A Budget-Friendly Family Vacation to Pigeon Forge


When I get a little break in my schedule, one of the things I like to do is curl up on the couch and watch an episode of Chopped. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a show on Food Network that invites four chefs to compete against one another by cooking with four mystery ingredients found in their baskets.

The ingredients are usually weird and don’t really go together, so it’s fun to see the chefs get creative and make some delicious dish that I invariably can’t pronounce. And at the end of each episode, one winner gets the bragging rights and, most importantly, $10,000 cash!

It’s funny though—when asked what they will do with the money after they win, most contestants usually say one of two things: they’ll put it toward their restaurant, or they’ll take their family on a much-needed vacation.

My question is, why are we waiting for those rare moments when we win a large chunk of money on a game show to take our family on vacation? I mean—let’s be real—that’s not going to happen for a lot of us.

But somehow traveling has gotten a bad rep. We think “family vacation” and automatically dollar signs are flashing through our heads. We think it’s going to take thousands of dollars to take our families somewhere enjoyable, and that kind of money just doesn’t grow on trees—at least not on the ones in our backyards.

Let’s set the record straight, okay? Family vacations DON’T have to cost a fortune. Family vacations can be fun AND affordable. The key is to set a budget and stick to it. Then you can set your family up for a fun (and much-needed) getaway where you aren’t stressing about finances. Instead, you’ll enjoy your time away and, most importantly, your time together.

This is where Pigeon Forge Cabins comes to your rescue! We’re here to help you get the most out of your family vacation for the least amount of money. You’ll still have a great time whether you’re exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (which, by the way, is completely FREE for all visitors) or strolling down the Parkway in Pigeon Forge (also FREE). But you won’t be breaking the bank to do it.

Sound good? Then keep reading! We’ll give you 4 helpful hints for planning your budget-friendly family vacation to Pigeon Forge—not many years from now or when you finally get that raise, but TODAY!

  1. Choose a budget-friendly cabin. Pigeon Forge Cabins has a variety of budget-friendly cabins that provide your family with a comfortable place to stay in the Smokies for around $100 a night. That’s equivalent to most hotel chains, where you’ll be getting (usually) 1 bedroom with 1 or 2 beds, a TV, and a bathroom. At Pigeon Forge Cabins, you’ll spend the same amount of money for an entire cabin! Depending on which cabin you choose, your family can enjoy 1 to 2 bedrooms, 1 to 2 bathrooms, a full-size kitchen, a living room, big screen TVs, porch access, and even exciting add-ons like outdoor hot tubs, charcoal grills, and indoor jetted tubs. Now, where would you rather spend your money?
  2. Plan for in-cabin meals. An easy way to stay on budget when you stay with Pigeon Forge Cabins is to plan for in-cabin meals. You’ll have access to a full-size kitchen with all the essentials and more for cooking in the mountains. Stop by a local grocery store on your way to the cabin, or you can check out the Gatlinburg Farmers Market for locally sourced produce. Then enjoy your favorite homemade meals around a dining room table with the beauty of the Smokies all around!
  3. Use coupons and ask about special discounts. When you come to Pigeon Forge, your family is going to want to enjoy some of the exciting attractions this mountain town has to offer. You can feel good about saying yes to these attractions with the coupons and special discounts they provide. Just check online to see what kind of deals you can get! Stop by local restaurants or the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center (1950 Parkway, Pigeon Forge) to pick up brochures and fliers with coupons attached, and call ahead to your favorite attractions to ask about any discounts they provide (e.g., group deals, AAA discount, senior or child rate, and combo deals).
  4. Search for free/budget-friendly events and attractions. Let Pigeon Forge Cabins help you stay on budget with our user-friendly blog. We add new posts each week—like “Best Bang for Your Buck Attractions”—about upcoming events and attractions, including those that are free or cost-efficient for our guests. Take advantage of our research and make your family vacation a reality this year by learning ways to have fun without breaking the bank!