The Real Deal: Round trip airfare, five nights' accommodations, and hotel taxes from $679 per person—plus an estimated $38 in airport taxes and fees.
When: Aug. 18-Dec. 8, 2008.
Gateways: L.A. and San Francisco.
The fine print: Hotel taxes are included. Does not include airport taxes and fees of $38. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $344. You can fly from other gateway cities, but those trips will only be for three nights (some sample prices: $645 per person from Seattle, $1,119 per person from Chicago); see pleasantholidays.com for more details. If you don't live in California, we recommend booking a cheap flight to either L.A. or San Francisco so that you can still take advantage of the five-night package—a much better value. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: July 13, 2008.
Contact: Pleasant Holidays, 800/742-9244, pleasantholidays.com.
Why it's a deal: A recent Kayak search produced a $791 round-trip flight between L.A. and Maui on United in late August. In comparison, the Pleasant Holidays air/hotel package provides dramatic savings. For the total package cost of $717—$74 less than the flight when booking airfare independently—you get not only airfare, but a five-night hotel stay and all taxes covered. Consider, too, that this package offers five nights for the typical package price of a four-night stay.
Trip details: In the Lahaina Shores Beach Resort package, you'll fly on United Airlines to Kahului Airport in Maui and transfer to your hotel, about 25 miles away.
The 199-room Lahaina Shores Beach Resort will be your base for five nights. Set on the outskirts of Lahaina, the main town in western Maui, the resort's rooms offer more than 540 square feet of living space, with a full bathroom, central air-conditioning, a queen bed or two twins, a kitchen, and a view of the south end of historic Lahaina and the picturesque West Maui Mountains.
You'll find lots to do at the resort. In addition to a swimming pool, it has immediate beach access. You can snorkel or surf (guest services will help you arrange lessons), or watch for whales during the high season, between November and April.
Lahaina is a small town that attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. It celebrates the Taste of Lahaina & Best of Island Music Festival in September with live music and food prepared by the best local chefs in town. Halloween is a town-wide event, with live music, costumes, and activities for kids.
Maui is warm year-round—temperatures range in the 70s and 80s during the day. Late summer and fall can bring some nighttime or early-morning rain. The August through December travel dates are the tourist low season in Hawaii—although August can be a little busier. But you'll benefit from skipping the crowds.
Want to stay longer? Extra nights start at $113 per person per night. Or upgrade to an oceanfront room for $226 per person.
For more tips on what to do, visit Hawaii's official tourism site.