Any long road trip absolutely requires a pre-trip car checkup. No one wants to be stranded in the middle of nowhere without cell service, and a complete mechanical review can help deter such. Do this a week or so prior to departure so any repairs can be handled in a timely manner.
Due to the popularity of cabin rentals, many companies in the Smoky Mountains offer them. Even so, book as soon as your plans are made. We heartily recommend the folks at Cabin Fever Vacation (cabinfevervacations.com, (866) 212-2246) in Pigeon Forge. They represent a roster of more than 100 cabins with from one to three bedrooms.
We found the “Once Upon A Time” cabin to be our ideal vision of a comfortable mountain retreat. Some of the amenities in the one-bedroom, two-bath cabin included a loft with an air hockey game and pool table, while downstairs there was a huge bedroom with a comfy king bed, TV and dresser. There was a full kitchen, a washer-dryer, a living room with a cozy fireplace, TV and wireless Internet. What really lit our fire, however, was the porch with a hot tub overlooking the resplendent Smoky Mountains. What a lovely and romantic respite on cool evenings.