Planning a vacation to the Smoky Mountains?  For many people, vacation planning starts with asking the question “how much money is a trip to the Smoky Mountains going to cost?”  Luckily, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg can be great budget-friendly towns to visit!  From cheap eats in town to a no entry fee national park, there are plenty of great options for a cheap trip to the Smokies.  Check out our budget-friendly ways to save money on your trip to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.  

A woman counting American money

Rent a cabin!

If you’re planning to visit with a bigger group or with a large family, renting a cabin in the mountains is much more economical than separate hotel rooms, and an easy way to save money!  By renting a large cabin, lodging can be split between the group however you choose, and all your friends or family can be under one roof!  No trying to cram into hotel rooms or choosing common spaces like a lobby to be your meeting points before heading out on the town.  Checking out special rates on cabins before booking can be helpful as well!  

Cabins can come with a wide variety of amenities, from game rooms to home theaters, to sometimes even indoor pools or private mini golf courses!  Booking a cabin in a resort will typically give you access to a seasonal outdoor pool, which makes a great alternative to hitting up an area waterpark.  

The indoor pool at Hidden Springs Resort

Find some Discounts

Any great tourist destination is sure to offer coupons and discounts to area attractions.  Here in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, you can find discount attraction tickets in a variety of places.  Visiting any area Welcome Center or Chamber of Commerce will help you get personal recommendations from friendly staff.  While you’re there, ask about discounts to area attractions and chances are they’ll have some coupon booklets!  Most area grocery stores offer brochure racks, and these are a great source of attraction coupons and discount codes as well.  

For most of us, a smartphone is a constant companion.  Visit the social media sites of the attractions that interest you most.  Local promotions, flash sales, and discounts are frequently offered on social  media sites.  In addition, many social media sites hold contests and maybe you’ll be a winner!

It’s easy to save money on a vacation in the Smokies when you take advantage of our offer for guests.  If you stay with American Patriot Getaways, we offer discount tickets to many local area museums, dinner shows, parks, and more!  

Have Flexible Dates

a day planner, computer, phone, and coffee

One of the best tips for saving money on a trip to the Smoky Mountains is to be more flexible with your dates.  The months of July and October are two of the busiest months in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  July is popular with many vacationers enjoying the final days of summer before the kids go back to school.  October is popular with tourists trying to see the stunning fall colors of the Smokies.  

While there truly is no “off season” in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg like there was years ago, we still have a lull of activity in the winter months.  Planning a visit to the Smoky Mountains in January or February is an affordable, quiet way to see a bustling mountain community with a little less activity.  

Many people think most attractions are closed during the winter.  While some theaters do take these winter months to reset & recast their shows, many attractions are still open with reduced hours.  When weather permits, it’s also still possible to visit our national park in the winter months as well.  Check out these winter hiking tips for the Smoky Mountains.  

By booking an off season vacation, you’ll get lighter crowds, more mountain views, and save a little cash too!

Budget-Friendly Trip Ideas

A family sitting together on a picnic blanket smiling in the sunshine

Want to experience the Smokies at a lower cost?  There are plenty of free things to do in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.  

Like we mentioned above, there is a no-fee national park right in our backyard!  With more than 800 square miles to explore, there’s a place everyone in the family will be sure to love.  Check out our blog posts about gorgeous scenic drives you can take.  

Need a little more activity than just a drive?  We recommend you check out Cades Cove for a “drive a little, hike a little” experience.  And, if you visit in 2020, on Wednesday the loop road is completely closed to vehicle traffic.  Choose to walk, run, rollerblade, or bike the paved loop without worrying about traffic.  Check out all the amazing reasons we think you should visit Cades Cove.  

If you’re looking for some more ideas on how to visit free or cheap attractions in Pigeon Forge, we have a great blog post about 9 free or low-cost things you can do in Pigeon Forge.  

Dining In

outdoor deck dining space

As if renting a cabin in the mountains didn’t have enough perks, one of the best is the fact that cabins come with fully equipped kitchens!  Of course, if you have special cookware you like to use, guests are always encouraged to bring them from home.  With plenty of options for area groceries, prepping and cooking meals in your cabin kitchen will help you save money.  

Of course, you don’t have to stay in 24/7 to take advantage of this valuable amenity.  Using your cabin kitchen to prep healthy, affordable meals to go is also a great perk!  By packing a picnic lunch, you’ll be able to eat on your schedule without having to wait in the lines of the busier restaurants in town.  Don’t worry about long waits or getting up early to secure a table.  

As always, dining out has its perks too, and Gatlinburg offers plenty of cheap eats for folks who are choosing to dine in or even just carry out.  

Ready to book your money-saving trip?

book your smoky mountain getaway with American Patriot Getaways

Check out all of the gorgeous properties we offer at American Patriot Getaways!  With more than 400 cabins, chalets, and condos on our program, you’ll be able to find exactly what your family or friends are looking for.  Try booking one of our Secluded Gatlinburg Cabins to be close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  If you want to be closer to the action and excitement of Pigeon Forge, we have plenty of cabins close to the Parkway so you can be near town.  

Browse all our properties over on our website, and be sure to give our Reservations team a call at 800-204-5169 if you need any help choosing between properties, have questions about amenities, or just want some advice on the best cabin for your stay.   

For more money saving deals, information about flash sales, and last-minute bookings, be sure to follow us on Facebook or over on Instagram.  And for plenty of vacation ideas, no matter your budget, be sure to check out all of our Smoky Mountain Vacation Guides over on Pinterest.  We can’t wait to see you in the Smoky Mountains soon!

Leave a comment