Taking road trips longer than 30 minutes with the entire family can be very challenging, especially when there are younger kids on board. Depending on the age of the children, road trips have the potential of causing several headaches for parents. Whether it’s young children craving attention, or older kids wanting to be entertained, additional planning is oftentimes incredibly crucial to ensuring a low-stress - stress-free trip. Though traveling to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is a road trip that families from all over the United States love to take, it can unfortunately create several high-stress situations for parents. Fortunately for your convenience, the list below has been compiled with several family vacation tips for families visiting the Smoky Mountains and staying in one of our cabins!
Family Tips for Parents
Expect mistakes, they happen! If you are stressed and in a hurry, it will be difficult for your kids to enjoy their time and your company. When things go not according to plan, it is not the end of the world. Going with the flow is always the best solution while on vacation and it will allow everyone around you to remain relaxed as well!
2. Take the Right Car
Consider all the benefits of renting a car when planning your trip. Renting a car will alleviate potential wear and tear and your car created by the mountains and rough terrain in Eastern Tennessee. A rental car could also add a few amenities that will make your kids ride a little more enjoyable so the extra money might be worth it!
3. Extra Toiletries
Inevitably, someone is bound to forget their deodorant or tooth brush so it is always a good idea to bring along some extras just in case!
4. Short Breaks
Depending on the length of your journey, rest stops could be a necessity. Plan ahead and be creative with where you stop as there are bound to be some popular destinations along your route. Some stopping locations make for great vies, pictures, and stories
Invest in a GPS. With a GPS, you will be equipped with the convenience of searching for local gas stations, restaurants, and other establishments without having to stop and ask for directions.
Tips for Younger Children
1. Extra Necessities
Make sure to pack extra baby wipes, diapers, snacks, medicines, etc. You can never be too prepared!
2. Car Games
This is a must for all families taking road trips. Simple car games can help occupy large chunks of time. Some classic car games include 20 questions, the license plate game (finding all 50 states), or I spy.
3. Leave at the Right Time
Strategically plan your departure time around your kids nap schedule to better guarantee smooth sailing.
4. TV/DVD Player
No parents likes to admit that they take advantage of the electronic baby sitter, but it is incredibly effective in keeping the kids entertained and happy on those long rides.
5. Baby Proofing
Take into account the accommodations of your cabin rental while visiting Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.
6. Don’t Forget the Toys
Choosing the right books and toys to bring along can create some distractions in the car and help in creating a comfortable and familiar environment for the youngsters in your cabin rental.
Tips for Young Teens
1. Portable Electronics
Teens typically do a great job with entertaining themselves, but just in case of emergency bring along some portable electronics along with their batteries or chargers.
2. Put Them in Charge
Give the older kids a sense of responsibility by assigning them various tasks throughout the trip. Whether it be copiloting or rallying the family for activities, giving them tasks will occupy their time and give them a sense of importance.
Collecting flyers from various local attractions and restaurants can give the older kids something to look at and give additional ideas for things to do while enjoying your stay in the beautiful Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area!