A vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  The secret is to know where to look for deals and how to get them.  Here are 5 simple steps to help you get a great deal on your Gatlinburg cabin vacation.

Step One: define your getaway goals. Before heading to the Smokies, take time to think about the type of vacation you want.  Will you embrace the scenic beauty and take time to relax.  Are you a thrill-seeker looking for outdoor adventure like whitewater rafting or snow skiing?  Or does your idea of a good time include soaking up the local culture with a day of shopping and restaurant hopping?  First make a list of the activities you want to enjoy and the sites you want to see.

Step Two:  set the date. It’s a smart idea to do a little research before you get to Gatlinburg.  While many of the shops and attractions are open year round, some operate on abbreviated schedules some months, while others feature certain activities only during a particular season.  It’s also important to consider whether you want to visit during peak tourist season (the summer months for example), when the most popular attractions are in high gear, or during a quieter period of the year to take advantage of more restful activities.  Check out this Gatlinburg entertainment directory for details on seasonal attractions and events.  Compare your list of “what to dos” with your “when to go” dates and pick a time that’s right for you.

Step Three: select your amenities. Everyone has a different view of what’s absolutely necessary when it comes to a vacation retreat.  Summertime visitors often want to be near the water.  Winter guests may want a fireplace.   Is the view most important to you?   From HD TV and Wi-Fi access to a deck and a hot tub, you are sure to find a place that offers the many amenities you desire.  Make sure to have the “must have” list handy before making a reservation and confirm all amenities before locking in a deal.  That way, no one will be disappointed once you get there.

Step Four: the search is on. Now that you know what you want to do, when you want to visit, and the creature comforts you desire, it’s time to find a good deal.  Start with well-known and trusted resources, like Patriot Getaways or www.gatlinburg.com to search for your Gatlinburg cabins or other types of local accommodation.  These websites not only provide information on rentals, events, and attractions, they offer amazing deals on everything from cabins to discount tickets for entertainment.

Step Five: let’s make a deal.  The time to ask for a special deal is, well, always!  Even if you don’t find a publicized discount for the rental or event you want, it never hurts to ask.  And if you are willing to be flexible with your plans and requests, you can often uncover a hidden bargain.

Whether you’re planning your first trip to the Gatlinburg area, or making an annual pilgrimage to the region, careful planning and a little research will help make it an vacation to remember.

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