximum energy, transportability and durability.
Our tour will stop at a grocery store on the first day so that you can purchase any items, including snacks and alcoholic beverages, that you require. Please note that you will need to purchase your own cooler, if needed, as the group coolers have only very limited extra space.
Vegetarians and most special diets can be catered to with advance notice, please list any dietary restrictions or preferences on your Tour Reservation. Please contact us if you have questions about your specific dietary needs, as well as kosher food options on the trip.
What kind of precautions do you take against bears?
Our trip will offer the opportunity to view bears in their natural surroundings. While this is an exciting and memorable experience, we will be required to take certain precautions when hiking in bear country. Your guide will teach you the proper techniques to use in bear encounters.
Our guide will not carry firearms, as we firmly believe that following the appropriate steps and using good bear sense are the best techniques for sharing the wilderness with these wonderful animals.
What about the mosquitoes?
Alaskan mosquitoes are the stuff of legends...at least that's what you've heard from others who have visited. While it's true that at certain times and places in the summer, the flying insects can test the patience of even the most trail-hardened veteran, many find that bugs are worse where they come from! If particularly sensitive and you find yourself in one of those areas of "concentration", here are a few tips that will make your visit more bearable.
1. Use an insect repellent with DEET and re-apply frequently. Though there are legions of natural and non-DEET repellents on the market, research in Alaska has shown that only DEET is truly effective, and lasts the longest.
2. Wear light-colored clothing.
3. Bring your own head-net