There are a lot of vacation rental companies in the Smokies and an even greater number of individual cabins, cottages, chalets and condos from which to choose. So if you're planning a trip to this area, how do you even begin to go about deciding which company to work with? It's often hard to tell based on advertising alone which overnight rental business you should choose, which is why this week, we'll be taking you through some of the main factors you should consider when choosing your accommodations in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
An obvious place to start when browsing different rental options is to look at each company's inventory and decide if that business has cabins that are convenient to the things you expect to do during your visit. If you plan on spending a lot of time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park or if you're more interested in scenic view cabins, Gatlinburg might be the best choice for a location. Meanwhile, if you plan to spend a lot of time at Dollywood or the music theaters, you might want to locate yourself closer to Pigeon Forge. If outlet mall shopping is your prime objective, consider something closer to Sevierville.
Once you've narrowed down a few properties that are conveniently located according to your travel plans, look at what those individual places have to offer in the way of amenities. Do features like outdoor hot tubs, indoor whirlpool tubs and fireplaces play an important role? Will you need an onsite washer/dryer to do a load or two of laundry while you're in town? What kind of views does each property have? Is it easily accessible in winter? Does the cabin offer free WiFi service? Is there a game room in the cabin? Not all properties offer all these amenities, so you want to look carefully at the amenity descriptions for each place you're considering.
You also need to do a little research into the company you're considering working with. Read online reviews and see what other customers have had to say about that particular rental office. Do any of the companies you're considering have any complaints filed against them? Also carefully review the respective rental policies and make sure there are no terms you can't adhere to. And when booking a property, make sure you fully understand the terms regarding paying deposits, paying balances, checking in, checking out and what the rental office and owners are and are not responsible for during your stay. Having all parties on the same page going into a rental agreement usually benefits both sides.
Of course, price is always a factor. But be sure you're comparing apples to apples. Just because one company's rates are lower doesn't mean it will offer you a better experience. Often, you get what you pay for, as with everything else in life. You'll want to find a price structure that works within your budget, but also check each company's website to see if they offer any deals or discounts. Most places offer price breaks for groups as well as travel during the off-season.