Home » Blog » Smoky Mountain Guides » How to Have a Budget-Friendly Smoky Mountain Vacation
spring wildflowers in the smoky mountains

How to Have a Budget-Friendly Smoky Mountain Vacation

Are you trying to plan the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation, but have a budget you will need to stick to? We can help! It’s easy to enjoy an affordable vacation in the Smokies, you just have to know the best ways to cut costs. From saving on a place to stay to saving on parking, we have your guide on how to have a budget-friendly Smoky Mountain vacation.

1. Take Advantage of Cabin Deals

hot tub on deck of a Smoky Mountain cabinLodging is typically what takes up the most of your vacation budget. But what would you say if we told you that you could get incredible discounts on some of the best places to stay in the Smokies? We’ve compiled a list of the hottest cabin deals in the area to help you save. Get 10% off, 15% off, or even a free night in a Smoky Mountain cabin! Cabin rentals vary in size and price, so you’ll have plenty of options for one that fits both your budget and your vacation group.

2. Avoid Dining Out for Every Meal

You’d be surprised at how quickly restaurant bills can add up, especially if you’re dining out for 3 meals a day. We recommend swapping at least 1 or 2 meals a day out at restaurants with a meal inside your cabin rental. All cabins come with full kitchens, so you can easily pick up groceries at a nearby store and prepare meals in your rental. This is the more affordable option compared to going to restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, a budget doesn’t have to keep you from trying some of the most delicious places to eat in the area! Make plans to fit at least a meal out a day into your budget so you can enjoy some true Smoky Mountain cuisine. For ideas on where to go, check out our list of the best affordable restaurants in the area.

3. Enjoy Free and Affordable Things to Do

Laurel FallsYou don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun on your Smoky Mountain vacation! One of the best parts about visiting the Smokies is all the free and affordable fun you can have. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few national parks that doesn’t have an entrance fee, so you can explore hundreds of miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, historic structures and more without spending a dime. Other free and affordable things to do include The Island in Pigeon Forge, wine and moonshine tasting, walking around The Old Mill, cider tasting at The Apple Barn, and so much more. Here are more of our favorite free and affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains.

4. Ride the Trolleys

Want a simple and cost-effective way to get around town? Ride a trolley! In Gatlinburg, the trolley is free to ride and can take you anywhere you need to go in downtown Gatlinburg. This not only saves you money on gas, but it helps you avoid parking fees! The Pigeon Forge Trolley has an All Day Pass available for only $3 that gets you unlimited rides along any of the routes, all day long. You’ll love the convenience of being able to take a trolley around town and not having to spend most of your vacation behind the wheel.

More Tips for an Affordable Smoky Mountain Vacation

Comedy Barn in Pigeon ForgeThese are just a few of the things you can do to be able to enjoy a budget-friendly Smoky Mountain vacation. While these are the easiest steps to take to cut costs, there are still other things you can do to have an affordable vacation, like taking advantage of attraction coupons and discounts! Take a look at all our Smoky Mountain attraction coupons and get ready to enjoy a budget-friendly vacation.