updated 10/6/2009 9:24:36 AM ET 2009-10-06T13:24:36

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on Southwest Airlines to New Orleans, three nights' accommodations at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, hotel taxes, fuel surcharges and a Rapid Rewards credit, from $348 per person — plus taxes and fees of $35.

When: Jan. 1–March 10, 2010.

Gateways: Birmingham; add $15 for Houston; $45 for Miami; $90 for Denver; $150 for Chicago; $162 for New York City; $174 for L.A.; $228 for Seattle; additional gateways available.

The fine print: Lowest prices are based on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday departures. Taxes and fees are an additional $35 per person. Airport-hotel transfers are an additional $29 per person each way. Breakfast is not included. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $255. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Oct. 30, 2009.

Contact: Southwest Vacations, 800/243-8372, southwestvacations.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fare between Birmingham and New Orleans is $171 for travel in mid-January (Northwest). For an additional $212, the Southwest Vacations package covers the round-trip flight, three nights' accommodations, and all taxes and fees.

More: Optional activities include a walking tour of the French Quarter ($17 per person), a boat tour of the swamps and bayous ($40 per person), and a visit to the Oak Alley Plantation ($44 per person). Get 20 percent off the cost of an Alamo or National car rental if you book it with your package. Additional nights at the Hilton Riverside start at $116 per person. For an extra $9 per person you can stay three nights at the Sheraton New Orleans.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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