It's the middle of April, yet it is starting to feel like summer. For Alaskans, now is the perfect time to get out and do some of the things you've always talked about doing, yet haven't got around to, while saving some money in the process. 

Traditionally, the "peak" tourism season in Southcentral Alaska is the middle of May to the middle of September. This is when a majority of the tourists visit, and thus, availability can be an issue for certain activities and accommodations. Further, the peak season is also when you'll pay the peak prices. That's what makes this time so attractive for Alaskans - you can find bargains during the "shoulder" season of tourism.

Many tours offer Alaskan discounts during the early spring and late fall season. While some activities and hotels only open up around May 15, others are starting to get into their summer mode right now, and you may be able to score a shoulder season discount. Even better, you won't have to battle the crowds like you would if you waited until the middle of June or July, when everything is at its busiest in Alaska.

Even when May 15 does roll around, it's still possible to get great prices if you look around and ask. Just don't wait until it's too late to take advantage of these rates.

If you haven't been to Talkeetna in a while, make it a spring date to get up there - you can stay in one of the many great b&bs, go flightseeing around Denali, have a local beer and enjoy the town without the crowds. Or head up to Hatcher Pass for a day of early-season hiking. You can also take a road trip on the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway for a day of photographic opportunities, without breaking the bank. 

Don't wait around until the middle of the summer to get out and enjoy all Alaska has to offer - make your plans now and hit the road - it'll feel like you've extended the summer a few extra months, and that's always a great thing in Alaska!