AAA offering opportunity of a lifetime to 8th graders

Deadline is Friday, Sept. 23 to get signed up
Local4 News at 5
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Nebraska 8th grade students still have time to enter AAA’s “Discovery Crew” travel contest, where 60 winners will go on a free week-long education river cruise in Europe.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many students and we hope they enter the contest before it’s too late,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group.

“To date, 28 Minnesota, 18 Nebraska and 15 Iowa students have entered the contest. That means qualified candidates who enter still have a very good chance of winning.”

Haas said this contest gives children the chance to travel who may never get the experience otherwise.

“It’s in essence a free trip to Europe to really have a great quality experience, educational experience and do it in a very special way with a parent and with a bunch of new found friends that are your same age,” she said.

AAA and its partners Ama Waterways and Allianz Travel believe in the transformative power of travel and if children get to experience it at a young age, it could really make a difference in their lives.

“We are looking for children who really want to make the most of this trip, who are curious about the opportunities of travel, who are open to new experiences and are looking to appreciate culture and getting to know people that are different then themselves,” Haas added.

People may think this sounds too good to be true, but Haas says it’s true. Adding that former travelers who went on the Discovery Crew said it lived up and went beyond their expectations.

She said the feedback was that they loved the experience, traveling with children their own age, learning about different cultures and building confidence.

Students have through the end of the day Friday, September 23 to enter the contest online at While there, entrants will be asked to answer three essay questions and submit a travel-inspired selfie. There is no entry fee and you do not have to be a AAA member to win. Winners will be notified beginning in October.

The prize includes:

  • Round trip flights to Amsterdam, travel insurance and money for passports.
  • A week-long educational river cruise from March 12-19, 2023.
  • Each student and their chaperone will fly to Amsterdam, where they will board the AmaWaterways’ AmaLucia ship.
  • Each winner will share a private cabin with their parent/guardian.
  • The ship will sail from Amsterdam through the Netherlands and Belgium, before returning to Amsterdam.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Be at least 13 years old at the start of the contest.
  • Be entering the 8th grade and in good standing.
  • Reside in Nebraska, Iowa or Minnesota (excluding Hennepin County)
  • Be willing to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 at the time of the cruise.