Start Your New Year With Some Great Deals

There are two types of people—those who do their best shopping before Christmas and those who wait until after St. Nick makes his rounds to swoop in and do their shopping.

There are advantages to going with Option B. If you wait until after Christmas, you can often take advantage of a lot of great deals on all types of merchandise. Manufacturers are looking to unload holiday inventory that didn’t sell, and they’re also looking to cater to all those good boys and girls who got gift cards and gift certificates that are burning holes in pockets. Here are a few ideas on what you can do to get some winter deals while visiting the Smokies.

• Go to the outlet malls – That’s where you’ll find many national, name-brand manufacturers whose merchandise is already lower than usual throughout the year. Many stores will also run after-Christmas specials, meaning you can pay rock-bottom prices on everything from electronics and clothing to shoes and housewares.

• Visit a restaurant – A lot of Smokies-area eateries are national chains, so maybe you got a gift card or certificate for one of these establishments. If so, you can break it out this week.

• Book a cabin in the Smokies – If you’re not already planning to stay in one of our Pigeon Forge cabin rentals this week, this is a great time of year to go ahead and book a visit for January or February. Now is when we offer our lowest rates of the year on luxury cabins.

Cabin Of The Week – Western Sky

Here’s a great cabin for a family adventure in the mountains or for a gathering of friends looking to get away and bond while forging new memories. Western Sky sleeps as many as eight guests, but it’s ideal for four, with two people in each of the two master suites. Both suites come with whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms and a private deck, from which you can take in beautiful valley views.

This two-bedroom log home is perched on a high ridge on Wilderness Mountain, which means the valley and mountain views are spectacular from almost every room in the cabin. You can spend your viewing time rocking in the quiet solitude of the mountains or soaking in the bubbling splendor of the outdoor hot tub.

For convenience, you’ll find a washer and dryer for your dirty clothes, and the kitchen comes complete with a dishwasher, microwave, range, coffee maker and refrigerator. There are enough utensils and dishware on hand to prepare a feast in the kitchen, or you could grill steaks, burgers and dogs on the outdoor grill.

Entertainment comes easy too thanks to a game room with pool table, four satellite TVs and a two DVD players. If you search other two-bedroom Gatlinburg cabins, we think you’ll be hard pressed to find another that offers so much at this price.

A Most Accommodating Gift

Looking for a special and memorable gift idea for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list—that person who has everything? Consider going above and beyond this year by giving them a couple of nights’ lodging in one of our Wears Valley or Pigeon Forge cabins.

This could make an ideal gift for your parents, in appreciation of all the babysitting they do for you. Or it could be a surprise getaway gift for your spouse—just to say “I love you.” Or maybe there’s someone you know at work that deserves some well-earned time away. Whatever the situation, that person (or couple) will be absolutely thrilled to receive the gift of some relaxing time away in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

They’ll enjoy the privacy that comes with staying in a cabin, and all the comforts of home will be right at hand, including laundry facilities and a full kitchen. And amenities like a fireplace, hot tub, game room and satellite television will only be icing on the cake.

Thanks to our location in beautiful Wears Valley, those who receive an overnight stay from Volunteer Cabin Rentals will also be close to the mountains, the national park and all the attractions, shops, restaurants and events of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville.

Vacation Ungplugged

These days, electronic devices like laptops, tablets, readers and smartphones have woven themselves into the fabric of our everyday lives. Of course, such gadgetry is important for doing work or staying connected with friends and loved ones. But at one time or another, we’ve probably all been guilty of getting so absorbed in our phones or laptops that it’s come at the expense of someone we’re supposed to be sharing time with.

So next time you head to the Smokies or perhaps your favorite beach destination on a vacation, consider going unplugged. At one end of the spectrum, you could just go cold turkey and leave all your electronics at home. After all, humans survived this way for thousands of years, so chances are, you will too. But if you insist on bringing them along, set boundaries, especially for the kids. Perhaps limit them to some game time in the car to help pass the trip, and of course, mom and dad can set a good example by limiting Facebook or Twitter time to first thing in the morning or late at night.

The important part is that you not get so caught up in the virtual world that you miss what’s going on around you. When you’re doing something together as a family, enjoy the time, savor it, cherish it. Those times won’t be around forever.

But for what it’s worth, if you choose to say in one of our cabins in Pigeon Forge, we do offer free wireless Internet access. Just in case.