The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on Air China; four nights at the Beijing Joy City Hotel & Apartment in Beijing, two nights at the Xian Jianguo Hotel in Xi'an, and two nights at the Shanghai Crowne Plaza Hotel in Shanghai; transfers and ground transportation; 13 meals; flights within China (also on Air China); and private sightseeing tours and entrance fees, from $888 per person — plus about $286 in taxes.
When: Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb. 12, 19, 26, 2010; add $200 for March 5, 12, 19, 26; add $400 for April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, July 9, 16, 23, 30; add $700 for June 11, 18, 25, July 2; additional dates in 2010 available.
Gateways: San Francisco; add $300 for New York City.
The fine print: Does not include taxes of about $286 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is from $300. U.S. citizens will need a valid passport and a visa for travel; China Spree can arrange your visa for $150. Read more about visa requirements. The $888 starting price reflects a discount available if you pay the balance of the tour cost in advance by personal check; otherwise, the trip price starts at $1,088. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: China Spree, 866/652-5656, chinaspree.com.
Why it's a deal: We recently priced out this multicity itinerary on Kayak and found a $1,023 round-trip fare for travel in early January (Air China). For $151 more, including all taxes, this package includes airfare as well as eight nights' accommodations, sightseeing tours, and some meals. That breaks down to about $147 per person per night.
More: You can add nights in Shanghai at the end of the trip — contact China Spree for a quote (rates vary greatly depending on departure dates).