5 Tips for Getting a Jumpstart on Summer Vacation


It’s never too early to start planning for summer vacation. Before you know it, the kids will be out of school and everyone will be getting the itch to get out of the house. With warmer days popping up between cold winter weeks right now, it’s the perfect time to get ready for a warm-weather getaway. And whether you’re planning a wedding and honeymoon, anniversary trip, retreat or reunion, or family vacation, planning early is a great way to keep stress levels low and ensure you have the experience you want.

You can always check out our blog for ideas, tips, and advice on vacations in the Great Smoky Mountains, including info about attractions, restaurants, and shops – all things you’ll want to stay on top of while you’re here. Below, read our 5 tips for planning your summer vacation now. It’ll make the process go even more smoothly!

  1. Book your cabin as early as possible. When summer hits, everyone wants to take a break, so cabins book up quickly. Start planning now and you’ll have a head start. You can give us a call at 866.513.7885 and talk to one of our vacation planners – they’re always ready to help you plan out the perfect trip – or you can browse online. You can easily browse 1-2 bedroom cabins, 3-6 bedroom cabins, large group lodges, and budget-friendly cabins, and we even have pet-friendly options and luxury picks.
    • You can also break down the cabins by amenities, from hot tubs and mountain views to pool access and game tables. Some cabins boast awesome rec rooms, private indoor pools, and even their own movie theaters, while others offer beautiful master suites, incredible views of the Smokies, and locations just minutes from downtown Pigeon Forge. No matter what type of escape you’re seeking – relaxing, action-packed, or a mix of both – you can find it in our Pigeon Forge cabins. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get just what you want.
    • Booking a cabin early is especially important if you’re coming with a big group. Large group cabins book further in advance, so start as soon as you can. And if you’re bringing an especially large group, considering renting a few cabins that neighbor each other. You won’t have to go far to spend time together, and you’ll have double the space to play, cook, eat, and hang out.
  2. See what’s happening downtown. One of the great things about the Smokies is that there is ALWAYS something going on. It might be live music in the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, a chili cookoff downtown, an arts and crafts show put on by the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, brunch with the Easter Bunny, or Dollywood’s Festival of Nations. Whatever time of year you’re coming, see what events will be going on during your stay – and do your research ahead of time. You may even come across some events during your planning that help you decide which days you want to come!
  3. Make a meal plan. You don’t have to set up reservations for every meal during your summer vacation, but making some plans for picking up groceries and cooking in the cabin – or having an idea of some places you’d like to check out – can make it easier once you arrive. This is especially true if you’re traveling with a group. If you’re booking a large group lodge, getting groceries and stocking the cabin with snacks, drinks, and food for a few meals will save money and take the stress off finding a place for a large group to eat for every meal.
  4. Get the whole family involved. When you’re planning vacations a while in advance, sometimes it can be difficult to get kids excited. An easy way to get the whole family pumped up about vacation is by getting everyone involved in the planning process. Let each kid pick a special attraction or activity, and choose restaurants that the whole family can enjoy. There are tons of Pigeon Forge restaurants that have extensive menus, so it won’t be hard to find something for everyone. And if each person on vacation has at least one special thing to look forward to, the vacation will be more fun for everyone.
  5. Set a (somewhat flexible) budget. The last thing you want to do is overextend yourself on vacation and head back home worrying about finances. Start saving ahead of time if you can, and definitely set a budget to stay on track. If you find some ways to cut back on food and lodging, then you can splurge on some fun souvenirs or extra attractions! Of course, it’s always helpful to have some flexibility in your budget when you’re on vacation. Build in a safety net and you can head home feeling as relaxed as you should after vacation!