The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, six nights' accommodations, transfers, and resort activities, from $1,499 per person—plus taxes of about $90.
When: Through Mar. 31, 2008.
Gateways: Los Angeles
The fine print: The listed price reflects a 3 percent discount that can only be applied to purchases made by cash or check. Hotel taxes, airport-hotel transfers, baggage handling, a flower lei upon arrival, and a shell lei upon departure are included; an Islands in the Sun flight bag and baggage tags are also complimentary. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are about $90 per person. The lowest prices are available for Wednesday and Thursday departures. Add $95 per person each way to depart on a Monday or Tuesday and $160 per person for departures Friday through Sunday. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $675. Optional full breakfast is $45 per person per day; breakfast and dinner combo is $120 per person per day. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Islands in the Sun, 888/828-6877, islandsinthesun.com.
Why it's a deal: The amount you'll save depends on the month of your travel. Just to give you an idea, according to a recent Sidestep search, the lowest round-trip airfares between L.A. and Papeete are $987 in early to mid December, $1,625 in mid January, $1,117 in early February and $1,052 in mid to late March, all on Air Tahiti Nui. So this package represents the greatest savings if you travel in January, when the lowest round-trip fare is $126 more than the cost of the whole Islands in the Sun package. But even if you choose to travel in December, February or March, the package will cover six nights' accommodations and all transfers for $382-$512, or $63-$85 a day.
Trip details: The Tahitian Treats package includes round-trip airfare on an Air Tahiti Nui carrier and six nights' accommodations at the 263-unit InterContinental Tahiti Resort at Point Tataa, about halfway between the airport and the capital.
The resort property spans about 30 acres along the ocean, facing Moorea Island. Dining options on hotel grounds include a gourmet overwater restaurant, Le Lotus, and the Tiare, featuring a Tahitian dinner show on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as a live band at the bar Wednesdays-Saturdays.
The resort offers a range of complimentary activities, such as tennis and snorkeling, and is home to the Aquatica Dive Center, a renowned diving school offering lagoon, ocean, and wreck scuba dives as well as sunset cruises and fish feeding from a glass-bottom boat.
If you decide to venture into the capital and the largest commercial center in the South Pacific, must-see attractions include the daily market, Le Marche, where you can find anything from local produce to fresh fish to handicrafts and souvenirs, and the downtown Le Musée de la Perle (Pearl Museum). The Paul Gauguin Museum, dedicated to the French painter who has spent the last 12 years of his life in Tahiti, is well worth the 25-minute trip from the city to the Papeari Village. And while you're there, you can check out the nearby Botanical Gardens.
This package takes you to Tahiti during the summer season, which lasts from December through February. Expect a high level of humidity and bright sunny mornings, with occasional downpours in the late afternoon. High temperature are about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Before you go, check the weather forecast.
Getting there: A recent search on Kayak yielded the following lowest round-trip fares to L.A. in mid December: $169 from Dallas (United), $215 from Chicago (American), and $299 from Miami (American) and New York City (Delta).
Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.