One of the best things about getting older is the new ability to find extra time to travel and enjoy life. And we think one of the best places to kick back and relax is right here in Pigeon Forge.
If you’re a member of the silver set (or traveling with a senior), you’ll likely find many things to do and enjoy in the Great Smoky Mountains,
as there is truly something here for everyone. You can make the most of your Smoky Mountain vacation by keeping the following tips in mind:
Take advantage of special services and accommodations.
You’ll find a few resources in the area to make your trip easier; don’t be afraid to ask! If you’re flying, you can request free wheelchair service -- check with an with the airline for details. You can also make sure that the hotel, condo or cabin
serving as your home away from home is set up to accommodate your needs. Do you need a handicap-accessible bathroom? Prefer to have a room without stairs to navigate? Need a step stool to climb up on a tall bed? Need to rent a scooter to get around at an attraction? Just ask! Chances are the folks hosting your stay want you to be happy and healthy; don’t hesitate to ask for any other mobility or accommodation-related services.
But remember, if you’d like to take advantage of these services it is best to confirm them when you’re making the reservation. Take time to talk with the booking agent about your needs.
Bring all your medications in the original bottle.
According to the Cornell University Center for Aging
, silver travelers should always bring their medications in the original bottle. This could be lifesaving in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to bring a separate list of the medications and dosages, along with any information about chronic health problems and the treating physicians. If you’re flying, it’s important that you pack your medications carefully: According to AgingCare.com
, all prescription and over-the-counter medications should be placed in a one quart zip-lock freezer bag, including also copies of any prescriptions and/or physician statements in the hand-carry bag. Do not place the pill combinations separately into a separate plastic box as "the next combined dosage." Packing medicine like this will likely not pass security standards. Additionally, enclose also any medical appliances such as extra braces or first-aid needs.
Be savvy and street smart.
Pigeon Forge is a safe community, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to totally let your guard down. Unfortunately, some criminals see the elderly as easy targets. Consider carrying a more secure cross-body purse, or forgoing the pocketbook all together for a money belt worn under her blouse. And encourage dad to do the same; he can swap out his back pocket wallet for a passage wallet worn around the neck.
Back at the hotel, remember to keep the room secure. In addition to locking the room’s deadbolt, be sure to secure any secondary locking device, like a chain or bar lock.
Do your homework.
A little bit of planning can go a long way, especially when you’re traveling with seniors. Take time to research each attraction you plan on visiting. There are tons of things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains, and you’re sure to find something to accommodate everyone in your party!
Check back at PigeonForge.com/Blog
in coming days for part two of our Silver in the Smokies series: Pigeon Forge activities for seniors!
For me, the last week of the year is all about planning for what lies ahead. It’s a time for reflection on the past 365 days and it’s time to find room for improvement for the coming year. And chances are, you’ll find that a trip to Pigeon Forge
will work perfectly with the New Year’s resolutions you cast for 2014.
If you want to get in shape in 2014…
Physical activity is an essential part of getting healthy and a Pigeon Forge vacation
can help you stay on track with your goals while having fun! The Great Smoky Mountain National Park
is home to hundreds of miles of trails
, ranging from easy, flat walks to strenuous hikes -- giving you ample opportunity to get active and experience nature! Hiking not your scene? Consider renting a bike from Knuckle Busters Speed Shop
at 3676 Parkway! Biking around Pigeon Forge
is a great way to see all the attractions up close and personal while burning a few extra calories. Other fun activities to raise your heart rate and keep up with your fitness goals around town include ropes courses and whitewater rafting!
If you want to experience new things in 2014…
Even if you’ve visited Pigeon Forge
dozens of time before, there’s always something new to experience. The PigeonForge.com events calendar is chock-full of special events and the region’s economic growth is fuelling all kinds of new attractions! 2014 promises new stores at the Tanger Outlets
in Sevierville (we’re thrilled about the Francesca’s Collections store opening soon!), new things to do at The Island in Pigeon Forge, new attractions opening and more! Rocky Top Sports World
will open this summer in Gatlinburg, and a new Christmas-themed Denny’s restaurant will open year-round next to Christmas Place. We’re excited about the new things coming to Pigeon Forge, and we think you will be, too!
If you want to save money in 2014…
Pigeon Forge is one of the most affordable vacation destinations we can think of. You’ll find oodles of free activities and festivals
going on almost every week. Our biggest attraction, the Smoky Mountain National Park
, is open to the public free of charge! We’ve compiled tons of money-saving tips
and have teamed up with partners to offer all kinds of Pigeon Forge discounts and deals
. You’ll likely find that you can achieve your financial goals AND have fun in Pigeon Forge this year.
If you want to focus more on family and friends in 2014…
Consider planning a group vacation in Pigeon Forge.
Our Smoky Mountain city has something for everyone! You’ll find many chances to connect in many different ways, from new experiences to delicious food to ample opportunities for family togetherness!
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Do you plan to visit Pigeon Forge in 2014? Get involved with the discussion at PigeonForge.com’s Facebook page!
The final days of 2013 are quickly slipping away, but there’s still time to make plans to celebrate the New Year with Smoky Mountain style!
Here are a few ways you can ring in 2014 in and around Pigeon Forge:
See the ball drop in Gatlinburg!
For more than a quarter century, the Gatlinburg Space Needle has put on a huge celebration featuring a ball drop and fireworks. This year, the free event will showcase live music, state-of-the-art pyrotechnics and more! Thousands of folks attend this event each year and the whole downtown Gatlinburg area gets in on the action. For more information click over to http://www.gatlinburgspaceneedle.com/events.html
The Island in Pigeon Forge is hosting an inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration.
The fun kicks off at 8 p.m. and includes a free, family-friendly shindig with music provided by a visiting DJ from Music in Motion, fireworks and the grand opening of the attractions new fountain show. If you’re visiting without kids and are looking for a VIP experience, you’re in luck: For $50, you can buy a wristband that will give you access to the Timberwood Grill’s elite VIP Experience, which includes a buffet featuring heavy hors d'oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast, a private VIP DJ, game play at the Island’s arcade, drink specials and more! You can make the occasion extra special by splurging $99 for a midnight ride in the famous Smoky Mountain Wheel, which includes drinks, chocolate-covered strawberries and an aerial view of the attraction’s fireworks display. For $300, you and your friends can catch a ride in the Wheel’s VIP gondolas at mid-night. The lux accommodation will feature drinks, snacks and a souvenir photo. For more information, click over to http://islandinpigeonforge.com/nye/
or call the Island in Pigeon Forge at 865-286-0119.
Cuddle up in a Pigeon Forge hotel or cabin.
There’s still time to make a last-minute reservation for a romantic New Year’s Eve getaway. Book a night (or three) at a favorite Smoky Mountain stop and ring in the New Year with the one you love. Consider stocking up on your favorite Smoky Mountain wine, then curl up for a cozy night in with an intimate celebration! You can browse Pigeon Forge lodging, including hotels, condos and cabins, at PigeonForge.com.