By Darryl Payne
Posted on April 23, 2014
Whether you're craving a quick road trip or a full week off, the point of a vacation is to leave stress and aggravation behind. However, many people unintentionally drag these along with them on their trip. What fun is that? In order to ensure a truly relaxing Smoky Mountain vacation, there are four primary steps you'll want to take.
Step 1 – Set a Budget and Stick to It
“Budget” can sometimes be viewed as an ugly word. To many, it conjures up visions of being restricted. Nothing could be further from the truth! Setting a vacation budget actually gives you the freedom to know exactly what you can spend without causing any financial damage. There isn't much freedom in coming back from vacation only to have a panic attack when your credit card bill arrives.
Here's a great idea. All throughout the year, tuck a predetermined amount of money each week/month into an envelope marked “Vacation.” If you have a specific goal (a particular amount) you want to reach before you leave, divide that total by the number of pay periods you have left.
Because the money is being put away gradually and in small increments, it's virtually painless and rarely missed. When the day comes to book your Smoky Mountain vacation, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much is in your envelope.
Here's another tip. Want to use a credit card to reserve a log cabin, condo or hotel online? Order a prepaid Visa card with your envelope savings. There's no cost to you for the card, it can be replaced if lost, and it's much easier to carry around than bundles of cash.
Step 2 – Research and Book Your Stay
As you're piling up money, begin to search for your preferred type of accommodations. The Smoky Mountains is filled with a huge selection of log cabins, hotels, condos, bed & breakfast inns, campgrounds and more.
Don't have a preference? Then consider what each one can offer before you make your decision.
Step 3 - Plan Your Fun!
What's your pleasure? Shopping? Golf? Festivals and events? From the thrilling to the soothing, plan your Smoky Mountain vacation activities just the way you want them to be.
Don't forget to search for Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge vacation packages. These often provide the greatest amount of savings because they can include lodging, events and more for a set price.
Step 4 – Enjoy!
Once your relaxing vacation is planned out, all that's left to do is enjoy, take lots of pictures and start a new envelope for your next trip.
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.