Should you hire an Aurora Tour Guide?

quiz: should you hire a tour guide or do it yourself?

This quiz will help you think about what you want to do, rather than tell you what to do.

Should you hire an aurora tour professional or do it yourself?
Let’s find out!

Questions and their answers are in random order.

#1. Are you traveling with children under 12?

#2. Are you aware that there are wild animals in the wilderness, such as bear, lynx, moose, porcupine, and caribou?

#3. How long are you visiting the aurora zone?

#4. Are you able to take your own photo under the aurora or night sky?

#5. Do you require indoor facilities when nature calls?

#6. Are you interested in doing an activity at night, such as ice fishing, dog sled rides, or bonfires?

#7. Do you enjoy the company of other people?

#8. Do you have plans in the morning 6am-noon?

#9. Which sounds like the best plan for you?

#10. Are you relying on hotel staff or bnb owner to wake you up if the aurora is out? ? (not that there is anything wrong with that)

#11. Are you on a budget?

#12. While waiting for the aurora to come out, will you be...

Select all that apply:

#13. Did you bring full winter gear? ? If traveling during winter

#14. Do you need photography or camera help for night sky photos?

#15. Are you comfortable driving into the night with spotty or no cell phone service?

#16. Are you interested in learning about the science of the aurora?

#17. What is your plan each night?

Select all that apply:

#18. Did you get enough sleep the night before, or nap the same day you plan on seeing aurora?

#19. Can you read space weather data and be able to tell if the aurora should be out?

#20. Do you like going to special spots/views for watching or photography or do you just want to see the lights (any location ok)?

Select all that apply:

#21. What is your plan if you have car trouble or stuck in a ditch?

Select all that apply:

#22. Are you skilled or comfortable with driving on icy roads?

finish

Results

You have the knowledge and ability to drive yourself to see the aurora. The most important part is to be safe. Read the space weather, adjust your eyes, and respect other people (and their tripods and long exposures) while out at your secret spot. The best advice is to be patient. You can do it! You will have fun! This quiz was intended to help you think, and not for what you should do. Even professional photographers and skilled drivers enjoy taking tours or visiting a lodge. Decide what kind of experience sounds good to you.

You may consider hiring a guide at least for one of the nights you will be looking for aurora. You will have peace of mind driving on the ice, staying warm, and know you are with a professional who can understand and interpret the space weather data.

Another idea is to stay at or visit a place with a viewing area (indoor or out).

Both choices, you will learn how to read the forecast, where and when to go, and how to get a great photo. Enjoy refreshments and with some having indoor facilities.

Each guide / company is different, so do a little research on what would be the best place for you.

You will have fun!

This quiz was intended to help you think, and not for what you should do. Even professional photographers and skilled drivers enjoy taking tours or visiting a lodge. Decide what kind of experience sounds good to you.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Aurora has been in my bucket list. I would NEVER drive in ALASKA to chase and watch Aurora. And am pretty sure I will not do it by myself.I was hoping that you have a group I could join (just like a group tour) and go with them wherever they go. That is what my idea or hiring a guide but not alone by myself. Thanks for the FYI.

  2. I’m pretty sure I won’t try it all on my own again. Although we did stay at the base camp, we only had one night with very little activity. I’m guessing a tour guide will find us the lights, or give us another chance the next night! Thanks for all the advice. There’s nothing better than counting on an expert!

  3. Really important things to consider not all would think of. This would be my 2nd year so probably more realistic with answers.
    PS Amy you probably saved some folks from getting in serious trouble!

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