Moving to Alaska: How Much Does It Cost?
Unfortunately even though moving is an incredibly exciting adventure, it does come at a cost. So, to start off with a not-so-fun topic we all wish we could avoid, it’s important that you’re well informed about the costs associated with a move to Alaska. Generally speaking, there are quite a few factors that can influence your total moving costs. However, the ones that hold most weight are the distance and the size of your move.
Tip!: Not sure how to calculate the size of your move? Our trusty moving space calculator can assist you on that!
Moving to Alaska from the East Coast
To help you get a better idea of what to expect, we summarized the average moving costs for full-service move of different household sizes from the East Coast of the United States to the most populated cities in Alaska.
|Fairbanks||$5,465 – $7,786||$7,786 – $10,056||$12,134 – $16,469|
|Juneau||$5,149 – $7,318||$7,318 – $9,445||$11,398 – $15,468|
|Anchorage||$5,544 – $7,904||$7,904 – $10,208||$12,318 – $16,719|
Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure and service rates of the company.
Moving to Alaska from the West Coast
Moving from the West Coast instead? Don’t worry, we got you! Below you can find a list the average moving costs for full-service move of different household sizes from the West Coast of the United States to the most populated cities in Alaska.
|Anchorage||$4,688 – $6,634||$6,634 – $8,551||$10,315 – $13,988|
|Fairbanks||$4,767 – $6,751||$6,751 – $8,704||$10,499 – $14,238|
|Juneau||$4,293 – $6,049||$6,049 – $7,788||$9,395 – $12,737|
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure and service rates of the company.
Since moving costs are probably one of the hardest things to determine on the spot, our pro tip is that you request moving quotes as soon as possible. This is truly the only way you will be able to get accurate estimates on how much a move to Alaska will cost you!
How to Move to Alaska: Checklist
Are you up for a challenge? Try remembering every little thing that needs to be done prior, during, and after a move to Alaska. Even though we believe you will definitely excel at this, we would love to give you an extra hand (just in case!). The infographic below summarizes four main points you cannot miss when planning your move to Alaska!
Tip!: Looking for a longer and more detailed checklist to assist you throughout the entire moving process? Look no further, our handy national moving checklist is here to help.
Living Costs in Alaska
Before moving to Alaska, it’s important that you’re well aware of the living costs in the state. Good news is that, even though Alaska falls within the 10 most expensive states to live in, it luckily isn’t as pricey as other states in the mainland like California or New York –phew.
To give you a better idea of what to expect, we’ve broken down the costs of living in Alaska into four categories: housing, food and groceries, transportation and leisure.
To rent or buy? That is the question. Like in any state, housing costs will vary depending on the city or town you choose to live in. However, the prices generally don’t drastically differ from one another. Below you can find the average monthly rent and median home values across multiple cities in Alaska.
|Location||Average Monthly Rent||Median Home Value|
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that the costs shown above are mere estimates. These rent prices will vary depending on the property characteristics.
Food and Groceries
Is cooking one of your passions? If yes (and even if not, because we all have to eat to survive), then this section is for you. As you might expect, your grocery expenses will be higher or lower depending on the city you choose to move to. In urban locations grocery prices are 11% below state average, while on rural areas prices are 31% higher than average. But, don’t be scared! You will still be able to enjoy the famous Alaskan wild salmon without having to spend half of your salary on it. 😉
To illustrate this better, below we provide you with a rough estimate of how much common grocery items cost in Alaska.
|Carton of 12 eggs||$3.73|
|1qt. of milk||$1.09|
|Loaf of bread||$2.21|
|16 oz. of cheese||$8|
|2 lb. of tomatoes||$5.18|
|1 lb. of chicken||$5.12|
It’s important to treat yourself every now and then. So, when it comes to eating out in Alaska, you can expect dinner costs to be around $16 to $20 per person. Usually, breakfast and lunch prices are a bit below dinner costs.
When it comes to public transport, Alaska has your back. Luckily, the Last Frontier offers a comprehensive transportation system for its residents. So if you’re moving to Alaska without a car, you’ll be well covered! For a 5-mile taxi ride, costs are around $20 to $25. In terms of bus fares, you can expect the following:
- $2 for a regular one-way ticket;
- $5 for a day pass;
- $26 for a week pass;
- $60 for a 30-day pass.
In case taking your vehicle with you is something you’re considering, it’s important to know that shipping a vehicle to Alaska can cost between $1,000 and $1,400. You can expect gas prices to be between $2.15 and $2.40 per gallon across Alaska.
If you’re planning on making Alaska your forever home, you’re bound to be curious about the average cost of entertainment activities. Luckily, some activities like viewing the beautiful Northern Lights and visiting the famous glaciers are free of charge. However, for those plans that unfortunately require a little bit of money you can expect the following costs.
|Dinner for two||$48|
|Cappuccino at a local coffee place||$5.50|
|Ticket to the Aurora Ice Museum||$15|
|Two movie tickets||$26|
|Season pass to Eaglecrest Ski Area||$499|
|Monthly gym membership||$76|
Taxes in Alaska
Want to hear some good news? Alaska is one of the few states in the United States which doesn’t collect income tax nor sales tax –making it an appealing place to live to many (yay!). Unfortunately we can never escape taxes entirely, so keep in mind that local jurisdictions and cities impose local sales taxes.
Tip!: Need more information regarding the taxing system in Alaska? Take a look at the Alaska Taxable, which provides a comprehensive overview of the tax collection regulations for each community along with their respective tax rates.
Working in Alaska
Compared to the national average of 4.4, Alaska currently has an unemployment rate of 5.6%. Usually, Alaska has a higher unemployment rate relative to the national average due to the way that it’s seasonally adjusted. Meaning, a lot of job offerings depend on the season. During the summer, the number of jobs offered increases and thus the unemployment rate falls. The opposite holds during the winter season.
If you’re moving to Alaska without a job, we recommend the following job-seeking platforms:
- Classified ads on daily newspapers.
Healthcare in Alaska
Unfortunate news –healthcare costs in Alaska are quite steep. However, like in any state, you’re allowed to apply to Medicaid, the federal service that provides health coverage and long-term care services for low-income residents. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is eligible for this service. So, it’s important that you take a look at the official eligibility requirements to assess your status.
Medicaid covers some basic medical expenses in all states, but it’s up to each individual state to determine what extra coverage they want to offer its residents. In case you have specific medical requirements not covered by the state of Alaska, we recommend that you look into taking out a private health insurance.
How to Move to Alaska with Pets
Of course, you cannot perform a move to Alaska and leave your furry friend behind. Besides getting your pet a nice and cozy jacket for the cold months, there are certain requirements you must make sure your pet meets:
- Rabies vaccinations (2 shots – 30 days apart);
- Rabies OIE-FAVN blood test;
- Health certificate issued within 30 days of import.
Tip!: If you need further information checking out the website of Alaska’s Division of Environmental Health might be of great help!
Did You Know…?
- The Northern Lights can be seen in Fairbanks, Alaska 243 days a year —you’re definitely in for a beautiful sight!;
- The town of Talkeetna once had a cat (yes, you read that correctly, a cat) as a mayor for 20 years;
- There is 1 bear for every 21 residents in Alaska —cute… but from afar!;
- Russia is so close to Alaska that you could technically swim to it —the water is probably freezing, so we don’t particularly recommend this.
We hope this article managed to give you good insights on what to expect when it comes to a move to the Last Frontier. Just in case you might still need an extra hand, the pages linked below might be of great help. Good luck during your move!