The time you get to spend with your family and loved ones while on vacation is a time that should be treasured. These are the moments where you all create new memories, discover new things, and simply reconnect. With that said, why wouldn’t you want to make sure that your next Smoky Mountain family vacation is one that your loved ones will remember for years to come?
All you have to do to achieve that is follow the simple tips we outlined below!
1. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Plan
A good Smoky Mountain family vacation begins long before you and your family hop in the car and head to the mountains. You may not realize it, but you really can improve your family’s trip if you take the time out before hand and really research and plan what you want to do while you are in the area. This means searching for the perfect Smoky Mountain cabin rental, deciding where and what you and your family want to do, what time of year you want to visit, and anything else that might need sorting out before the trip.
This will also give you extra time to look for coupons and discounts to help you save money on your vacation. That means that a little pre-planning can help you get the most out of your vacation.
It doesn’t have to be an intensive research process. If you just spend a little bit of time here and there you will end up planning your vacation in no time.
2. Let Your Kids Help Plan
While you are in the planning process, it is important to note that you should probably let our kids plan an activity or two for your trip. This will help them feel as if they are involved with your vacation and thus help them start to get excited about leaving.
You may not quite trust them to pick out the right cabin, but you can let them choose an attraction or a show they want to visit. You can even ask them if they have a particular hiking trail or historic building they want to see. This may encourage them to do their own research about the area and learn a little bit about the history of the Smoky Mountains as well.
Click here for more ideas on how to get your kids involved with planning your vacation.
3. Set A Budget
One of our favorite things about Smoky Mountain vacation is that you can have fun while you are here no matter what your budget it. You can make it a point to visit all of the dinner shows and all of the amusement parks or you can choose to take advantage of all of the fun and free things to do in the area.
This means that it doesn’t matter how much money you have to spend when you are here. What matters is that you try to stick to the budget that you planned before you arrived. Sure, you can splurge on an extra dinner or something fun that you know you and your family will cherish. However, you don’t want to feel stressed out when you return home over finances if you went a little too overboard. If it helps, you can always save a little more before you arrive or you can look for specials or discounts to help cushion your wallet when you arrive.
4. Pack Smart
You do not want to pack your entire wardrobe for a Smoky Mountain family vacation. Repeat that phrase in your head a couple of times when you start packing for your next trip. Trust us, it will help make sure that you don’t overdo it in the “what should I wear?” department.
Instead, try to pack smarter. This means bringing a pair of jeans or pants that you know you can get away with wearing a couple of times and it not be noticeable in your family photos. It also means that you should consider packing layers that you can mix and match to create new outfits.
The reason we don’t want you to overpack is that it takes up a lot of time and energy that you can better spend looking up new attractions, relaxing or having fun, both before and after your trip. When you arrive at your cabin, the last thing you want to do is spend the entire evening putting away a huge luggage bag of stuff. The same goes for when you return home. Can you imagine all the laundry you will have to do if you do end up packing your entire wardrobe?
Save yourself the stress and pack light. If you need help on how to pack light for your next family vacation, click here.
5. Bring A Few Comforts From Home
Although our cabins offer you everything you need to feel at home during your Smoky Mountain family vacation, it is not a bad idea to bring a couple of your favorite things from home as well. We aren’t suggesting that you bring your family portrait hanging over the mantle or your own recliner. We are talking about bringing your favorite pillow or blanket to help you sleep more comfortably in a new bed.
It also isn’t a bad idea to bring one of your favorite ceramic dish or platter to serve your family’s meal on. Little touches like this will help you feel as if you really are at home during your vacation and that will help you relax more.
6. Take Pictures
The memories you make with your loved ones while on vacation are ones that last for years to come. That is why we always encourage you to take as many pictures as you can during your trip. It doesn’t matter they are on a fancy professional-grade camera or your flip phone, it just matters that you have something to commemorate your trip.
These pictures are what you will be able to place into your picture frames or hang on your wall back home. You can also use them for your holiday cards to share your most recent experience with the rest of your loved ones.
7. Expect the Unexpected
No matter how much work you put into planning your Smoky Mountain family vacation, things happen. For example, you may not have planned for it to rain the entire day you wanted to go to Dollywood or you didn’t plan that your child would suddenly develop a fear of fish so you couldn’t go to the aquarium. It is important to keep in mind that it is not what did and didn’t happen during your trip that matters. What matters is your attitude when plans change.
If you begin to get frustrated or annoyed, your kids will be able to pick up on that energy and that will begin to affect how they view the trip as well.
However, you can avoid this by simply keeping a positive attitude throughout your trip. If you have to suddenly change plans, so what? You still get to spend time with your family, you still get to see your kids laughing and smiling, and you still get to relax in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.
If you enjoyed this, read our blog on 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Smoky Mountain vacation.