How to Save on Your Vacation - Smoky Mountain Secrets

That time of year is fast approaching. The dark cold days of winter are giving way to the fun and sunny opportunities of summer, which means it’s time to start on one of the most daunting tasks of the year. 

No, it’s not filing taxes, but planning a vacation can seem to be just as costly and research intensive, especially if you’re planning your vacation on a budget. Everyone has a show they want to see or a store where they want to shop. Crowds are large, temperatures are high, and patience is low. Putting the details together can be so cumbersome that saving money takes a backseat to your sanity, but once the vacation is over, you find your checkbook spends the rest of the year paying for it (literally!). Planning a vacation can be expensive no matter when you go or who you go with, so here are some helpful tips for vacationing in the Smoky Mountains without breaking the bank.

Take advantage of the area


Oftentimes, the area where you’re vacationing has hidden opportunities to save money, and the Smoky Mountains are no exception.

The lights and sounds of the numerous attractions towering across Pigeon Forge are impressive, but don’t forget the best things in life are free, and the Smoky Mountains offer some great examples of the beauty of nature and don’t cost a dime to see.

The wildlife and breathtaking scenery at Cades Cove is a popular stop, and if you’re visiting during the fall, the synchronous fireflies create a spectacular natural light show that can only be viewed in a handful of places across the world.

If the great outdoors is not your cup of tea, there are several completely free attractions and shows, too. The Island Show Fountain will entertain kids and adults alike and can be seen any time during the day.

Another way to keep your change and your mental health is to take advantage of the Gatlinburg Trolley.  You 

could spend half the morning looking for a parking spot, pay a mint for the hard-won spot, and walk blocks in the heat to the attraction you want to see only to find you now have 20 minutes until your lunch reservation.
Alternatively, you might have a better time if you park for free at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center and let the trolley driver deal with the traffic while you are dropped off at the attraction of your choice, all without spending a dime! This way, you can save all the stress for when you realize you inevitably locked your keys in the car…

Finally, don’t overlook coupons. The Smoky Mountain Navigator is famous for their well-rounded coupon book which offers savings on everything from restaurants to lodging to park admissions. You might even find some gems you didn’t know existed in the area!

Save with a cabin


While planning what to do can be stressful, the part of your vacation that really hits your wallet is planning where to stay. Many hope to save money on a hotel by visiting priceline or expedia, but you may be surprised to find you might not only be paying more but also missing a much more luxurious option:  A Smoky Mountain Cabin. At first glance, a cabin may seem to be more expensive than a hotel room, but if you take the right steps, you may find yourself soaking in a back-porch hot tub while saving money.

 The first thing to consider when looking at a cabin is how many people are coming along. If your vacations become a family outing of 10 people or more, a large, multi-room cabin can save you thousands over a handful of hotel rooms and will often offer additional amenities like cinema rooms, pool tables, jacuzzis, and balconies.

Another advantage that usually comes with a cabin rental is most cabins are equipped with a full kitchen. This means you don’t have to spend the day trekking to restaurants and break the bank eating out every meal. Cooking even just a meal or two could potentially save hundreds on a family vacation.

Those may sound like great points, but it’s still hard to get past the price tag on those cabin rental sites, right? Never fear because there is plenty to be done there, too!

One of the most effective ways to lower sticker shock is to plan your vacation for the off-season. The great thing about the off-season is it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to book in the dead of winter. Many cabin rental sites make their seasonal rates easily accessible and there could be a difference of hundreds just by moving a week or two.

Save By Staying With Us!

Bear Camp Logo Black

Now that you’re daydreaming about laying down in a rustic California king bed after a soak in your private jacuzzi, let’s see how we can save even more money with a top notch cabin rental from Bear Camp Cabin Rentals. Here at Bear Camp, we offer several special deals which can help the enthusiastic vacationer get more bang for his or her buck.

First, we offer discounts for many different groups. AAA and AARP members are some of the most popular, but if you’re a police officer, firefighter, or active military, you can save 10% as well! If you have stayed with Bear Camp in the past, you can also look forward to a 10% discount. If none of those situations apply to you, don’t fret because you can save 5% just by booking directly on rather than an affiliate site.

Savings with Bear Camp go beyond just the booking fee, however. We have partnered with Xplorie to bring you free tickets and huge discounts for a plethora of attractions across the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. The “Bear-A-Dise” package has been valued at $463 worth of free tickets, helping you keep your hard-earned money in your pocket while you visit the best the area has to offer (or giving you more for souvenirs, your choice).

Finally, we have recently started a video share rewards program which can net you a $100 Amazon Gift Card simply for sending in a video of your stay, so not only do you get to keep your hard-earned money, you can actually get money back! For more information on this program, visit the Bear Camp Cabins website here.

It’s true planning a vacation can be both stressful and expensive, but hopefully this article has not only given you some tips to save some money but can save you some headaches, too. 

Let’s recap ways to save:

  • Take advantage of free opportunities

  • Enjoy the trolley

  • Look for coupons

  • Get a cabin instead of a hotel

  • Book with Bear Camp Cabin Rentals!

 Now, instead of picturing screaming kids, sweaty lines, and bickering relatives, you can daydream about a relaxing vacation inside a quaint, elegant log cabin nestled in the majesty of the Smoky Mountains.

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