This summer on the blog we’re featuring interviews and discussions with our guests on how their trips went: where they took their vans, what they saw, what the highlights and challenges were while they were on the road, in our continuing series How They Got Lost. Read about the real trips that different travelers took in their travel vans.

In this second installment, we’re featuring Sarah & Brian, who rented a van from us in late May and took it from Seward to Denali and back. After they returned the van, they were also happy to share a little bit via email about where they went and what they did, to inspire others and reminisce about the highlights of their amazing trip.

(I did edit the responses slightly – just enough to fit in with the flow of the narrative.)

Here’s Sarah:


Give us a brief overview of your itinerary:

We picked up the van and – guided by the wonderful Milepost travel guide – we headed for Seward. After a few days enjoying the Mermaid Festival, we drove through the Anton Anderson tunnel for a detour to Whittier. We made a pit stop in Anchorage to watch the Game of Thrones finale, then headed up for several days in Denali National Park.

What were the highlights of your trip?

We loved Seward! We didn’t know the Mermaid Festival was happening and it was such a fun surprise to mix a local tradition with our camping trip. We also loved our wildlife viewing throughout Alaska. We saw plenty of bald eagles and moose from the van, but also took a boat ride into the Kenai Fjords National Park and took the shuttle bus in Denali.

Were there any unexpected challenges to deal with? How did you manage to overcome them?

We were traveling early enough in the season that there wasn’t potable water in most of the campgrounds we stayed in. Luckily, the tank on the van was plenty full, and we were able to use non-potable water in our campsites to put out our nightly campfires.

What advice or tips do you have for other travelers who might want to do something similar?

Get the Milepost. It was helpful with gas station information, and directions when there wasn’t good cell service. But more than that, it was a super fun thing to read on the road.

What memory from your trip will you take with you forever?

In Seward we stayed in a campground right on the water. The first morning, as we ate breakfast at the picnic table in our site, I happened to glance out at the bay and see a whale spouting water. We took our coffee down to the shore and spent the morning whale watching. Never in my life did I think I’d be watching whales from a campground. Only in Alaska.


Thanks for renting a travel van, Sarah and Brian! We wish you well on your future camping adventures!

And if you’re thinking about following in their footsteps, it’s easy! Book your van now, and you’ll soon be on your way! Follow the How They Got Lost series on this blog for more on the places you can go in a travel van.

All photos © Sarah Ruttinger. Follow her adventures on Instagram!