Moving to Alaska: 20 Things To Know Before Moving | Moving Feedback (2023)

A lot of people have dreamed of leaving behind a life full of hustle and bustle to seek adventure and a more relaxed lifestyle. And in most cases, Alaska is one of the first places that come to mind.

Alaska is the country’s 49thstate and is popularly known for its natural beauty.

Alaska is on numerous bucket lists as a travel destination, but how does it feel to live there?If you are considering a move to Alaska, it will be so much helpful for you to know what to expect.

This article will point out 20 things you should know about relocating to Alaska.While some of these things are practical, some are a bit cheeky. We hope these will shed more light for people looking to move their lives over a thousand miles north to Alaska.

1. Everything in Alaska is Bigger

Although they say everything in Texas is big, also, everything in Alaska is even bigger. All thanks to the elongated summer sun, the vegetables here are the biggest compared to anywhere.

Denali, which was once known as Mount McKinley is the largest mountain located in North America. There is a joke that mosquitoes are the bird in the state, not only because they are many, but also because they are big. Is that not unique enough?

2. You will Never Fully Adapt to the Beauty of Alaska

Regardless of the duration of your living in Alaska, you will likely not joke with its natural beauty. Even the residents of many years are still amazed by the snow-covered mountains or pink alpenglow, or by a firewood field in full bloom.

Even if you are relocating to Alaska for a job and not because you love outdoor activities, you will still enjoy the state’s beauty.

3. Yes, you are Paid to Live Here!

Once you’ve lived in the state of Alaska for a whole year, and plan to stay permanently, you will qualify for the yearly Permanent Fund (PFD). Even though it changes per annum, the PFD payout was $1,600 in 2018.

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The fund was initially made to provide a share of oil revenues for the advantage of existing and future generations of Alaskans. PFD day is not a joke in Alaska. Even though many Alaskans stated that they spend it almost instantly, maybe you will be the uncommon resident who sets your own PFD for future use.

Moving to Alaska is for sure the only way to determine this.

4. The High Cost of Living Here is Something else

The cost of living in Alaska is on the high side. Partly, that is due to the shipping of many things at an expensive cost. Gas, utilities, internet, and many other things are much more here. Below are a few examples:

  • The rental price in Anchorage on average is about $1,100 and more than $1,200 for Fairbanks. It was discovered that if you are looking for a good rental in a safer location, you will spend almost $1,700 per month.
  • The average price of a home is$345,231.
  • We pay$150every month as our internet bill, and our plan is not even the best.
  • Each individual pay$15 to $22for a meal out.
  • A nice beer costs between$5 and $11
  • Our grocery bill is often more than$1000per month for two adults and one little child.

Even though the incomes are on the high side here, a family of four living on one average income can find Alaska very expensive.

Only a few things reduce the cost of living and they are the absence of sale tax for most parts of the state and no income tax. Also, hunting, fishing, and gardening are other factors.

5. After One Year of Living Here, you will not want to Relocate Anywhere Else

We believe that immediately you can survive your first winter and experience the dark and light in Alaska successfully, you will never want to move anywhere else.

Yes, some people leave and move somewhere else. But in reality, they usually eventually return to Alaska. There is just something about the air, friendly people, mountains, wide spaces, sky, and sea that captivates you. You are going to want to remain here.

6. You Have to Make a Small Effort to See the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are visible in Alaska but based on your exact location, you might be required to make an effort to see it. If you live in a city center like Anchorage where there is problem of light pollution, you might have to drive to a dark location outside the town to see the aurora borealis.

Usually, you will have to wake up early or stay up late to catch a glimpse of the lights. Regardless, it will be a worthy view.

7. Hawaii is a Common Winter Escape

Speaking of vacations, did you know that thousands of residents of Alaska often trek to Hawaii every year? There are even continuous flights from Anchorage to Honolulu every day. Ask any Alaskan that has lived here for some years and there is a possibility that they’ve been to one of the Hawaiian Islands.

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During the cold winter months, it is one of the quickest means of escape from a whitish landscape in favor of a warm ocean breeze.

8. The State Fair in Alaska is a Big Deal

The Alaska State Fair, held annually around Labor Day in Palmer, Alaska, is a big deal. Musicians from out of town come to perform outdoor concerts and vendors from every corner of the state come together to sell crafts, cook delicacies like salmon quesadillas, or display livestock. It is a widely-known event and certainly worth experiencing at least once after relocating to Alaska.

9. Roaming Bears are a Reality

The encounters with moose and bald eagle flybys are a real thing. This means that there is another meaning for the expression ‘getting closer with Mother Nature’ as a resident in Alaska.

Also, with living with the highest population of bears in the country, you will get to watch whales every season, including regular sightings of mountain goats, bison, wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep.

While you will experience the saying ‘they are afraid of you more than you are afraid of them’ in most cases, it would be wise to learn of bear safety before you relocate. Safety first, you know.

There are many great local businesses in Alaska. There are just much great local companies producing homemade products, furniture, and art. There is also a great food scene service Alaskan delicacies like halibut and chips or salmon chowder.

There are also many other nice food truck alternatives to consider like Russian specialties, Thai, bbq, Cajun, Vietnamese, and others.

11. The Swings in Daylight are Serious

Winter nights in Alaska are long and simmer nights are shorter. Based on your location in Alaska, you might notice the sun going down in the fall and rise in the spring. You can enjoy the great Midnight Sun in the summer, but you will have to deal with long, dark winter.

If you are susceptible to seasonal depression, it is a nice idea to make a plan for how you will survive after you move to Alaska.

12. There is a Great Amount of Native Heritage to See

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If you wish to understand Alaska totally, try to create time to go through its Native Heritage. You will find 227 nationally-recognized indigenous tribes in Alaska.

Begin your journey at the Alaska Native Heritage Center located in Anchorage, where you can familiarize yourself with the Alaskan culture of various First Nations inhabitants.

You also will find events that are sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Lastly, make sure you explore the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, which appreciates skills prized by Native cultures for many years, like the Eskimo Stick Pull and Four-Man Carry.

13. Wildlife Encounters are Popular in Alaska

You have to adapt to encounters with wildlife when you live in Alaska as you might have to pull over to allow a moose to cross the road, watch eagles soaring in the sky as you are on your way to friends, or notice of a bike trail. And when you enter into the wilderness to hike, kayak, and chase some outdoor activities, you stand a greater chance of seeing some of the greatest wildlife in the state.

14. You Might Want to Consider Buying a Light Therapy Box

Even though many festivals and events in Alaska celebrate their seasons, you will want to get yourself ready for the quick change in daylight that comes with them.

Although you will love the 24-hour sunlight in the summer months, the greater darkness experienced in winter has been reputed to pose the toughest on residents.

If you are susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you may need to buy a light therapy box. About 30 minutes of exposure can help get rid of some of the popular depression symptoms you might go through during winters in Alaska.

Alaska is located in a far distance. Since getting most things up here takes long or even not possible as the case may be, residents have to be creative. Duct tape is one common stable in the home and can be used to repair just anything.

Alaskans build their campers from wood instead of purchasing them. I always get thrilled by the number of creative fixes I see in replacement for things here.

16. Alcohol is Thoroughly Regulated

(Video) Maggie Rogers - Alaska

I’ve lived in three states and three countries, and have never seen a place with strict alcohol regulations as here. Well, only in Iceland, their drinking laws are also strict (maybe due to the cool and all-dark weather).

Beer and liquor are available only in designated stores and you must be at least 21 to enter (you will be allowed to enter with your kids though). There are cameras fixed outside most liquor stores and if your underage children are in the car, they might refuse to sell to you. If you just turned 21, you will be required to fill a form with all your information that will then be sent off and confirmed by the state. Go everywhere with your ID.

17. The Government is Easily Accessible

Alaska is a small state that you can even meet your state senator at the gym or run into the state governor on a flight to Juneau from Anchorage. If you are a politically active person, you might get surprised by how easy it is to access elected officials in Alaska.

18. People Consider the Weather for Dressing

You need not worry about keeping up with the latest fashion style after you relocate to Alaska. Residents often dress for the weather here, even if it means putting on hiking boots to a fancy bar or restaurant. That doesn’t mean you will have a small budget for clothing, though. Reliable boots, good parkas, and performance gear can all be expensive here.

19. Many Alaskans Can Fly

It is often popular for people to obtain a pilot’s license after relocating to Alaska. The sight of the state by air is fascinating and in some places, small planes, including floatplanes are important for getting around. You don’t necessarily have to be a pilot, you might just want to be comfortable flying in small planes. It will present you with more options to see and get around Alaska.

20. Moving here is Expensive

Relocating to Alaska is a very expensive task. If you have no moving company to move you up here, you may need to sell all your belongings or choose how to transport your belongings here.

You have the shipping of your items on a barge from Seattle, or transporting it up through Canada as an option. If you hire someone to transport your shipment to Alaska, the cost will be on the higher side.

If you go for aU-Haul rentalor any of thebest moving truck rental companies, you will spend a minimum of $4 to $6,000 for a four-day trip and a 20ft+ U-Haul. Include the time for flat tires and delays (which we experienced).


Now you already understand how easy you can move to Alaska through our tips, prepare your belongings, and cover everything that needs to be cover. We strongly hope that each of your worries about moving to Alaska has been solved here, thereby giving you all you need to know before your move to Alaska.Stay tuned for more informative posts on the page!

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What should I know before I move to Alaska? ›

8 Things to Know Before Moving to Alaska
  • You can get paid to live there. ...
  • The cost of living is high. ...
  • You can live off the grid. ...
  • There are extended periods of daylight and darkness. ...
  • Look out for wildlife. ...
  • There are places for city dwellers. ...
  • Jobs are plentiful. ...
  • Alaska has a lot of mosquitos.

Why moving to Alaska is a good idea? ›

Life is one big adventure in Alaska

Life in Alaska might be cold but, trust us, it's far from boring. With its spectacular natural beauty, endless recreational opportunities and abundance of wildlife, you can expect plenty of adventure in America's last frontier.

Why are people leaving Alaska? ›

Outmigration continues to exceed in-migration

Economists say the downward trend has been driven by economic conditions: Alaska's economy has been in a recession, while the economies of Lower 48 states have been performing much better. Even before the recession, the state's population had been flattening.

What are the cons of moving to Alaska? ›

Alaska also has some serious drawbacks you should understand.
  • The Midnight Sun. We discussed the marvel that is the midnight sun to those of us who live in the lower 48. ...
  • Long, Extremely Cold Winters. ...
  • Too Much Snow. ...
  • Nighttime Forever. ...
  • High Cost of Living. ...
  • High Gas Prices. ...
  • Disconnected from the Lower 48. ...
  • No Big City Life.
21 Jun 2021

How do I prepare to move to Alaska? ›

The checklist includes:
  1. Updating your address.
  2. Getting your Alaska driver's license.
  3. Registering your car.
  4. Getting a new car insurance policy for Alaska.
  5. Registering to vote.
  6. Getting health insurance.
  7. Getting the other insurance policies you may need.

What to expect living in Alaska? ›

13 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Alaska
  • #1: Roaming Bears Are a Real Thing. ...
  • #2: The Cost of Living Is High. ...
  • #3: It's True, You Get Paid to Live Here. ...
  • #4: Where You're Going, You Don't Need Road. ...
  • #5: Mark Your Calendar for the Alaska State Fair. ...
  • #6: And Don't Forget Fur Rondy! ...
  • #7.

What do Alaskans wear in the winter? ›

How do people dress for winter in Alaska? Alaskans dress in layers during wintertime. Lots of thermal base layers, fleece, down, and other waterproof and windproof gear.

Is life good in Alaska? ›

The entirety of the state has a very laid-back feel to it, so if you love an easy-going flow, then Alaska is one of the best places for you to live. However, if you love the bustling pace of New York, you might go a little stir crazy in Anchorage. Come summer solstice, Anchorage gets 19.5 hours of sunlight in a day.

Does Alaska have property tax? ›

Alaska is the only state in the United States where a large part of the land mass of the state is not subject to a property tax. Although property tax is the primary method of raising revenues for the majority of the larger municipalities in the state, smaller municipalities favor a sales tax.

Is housing cheap in Alaska? ›

In general, homes cost a little more in Alaska than in the rest of the U.S. According to, the state median home value is $385,000. This is a 10% increase from 2021 to 2022.

Where do most Alaskans move? ›

Topping the list is – no surprise – sunny California. In 2019, more than 5,000, or 10%, of Alaskans exiting the state, fled there. The move to the Golden State makes sense. Not only is the climate warmer, but it's on the same coast as Alaska, making for a relatively shorter move.

What is Alaska motto? ›

"North to the Future" - Our motto was chosen in 1967 during the Alaska Purchase Centennial and was created by Juneau newsman Richard Peter. The motto is meant to represent Alaska as a land of promise.

Where do most people live in Alaska? ›

More than half of the state's population lives in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks, with two-fifths in Anchorage alone.

How much money does it take to move to Alaska? ›

How much does it cost to move to Alaska? With so many variables there's no such thing as an average price to move to Alaska. But prices can range from a few thousand dollars to $20,000 or more when moving the contents of a 3 or 4-bedroom home with a full-service mover.

What clothes do you need to live in Alaska? ›

You've decided to take the leap and move to Alaska.
First, make sure you have the Alaskan Essentials:
  • A heavy winter coat.
  • Boots that will work in the snow and the mud.
  • Thermal underwear.
  • A couple of pairs of wool socks.
  • A high–quality winter hat.
  • Waterproof gloves.
21 May 2019

Should I buy a car before I move to Alaska? ›

There are a couple of reasons you might want to buy a car and ship it to Alaska: Vehicles sell at a premium in Alaska. Prices will often be lower in the lower 48.

What is the safest place to live in Alaska? ›

1. Haines. Alaska's safest city is located in the northern part of the panhandle near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. With only three reported violent crimes and 16 nonviolent crimes, it's easy to see how Haines makes the top of the list.

Is there an Amazon in Alaska? ›

Later today, Amazon's new gateway hub at Alaska's Fairbanks International Airport will receive its first delivery.

What's the warmest city in Alaska? ›

Although Sitka is the warmest place in the state, this city still receives snow during the winter season. If you want to visit Sitka, having a heads up about the winter can help you plan what month is best for you. Each month is different and will bring other weather conditions.

Is Alaska always cold? ›

It's Always Cold and Snowing

Many believe that Alaska only has two weather conditions: cold and freezing cold. Contrary to popular beliefs, Alaska is pretty warm in the winter season (May to September). Temperatures can warm-up from 70°F (21.1°C) to 100°F (37.8°C), depending on the location.

How long does it take to become a resident of Alaska? ›

415(a): "resident" means a person (including an alien) who is physically present in Alaska with the intent to remain indefinitely and make a home here, has maintained that person's domicile in Alaska for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding this application for a license, and is not claiming residency or ...

Can I move to Alaska without a job? ›

Employment. We do not recommend moving out of state alone, especially to Alaska, without having a job lined up. There are a lot of job opportunities available, but unless you have unlimited funds, having secure employment in place is a must before you make the move to Alaska.

How expensive is living in Alaska? ›

Average Cost of Living in Alaska: $48,739 per year

Data gathered by MERIC in the third quarter of 2021 ranked Alaska as the state with the seventh highest cost of living. (Hawaii had the highest cost of living in the whole country.)

What do locals wear in Alaska? ›

Hiking pants are really important, and pretty much all locals wear. You won't see many of us in jeans. I wouldn't bother bringing shorts with you, but you can get the zip-off convertible hiking pants if you want. I may wear shorts one or two days throughout the entire summer, so it's safe to say yours can stay at home.

What month is the coldest in Alaska? ›

The cold season lasts for 4.0 months, from November 6 to March 5, with an average daily high temperature below 32°F. The coldest month of the year in Anchorage is January, with an average low of 13°F and high of 24°F.

What boots do they wear in Alaska? ›

Xtratuf® Boots are the number one choice in Alaska. Fisherman won't even consider any other brand because of the comfort, grip and how long they last. These folks work 16 hours a day and wear rubber boots for months at a time, so they have to be good.

Does the ocean freeze in Alaska? ›

Some areas of the ocean are covered with sea ice all year, while in other areas sea ice is only present during the coldest months of the winter. The Bering Sea is an example of a region that only has sea ice during part of the year.

How cold does it get in Alaska? ›

Winter temperatures in Alaska range from 0°F / -18°C to -30°F / -35°C from November to March. Finally, while it can rain throughout Alaska's summer, May is often the driest month in Alaska and September is typically the wettest.

Is Alaska good for retirement? ›

Overall, Alaska is a pretty friendly place to retire, tax-wise. There's no state income tax in Alaska. If you decide to pick up a job, you'll enjoy an instant boost in your paycheck.

At what age do you stop paying property taxes in Alaska? ›

Alaska exempts from property taxes the first $150,000 of assessed value for all senior citizens (65 years of age and over) and disabled veterans (50% or more service connected disability).

What taxes do Alaskans pay? ›

How does Alaska's tax code compare? Alaska does not have an individual income tax. Alaska has a 2.0 to 9.40 percent corporate income tax rate. Alaska does not have a state sales tax, but has a max local sales tax rate of 7.50 percent and an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 1.76 percent.

What state has no income tax? ›

Only eight states have no personal income tax:
  • Wyoming.
  • Washington.
  • Texas.
  • Tennessee.
  • South Dakota.
  • Nevada.
  • Florida.
  • Alaska.
7 Sept 2022

What is Alaska minimum wage? ›

The minimum wage shall be $10.34 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2021, calculated by multiplying all hours worked in the pay period by $10.34.

Are groceries expensive in Alaska? ›

When it comes to food prices, Anchorage is one of the most affordable cities in the state; milk costs around $4 per gallon, and a loaf of bread will cost you $3.38. On average, the minimum grocery bill for one person in Alaska is estimated to be $451.71, compared to the national average of $323.72.

What is the cheapest city in Alaska to live in? ›

King Cove is possibly the cheapest place to live in Alaska, with a cost of living of just over 4.1% over the national average. In fact, the cost of living here is well below the Alaskan average — 12% lower, to be exact.

How much do you get paid for moving to Alaska? ›

Alaska's incentive program dates back to 1976, and it's called the Permanent Fund Dividend. How much do you get paid to live in Alaska, though? In the past, citizens have qualified for up to $1,600 for simply living in Alaska, and in 2021 the amount was $1,114.

Can I move to Alaska without a job? ›

Employment. We do not recommend moving out of state alone, especially to Alaska, without having a job lined up. There are a lot of job opportunities available, but unless you have unlimited funds, having secure employment in place is a must before you make the move to Alaska.

Is it expensive to live in Alaska? ›

Unfortunately, Alaska is also known for being one of the most expensive states. As of January 2021, the cost of living in Alaska was 24.09% higher than the national average.

How much does it cost to relocate to Alaska? ›

How much does it cost to move to Alaska? With so many variables there's no such thing as an average price to move to Alaska. But prices can range from a few thousand dollars to $20,000 or more when moving the contents of a 3 or 4-bedroom home with a full-service mover.

What is the cheapest city to live in Alaska? ›

King Cove is possibly the cheapest place to live in Alaska, with a cost of living of just over 4.1% over the national average. In fact, the cost of living here is well below the Alaskan average — 12% lower, to be exact.

Do Alaskans pay taxes? ›

Alaska has a 2.0 to 9.40 percent corporate income tax rate. Alaska does not have a state sales tax, but has a max local sales tax rate of 7.50 percent and an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 1.76 percent. Alaska's tax system ranks 3rd overall on our 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index.

What jobs are most in demand in Alaska? ›

Some of the most in-demand jobs in Alaska that provide acceptable pay include construction managers, operation managers, chemical engineers, dental hygienists, and petroleum engineering and commercial driving jobs.

What is the highest paying job in Alaska? ›

Yet Alaska's highest-paying job — general surgeons — pays an average of $336,900 a year, placing Alaska at No. 42 out of 50 other states in terms of salary for the same job.

Is it hard to get a job in Alaska? ›

Alaska has adequate numbers of qualified people to fill most jobs. A Caution: Exercise caution when you see books or ads that guarantee "big money jobs" in Alaska. Many simply offer names of companies and require you to find your own job.

How much is gas in Alaska? ›

State Gas Price Averages
47 more rows

How much is a loaf of bread in Alaska? ›

The Cost of Living in Alaska
ItemCost in SeattleCost in Nome
Apples$1.69 / lb.$5.99 / lb.
Tomatoes$1.79 / lb.$5.49 / lb.
Large bread loaf$1.25$2.59
12 large eggs$2.29$3.79
4 more rows
4 Apr 2016

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Alaska? ›

Typical Expenses
0 Children2 Children
Required annual income after taxes$29,933$65,157
Annual taxes$4,853$10,563
Required annual income before taxes$34,786$75,720
7 more rows

How expensive are groceries in Alaska? ›

This amount varies across the country, however. In Alaska, a family of four can expect to spend an average of $9,419 on food in 2022, the 21st lowest amount among states, according to the EPI's Family Budget Calculator.

How much is a Big Mac in Alaska? ›

The average Big Mac costs $3.99. If you make it a value meal it will set you back $5.99. But how much you pay will vary dramatically based on where you live.
How Much A Big Mac Costs In Every State.
46 more rows
5 Sept 2022

How much is the average house in Alaska? ›

Housing Costs in Alaska

The median sales price was $335,000 in October 2021, Redfin reported.


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