Alaska is twice as expensive as any other state in the US. Booking at least a month is advance is advised.
Buy one of the coupons books available for Alaska. We saved a lot from these coupons: http://www.toursaver.com/ - 100$ or http://www.alaska-discounts.com/ - 50$ (we bought this one). The coupons are good offer 1 for 1 free on hotels, cruise, train rides, restaurants, etc.
Try to visit Alaska in the gray periods - Early May or Late August; Crowds are less and the costs are moderate.
During Summer, many Bed & Breakfast places open up, which are also cheaper than the regular hotels. The experience of sitting at the breakfast table of an Alaskan family to discuss culture and politics, is one of its kind. Try out our recommendations of hotels & restaurants in the blogs to follow, on Alaskan cities.
Long summer days would enable you to explore more, but keep in mind that your body will not adjust. Plan such that you timeout by 7pm, else even a week would feel like two, in this land of the mid-night sun.
Last but not the least, pick up a book (from a public library) on Alaska travel. We recommend Lonely Planet, Formmer's or Moon publications. Traveling by the book is one of the most satisfying ways to visit a new place.
Places to visit:
Just about to land in Bear country- Katmai NP, Alaska
Visiting the Kenai peninsula, Denali and Juneau is equivalent to visiting the entire Alaska. Most people who have traveled up the Arctic circle have regretted the lonely and barren drive. We skipped Juneau cause of time and cost constraints. But have heard and read - its worth the visit.
Seward is usually known for bad weather. Lookup the weather in advance before booking a cruise in Seward. The Prince William Sound cruise is an alternative to the Kenai Fjords cruise.
If you are into wildlife, shell out a few hundred more ($575) for the most enthralling guided float-plane visit to Katmai National Park. We saw bears within a few meters away, playing, fighting and catching fish. Another cheaper option