Going to Alaska should definitely be on your bucket list if you love traveling with your family. But with today’s circumstances, booking a trip is risky and inconvenient. No matter how ready you are to pack your bags and go, the pandemic and health protocols can still impede you.

That’s not a reason to mope, though. You can still mimic a tour to Alaska without leaving your hometown. Consider the staycation experience your “warm-up” before actually going to the state. Your improvised itinerary may never be close to the real thing, but it’ll satisfy your desire to travel just the same.

Without further ado, here are some brilliant staycation ideas inspired by an Alaska tour:

  1. Hike in the Woods

Alaska is teeming with forests, wildlife areas, and parks. If your family is interested in hiking, bring them to the closest (and safest) woods in your area. Spring is a comfortable season for hiking, so you may not have to don several layers of clothing. Just keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for animals. The bears might be coming out of hibernation, so choose a trail where you won’t likely encounter them.

  1. Learn About Wildlife

If your family are inexperienced hikers, learning about wildlife before going on a hike is necessary. It’s important to know how to react when you spot a bear, wolf, moose, or reindeer in the woods.

In Alaska, you can learn about wildlife at Kroschel Films Wildlife Center. It is a place where filmmaker and naturalist Steve Kroschel provides shelter to abandoned or orphaned wild animals from Alaska and Canada. The animals roam free, and you’ll be walking on a protected trail a safe distance away. Though you can mimic this experience by hiking, you may be in for some trouble if you’re clueless about wildlife yet. Not to mention there are no safety gear and equipment to protect you. Watch a film about wild animals first, and learn everything you need to learn before venturing out into the woods.

  1. Go on a Reindeer Forest

It’s totally fine if you can’t handle the risk of encountering wolves or bears in the woods. In that case, try finding a reindeer forest instead. You may even meet a cute chipmunk or two. Reindeer are conserved in Alaska, and they live freely in the Running Reindeer Ranch. However, they are untrained and often unpredictable, just like the ones you’ll encounter in your area’s forest. So don’t make any move that may provoke or terrify them.

  1. Play With Dogs, Especially Huskies

One of the most popular tourist spots in Alaska is the Husky Homestead. It a quaint log cabin that represents the Alaskan lifestyle, including the difficult side of it, and of course, the huskies.

Find an animal shelter near you and play with the puppies and dogs. Try to teach them tricks and commands, too. In Husky Homestead, the grown-up dogs are well-trained, so see if you have a dog whisperer in you by starting out with some cute shelter pups.

  1. Grill Salmon

The closest thing to a wonderful all-inclusive fishing trip to Alaska is grilling some fresh salmon in your backyard. Do it at night, so you can also build a fortress and go stargazing. The cool air can make you feel like you’re camping in an Alaskan forest.

  1. Visit a Garden

Your spring isn’t complete until you see the beautiful flowers blooming, especially the cherry blossoms. There’s surely a lush garden in your neighborhood or vicinity, so pay it a visit with your family, and enjoy the seasonal sight. Your stroll will be similar to a tour in the Jewell Gardens, a tourist spot in Alaska located in Garden City Glassworks. The garden showcases a beautiful flower and organic vegetable collection that thrives in Alaska.

  1. Visit a Historic Site

Be it a museum, a park, or a whole town, take your family on an educational, historic tour, so that you can mimic a trip to Sitka National Historic Park. It was the place where the battle between Russian traders and indigenous Tlingit tribespeople took place, known today as the Battle of Sitka.

A historical tour will teach your kids the importance of knowing their roots, and the hardships their ancestors had experienced. They may not appreciate history’s significance right away, but in time, they’ll thank you for the lessons!

These Alaska-inspired staycation activities may be simple, but no less special. In fact, they can spark your family’s excitement for a real Alaska tour even more. Indulge them in these “warm-up” activities, and watch them have the best time of their lives when you finally visit the state.