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.


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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The Road Less Traveled: Highways Vs. Byways for Your Summer Roadtrip

Highways or byways? The idea of taking different paths is one that has resulted in several travel cliches throughout time — not unlike the title of this article. “You take the high road, I’ll take the low…” “The road less traveled…” “Life is one big road…” People the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and even JFK have alluded to roads in some of their finest speeches and quotes. There is something elusive and inspiring about one of the best American summer pastimes: the epic road trip. The question is: do you take the most direct, fast and efficient route...

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Restaurant Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tusker House

If you do not have princesses you may not be in line for Be Your Guest or Cinderella’s Table. But you may still be interested in character dining at Walt Disney World. Where should you look? Search no further than Africa – well, the African section of Animal Kingdom, that is. The Tusker House in Harambe is the perfect fit for most families looking for a good character line-up and a great meal! If you’re lucky enough to be visiting solo or as a couple, this is for YOU too! It’s not just about the characters here – Tusker...

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Ketchikan, Alaska’s Best Secret Dining Spot Revealed

Like to cruise? Most boats that run the Pacific coastlines make a docking in Ketchikan, “The Salmon Captiol of the World.” If you don’t like cruising (and most days, I don’t blame you) you can still make it to town, just get on a milk-run flight and puddle hop your way to the island. Many folks once in town will know about the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour, but if you’re in-the-know like a local (but you don’t have the skiff and crab pots to truly be Alaskan) then the next best option is George Inlet Lodge. While Alaska...

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24 Hours in Sitka, Alaska – Eat, Play, Stay in a Day

Sometimes you find yourself with only a little bit of time to experience a place, whether you have a lengthier layover or maybe a day in port. Whatever the reason for being in town, do not let it slip away just because it’s not the ideal amount of time to fully enjoy the destination! Here is a taste of Sitka, Alaska, that you can enjoy in one day – assuming you aren’t looking for a full itinerary at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve! It’s possible to see the highlights and still make the next flight or ferry out of...

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