What to Do in Your Alaska Winter Car Rentals During an Earthquake

With the number of earthquakes in recent years, we decided it might be best to help out our Alaska winter car rentals clients. If you don’t come from a place that is earthquake-prone, the thought of tremors can be nerve-wracking. However, not all earthquakes cause damage and those that do, don’t have to be fatal. In fact, some quakes are quite small. You may not even feel them!

But in the event of a larger quake, it is important to know what to do. Have an action plan, and make sure everyone you’re traveling with knows about it. Whether you’re out and about in your Alaska winter car rentals or just having a relaxing night in, here’s how to behave during an earthquake.

When driving your Alaska winter car rentals

It’s not uncommon for motorists to miss earthquakes. They’re often so subtle that the movement of the vehicle disguises it.

However, if you do feel an earthquake while driving, the first thing you need to do is stop the vehicle. Pull over into a safe area as fast as possible – this may even just be the side of the highway.

It’s important to remember to watch for power lines, bridges, and any other structures that could potentially fall in a quake. Avoid parking near these. If possible, a wide open space is best.

Finally, stay in your Alaska winter car rentals. Don’t get out of the car during the quake for any reason. Turn on the radio to wait for updates on the quake. And when the quake is finally finished, make sure to be careful of aftershocks – you may even want to wait 10 minutes before driving off again.

If in the great outdoors

If you’re out and about on foot when an earthquake strikes, the action plan is much similar to that of driving. Stay still, and avoid being close to any structures that could fall or collapse. This includes buildings and trees, as well. Remember that being near a building is your most dangerous spot, even in the exits. So stay in the open and wait until the quake is over.

If indoors

If you’re inside when the earthquake strikes, there are a few things you can do to make sure you and your family stay safe. While most people have heard the old tale about staying in doorways, this isn’t necessarily true anymore. For older houses, perhaps it may still be your best bet. But newer houses are built stronger than they used to be, and the rest of the house is often just as safe as a doorway.

What to avoid: lighting fixtures, furniture that could fall, glass, windows, outside doors, walls, and elevators. Never use an elevator in an earthquake.

If you’re already in bed, it’s best to stay there unless there’s a heavy lighting fixture overhead that could drop. Otherwise, stay in bed, and keep a pillow over your head for protection.

If you’re not in bed, take cover under a sturdy table, desk, or other furniture that is unlikely to collapse. This will keep you safe from falling debris. Stay in your safe spot until the quake finishes.

If you don’t have a sturdy piece of furniture nearby, then your next safe spot is an inside corner. Crouch in here and cover your head.

Remember that it’s always best to stay still during a quake. Don’t move about unless absolutely necessary and always protect your head. Be prepared for aftershocks.

Finally, make sure to clean up any chemicals or hazardous materials that may have spilled during the quake. It’s good to do a once over in the building following a quake.

For safe, reliable vehicles that can transport you through the state without a care, reserve your Alaska winter car rentals from Avis today.

See Alaska’s Glaciers in Your Alaska Winter Car Rentals

Anyone who has been around the state in their Alaska winter car rentals knows that the Alaskan landscape is absolutely incredible. It has a haunting kind of beauty that stays with you for life, even long after you’ve left.

The glaciers, undeniably, are a major contributor to that everlasting feeling of beauty. If you’ve never seen a glacier before, you’re in for a treat. You’ll never forget the first time you view one, and chances are, you’ll want to go back for more.

But how can you see Alaska’s glaciers? By foot, by Alaska winter car rentals, or by boat! The way you choose to get there is entirely up to you and your preferences, but there are plenty of options. You can go solo or in a guided tour, of which there are plenty. Here are just a few.

See the glaciers from the air

Seeing the glaciers by air offers a truly unique experience. While you won’t be able to get up close and personal with the calving, you’ll get a better idea of the sheer size of these edifices. The glaciers are, after all, enormous. And seeing them by foot or boat doesn’t quite offer the same indication of their size.

Piedmont glaciers are the best ones to see by air. These can be found in Southeast Alaska and offer a fan-like spray of rock and ice across the base of the mountain range. By plane, you’ll be able to see the full extent of the formation.

By land

While you certainly can’t take your Alaska winter car rentals up on the glaciers, you can still see them by motor on land. ATV tours offer you the chance to glide over the glaciers and to see them intimately.

Of course, you can also hike the glaciers as well. You’ll never see anything quite like them or have a hike that is nearly as beautiful. Make sure to bundle up and bring a guide. It’s best to never hike the glaciers alone. But since you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, guided hiking tours are really your best bet for seeing the ice caves and glaciers.

By water

One of our favorite ways to see the glaciers is by water. There are several cruise options that go along the shoreline to let passengers see tidewater glaciers. You’ll be able to actually witness as parts of the glacier break off and drift into the ocean. The cracking of the glacier is loud enough to hear and is a sound that you’ll definitely remember forever.

Another benefit of seeing the glacier by kayak or cruise is the number of marine animals you’ll catch sight of. Sea otters, harbor seals, marine birds, even a whale or two if you’re lucky! These beautiful creatures truly round out the trip.

Combining Alaskan favorites

If you want to take part in one of Alaska’s traditional pastimes when seeing the glaciers, then the dogsled tour is the one for you. However, you’ll have to wait until the spring for this one. The dogsled tour only runs in the summer. But it’s worth the wait! And you may want to book early. You’ll often have a chance to see moose, Dall sheep, black bears, and mountain goats while sledding up to see Colony Glacier.

As mentioned, it’s best to book ahead. There is a range of tour options, and with early booking you’ll have the full range to choose from on your specified dates. This definitely isn’t one you’ll want to miss!

Book your Alaska winter car rentals from Avis today to ensure you have transportation when you want to see our great state’s glaciers!

Take Your Alaska SUV Rentals to See the Northern Lights!

Alaska is known for stunning views – but not just on land. The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, offer a spectacular light show to anyone willing to stay up to watch it. While the best times are in September and March, you will still be able to take your Alaska SUV rentals out to see the lights.

If you don’t want to go on a random chase, then guided tours to the lights may be your best bet. However, you’ll want to bundle up and bring along a little energy! This certainly isn’t a day trip.

When to see the lights

As mentioned, September and March are the best months. This is because the Earth is tilted at just the right angle in relation to the Sun to make the lights clearer and stronger. However, you’ll still get a chance to see them during other months of the winter, from mid-September to late April.

The best nights to take your Alaska SUV rentals are those with clear skies. Aim for between 10 pm and 2 am, as around midnight is the best time to see the lights. Like we said – you’ll want to bring some energizer with you!

On an inland plain or mountaintop will suit best. You want to avoid light pollution when hunting for the Northern Lights. This includes light from the moon. Odd as it may seem, overly bright light from the moon can wash out the Northern Lights to the point where you will barely be able to see them.

It’s best to go a minimum of a week before or after the full moon, and certainly not during the days the moon is at its fullest.

Where to see the Aurora

The further north you go, the easier it will be to see the lights. The best latitude for Aurora Borealis viewings is between 65° north and 70° north. Head to remote northern regions to get the best experience. In fact, you may even want to cross the border into Canada. Coldfoot in Yukon Territory will offer stunning views of the lights and landscape.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to get out of urban areas. Even the smaller towns and villages of Alaska have some light pollution, and leaving their outer limits will allow you the most promising view of the lights.

If you want to stay in America, you can see the lights near Fairbanks, Barrow, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. While other places will offer you glimpses of the light show, these regions will provide the most likely clear view. They also offer the benefit of plenty of daytime activities to enjoy! Glaciers, rafting, fishing, hiking, tours of historic places, and more are on offer in these towns.

Take a Guided Tour

If you’d rather not take your Alaska SUV rentals out by yourself to find the lights, there are tours you can join. Which one you join will depend on your own preference. But there are plenty on offer that span from just a single day to several days and include other opportunities like a dip in Chena Hot Springs. Here is a good place to look at which tour might be best for you.

What to bring

It’s important that you bundle up and bring extra blankets in your Alaska SUV rentals. Alaska gets cold in the winter, and sitting for long periods of time waiting for the lights can get mighty chilly. Bring extra blankets to bundle under, and even a heating candle if you want extra assurance. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to bring along some cocoa and broth in thermoses!

No Northern Light trip is complete without the perfect Alaska SUV rentals. Reserve yours from Avis today.

Experience a Uniquely Alaskan Thanksgiving

The holiday season is here! It’s one of the best times of the year in Alaska. Between the hunts, the snow sports, the stunning vistas, and now – getting to enjoy all of this with good holiday food and family! There’s plenty going on across the state for Thanksgiving, and after that, Christmas. All you need is your Alaska car rentals and you’ll be set!

Great Alaska Shootout

What are the holidays without a little sport? Of course, most people will be watching football but there’s also the Great Alaska Shootout which is always worth it to see. The Shootout is hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage over Thanksgiving week. The week is all about showing off college basketball stars, as they compete with one another in one of America’s longest-running college basketball tournaments.

And like most college sports, the energy is always high! It’s a great atmosphere and some amazing athletics will be shown off.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Tree Lighting Ceremony is a tradition that many American towns have. It’s always a beautiful, magical night that can get the whole family interested. This year, the Anchorage Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Friday, November 25 in Town Square Park.

Make sure to back plenty of blankets in your Alaska car rentals, though! It might be a chilly one. And hot cocoa never hurts! Kids will also love to see Santa and his reindeer there to celebrate the ceremony.

Reserve a table

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, it can be nice to take a break from chores for the holidays. Why not reserve a table for a restaurant Thanksgiving instead of cooking? There are plenty of places across Anchorage that are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll definitely want to make reservations though!

Some of these include Anchorage Marriott Downtown, Embassy Suites, Hotel Captain Cook, Sheraton Anchorage, Lakefront Anchorage, and Westmark Anchorage. Grab a couple of Alaska car rentals and the whole family, and give everyone a break for the holidays!

Uniquely Alaskan Thanksgiving

If you will be making your Thanksgiving dinner, why not have it in a uniquely Alaskan way? While many Alaskans do still celebrate with turkey, many others choose another bird for the day. Because of populous wildlife, Alaskans have options for their meal. Ptarmigan and goose, for instance, are popular choices for Thanksgiving and holiday dinners.

Similarly, Alaskans also include things like octopus, reindeer, whale, moose, and even salmon! Nigliq (a white fronted goose found in Alaska) soup is another interesting dish that goes nicely with turkey. It’s quite delicious and makes a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

But what would Thanksgiving be without the cranberry sauce! Don’t settle for store-bought canned cranberries. Alaska produces some of the best high bush cranberries in the country. We’re proud of our berries, and wouldn’t want anyone to experience an Alaskan Thanksgiving without them!

If you can’t find berries in the markets, you may still be able to pick them. They can be found until early fall, so if you’re swift there may be some on the trees still. Fresh and delicious!

Always something to do

In Alaska, there’s always something to keep you and the family entertained. After all, the winter months are great for sport and activity in Alaska! As long as you have your Alaska car rentals, the opportunities are endless. Get out and about to ski! Or maybe you want to give dog sledding a try. Either way, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reconnect with your loved ones and take some time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Avoid stress! Reserve your Alaska car rentals early to beat the crowd.

Start Gift Shopping Early at Alaska Christmas Markets

Christmas markets and festivals begin early in Alaska. The first weekend of November alone has five festivals, four of which are just Christmas! It’s a wonderful time of year. You can begin Christmas shopping early in the markets, and get right into the spirit of the season. But be careful – you may end up filling your winter Alaska SUV rentals to the brim!

First week of November

As mentioned, Christmas markets begin the first weekend of November. With your winter Alaska SUV rentals, you may want to hit up many of them!

In Anchorage, enjoy the Holiday Food & Gift Festival on November 4 and 5. This takes place at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center and features a range of handmade products and food. If you’ve got kids coming along, Santa and an elf will be there for photos. The market is open from 11 am to 5 pm and 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Also in Anchorage is the Christmas Towne Bazaar on November 4 from 10 am to 4 pm at South Anchorage High School. There are 130 booths and vendors offering everything from books by local authors and photography, to knitted goods and wood and metal crafts. Here is a perfect place to take the whole family, as there are kids’ activities to entertain the little ones.

Similarly, the Mat-Su Holiday Marketplace from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. The market takes place at the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla. The market hosts more than 100 specialty vendors with a wide range of goods including jewelry, furs, original artwork, fleece, pottery, glassware, and many others. It’s a great place for bespoke Christmas gifts!

The Shop Til You Drop Holiday Bazaar in Chugiak on November 4 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. You’ll definitely leave with your winter Alaska SUV rentals much fuller! You can spend the whole day there, with coffee and lunch available in the vendor. There are plenty of gifts that are great for everyone. You really can shop til you drop!

Second week of November

The fun continues into the second weekend of November starting with the Fairbanks Holiday Marketplace starts on November 10 and runs until November 12. It will be held at the Carison Center. This market is a great place to look for fashion items like shoes, earrings, and clothes. Home décor, photography, handmade soaps, and art also hold a prominent place at this market. Free parking available for your winter Alaska SUV rentals.

The Juneau Farmers and Crafters Market will be held on November 11 from 10 am until 3 pm at Glacier Highway. This is a great spot to get food for your Thanksgiving suppers and the other holiday festivities. This market boasts Juneau’s best of fresh eggs, produce, flowers, plants, herbs, teas, honey, syrup, wild local food, baked goods, jams and more. You’ll leave happy and full! Make sure to bring your grocery bags in your winter Alaska SUV rentals.

Anchorage, ever the bustling city, has two more markets this weekend: The Anchorage Holiday Craft Bazaar at Bayshore Clubhouse and The Alaskan Christmas Bazaar at Anchroage City Church. Both offer arts and crafts, but only the Alaskan Christmas Bazaar will have food for sale.

There are simply far too many markets to go through them all in detail! Other markets this month include:

  • Fairbanks Holiday Bazaar: November 18, Pioneer Park Civic Center, 10 am to 4 pm
  • Anchorage Arts and Crafts Emporium: November 18 – 19, Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
  • Anchorage Noel Bazaar and Bake Sale: November 18, Anchorage Senior Activity Center, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Black Friday Holiday Bazaar: November 24-25, Kenai, Challenger Learning Center, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Juneau Public Market: November 24-26, Public Market in Centennial Hall, Friday noon to 7 pm and Saturday-Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Colony High School Christmas Bazaar: November 25, Palmer, Colony High School, 10 am to 5 pm

Get out there and enjoy! But don’t forget to book your winter Alaska SUV rentals early for your holiday shopping!

Winter Is Coming! Tips for Alaska Winter SUV Rentals

Winter is nearly upon us. In Alaska winter means lots of snow, ice, and, unfortunately, vehicle collisions. However, you can reduce your risk of collision by following safe driving habits in your Alaska winter SUV rentals. We’ve outlined some tips below for you to enjoy winter without harm.

Know where you’re going

In the winter, it’s more important than ever to know your route in advance. When the roads are icy, it is incredibly dangerous to have to stop or turn at the drop of a hat. Map your route. Know alternative routes, just in case of diversion.

Of course, you don’t need to memorize your route. You can still use a GPS, but having a rough idea of where you have to turn and go will help reduce the need for last minute moves.

Take time to brake

Most people know this already, but a reminder never hurts! Take time to brake. This goes back to knowing your route and paying attention to what’s around you. Brake slowly and firmly. It is dangerous to you and the vehicles around you to stop your Alaska winter SUV rentals at the last minute.

In reality, it’s best to avoid braking whenever possible. Brake only when necessary to reduce chances of collision.

Increase your following distance

Generally following distances are at around 3-4 seconds. However, in the winter with ice, snow, and other distractions it’s smart to increase this to 8-10 seconds. This also allows you time to stop if someone in front of you is forced to hit the brakes.

Always, always, always signal

It is important to communicate with other drivers when you’re on icy roads. Always, always, always use your turn signal. This includes both turning and switching lanes. It’s important to warn other drivers to your intentions. After all, you don’t know if the driver behind you may be planning on switching lanes behind you as well without signals. Be responsible, and take the steps you can to avoid collision. You can’t control the actions of other drivers, but you can make sure you are free of blame and in control of your own Alaska winter SUV rentals.

Don’t speed on hills

You may find yourself in a mountainous area of Alaska. If this is the case that’s okay! But make sure you’re overtaking the hills properly on snowy roads.

First thing is not to speed up them. Take them slow and steady. You don’t know what’s coming from the other side, and you don’t want to lose control on an incline.

Second, make sure to keep going. Don’t brake or slow down. Maintain a steady pace up the hill. The ice will reduce your traction and make sliding backwards a real possibility.

Of course, this is the same for going down hills. You want to make sure to maintain a steady pace, rather than just letting your car doing the work as you may do in the warmer months. Always try your best to be in control of your speed.

Know your speed

It’s okay to drive a little slower in the winter. Of course, you want to go with the flow of the traffic and most Alaska drivers will practice appropriate winter speeds. But if not, it’s okay to slow down and take it at a pace at which you feel comfortable.

Similarly, accelerate and decelerate with care. Slamming on the gas can be just as dangerous as slamming the brake. Slow, steady acceleration and deceleration is the key.

Finally, the best way to stay safe is with reliable, efficient Alaska winter SUV rentals. Avis can help you out with that! Reserve your Alaska winter SUV rentals today.

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