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5 Last-Minute Travel Contests You Shouldn’t Miss

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Last-Minute Travel Contests May Make You SmileFrom the best jobs in the world to trips of a lifetime, travel contests tend to attract a lot of attention.

After all, for very little effort, aspiring travelers have the opportunity to win an otherwise out-of-reach experience.

Check out some of the latest travel-related (and legit) contests where you could be the next big winner.

1. Choose Your Trip of a Lifetime

Luxury travel network Virtuoso is hosting its fourth annual Virtuoso Life Travel Dreams survey.

VirtuosoParticipants have a chance to win one of three dream vacations: a trip to South Africa, aboard Virgin Atlantic with five nights at the super-deluxe One&Only Cape Town resort on the waterfront; 10 days on Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endeavor to the Galápagos Islands; or a 12-day trip from Bangkok to Shanghai on The Yachts of Seabourn’s Seabourn Pride.

Ending March 31, 2010 , the contest  requires participants to fill out a 10-15-minute survey.

Survey topics range from ultimate dream destinations to the most enticing cruise itinerary, to what you love most about traveling. You choose the vacation package that appeals the most, and will automatically be entered after completing the survey.

For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

For more adventures, don’t miss Around the World Voyage, Without a Plane.

2. Score an Enviable Internship

Queensland Tourism’s award-winning campaign for the best job in the world, in which a British man won a six-month gig living and blogging on a tropical island, has spawned a globe-ful of job-related contests.

Sierra Vista BywayOne standout is the Sierra Club’s new internship position for an Outdoors Youth Ambassador. The winner will spend the summer traveling the country on various Sierra Club outings, whether it’s hiking, river rafting or trail building, and blog about the experiences.

Applicants must fill out a form and upload a video of 90 seconds or less about why they love the outdoors and why they’re the best person for the job.

The position will be based in the Sierra Club’s headquarters in San Francisco and pays $2,500 for an eight-week program, plus $2,000 worth of gear from North Face and Planet Explore.

Applicants must be over 18 years old and enrolled in a high school or college or be a recent graduate. The contest ends on March 31, 2010.

For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org/bestinternship

Learn more about traveling green in our Eco-Travel section.

3. Go Green in the Big Apple

If you’re a New Yorker, listen up. Your state is looking for the “greenest New Yorker,” as decided by a panel of notable eco-minded judges including Chef Mario Batali and actor Peter Facinelli.

New York CityThe winner will receive a three-day, two-night stay in one of 10 New York destinations, including the Saratoga Farmstead B&B, the Fairlawn Inn at Hunter Mountain, or the historic Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley.

To apply contestants must describe in 250 words of less how they’ve contributed to sustainable practices and demonstrate leadership skills. Applications can be supported by video or photographs (note: supporting materials will not be returned).

The contest ends April 8, 2010. Contestants or nominees must live in New York State, be 21 years or older, and be able to attend the awards ceremony on April 22.

For more information, visit www.escapemaker.com/ilovenygreen.

Get more great New York travel ideas:

4. Dance Your Way to Success

Dancing in the streetNorwegian Cruise Line recently launched its “Search for the Epic Star” talent contest. Winners will be invited to perform onboard the Norwegian Epic during the inaugural events in New York, July 2-4, 2010, and will win a seven-day Caribbean cruise on the new ship.

Contestants ages 21 or older must submit a video of 1 minute or less showcasing a talent, whether it’s singing, dancing, juggling, or stand-up comedy. Judges from Cirque Productions, Blue Man Group and other high-profile productions will choose eight finalists, whose videos will appear on USA Today‘s Cruise Log, for public voting. Judges will then choose the grand prize winner from the top three acts. Applications must be submitted by April 25, 2010.

For more information, visit www.epicstar.usatoday.com.

5. Celebrate International Friendship

Teen travel organization, TravelforTeens.com, will send one winner on a trip to Italy’s Cinque Terre on a community service project, followed by a tour of Rome, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

Students enrolled in grades 7-12  must write an essay of 300 to 500 words answering the question, “Why do you think international friendship is important?” The contest ends on April 9, 2010.

For more information, visit www.travelforteens.com.

By Sarika Chawla with Suzy Lee for PeterGreenberg.com.

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