updated 4/8/2008 11:18:18 AM ET 2008-04-08T15:18:18

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, four nights' accommodations in a private villa, and a rental car from $499 per person—plus taxes of $50.

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When: May 1-Sept. 18, 2008; add $160 through April 30

Gateways: L.A., Las Vegas, San Diego; add $29 for New York City; $89 for Chicago, Dallas, Houston; $139 for Kansas City, Oklahoma City, St. Louis; $159 for Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia; additional cities available.

The fine print: Hotel taxes are included. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are an additional $35 per person. Car rental taxes are an additional $15 per person and are paid directly to the rental company. Car insurance is optional and costs an additional $20 per day. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $259. Price includes a nonrefundable $99 administrative fee. Holiday surcharges may apply, depending on travel dates. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Aug. 31, 2008

Contact: Online Vacation Center, 800/780-9002, onlinevacationcenter.com

Why it's a deal: The biggest perk of this package comes from staying in a private villa at a luxury resort that is primarily a time-share property. There's also the added convenience of booking everything together. Before booking this package, however, it's worth doing a comparison by pricing out each of the package elements. Depending on availability, your departure city, and dates, the DIY price may be about the same as the package price.

For instance, a recent search on Kayak found lowest round-trip airfares to Phoenix in mid-June of $119 from L.A. (Delta) and $123 from Las Vegas and San Diego (U.S. Airways), including taxes and fees. (Note that Online Vacation Center bases its total on airfare of $160 per person; if the company finds a cheaper fare, say $119, at the time you book, it will recalculate the total cost of your package.) We found that four nights at the Sheraton Desert Oasis in June cost $622 including taxes, or $311 per person. However, in May, the hotel price jumps to $410 per person.

Trip details: The package includes round-trip airfare to Phoenix on a major carrier like American, Continental, or Delta. After picking up your rental car, you have about a half-hour drive to the Sheraton Desert Oasis in Scottsdale.

Your one-bedroom private villa at the resort has a furnished balcony, a kitchenette and dining area, a washer and dryer, and a whirlpool tub. There's also a foldout queen-size sofa in the living room, and a third and fourth guest can be booked in this package for an additional $189 per person.

The Oasis Bar & Grille offers light meal options like salads and sandwiches. The resort also has two swimming pools and a game room. Extra nights at the Desert Oasis cost $69 per person.

There are plenty of outdoor activities near the resort, including golf, horseback riding, and hiking. Scottsdale is also home to Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural marvel Taliesin West and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Attractions in nearby Phoenix include the Desert Botanical Garden and the Heard Museum, a collection of historic and contemporary Native American art and artifacts.

The rental car is a midsize automatic. The rental company varies depending on travel dates, but will likely be Enterprise, Alamo, or Thrifty. Unlimited mileage is included in the package.

For more ideas about what to do in Scottsdale, visit the CVB Web site. Before you go, check the weather forecast and the local time at BudgetTravel.com.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


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