Be Your Own Valentine

TRAVEL SMARTS

On Feb. 14, singles can spoil themselves with an inn stay

February 03, 2002

Valentine getaways for happy couples are a dime a dozen, but singles are usually stuck in solitary silence at home. Not anymore. The Planters Inn in Charleston, S.C., has taken pity on the romantically uninvolved and put together the Away Alone package to spoil those who are solo over the holiday. Included in the self- indulgent $500 night's stay are:

* A four-poster queen or king bed with a sleeping companion (of the stuffed-bear variety)

* A bouquet from a secret admirer (there's a small amount of self-delusion involved here)

* An in-room massage

* A cocktail party (for mingling with other singles)

* Dinner at a communal table (for sharing bad-date stories)

* A Palm Pilot (for jotting down newly acquired phone numbers)

* A movie rental for in-bed entertainment

* A basket of late-night munchies

* Breakfast in bed the next morning

For information or reservations, call 800-845-7082 or see www.plantersinn.com.

-- Tricia Bishop

IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, PHONE WILL TRACK YOU

Get lost a lot? Check out the new Magnavox MobilePAL+GPS phone. It claims to be the first and only emergency wireless phone with a built-in global positioning system (GPS) that can track your position to within 30 feet and be used to alert local help if needed.

It may be a cool feature, but it's an expensive one, considering that tracking is really all the $300 phone is good for. You can't receive calls on it or make calls to anyone other than emergency personnel or attendants at Magnavox's Personal Assistance Link Center.

The phone has no dial pad, just a big red button in the center that links you with operators ready to locate you in case you're lost or just flustered -- for a fee. The service starts at $10 a month. For information, call 800-960-7849 or go to www. remotemdx.com, or you can just hang tight. It probably won't be long before GPS is standard on regular mobile phones. -- T.B

Vacationing on a roll

The latest in adventure vacations is the wheel deal: in-line skating tours.

Montana-based Zephyr tours specializes in skating trips for every ability -- from learn-to-skate tours (which focus more on skating basics than sightseeing) to city tours (requiring the ability to maneuver through traffic) and multisport tours, which include other outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking and biking. The tours travel through the United States and Europe with 2002 trips slated to visit France, the Netherlands, Florida, Hilton Head, Lake Tahoe, Colorado and Pennsylvania's Amish country.

Trips range from three to seven days and run from $495 to $1,895 (food, lodging and instruction are included). For information, go to www.skatetour.com or call 888-758-8687. -- T.B.

Forecasts for the slopes

Online weather center AccuWeather. com has added a ski section to its pages (click on the ski tab at the top of the page) that allows enthusiasts to find the exact weather and slope conditions at any resort in the country along with trail maps, lodging availability, directions and a resort guide for comparison shopping.

-- T.B.

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