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.

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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Park, Stay, and Go – Why Park and Fly Hotels are Best

Gone are the days of staying in an airport hotel and leaving your car in questionable parking lots. Our Rural TravelingMom explains the benefits of using a Park and Fly hotel. Want to arrive at your flight rested, with your car parked in a safe lot and your kids already making memories? Then read on to see why Park and Fly may just be the way to go.   Park, Stay, and Go – Why Park and Fly Hotels are Best It’s a production just to get my family to the airport. For many of us that enjoy the rural...

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TradeWinds Island Grand Resort: Where the Whole Family Can Just Let Go

We have a wild crew. It’s HARD to find a destination that is going to please everyone. My husband likes low-key. My preschooler is always on the go. I’m an adventurer with a foodie soul. And my toddler, as a rule, likes anything new for all of five minutes. This spring, we found the PERFECT resort for everyone — really! Everyone! Many acres of vacation bliss can be found at The TradeWinds Island Grand Resort at St. Pete Beach in the heart of Florida’s Sun Coast. While there are MANY places to go in Florida and almost all of...

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Tampa Bay CityPASS – The Ultimate in Budget Friendly Florida Family Fun

We don’t get to fly to far-flung (or nearby) places more than once a year. Realistically, we don’t fly much at all these days – with small kids and the need for control, I’m usually happier taking to the open road. However, with our budget in mind and wanting to eek out every experience we could while in Florida on vacation, we found that Tampa Bay CityPASS was an efficient, easy way to maximize our precious time in the Sunshine State. Tampa Bay CityPASS Decisions The Tampa Bay CityPASS allows visitors to customize their trip while saving money. As with all...

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Ditch the Hotel: You Should Be Booking Resort Residences – Find Out Why

Vacations have evolved since I was a kid. We were a small family and most times a single hotel room and a cooler with deli meats and cheeses for sandwiches would pretty much take care of our weekend getaway needs. It seems like everything was easier in the 90’s, including being the vacation planning authority in your family. Fast forward a few decades and options are almost unlimited. Since we have the world at our fingertips, let’s think outside the hotel. In fact, ditch that notion entirely. We’re talking resort residences for our next destination. Is anyone else ready...

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The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld: One-Stop Family Fun for All Ages

When you’re in Orlando, most everything falls into the imposing shadow of Disney. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Disney convert and love what they have to offer families. However, unless you’re a diehard, odds are you might want a warm family getaway in Orlando that can be found outside the confines of Walt Disney World Resort AND is more affordable. In staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, we found we could dine, play, rest and play some more right on-site. This is the ultimate pairing of location and amenities to satisfy the need for a...

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