Amanda Williams, Rural TravelingMom

Amanda Williams, Rural TravelingMom

Amanda Williams is a self-proclaimed bird-nerd and mother to two high energy sons under five years old. She has worked as a wildlife biologist, wildland firefighter, and environmental educator, so she has a lot of outdoors experience to share--but those jobs pale in comparison to the adventure of being MOM! You can find her writing as a freelancer or exploring with the family for her own site, Field Guide to Parenting Outside. Amanda and her family aspire to become Global Citizens and consider their house merely a base camp for trip-planning operations. More comfortable in the middle of nowhere than in a big city, most of the year they'll be at large in a loaded down minivan, wandering National Parks and frequenting festivals all over the map.


What YOU Can Do While Traveling to Wildfire Regions

Planning vacations around wildfires. It’s officially a thing. If you’re from California or maybe Idaho, you’re used to fire as a part of life. Montana, Oregon and Washington are being hit particularly hard as well this year.  (Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of the brave men and women fighting the blazes right now.) And we remember the headlines from last year about Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  There’s always a chance you’ll be in an area when a fire starts or had planned to pass through where fires are burning. This former firefighter tells you what you need to...

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Restaurant Review: Buffalo Phil’s – Wisconsin Dells

If you’re visiting Lake Delton, Wisconsin, you’re probably in town to have a wild time at one of many area indoor and outdoor waterparks. The area at large is better known collectively as “the Wisconsin Dells.” There is a ton of fun to be had, but eventually, you’ll need to feed the troops – even those youngsters with a one track mind on splashing good times. Where should you look? Search no further than Buffalo Phil’s. What got our attention was the fun train and western theme for our kids. Turns out, Buffalo Phil’s is just the ticket for the whole family while...

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Experience La Pura Vida Discovery Channel Style

 A new eco-themed park in Costa Rica? First, we all have to ask the obvious question—will there be velociraptors running around?! Many friends living in Costa Rica are happy with this announcement, hoping for the economy to improve, bringing more jobs to the area. But, just as Jurassic Park wasn’t the best of ideas, is this wise? Here’s what we think. If you’ve  ever wondered what it would be like for the thrills of the discovery channel to life with the gorgeous splendor of the natural environment in the tropical rain forest, then you’ll be excited to know about this...

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Packing a Capsule Wardrobe for Carry-on Travel

Figuring out how to pack your life into your carry-on is a game changer for easy, minimalist travel. The trendy “capsule wardrobe” has been in the headlines of popular blogs and even an intriguing documentary in the last year or so. Here, you’ll find out how key items, packing aids, and a few accessories and short-cuts can make big fun out of a small bag on your next holiday, no matter how long or short your trip. Carry-on Capsule Wardrobe Rules If you don’t love it, don’t pack it. No more than three pairs of shoes. Choose a color scheme You...

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How to Make the Most of One Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you have only one day and you’re committed to seeing and doing almost everything, well, we’ve done it and we’re happy to help you enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While other Traveling Moms love Epcot or Magic Kingdom, this is my family’s go-to park and our favorite for many reasons. Once considered a “half day park” by some, Animal Kingdom has really begun to blossom. If you have just one day, we’ll show you how to spend each hour best! Animal Kingdom in One Perfect Day Many people scoff at Animal Kingdom, claiming it is a “half day” park...

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Minnesota Says Goodbye to Waterpark of America

Saying goodbye is bittersweet. Minnesota will always remember Waterpark of America as a family getaway for multigenerational fun, but sometimes good things get even better. We think that’s the case here because there are plans for a bigger, better waterpark coming soon!   Iconic Waterpark of America Closes Waterpark of America, the largest indoor waterpark in the country, closed its doors on the last day of January 2017. For us, this is meaningful because it was the destination of our first road trip of any distance as a family of three. Our firstborn was just a year and a half old. It’s how we...

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Iconic Sequoia Falls; Going, Going, Gone: Last Chance Tourism and Implications

The news of the iconic drive-through Sequoia “Tunnel Tree”also known as the “Pioneer Cabin Tree” succumbing to a winter storm in California this week has many reading the headline with sadness or regret. Whether you were able to drive through the giant tree on a family vacation as a kid or with your kids, this site will be missed as much as it is remembered fondly by droves of visitors from the last century. According to officials at the park, the trees there are approximately 1,000 years old but can live to be as old as 3,000 years. One...

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Escape Busy Orlando and Capture the Spirit of the Swamp with an Airboat Ride

As the sole female in my traveling posse, keeping the adventure alive for my very lively lads and their dad can be a challenge. Everyone loves the amusement parks and the rides. Zoo animals and character breakfasts delight. Even a walk on the beach will keep them happy. For a while. Then, as boy moms the world around know, when bored, boys (even grown boys) will find things to amuse themselves. When you’re staying at The Grand Floridian or the Four Seasons, you don’t want your clan to turn into Mowgli, Tarzan, or even well-intended Olaf. In order to...

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Howl-idays are Magical at Great Wolf Lodge in Lake Delton, Wisconsin

Wintry weather means folks from Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and the nearby Twin Cities of Minnesota are thinking about places to warm up. While most families venture to waterparks to beat the heat, ours tends to travel to places with streaming slides, lazy rivers, and even a Howlin’ Tornado to thaw our toes and nose. If you hit Great Wolf Lodge -spend your howl-iday there and we’re sure you’ll have fun! We’ve recently found that the BEST time to do so is in December, when the entire lodge is alight with Snowland magic! There’s so much going on, you’re...

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Pack Like a Pro With Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cubes

When it comes to family travel, Rural TravelingMom’s family is all in. Literally at times. As in ALL of her family’s belongings find their way INTO her packing piles. If anyone has ever loathed to pack for even a two-day getaway, it is her. But then she learned to pack like a pro with Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cubes.  If you’ve ever tried to maximize space in your luggage and find you fumble a bit, follow this advice, invest in some packing cubes, and pack on! Pack Like a Pro Using Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cubes It’s no wonder there...

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