By Leif Palmer
Going away on vacation is an expensive proposition. Airfare, car rental, food, and hotel costs all add up quickly, and you haven't even done anything fun yet! Pile on the price of amusement park tickets, souvenirs, and shopping, and pretty soon you'll be looking for ways to cut your spending.
The first thing people think of when booking an affordable vacation is the hotel. That's only natural. Hotels are expensive, and after all, it's only a place to sleep. Makes sense that you'd look for low-cost alternatives. Since many people mistakenly believe that cabin rentals are more expensive than a cheap motel, they're often overlooked as an option. The truth is, cabin rentals offer an affordable alternative to pricey hotel rooms.
It's unusual to find rooms offering the amenities you'll find in log cabins. Things like kitchens, multiple bedrooms and baths, private yards, and the quiet that comes with a stand-alone building are just not available in a traditional hotel room. Or if they are, they come with an outrageous price tag.
Rental cabins provide privacy both inside and out. Since they're fully detached dwellings, you'll never hear your neighbor's late-night television watching. Instead you'll enjoy the peaceful sleep that only nature can provide. No traffic, no loud music, no running feet in the hallway. And no kids in your room. Cabins offer the luxury of completely separate bedrooms for you and your children, without doubling your cost by adding a second, adjoining hotel room.
Rather than just being the place you sleep while away from home, cabins become a part of your vacation. They provide a quiet, secluded place to unwind, surrounded by scenic, natural beauty. You'll fall asleep listening to the mournful cry of a hoot owl, and awaken to the scent of crisp mountain air. Rather than looking for ways to get out of your cramped and crowded hotel room, you'll enjoy spending part of your vacation relaxing in front of the fire, playing games with the kids in the yard, or roasting marshmallows over your own private campfire. You won't be doing any of those things in a hotel room.
If a honeymoon brings you to the Smoky Mountains, a cabin rental is the only logical choice. Many cabins feature hot tubs perfect for snuggling with your soul-mate, and area masseuses that deliver in-room couples massages. You'll gaze out at the splendor of nature while holding hands and letting the cares of the outside world drift away on a mountain breeze.
Scenic mountain views from every window will tempt you not to leave your cabin to play tourist, but if you do, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and all these towns offer is just a short drive down the mountain. Take in the sights, do some shopping, and see a show all without having to sacrifice the beauty and impressive vistas that brought you to the Great Smoky Mountains in the first place. After the day's tourist activities conclude, you'll head back to your own private cabin in the woods, instead of retreating to a cold and impersonal hotel room.
When you truly want an affordable family vacation, booking log cabins in the Smokies trumps the cost of hotels almost every time.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in east Tennessee. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.