Packing for Grand Alaska June 21, 2016 departure

Here we go again. Our last trip was to Patagonia and this time to Alaska, but with a common problem: what clothes and how much to take. Looks like it's going to be warm, so no real heavy jackets.

With the airlines and Tauck restricting the size, weight, and number of bags we can take, packing becomes a real issue. What really burns me is that Tauck restricts us to one bag each, but insists (okay, suggests) on everyone bringing a suit coat and dressing up for the cocktail parties like we are in some 1940's movie. Think Titanic. It is ridiculous these days with airline restrictions, not to mention Tauck's, to have to pack extra clothes to play dress up on a ship or for a hotel dinner when you are on a trip to rough it in Alaska for two weeks. I've decided to protest this trip and not bring the tux or those cute patent leather shoes. Seriously!

Tauck's one size fits all trip suggestions for packing needs some heavy editing. I've suggested this before, but to no avail.

We are packed and ready to leave on Tuesday, but we are cheating by tagging the one big bag for each of us to check-in and then we each will hand carry an over-night bag with enough clothes and stuff for three days in case the airline loses a bag. Oh, and due to bag weight restrictions we will also bring a backpack for each of us full of cameras and electronics. I decided not to bring the pork chop to tie to the lead sled dog so he would mush faster. (Grin).

Since we have a long, with one lay over stop in Atlanta, flight from Florida to Alaska, we are going up a day early in case there are any travel problems. An opportunity to repack before things get serious.

I'll follow up with details after the trip to let those who are curious know how things went on the trip. I hope this trip will be as wonderful as the Patagonia trip which was a 10+ out of 10. See my previous post (10,000 views) under South America.

Michael Echols
Fort Myers, Florida


  • Michael, your clothing references certainly made me chuckle. Yes you are right, Tauck do do a lousy job of clothing suggestions for the tours. Can you imagine the link that takes you to 'Necessary Gear' being taken as gospel for all their trips. It's very sad that clothing issues cause so much anxiety for people on this forum and Tauck really should prioritize once again this subject. There are always people who under-dress and over dress. If only 'Common sense' did not fly out of the window when we all go on vacation. I have seen people presenting themselves half naked in a Muslim country, flip flops on jagged rocks, dripping diamonds in the African bush and everything in between.
    Whenever I see a man in a jacket a the Welcome dinner, I can almost guarantee that I never see him in it again. And of course, so often the Welcome dinner and fairwell dinner are in a private room, so the Tauck group is not going to offend anyone anyway.
    At the best hotels, the staff will treat you well whatever you are wearing. If you have the money to stay there, they will treat you well, even if under their breathe they are thinking 'Those darned Americans have no class!'
    I remember reading your Patagonia trip details, they are a super addition to the forum for people to make informed choices. I will have to consider it soon before I get out of shape!
  • I object, British. Not all those darned Americans have no class. Just tonight I met 2 couples who definitely do. So there. ;)
  • Michael,
    We did this trip in July, 2013. FABULOUS!!! We did Patagonia in February, 2014, but we much preferred Alaska. We were very fortunate to have outstanding weather, much warmer than we had expected, and only one day of rain. The attire everywhere on the inland Alaska part of the trip is resort casual at the dressiest. No sport coat needed.
    Once you are on the ship, however, things change. Most of the time resort casual applies, but there are two formal nights. Why, I do not know, since so many cruise lines are relaxing their dress codes. My husband did wear a sport coat(no tie) for these two evenings and for a special dinner for our group in one of the specialty restaurants on the ship. I will say that some of the people on the cruise, mainly older travelers, dressed fit to kill for these formal nights. Yes, there were some long gowns and tuxes, but the people on our tour did not get that formal. The rest of the time slacks and a golf short or long sleeve shirt were the norm. Ladies, pants and a nice top were just fine; just add some sparkle for formal nights if you want.
    In case you might be interested....While on the cruise, we skipped two of the Tauck planned activities and substitued excursions that we booked theough Princess before we left for the trip. We did a whale watching cruise in Juneau and a Deadliest Catch excursion in Ketchikan. Both were tons of fun.
    Have a wonderful time. We have a return visit on our bucket list.
  • Thank you for the additional information. We've been on 8 previous trips with Tauck, so we are used to the drill. But, it just gets tougher to deal with packing as the airlines, even when traveling first class, try to make everything so difficult.

  • I jammed what I could fit in a checked and one carry one with must haves....back pack with camera equipment. 50 pounds and a carryon is plenty for me. leaving this tuesday and going in a night early. doing a photo expedition tour tuesday night since it's light till midnight


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