Alaska FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Our private trips can accommodate groups as small as 4 people and as large as 50+. Reduced pricing applies for groups larger than 10 people.
Each group traveling to Alaska with Thirst Missions will be partnered with a local church. We believe the local church is God’s biblical design and want each team to be an encouragement to the church partner. Our church partners are small but healthy churches doing God’s work in difficult conditions.
Yes! Even though there is a lot of poverty and need in Alaska, and it’s a long ways away, it is one of our 50 states! Great health care and modern conveniences are only a short drive away most of the time. We have staff members guiding the trip and are experts when it comes to local knowledge and ministry leadership. Safety is our #1 priority on all trips, and it’s not just lip service, we practice what we preach.
Every year we work with a wide variety of denominations from teams in the US and Canada and our base of church partners in Alaska is varied as well. We strive to match the team with an appropriate church partner. All churches are vetted ahead of time and sign a statement of faith. Please see our Statement of Faith for more details.
Our trips are a minimum of six days/five nights, but you are able to add additional days to your trip for an added cost. Travel days are included in the total number of trip days.
Though it’s 3,000+ miles away from the continental United States, Alaska is part of the US and no special precautions need to be taken in the form of immunizations or prescriptions. The greater concern is to dress appropriately considering the wide variability of summers in south central Alaska, which can range from 45 degrees up to 85 degrees and see frequent short rainy spells.
If you’re traveling from the United States to Alaska you only need a driver’s license. For adults traveling with minors who are not their children (i.e. youth leaders and youth groups), it’s a good idea to have the youth bring whatever ID they can along with a letter of consent to travel that is signed by both parents. If you’re traveling from Canada (or elsewhere in the world), bring a passport.
No, but the cost per person/day is all-inclusive from the time you arrive in Alaska until you depart.
Airfares vary too greatly to include in the trip cost. Each group is responsible for booking their own flights that arrive within a reasonable timeframe so as to be ready at our pickup times and on the exact trips dates registered for. We have a travel agent we work closely with if you’d like help booking your flights.
While Alaska is in the United States and many cell plans will have at least some coverage, we strongly discourage trip participants from calling, texting, going online, or on social media on their phones during the trip. Most people use their phone as their main camera, and that’s fine – just put it in airplane mode.
The ministry and relationships built when putting our personal devices down is eye-opening. Our philosophy is no news is good news. We encourage each group leader to post trip updates and send pictures back home on behalf of each group. In addition we post pictures every day from every trip on our Facebook page at facebook.com/thirstmissions. In the case of emergencies we have open and direct lines of immediate communication on every trip.
There is a section on the Individual Registration form each person fills out prior to the trip in which these needs can be listed. We read these over thoroughly and pass them along to our cooks. The food on our trips is plentiful and amazing!
We do our very best to accommodate all diets and diet restrictions, but please realize we are in a different culture without all the options we have back home. Feel free to bring supplemental food options with you if this will ease the anxiety of not knowing if there will be food which fit your tastes or diet.
Each group leader will have a missions consultant from Thirst Missions assigned who will go through ministry opportunities in detail. All group leaders have scheduled conference calls to discuss the trip and are welcome to contact their trip consultants about any other questions that arise.
On-location transportation is not included in the price of the mission trip. Feel free to book your own team’s vans, SUVs, or other transport. If you’d like Thirst Mission to arrange transportation, we’d be glad to do so for $15/person/day.
Ministry materials are up to the teams to provide. Examples would be curriculum for VBS, sports equipment for sports outreach, and so on. Alaskan churches will have some resources that the group can use on a case-by-case basis. Most ministries require little in the way of materials. You can ask your missions consultant about suggestions for materials and ministry plans.
$40 per person will be set aside by Thirst Missions toward construction costs. Your missions consultant will give you some project and cost options—if you want to stay within the funds set aside you can, or if you’d like to do a larger project you can donate extra. All the money for supplies will be used to purchase materials which will be onsite when the group arrives.
Besides your trip cost, the only things you’ll need money for are souvenirs, church offerings, extra snacks, and money for meals at the airport.
Payment and reservations for upgraded recreation are made by your team before your time in Alaska. Please work with your Thirst Missions Consultant or Trip leader to confirm your specific reservation.
The food provided will, for the most part, be food Americans and Canadians are quite familiar with. We’ll have healthy breakfasts provided in the guest house, lunch most days will be a bagged lunch on the go, and dinners will be hearty meals served at the guest house, at the church, or at a local restaurant.
Yes! You can use Facebook and Instagram or email, call, or text just like you do with your friends back home. Staying in touch with new friends in Alaska is such a blessing and benefit to going and serving.