5 Minutes With Kara Williams

For McCool Travel’s 96th travel interview, I am happy to present Kara Williams. Kara has been on my radar since I read about her team, The Vacation Gals, winning a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal—kind of like the Pulitzer for travel writers. I was thrilled and fortunate to spend some time with Kara last month on the Viking Star cruise in the Mediterranean Sea.
Kara Williams’ bio:
“Longtime freelance travel writer Kara Williams lives in the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two children (ages 13 and 15). Her travel articles have appeared in Every Day with Rachael Ray, Sunset, Denver Post, Dallas Morning News and Luxury Las Vegas. These days she’s focusing a lot of her attention on The Vacation Gals, which she has co-owned with two other travel writers since 2009. Their widely read website won Gold for Best Travel Blog in the 2012 Lowell Thomas Award Competition, the most prestigious in travel journalism.”

Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals
Kara Williams hiking in Vail Colorado

Kara Williams

Hometown…
I live in a rural, mountainous area between Basalt and Carbondale, Colorado, about 30 minutes from Aspen.
Always in my luggage…
Cheap, foam earplugs. I sleep with them at home, and they always come with me on the road.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…

  1. Riviera Maya, Mexico
  2. Hawaii
  3. Moab, Utah

A favorite travel memory is…
The time my son threw up in the hotel pool at The Broadmoor, an ultra-swanky resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was mortified at the time, but it’s become a tale that always gets big laughs whenever anyone in the family brings it up.
3 favorite travel brands…

  1. Royal Robbins clothing
  2. LL Bean for its toiletry bags
  3. Briggs & Riley luggage

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Pack picnic lunches for cheap eats on the go while sightseeing.
  2. Book cheap-to-moderate hotels with included breakfast when road-tripping.
  3. Put all purchases on my miles-earning credit card. (And I mean everything—doctor’s bills to groceries.)

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are …

  1. Finding hiking/nature trails in any destination.
  2. Exploring local grocery stores in foreign countries.
  3. Saving up and then splurging on at least one big event (pricey activity or stellar meal) during a trip

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
“Stay flexible. Always.”

Kara William, The Vacation Gals
Kara Williams preparing to zipline in Dominican Republic

favorite non-travel website …
Probably TheAspenTimes.com—I like to keep up on what’s happening at home while I’m traveling!
recent discovery …
My family of four just spent 3 nights in Sedona over Thanksgiving. I fell in love with the red-rock scenery and hiking trails. Want to go back in the warmer-weather months!

Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals
Kara Williams and children at Bryce Canyon

Thank you very much, Kara, for taking a few minutes to share your travel inspiration and tips.
McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Wendy Perrin.
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