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Old 2 Dec 2006
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VISA/ONEWAY TICKET/ ALASKA-Also Buying a Bike in Anchorage????

Hello eveyone,

I know this has been discussed a lot, but I have looked at many of the posts and no one has a definitive answer, so here we go...

I really need to know the best way to get round the problem of flying into Anchorage and leaving by land. Do I buy a oneway ticket and get a Visa, or am I ok with a oneway ticket and the visa waiver scheme, or must I buy a return and not use the second leg just to get through immigration?

I am flying from the UK and the price difference between a single and return to Anchorage is quite a lot. Can I simply buy an aditional ticket back to canada to show I have a 'way back out' or is it really neccessary at all? If anyone has actually done this fairly recently I would really appreciate any advise.

Second question is this. I am after a second hand bike when I get to Anchorage, I have a KLR 650 in mind. does anyone know if they are easy to buy when there, as well as register? Or am I just better off buying in the UK and freighting it over? I just want the cheapest and easiest option.

Any relevent info is apprecited as im trying to buy my airfare asap.


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Old 2 Dec 2006
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At this point I wouldn't be trying to ride 'round AK

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 02:14.
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Old 4 Dec 2006
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Thanks for that info that was very useful. I do indeed plan to go for the end of May, but am caught up with other things for a few months so am trying to get tickets, visa etc sorted. I am indeed being unoriginal and plan to drive from Deadhorse to the tip of SA. Basically the pan-am highway.

I have heard many rumours that wahtever you do, bont buy a one-way into the US regardless of proof of finance as they require proof that you will leave the US within 90 days. I have an appointment at the embassy so I shall ask.

I hava also contacted Lois, she is away at the moment on a trip so Imay have to wait a while for an answer.

In the mean time I will research bike, that is useful to know about San Fran and the cost of bikes there. It is certainly an option.

Thanks again

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Old 5 Dec 2006
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Buying in North America

Hi Simon,

A couple of additional comments:

Flights: If you are at all worried about it, a very simple solution is to just buy a full fare one way ticket out of the country. These fares are fully refundable so once you have entered the country, contact the airline and cancel the flight and your credit card willl be credited. For example, Air Canada has flights to Vancouver from Anchorage late May to September, you can print off a receipt of the e-ticket and once through the border cancel. At most a $40 fee but likely nothing. You may have to have some story at the border about why you have a bike and are flying out but just be ready with some rationale ie. a friend is riding it back.

Shipping vs. Buying: Buying is very easy. Not sure that I would go as far south as SF or LA to purchase unless you really want to ride both routes up and back. Prices might be a bit cheaper than some cities further north and a slightly broader selection but if you are keen to buy in the US for reasons such as you want to sell the bike in SA and feel that it would be easier with US registration as there are more US riders, then seriously look at Seattle. It's a ways north of LA (about 2,100 km as a rough guess) so that would save you a bit of riding.

The other option is to buy in Canada, but I'm not sure how hard that would be as a foreigner but I would guess it shouldn't be dramatically different than the US. Prices might be a bit steeper due to taxes etc. I would probably look at Vancouver first and maybe Calgary but Vancouver is bigger and milder winters so has a bigger biker community and therefore more bikes. For examples, look at craigslist dot com or buysell dot com, you'll get a decent sense of what mostly used bikes they go for. As a rough example of something to compare to, the dealers are selling some new KLR 650s, last years model (2006) that are marked down a few hundred and being sold for $5,800 CAD plus about $1,500 for freight, PDI and taxes. The GST portion of the tax (7%) may be refundable as you are a foreigner and taking the goods out of country. Just to throw it out there, Calgary is in Alberta and therefore has no provincial taxes but BC does (6%) so that might make it cheaper when looking at new and used (The 6% applies to both new and used, the GST (7%) only to new). If I knew exactly what bike I wanted, I would look on the web for the dealers in those cites, e-mail to see what the various MSRP are, and if they are close, pick the city I want to start from.
Vancouver is about 2,400 km north of LA and 1,600 km north of SF so there are some distance advantages in starting as far north as possible. Plus the is better here and you can expect to catch some grief from the fact that your best midfielder in the World Cup (Hargreaves) is actually a Canadian
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Old 7 Dec 2006
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There is not much to add to the one way ticket issue from past discussions, except that no one here can give you a 100% answer. I would suggest talking to the airline rep b/c (at least in the U.S.) it is difficult to even purchase a one way int'l fare because they claim it is against immigration regs. I suspect if you can get a one way fare and have proof that your bike is being shipped over and proof of funds it would be convincing, but that doesn't mean the immigration agent will feel the same way.
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Old 13 Dec 2006
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How is it?

Personal experience - I flew into Canada in 2003 with a one-way ticket and a bike. The Immigration Cop was surprised, and had a few questions but it was no real problem. But the US is different - I tried to fly from Manchester UK back to Costa Rica via the US this year, using the return half of a ticket I'd bought in CR. They would't let me get as far as checking-in. As your man said, I had to buy a full-price, fully refundable return at the airport.

I'd be interested to hear what the Embassy have to say, cause I'm gonna have the exact same issue again in February 2007.

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Old 13 Dec 2006
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Hi Simon

Last year I took the official route as per US website - Visa and One Way ticket.
Managed to fly into JFK with Air Lingus for £169. - not too bad!
But obtaining a visa was more costly both in time and money.
First you need an apointment at the Embassy in London - 1 month wait
Cost of visa - £60
Delivery of visa (courier) £40
Cost of day off work/visit to London Embassy (Transport and Accomodation)

Best of luck

I wanna go back.
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