This Summer, Some Gatlinburg Hotels Cost More Than Flying The Whole Family To Europe

This summer, a week-long stay at some of the more expensive hotels in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, can cost more than a family trip to Europe.

This isn’t a secret deal; it just compares how expensive some hotels are currently (during peak times) compared to how reasonable some airfare has remained, even internationally.

In a different article, we previously compared how you can travel (passports/flights/and hotel) to a 5-star resort in Cancun cheaper than staying in a Florida Hilton Garden Inn.

Don’t cancel your Gatlinburg trip, either. There are still more reasonable options available. We’re not trying to discourage anyone from going to Gatlinburg (we’ll still make several overnight trips here!). But shop around if you’re planning a long trip. Check out other hotels in downtown Gatlinburg or an Airbnb/VRBO cabin if you plan a longer stay.

Rising Hotel Prices

It’s no secret hotel prices are getting more expensive, including Gatlinburg. We paid around $300 a night to stay at the Hampton Inn on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, during winter! It’s in a good location (maybe the best), but it’s an older motel-style building.

So what’s in store for this year? Data from Hopper predicts hotel prices to remain high in 2024. We checked out the prices for some of the nicer resorts for a weeklong stay in Gatlinburg,

For a 7-night stay at Holiday Inn Club Vacations on July 6-13, the total rate comes to a shockingly expensive $3652 for a 7-night stay.Ezoic

It’s a good property with a nice smaller indoor water park that it shares with the Holiday Inn Express next door. But again, $3600 for a week.

One of our favorite resorts, Margaritaville Resort (we’ve stayed there a few times), is just as expensive, at $3465.Ezoic

And it’s not just those two; many others will cost nearly $3000 for the same week.

So that brings us to the next point: are things this expensive everywhere? International travel is sometimes much cheaper than you think.

And there are some great deals for international flights.

Flying To Europe


If hotels in Gatlinburg are $3000 or more weekly, what does it cost to fly to Europe? We checked Google Flights (the best flight search tool available) for a June vacation. Here are the results:


For a family of four to fly from New York to Paris, the price is just under $450 per person, for a total of $1799 plus any bag or seat fees.

For just two people, the flights would cost only half as much: $900. And yes, this is from New York, where you’ll find some of the lowest prices in Europe.

We’ve been to Paris, which isn’t our favorite destination in Europe, but it’s one of the cheapest cities this summer to fly to (as of late March 2024). That’s partly because it’s one of the routes flown by Norse Atlantic, a European low-cost carrier.Ezoic

Wengen Switzerland

Europe’s train system makes it easy to get anywhere else from Paris, including Switzerland, one of our favorite European countries, which we’ve visited several times.

But let’s say you’re staying in Paris. Compared to our Gatlinburg prices, you still have $1200-$1800 left over for a week—or over $2000 if only two people are traveling.

While that won’t get you a 5-star hotel in Paris’s best neighborhood, it’ll get you a decent hotel like the Hotel Le Trente for $1500 for six nights (one night less than the flights due to the overnight flight).

And hotels in Europe are much harder to find for a family of four than for 2-3 people compared to the U.S. For 2 people, the savings will be even better.


Passports On A Globe

And there’s the cost of passports too. The current total cost for passports (see more on the State Department website):

  • Adult: $165
  • Child: $135

For a total of $600 for a family of four. And the passports are good for 10 years of future trips (5 years for kids)


International travel costs are reasonable this summer, while summer hotel prices in the U.S. remain high. Shop around for the best deal for your trip.

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