The real deal: Round-trip airfare, train travel, and seven nights' accommodations from $1,199 per person—plus airfare taxes of $112.
When: Jan. 10, 24, 2008; Feb. 7; add $30 for Mar. 20, Nov. 20, Dec. 4; $40 for Feb. 21, Nov. 13; $90 for Oct. 30; $100 for Mar. 6; $230 for Apr. 3, 10, May 15, 29, June 12, Sept. 11, 18; $250 for Oct. 23; $280 for Dec. 18; $390 for Aug. 28; $480 for July 24.
Gateways: Boston, New York City; add $65 from Chicago; $108 from Miami; $114 from L.A.; additional cities available. Rates vary based on date, departure city, and availability.
The fine print: Airline taxes of $112 per person are additional. Breakfast daily and hotel taxes are included. Hotel upgrades are not available. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $320. Add round-trip transfers between the airport and hotel by private car for a total of $93 per person, based on double occupancy. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: To receive these rates, book by Jan. 18, 2008. By availability. The promotion-code discount of $100 is valid for travel between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 18, 2008.
Contact: Gate1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com (use promotion code FRSS100 to reduce the listed price by $100).
Why it's a deal: In comparison, the lowest round-trip fares we've found to Tel Aviv in January are $946 from New York (multiple carriers) and $1,137 from L.A. (Northwest). For about $380 to $450 more (after taxes), Gate1 Travel will provide you with a round-trip flight, seven nights' accommodations, and a sightseeing tour.
You can spend the three days exploring Tel Aviv on your own. Next, you travel by coach bus to Galilee. Along the way, you'll visit Caesarea, an ancient Roman port with an aqueduct; Mount Carmel, for a panoramic view of Mukraka Monastery; the Druze villages and the markets nearby; Haifa's Baha'i gardens; and Nazareth.
You'll spend one night at the Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel, a 130-room property in Galilee.
Next, you'll stay four nights at the Olive Tree Hotel in Jerusalem. The package includes a half-day tour of Jerusalem's Old City that takes you to the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and a bazaar.
Optional tours and excursions are available. For instance, in Jerusalem you can take a half-day guided tour of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls can be viewed; Mount Herzl Military Cemetery; and Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust, for $35 per person.
Another option, for $70 per person, includes a drive via Ma'aleh Adumim and the Inn of the Good Samaritan in the Judean Dessert to visit Masada, a fortress of King Herod. The highlight of the tour is a trip to the Ein Gedi Spa for a rejuvenating swim in the Dead Sea.
While Israel's weather can often be tropical with tons of sunshine, be prepared for a rainy winter period from November through May. You can find more tips on what to expect by visiting Israel's official tourism Web site. For safety information and the latest travel warnings, consult the U.S. State Department's consular information sheet on Israel.