Travel job for students
Oh, to be young again. STA, the world's largest youth and travel organization, is searching for two people to travel to 15 countries this summer, all on STA's dime. Sounds good, doesn't it? You just need to know how to use a video camera, possess a charming personality and -- oh yeah -- be fewer than 26 years old. The "World Traveler Interns" will document their journeys with video, photos and blogs. To apply for the job, submit a video detailing why you should be selected. The videos appear on www.youtube.com, and the most popular have the best chance of succeeding. Entries will be accepted at the STA Travel World Intern site through March 8 (www.statravel.com/wti). To see the video inviting submissions and for a link to the STA site, go to the Escape Artists blog at www.startribune.com/escapeartists.
Staying hydrated for less
While you can't bring bottles of water through airport security, you can bring empty bottles through. Rather than pay inflated prices for bottled water at the airport, bring your own reusable bottle, send it through security empty, and fill it up at a water fountain on the way to your gate.
Hawaii consists of six major islands, but with time and monetary restrictions to consider, most travelers can't visit all of them. It's a happy dilemma -- which island to visit -- and the premise behind "An Explorer's Guide: Hawaii" (Countryman Press, $21.95). Author Kim Grant gives each island its due, discussing what makes each unique and what each has to offer. What's your preference? Lying on a sandy beach or being spoiled in one of the state's many idyllic resorts? If nightlife is high on your list, then Oahu might be a good choice, while several islands boast magnificent national parks from Haleakala on Maui to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. In addition to offering descriptions of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, Grant discusses other topics, including the Hawaiian language. First recorded in the mid-19th century by New England missionaries, it consists of only 12 letters and two punctuation marks. "It's the most minimal language in the world," she says. The author also includes a nice sidebar on Hawaiian leis. Leis are unique to each island and feature local native plants.
WHERE TO STAY NOW
Snoozing with Lincoln
Washington's Madison Hotel is home to 353 guest rooms, one of them modeled after the famed Lincoln Bedroom in the White House. To honor the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, the Madison is offering a Lincoln Bedroom Package that includes one night's accommodations for two in the Lincoln Bedroom, breakfast in bed and two tickets to Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C., where "President Lincoln" sits in his box at Ford's Theatre. Priced at $809 plus tax, the package also throws in some memorabilia: keepsake towels embroidered with "I slept in the Lincoln Bedroom," a copy of the Gettysburg Address and Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln." The package is valid until April 30 (1-800-424-8577; www.loewshotels.com/madison, though this package is not online).
Icelandair's new stops
Icelandair devotees (is there such a thing?) will have two new possible destinations in 2009. Stavanger, Norway, and Düsseldorf, Germany, will now be part of Icelandair's network. Stavanger, Icelandair assures, is a hotbed of culture combined with foreign influences on a peninsula in southwest Norway. Düsseldorf is one of Germany's largest economic centers. Scheduled flights will operate from May 8 through Sept. 29. Icelandair offers service to its hub in Keflavik, Iceland, from Minneapolis/St. Paul, among other U.S. cities (1-877-435-9423; www.icelandair.us).
Fishing for a prize
Anglers, get ready to drop your lines to see if you can snag a prize-winning fish during the $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza Saturday in Brainerd, Minn. The 19th annual event takes place on Gull Lake from noon to 3 p.m. and is open to fishers of all ages. Participants will compete for the grand prize of a Ford pickup and other prizes. In case of bad weather, the event will be held the next day. The entry fee is $45 (1-800-950-9461; www.icefishing.org).
COLLEEN A. COLES