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  1. #1

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    Is this a realistic travel/vacation plan?

    It seems I could take roughly 2 weeks vacation (may be a couple days extra, weekends included). I had made plans to go to Alaska this summer. Later I got very interested in going to Russia since I have never been there. It will be tough to make two separate vacations (although the leave will be approved)- I am thinking in terms of money and time.

    So here is what I am considering. Either go to Alaska first (from Arizona to either Anchorage or Fairbanks for sight seeing), then go to St. Petersburg from Fairbanks, See St. Pete and Moscow and return to either Fairbanks or Arizona (pick the cheaper fare)

    OR go to Russia first (from AZ), see the two big cities, and fly to either Fairbanks or Anchorage, AK and do Alaska sightseeing before flying back to AZ.

    On the map AK and Russia are not as close as I had first thought. So I don't know how realistic this plan is.

    For Russia I plan on taking an escorted tour. There are also tours that cover other eastern European countries along with Russia and that's attractive too, but I really want to see Alaska this year.

    Anyone has any experience with combinging trips like that? Or would I be better off making them separate trips?

  2. #2

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    I would think separate trips would be advisable ... most tours of Russia are close to two weeks. Also, St. Petersburg and Moscow are closer to Europe than to AK

  3. #3
    Mad for mangelwurzels
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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    Also, St. Petersburg and Moscow are closer to Europe than to AK
    They're in Europe.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by orientalplane View Post
    They're in Europe.


    There are 7 or 9 day tours of Russia, which would be very rushed but it could fit into my time frame. I would hate to wait until next year for either place. However, I may be better off going to Russia when I go to Germany next year (it's in the plan).

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    Wait, can't everybody in Alaska see Russia from their back yards?

    There may be Russian flights from Russia to Alaska, although from what little I know of traveling in Russia, Russian airlines' safety record hasn't been the best. I'd assume you'd have to transfer in Vladivostok, somewhere on the Kamchatka Peninsula, or somewhere else in Siberia, and more likely transfer one or more times within Russia, in order to get to St. Petersburg or Moscow. Ummm... yeah.

    Might be better to just fly from Anchorage to a U.S. connecting airport (likely Washington, Atlanta, Houston, New York, Los Angeles; possibly also Chicago or Minneapolis) that also has international service to Russia, preferably on the same airline, or the same alliance/codeshare arrangement, so that it's all in one itinerary/ticket. Most likely you'll have to connect twice in the U.S. to make a same-airline / same-alliance ticketing arrangement work.

    Edited to add: might be a better idea to explore parts of Canada you've never been to and wouldn't really want to go to if it wasn't the summer. Have heard a lot of good things about Deh Cho roadtrips:

    http://www.milepost.com/highway_info/deh_cho_route
    http://dehchotravel.ca/travel_planner/highways.php
    http://www.spectacularnwt.com/whatto...terfallsdehcho
    Last edited by UMBS Go Blue; 04-17-2013 at 09:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    Wait, can't everybody in Alaska see Russia from their back yards?
    Of course they can! But not anywhere in Russia anyone would want to go visit...

  7. #7
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    I think some of you might belong to the Flat Earth Society

    Anchorage to Moscow or St Petersburg isn't actually that far if the flight is over pole, and the rotation of the earth helps things some what. As the crow flies, the distance looks similar to Arizona to Nova Scotia.

    However, I don't think there's a lot of call for flights from Anchorage to western Russia, and thus a quick search on Expedia only turned up options that go back through the lower 48 and/or Europe with multiple connections and pricing well into the thousands.

    Conclusion? Two trips - pick one now, do the other one another time.

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    Depending on where in Germany you plan to go to next year and if you're willing to use one of the cheap airlines we have in Europe, you might be able to get a pretty cheap airfare to either Moscow or St. Petersburg. I guess it would not only save you money but also gives you more time to enjoy your travel. Alaska - Russia seems like a mammoth trip and you'd have a lot of air travel there with time changes and everything and you might end up going home again more exhausted than when you left. Moscow is 11 hours ahead of AZ if I'm not mistaken, no idea what it's relation is to Alaska but I think this is a big factor to consider in addition to everything else.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I think some of you might belong to the Flat Earth Society
    No, and a totally unnecessary comment at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Anchorage to Moscow or St Petersburg isn't actually that far if the flight is over pole, and the rotation of the earth helps things some what. As the crow flies, the distance looks similar to Arizona to Nova Scotia.
    Gee, thanks for the earthshattering insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    However, I don't think there's a lot of call for flights from Anchorage to western Russia, and thus a quick search on Expedia.
    Thanks for taking the time to do an extraneous search for something round-earthed people already know: that there just aren't any direct flights from Alaska to western Russia. Or, for that matter, from Russia to the mainland U.S.

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    I've been to both Alaska and Russia. I definitely would do separate trips. Two weeks isn't enough to adequately see both. And I definitely would want to see more than just St. Petersburg and Moscow if I were a planning a trip to that region. Not only other towns in Russia, but go to some of the Baltic states while you're in the region.

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    Alaska is VAST!!! It's one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states and stretches 3,000 miles east-to-west. To do it justice, spend your entire vacation there, with the possible addition of western B.C. You probably don't want to spend several days of your vacation on airplanes and changing time zones. I recommend taking the Denver-Anchorage nonstop flight as it's fairly short (5 hours) and is a bit more direct than the Seattle connections. You will need to decide what you really want to see. I recommend taking one of the Alaska Railway tours going from Seward to Fairbanks (or vice versa) - it's worth it to buy the more expensive seat in a vistadome car. You can stop en route to enjoy Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks. If you have time, take a boat trip from Seward to see the fiords and glaciers. Another fun excursion is to Kodiak Island where you can see grizzlies fishing for salmon. Everything takes time and you will want to spend several days in each place. If you go to Denali, take a scenic flight to see Mt. McKinley (Denali) above the clouds. Staying 2 nights at Kantishna (90 miles into the park via 13-hour school bus trip) will allow you to see an amazing array of wildlife. It's pricey but a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Another possibility is flying up there and then coming home on a cruise ship from Seward to Vancouver or Seattle. My brother did a 10-day trip where he flew into Fairbanks, traveled south on Alaska Railways to Seward, and then took a boat back to Seattle. It was a good way to see a lot of country.

    Having travelled to several countries in the other hemisphere, I have learned that it is better to spend the entire trip in one country (or one half of a big country) than it is to try and race to see everything in a couple of countries. When we went to New Zealand for a month, we decided to forego seeing Australia so that we could drive all 3,000 miles distance top-to-bottom in NZ. I think it was a good choice. Ditto for our trip to South Africa where we originally planned to start in Cape Town, travel up the East Coast, and end in Johannesburg. After realizing that we'd spend five 10-hour days driving in our car to get there, we changed our plans and just did one big loop in the southern half of the country.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip to Alaska, and and a great time in Russia on a different trip!

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    Frontier Airlines has a promotional sale going on for Denver-Fairbanks nonstop flights right now. I priced a one-way flight in June at only $188, which is really cheap! Full fares are often $700-1000 roundtrip. The other carriers with nonstop flights are United and Alaska Airlines.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to do an extraneous search for something round-earthed people already know: that there just aren't any direct flights from Alaska to western Russia. Or, for that matter, from Russia to the mainland U.S.
    I know that the earth is round, and I didn't know either of these things. I appreciate that Jenny did the research on the flights (or lack thereof) and I don't see any reason to snark on her for it.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    Wait, can't everybody in Alaska see Russia from their back yards?



    Edited to add: might be a better idea to explore parts of Canada you've never been to and wouldn't really want to go to if it wasn't the summer. Have heard a lot of good things about Deh Cho roadtrips:

    http://www.milepost.com/highway_info/deh_cho_route
    http://dehchotravel.ca/travel_planner/highways.php
    http://www.spectacularnwt.com/whatto...terfallsdehcho
    LOL. Actually the other end of Russia is very close to Alaska. When I looked at the globe at home, I was surprised. May be Palin was not all that wrong (only on that point). However, to make it to St.Petersburg it's a really long way. I will most probably make separate trips.

    It turns out I may visit Ukraine when I visit Russia this summer. A friend who is from Ukraine is going to be there around that time, so it will be convenient. She said there are good airfares from LA to Moscow, and Kiev is not too far from there if I fly. I can take a break and then visit Alaska for a week.

    Canada has many wonderful places but right now I want to get as far away as possible, and Russia seems perfect.

  15. #15
    Corgi Wrangler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    LOL. Actually the other end of Russia is very close to Alaska. When I looked at the globe at home, I was surprised. May be Palin was not all that wrong (only on that point).
    ...I think you mean Tina Fey. I mean, I'm sure Sarah Palin, like most people with at least a basic grasp of geography, know Alaska and Russia are close to each other, but Tina Fey's the one who said in-character that "I can see Russia from my house".

    And yes, Russia is VERY close to Alaska--EASTERN Russia, the part that's also very close to Japan (there are some islands that have switched back and forth between being Russian territory or Japanese.) St. Petersburg and Moscow, OTOH, are at the other end of this incredibly large country.

    I really think Russia and Alaska in one trip is going to be very rushed and shortchange both, even before adding a third country (Ukraine is not Russia). That's going to be hours and hours of travel time just getting places.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    ...I think you mean Tina Fey. I mean, I'm sure Sarah Palin, like most people with at least a basic grasp of geography, know Alaska and Russia are close to each other, but Tina Fey's the one who said in-character that "I can see Russia from my house".
    Palin actually made the comment about seeing Russia from Alaska first, it is what made Fey spoof it. Palin never said she could see Russia from where she lived though.

    During that appearance, interviewer Charles Gibson asked her what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia, and she responded: "They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska":

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/palin/seealaska.asp
    Russia is very large, as is Alaska. I can't imagine a single vacation would do either justice.

  17. #17

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    FWIW, I did Moscow and St Pete's in 8 days and it wasn't enough. Well...it was enough for Moscow, but probably not Saint P. I'd do 2 trips and consider the trans-siberian railway, taking in Saint P, Moscow and Lake Baikal
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I know that the earth is round, and I didn't know either of these things. I appreciate that Jenny did the research on the flights (or lack thereof) and I don't see any reason to snark on her for it.
    Tit for tat. Don't snark on people for being flat-earthed fools when you're the greater fool yourself.

  19. #19
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    Oh for heaven's sake - I was just having a little fun with it ala Sarah Palin and joking with myself as much as anyone else. We naturally imagine the world as a map on a wall - I had to go and check a globe to see if my guess about the distances was at all accurate before I posted because I was interested in the possibilities myself.

    I wasn't snarking, I didn't call anyone a fool (and I'm not one either thank you very much), and I think games of tit for tat are ridiculous when what we're all trying to do is help a fellow poster out who has asked for our advice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Oh for heaven's sake
    Then perhaps you should know that your posts often sound like you consider yourself intellectually superior.

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