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Things to Know Before Moving to Alaska

The beauty and urge to escape calls many people to Alaska. However, you need to know what it takes to move there and where the best places are to live.
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Things to Know Before Moving to Alaska
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Moving to Alaska is an exotic dream for many people, but carrying out that dream is difficult. However, reading this guide about what to know before moving to Alaska will pave the way to move there and live out your Alaskan dream.

Moving to this northernmost state will take special planning since it is so far away from the from the lower 48 states. Plenty of out-of-state movers will take on the move, but you’ll want to be sure they have the right credentials. Find out about hiring movers for an Alaska relocation and more with our guide.

Is it Possible to Hire a Moving Company to Go to Alaska?

Yes, most qualified interstate or long-distance moving companies will load and drive your possessions to Alaska but it could be an expensive trip. To move a three- or four-bedroom household can be as much as $20,000 with some full-service moving companies.

The costs of moving include the distance you’re going or mileage, the number of trucks you’ll be using, and optional services necessary for safely moving the belongings. There are other ways to move your stuff that you might want to consider. They include renting a truck and moving or getting a container from a moving company that you pack, and ship to Alaska.

Which Credentials do Moving Company Drivers Need for Going to Alaska?

Since they will need to cross the border into Canada, commercial movers must have a:

  • Valid Passport
  • FAST Card
  • Department of Transportation or DOT Number

A FAST card gives drivers from moving companies near you pre-clearance for customs to cross the US-Canadian border. It also allows them to use the FAST lanes at some entry points into Canada. Anyone crossing the border must have a valid passport even though they are only driving through the country.

The Higher Costs of Living in Alaska

The average cost of living is higher in Alaska than in the contiguous United States. It costs more to buy a house, healthcare costs are 31 percent above the national average, and food costs more. Even though Alaska is an oil-producing state, gasoline prices are higher too.

Unless you’re moving to the state to take a good job, you will want to factor in the cost of living in The Frontier State. A higher cost of living can easily break the bank unless you budget carefully.

The Expense of Living Off-Grid in Alaska

If you want to escape civilization by living off-grid, it’s not going to be cheap. The initial costs to live off-grid average from $80,000 to $300,000. However, living this lifestyle is popular in the state as approximately 200,000 families live off-grid.

The primary startup costs for living off-grid include:

  • Land and a house, usually a cabin
  • Getting a heat source
  • Stocking up on Food
  • Drilling a well for water
  • Gardening supplies
  • Transportation

A small car that works well in the lower 48 like a sedan probably won’t do well in an Alaskan winter on the tundra, so you will want to invest in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Also, some remote locations are far from civilization, so you will need to stock up on food and have a way to freeze and refrigerate it.

How Much Money Do Alaskans Get for Living There?

While you cannot get money for living in Alaska until you’ve been there a year, you will receive funds from the state’s oil royalties once you join the Alaska Permanent Fund. This fund requires people to live in the state for at least one year, be physically present for at least 185 days of the year, and not have any felony convictions.

People registered with the fund received payments of $1,606 in 2019 and $962 in 2020. Every member of the family will receive the payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Biggest Cities in Alaska?

Not everyone moves up north to live off-grid. If you’re a city dweller, the main cities in Alaska may be smaller than those you’ve lived in in the past. The top three cities are Anchorage, which has a population of 298.695. Juneau, the capital of Alaska, with 32,765 people living there and Fairbanks has a population of 32,325.

How Far is Alaska from the Canadian Border?

The Alaska Highway begins in British Columbia and ends in Alaska and is 1,387 miles long. Driving that distance can take 23 hours and 20 minutes to go straight through. Your car or truck will need to average 60 miles per hour to reach Alaska in that time. Fortunately, the speed limits on the highway range from 55 to 65 mph.

When is the Best Time of Year to Move to Alaska?

The summertime is the best time for moving to Alaska. You won’t need to worry about harsh winter winds in Canada and Alaska or below-freezing temperatures. During the summer the sun shines 24 hours a day so you can easily see what’s on the road at midnight without needing to shine any lights.

What is there to Do in Alaska?

During the winter months, sports are very popular. Alaskans like to be outside skiing or playing on hockey teams, ice skating, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. There are several festivals and events during the winter months too.

The annual Fur Rendezvous, or Rondy for short, takes place 10 days before the Iditarod race. There is also the Slush Cup, the Iron Dog snowmachine race, and the end of winter celebration called the Arctic Man.

Is it Difficult to Get Goods to Alaska?

It can be tough to get items shipped to an address in this northernmost state. While Amazon and Walmart may ship household items to Alaska, many other companies do not. Shipping goods can get expensive, which is why only the mega conglomerates ship their products to this state.

Learn About Your New Community

Before moving anywhere, you’ll want to study the city or town to which you’re moving. If you’re planning an Alaska move, carefully budget your money and plan to pay more than you thought. If you like being outside, Alaska may be the perfect place for you and your family. However, research the state so that you know what you’re getting into by moving there.

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