I am able to access Google’s Keyword Planner without any active campaigns in my account. You need to create an AdWords account, but I think you can use keyword planner for research w/o paying. However, you do need to do some things as if you were going an account, like provide a bid amount and fill out a profile.
Thanks Mary. I was referring to the wide search volume ranges like 10k-100k that I was getting after the GKP update. Does setting up AdWords in the manner you suggest yield actual search volumes (not the ranges)?