a family laughing in the snow in Gatlinburg

Packing For a Winter Vacation in the Smoky Mountains: The Essentials

Nov 29, 2016

Aside from picking the perfect cabin rental, packing is probably the most important part of preparing for a winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Not only do you have to decide what you want to wear for the next few days, but you also have to decide how you are going to keep your family entertained between shopping trips and entertaining shows. To help you make the most of your vacation, Parkside Cabin Rentals has put together a helpful guide to packing for your winter escape in the Smokies.


Although it’s easy to just throw everything you can find into a bag, it really isn’t the best way to go about packing for a winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Instead, you will want to take a little time to organize the clothes that you will wear during your stay. Trust us, this will save a lot of headaches later.

That being said, what clothes should you pack for your trip? The answer is simple: layers!

A few of the most important items that you and your family will want to include in your suitcase are:

  • Heavy coats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Hoodies
  • Thick socks
  • Jeans

What we love most about wearing layers during the winter is that it can really open up your wardrobe options without taking up a lot of space in your bag. For instance, you can mix and match your staple items with a new scarf or cardigan to create a whole new outfit for another day.Winter Vacation

If you aren’t a big fan of recycling clothes, you don’t have to. The majority of our cabins offer  both a washer and dryer, so you can do a load of laundry during your trip. Not
only does this allow you to not have to worry about over packing for your trip, but it also saves you the trouble of having to do a lot of laundry as soon as your return home.

(See Also: Top 4 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in Winter)

Bathing Suit

Speaking of clothes you will want to remember to pack for your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains, you definitely don’t want to forget to pack your bathing suit. In case you forgot, most of our cabins come with their very own outdoor hot tub. Worried about forgetting some other items? Check out this list of things you might forget to pack on your next trip to the Smokies!

Perfect for relaxing and unwinding after a fun-filled day in the Smoky Mountains, you will not want to miss out on the opportunity to sit back and enjoy a soak on the deck.

Comfortable Shoes

Whether you plan on hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spending the day shopping at one of our many shops, or just strolling up and down the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, you should definitely plan on being on your feet quite a bit while you are here. To make sure that your day isn’t ruined because your feet hurt, make sure you remember to pack a couple of pairs of comfortable shoes!

Board GamesBoard Games

The dreaded phrase that no parent ever wants to hear while enjoying a relaxing winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains is, “I’m bored.” And although our cabins come equipped with a ton of fun things to do, including pool tables, hot tubs, internet, cable TV, and arcade games, it is not a bad idea to pack a board game or two for while you are here. These are especially perfect on days when the weather is less than ideal.

Board games are also a great way for your and your family to connect during your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains thanks to the friendly competition it brings.


Typically, when you think of sunscreen, you think of summertime and 90-degree weather. However, it is very important to remember to wear sunscreen all year long. In fact, it is almost even more important to remember to wear sunscreen during the winter, because you may not be aware of how much sun exposure your skin is actually getting this time of year.

The weather also isn’t as hot as it is during the spring and summer, so you may find yourself outside longer because you don’t have to escape from the heat as much. In
addition to sunscreen, toss a tube or two of chapstick into your suitcase or purse to keep your lips protected while you are exploring the Smoky Mountains.

Wondering what else you may have forgotten to pack? Check out these essentials you should pack for a Smoky Mountain vacation!Gatlinburg cabin rentals

Now that you know all the essential items to pack for your winter vacation in the Smoky Mountains, it is time to decide on where you are going to stay. To get started, browse our selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals. If you have any questions about our properties, don’t hesitate to give our friendly vacation specialists a call today!