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Puerto Vallarta, air/4 nights, from $424

/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on American Airlines to Puerto Vallarta; four nights at the all-inclusive Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa; all meals, snacks, and beverages; fuel surcharges; and hotel taxes, from $424 per person — plus estimated taxes of $109.

When: Through Dec. 16, 2009; the starting rate is for travel Dec. 3–7.

Gateways: Chicago, L.A., Seattle; add $49 for Denver, $53 for Dallas, $62 for New York City, $63 for Miami, $97 for Atlanta, additional gateways available.

The fine print: A minimum two-night stay is required but the starting rate is based on a four-night stay; the per person per night cost is about $109. Taxes are about an additional $106 per person. Airport-hotel transfers are an additional $47 per person round trip. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $80. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Nov. 30, 2009, or at least 14 days prior to departure (whichever comes first).

Contact: American Airlines Vacations, 800/321-2121, aavacations.com.

Why it's a deal: A recent search on Kayak yielded a lowest round-trip fare between Chicago and Puerto Vallarta of $314, with taxes, for travel in early December (US Airways). For $219 more, this American Airlines Vacations package covers the international airfare, as well as all-inclusive accommodations for four nights, fuel surcharges, and all taxes.

More: Optional activities include a canopy tour ($79 per person), a Banderas Bay sailing tour ($85 per person), and a dolphin encounter ($100 per person). Additional nights at the Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa start at $98 per room per night.

Hotel upgrades include the Paradise Village Beach Resort & Spa (an extra $20 per person), the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (an extra $112 per person), and the Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa (an extra $340 per person).