Tips for Learning to Ski with the Kids in Alaska

Winter is back in Alaska in all its glories. This is the most fun time of year for Alaskans and visitors, when all of our favorite pastimes begin again. Skiing is just one of a number of winter activities that will let you enjoy that state to its fullest as you travel around in your Alaska car rentals. Many visitors are new to this winter sport, especially those from warmer states. If you and your kids have never skied before, fear not – you can quickly learn.

Many cities and resorts have ski schools where you can learn the tricks of the trade for a small price, and ski hills often have skis for rent so all you have to worry about packing in your Alaska car rentals are your warm clothes and a lunch! To help you get on the slopes with ease, Avis Alaska has a few tricks and tips for learning how to master the slopes.

Picking the right hill

When you’re learning to ski, you want to pick a hill or resort that has good instructors. But how would you know this just by finding them online?

There are a few spots that Avis recommends. If you’re visiting Anchorage, you won’t need to drive your Alaska car rentals far to find a top quality hill. The Hilltop Ski Area offers lessons for kids ages 6-16 and 4-5 on weekdays, and 6-12 on weekends. If you have an older child who wants to learn to snowboard, you can quickly add on a few lessons in that as well. This hill is quiet, being mainly a neighborhood skiing hot spot rather than a tourist resort.

If you’re looking for larger resort with high-quality, professionally trained ski instructors, try the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska. With both private and group lessons available for every level from beginning to pro, the Mountain Learning Center is the largest of its kind in the entire state. As an added bonus, you are sure to find only great instructors here – every one is a Professional Ski Instructor of America.

Unfortunately, Southeast Alaska doesn’t have many hills to offer skiers, but the one it does have is high quality and won’t be too long of a drive in your Alaska car rentals. Located in Juneau, the Eaglecrest Ski Area again offers both private and group lessons but it also provides child-care in the Porcupine Day Lodge for kids too small to ski.

Pizza is your friend

No, we don’t mean a real pizza pie (though that is a good addition to any day too!). The “pizza” position in skiing, otherwise known as the “snow plough” is one that you’ll want to remember if you’re a beginner. This is when you form a triangle with your skis by pushing the backs out and the fronts in toward one another. To prevent damage, avoid putting the tips of your skis over each other.

The pizza position will help you stop when you’re still learning the basics. The position also helps to slow down, so that any near collisions can quickly be deterred. The further apart the backs of your skis are, the slower you’ll go.

Always look to your destination

Similar to driving your Alaska car rentals, you want to look in the direction in which you want to travel. For instance, if you want to turn right down a path, look down the path and to the final destination. While this won’t be the only trick you need to use to turn, it will help get you on the right track. Your body will automatically shift in your desired direction.

Beginners beware of poles

Though you may want to look the part of knowledgeable skier, poles are actually a bit of a hindrance for beginners – especially for children. When you’re still learning the basics, like stopping, turning, standing up straight, and so on, you do not want to worry about a couple of poles as well. For the first few lessons, or until you feel ready, skip the poles and stick to just your skis.

Discover the thrill of winters in Alaska with a high quality, snow-ready Alaska car rental from Avis.

There’s Nothing Bizarre About These Bazaars

Now that Halloween is almost behind us, excitement is brewing for the winter holidays. Maybe it’s because of the winter weather that has hit Alaska, or that bazaars have already begun, but the upcoming winter bazaars have got us charged for holiday shopping. With your Alaska car rentals you’ll be able to enjoy these holiday bazaars to their fullest, without having to miss out on purchasing all the goods you desire.

But don’t take just our word for it. Let us show you some of the bazaars that are available in Alaska this season.

The Holiday Food and Gift Festival

Taking place from November 7 to 8, the Holiday Food and Gift Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, so the only expenses you need to worry about are what you buy and the reasonably priced $1/hour parking in the garage for your Alaska car rentals.

This is the 28th year that the festival has been held, and offers both locally crafted goods and international imports. There are 120 vendors to peruse. Finish off the bazaar with a picture with Santa in Santa Land. Make sure to bring your own camera for this, though! You can find the bazaar at West Seventh Avenue and F Street in Anchorage, Alaska.

Bad Girls of the North’s Unique Boutique

Located at The Lakefront Anchorage in Anchorage and running from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 6 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, the Bad Girls of the North’s Unique Boutique offers a wide variety of locally made goods. There are great gift options including handmade jewelry, scarves and clothing, pottery, art and silk paintings, leather bags, and fleece hats to keep your loved ones warm. If you’re a culinary fiend, you’ll be thrilled to find handcrafted wooden cutting boards and gourmet food. Make sure to keep plenty of space free in your Alaska car rentals to load up on these delightful local artisanal gifts! This event has free admission.

Stop through Chugiak in your Alaska car rentals

If you’re driving through Chugiak on Saturday, November 7, why not make a stop at the Chugiak Elementary School Holiday Bazaar. Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 19932 Old Glenn Highway, you’ll get a good start on holiday gift shopping here. With upwards of 40 vendors from around Chugiak and nearby towns, you’ll be able to buy art, baked goods, wool gloves, hand-knitted products, and woodworking.

Also in Chugiak is the River of Life’s Fall Craft Fair and Bazaar at 21301 Voyles Blvd. The Bazaar is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 7. Available at the bazaar are baked goods, handcrafted products, and crafts.

The Christmas Towne Bazaar

If you’re headed back to Anchorage in your Alaska car rentals, make the time to stop by the Christmas Towne Bazaar. This incredible event is host to over 125 booths run by Alaska’s local artists and artisans. Shop around the bazaar for Alaskan fashions in clothing, jewelry, pet gifts, and quilted and hand sewn products. If you’re looking for gifts on the artsy side, there’s certainly no shortage of those! Discover the photography, décor, paper crafts, art, pottery, glass blown designs, and woodworking of Alaskan locals. All this shopping may make you hungry, so make sure to grab a few of the delicious foodstuffs available in the market.

Feeling charitable while you’re shopping? Stop by the Cookie Caper fundraiser to show your support and check out local music.

The Christmas Towne Bazaar is located at 13400 Elmore Road in Anchorage, and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday, November 7.

Alaska is a place of holiday cheer and beautiful handcrafted delights, as you’re soon to discover. Begin your holiday shopping in style when you book your Alaska car rentals with Avis.

Watch for Increased Fines in Your Alaska Car Rentals

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz plans to put down a heavy foot to reduce traffic violations and balance Anchorage’s budget. The new budget proposal would set heftier fines to particular traffic violations, often by as much as double the old fine. Berkowitz has chosen violations that are dangerous for drivers and pedestrians, hoping to discourage drivers from breaking laws that could harm themselves and others. Though the proposal has yet to be passed, you’ll need to remain aware of traffic laws before taking out your Alaska car rentals.

The proposal awaits another public hearing on November 10, 2015. Though some of the terms in the budget are controversial at this time, it’s possible that many of the revised traffic violation fees will be passed. If they do, you’ll want to be aware of them so you can avoid an expensive ticket in your Alaska car rentals.

For the safety of others

While it’s true that many of these changes are being made in order to balance the revenue gap in 2016, many are also reasonable reaches towards a safer Anchorage. For instance, drivers who fail to yield to a pedestrian currently only pay a $60 fine. If this proposal is passed, those same drivers will now be charged $100.

Other examples include an increased fine if you are driving your Alaska car rentals in the wrong direction in a roundabout from $75 to $150, and passing in a no-pass zone from $90 to $150. Speeding tickets are also boosted, with particular focus on speeding in school or construction zones, where the risk of danger to pedestrians is greatest.

Speeding tickets

Speeding tickets now have a much different range of fines than they did before. Rather than fining for every mile over, the fines will be set in place and escalate based on category.

For instance, for speeding between 3 mph and 9 mph over the limit you can be fined $8/mile. With Berkowitz’s new proposal, speeding between 1 and 10 mph over the limit will incur a $90 flat fee. For speeding between 11 and 20 mph will bring about a $180 fine, and $360 for 21 to 30 mph over. Beyond that, charges will gradually increase to as much as $1,200 for 40 mph over the speed limit. That’s a $400 increase from the current $800 fine of driving 40 mph over. Finally, drag racing will incur a $300 fee. Even though our Alaska car rentals are a thrill to drive, resist the urge to see just how fast they can go!

Other fines to be aware of

Though you have your Alaska car rentals, and it isn’t exactly the season for biking, you should also know that riding a bike on the sidewalk in downtown Anchorage would cause weightier fines under the new proposal. This law applies to skateboards, roller skates, and bicycles on a sidewalk or pedestrian path and will incur a $100 fine if the Berkowitz proposal passes. Currently the fine is only $60.

If you are caught operating a vehicle in violation of a provisional license, currently the fine is only $50. Under the new regulations, the fine will be doubled to $100. Again, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about in your Alaska car rentals, as long as only those who are in the rental contract are driving your vehicle.

The point of the proposal

The Berkowitz administration is estimating that the revenue just from the speeding fines under the new proposal will generate approximately $1.1 million. This will allow the administration to hire 20 more staff members in the police department as well as 10 more staff in the city’s fire departments, which means an increase in funding for police and fire academies. The budget as a whole is supposed to increase the budget by $5 million in 2016.

The budget is mainly aimed at increasing the overall security for residents and visitors of Anchorage. This means, however, that the Anchorage library system will lose some of its services, as will the Parks and Recreation Department.

Parts of the budget are certainly contentious but others could help out the city drastically. Keep to the rules of the road when taking your Alaska car rentals around town and you’ll be able to avoid trouble. To get your vacation started off on the right foot, reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis today.