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Scotland packages, from $289

The country is throwing a yearlong party to celebrate the 250th anniversary of poet Robert Burns's birth. We're highlighting two packages that include tickets to quintessentially Scottish events.
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Braemar Highland Games, $289

The Braemar Gathering includes traditional activities like putting the stone, a tug of war, and a hill race; also of note are the Highland dances and bagpipers.

The Real Deal: Two nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, a ticket to the games, and transfers, for $289 per person.

When: Sept. 4, 2009.

The fine print: Does not include a $9 processing and shipping fee per reservation. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $119. A local company representative will be available in case of questions. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability (although these sell out fast).

Contact: Sceptre Tours, 800/221-0924, sceptretours.com.

Why it's a deal: The package price includes a ticket to the games, a $50 value per person. Rates at the hotel in September (when the area is flooded with tourists for the games) can run as high as $300 per person for the two-night stay. So if you booked without this tour, you could expect to spend as much as $350.

Lodging: You'll stay at the Aberdeen Altens Hotel. The 216-room hotel has a fitness center and a restaurant.

The Glasgow International Piping Festival, $489

The weeklong festival will feature live bagpipers every day, plus forums, amateur competitions, and a nighttime performance by the Red Hot Chili Pipers.

The Real Deal: Three nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, and a ticket to three events over two days: the International Piping Concert, the World Pipe Band Championships, and the After World's Shindig, for $489 per person.

When: Aug. 13, 2009.

The fine print: Does not include a $9 processing and shipping fee per reservation. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $240. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability (although this will probably sell out fast).

Contact: Sceptre Tours, 800/221-0924, sceptretours.com.

Why it's a deal: The package rate breaks down to $166 per person per night, and that includes tickets for each day, which would normally cost $150 per person. The hotel is popular for stays during the piping festival, and rates can climb up to $230 per room per night. Lock in the hotel stay and the tickets all in one sitting with Sceptre Tours, which will be able to ensure good seats and an available hotel room.

Lodging: The Best Western Glasgow City is near all the festival action. The 53-room hotel has free Wi-Fi and offers a complimentary drink upon arrival.

More: Upgrade to the Millennium Hotel in the Gold Package, which is $80 more per person.

Before you go: U.S. citizens will need a valid passport for travel; a visa is not required. Read more about Homecoming Scotland events here.