Alaska Prep


We’re headed to Alaska this summer on a Disney cruise, and while August is still a mere dream, an email last week reminded me that we could start booking shore excursions now.

The possibilities are almost overwhelming. Whale watching? Dog sledding? Salmon fishing? A helicopter trip to a glacier?

A deep dive into the reviews, offerings and a quick poll of the family gave us a shortlist of port adventures.

I think we’ve settled on a train trip, panning for gold, whale watching, salmon fishing and feasting (guys), and bear watching (girls). I’ve also got my eye on snagging a primo champagne brunch reservation for the grown-ups on the day that we slowly sail through Tracy Arm, a breathtaking fjord.

I’m also starting to think about packing.

I asked a lot of people I know who’ve been to Alaska for advice, and many suggested rain ponchos, bug spray, a waterproof backpack and binoculars for everyone in the family. We currently have one nice pair of binocs, but I see the value in getting even some extra collapsible cheapies for the times we’re split up.

I also want to take advantage of end-of-season sales to get some warm gear for the kids.

My son is the easiest to pack for; he wears whatever we bring with little fuss. Spouse is basically the same way, so after I made a quick packing list for MGM, I just copied it and added “suit and extra blazer” to make one for Spouse.

As for me, I want to bring stuff that’s appropriately rugged (and warm), but still with a lot of style. 

What’s on my short list:

jacket3 jecket2

I bought these jackets last fall, shortly after booking the Alaska trip (you have to do it so far in advance!), but I’ve kept them out of heavy rotation so far to keep them looking good.

The one on the left is the J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket, which is chic but sturdy (only downside: everyone else feels the same way; it’s ubiquitous), and the one on the right is from Athleta.

I went into Title Nine last weekend to check out a few things from their catalog, and I ended up getting a layering sweater in purple:


These Clamber pants also caught my eye, but I’m going to wait until a little closer to the trip to bite:



I love the fabric and I think these pants would be good for adventures off the boat (hiking) as well as to-and-fro-ing on the ship.

Everything I read also suggests bringing comfortable shoes. I think I’ll invest in some trail running shoes for hiking but plan for these to be my staple day pair, especially when we’re knocking around Vancouver, BC, for two days before sailing away.



What I’ll most certainly overpack is scarves. I have a zillion, I love to wear them, and nothing punches up a cold-weather outfit better, especially when you’re wearing the same coat over and over.

This new treasure is making the cut. The spots are neon pink. Love!


Photo from Evereve

One weird little thing: I hate taking ratty pajamas on a trip, so usually I get a few new pairs on sale for everyone in the family before we take off.

The cute PJ Salvage ones are on sale and right up my alley for a cold weather vacation:


I’m sure this list will continue to expand in the next few months… Can you tell I’m getting excited to go?











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