Moving to Alaska
How to move to Alaska
So you’ve decided to move to Alaska. You may be dreaming of the breathtaking sights and the new possibilities, but before planning out life in the Last Frontier, start with planning your move. Even if you’ve completed a long distance move before, moving to Alaska can be an entirely different experience. The distance, terrain and weather can make moving a bit more challenging. Dive into this guide to learn all about moving to and living in Alaska so you can plan your adventure.
Moving to Alaska guide
Places to live
Alaska covers a lot of ground. It’s twice as big as Texas, but it’s the least densely populated state in the country, with an average of less than two people per square mile. Unless you’re looking to move to a remote location, most moving companies can get to just about any town without major issues. Learn more about living in Alaska by exploring what popular spots such as Anchorage and Fairbanks are like.
How to get there
Getting yourself and your belongings to Alaska are two different things. For traveling yourself, you can drive (which means crossing through Canada, and weather can be an issue depending on the time of year), fly (the fastest option, but will require shipping personal vehicles) or sail (the Alaska Marine Highway travels from Bellingham, WA to several port communities).
Note: Unless you’re traveling through Canada, you won’t need a passport to move to Alaska from the lower 48.
When it comes to getting your household goods and furniture to Alaska, you also have three options: full-service movers, a rental truck or a self-moving service. Full-service is typically the most expensive way to move, and that can be especially true when you’re looking at moving such a long distance. However, driving a rental truck to Alaska can be strenuous (and potentially dangerous in severe weather). Instead, you may consider a self-moving service that combines the convenience of full-service with the affordability of a rental truck.
Moving with U-Pack — the cheapest way to move
U-Pack is one of the fastest, easiest and most affordable ways to move to Alaska. It’s a “you pack, we drive” self-moving service that works like this:
- We bring the moving equipment to your home (or you can load at a service center).
- You get it for three business days to load, and then we take care of transportation.
- The shipment travels to Tacoma, WA and then sets sail for Anchorage.
- From Anchorage, the shipment will be delivered (to a service center or to your door).
- You have three business days for unloading and then we pick up the empty equipment.
Shipments sail out of Tacoma twice per week, so transit times average 8-15 business days, depending on where you’re moving from.
Moving rates are based on a number of factors (where you’re moving to/from, how much you’re moving, when you’re moving), and because of these factors, prices will vary. The best way to determine how much your move to Alaska would cost is to get a moving quote — many find it a great value because of what’s included (moving equipment, fuel, transportation, taxes and liability coverage).
Shipping containers and moving equipment
Learn more about each type of equipment:
- The 28 ft. trailer can be delivered to most major Alaskan cities (and some small ones), and military bases like JBER (Fort Richardson and Elmendorf AFB), Fort Wainwright, Fort Greely and Eielson AFB. With the trailer, you pay only for the space you use (down to a 5 ft. minimum), making it a great option for small and large moves.
- The ReloCube, or CubeTM, is best for smaller moves and moves that don’t require door delivery (you can save up to $300 by unloading at the terminal). One 6’ x 7’ x 8’ container holds a single room of furnishings. Reserve as many Cubes as you want and only pay for the ones you use.
- The ocean container is ideal for large moves. It can be delivered door-to-door in many areas where the trailer isn’t able to go. Unlike the trailer, the cost for a 40’ ocean container is on a “per container” basis.
Need help choosing the right equipment? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
Doing a Personally Procured Move (or PPM) with U-Pack is essentially the same as doing a civilian move (though you’ll need empty and full weight tickets for reimbursement, and we can provide them). Check out this guide for PCSing to Alaska for more details.
Motorcycles and snowmobiles
U-Pack can ship motorcycles, snowmobiles and other ATVs to Alaska, too. This type of equipment can be placed into a trailer, ReloCube or ocean container, as long as you drain the fluids before moving. Read more about moving motorcycles.
Though we don’t ship automobiles, we do refer customers with auto shipping needs to Mr. Car Shipper®. Contact them at 877-528-9627 for a quote.
Plan your move now!
Because of equipment availability and scheduling, it’s best to plan an Alaskan move early. We recommend booking 4-8 weeks in advance, especially for moves that require an ocean container. While we can handle last-minute moves, things go much more smoothly with a little planning.