The Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo, in Florence,… (Fabrizio Giovannozzi /…)
All this holiday planning has me thinking about packages but not the kind that fit under the tree. For example, a winter-spring package to Tuscany, Italy, neatly wraps up airfare from Los Angeles, a six-night stay and a rental car into one great price starting at $1,039 per person.
The deal: The "Tuscany in Spring" package requires four travelers, which could work for family members, two couples or four friends. The price includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Florence; six nights in a two-bedroom apartment at the Fattoria Degli Usignoli resort near Florence; and a mid-sized rental car waiting at the airport. The price doesn’t include taxes and fees. The rental car comes with manual transmission; for an extra $79 per person, you can upgrade to an automatic.
When: This package is available from Jan. 20 through June 30, but prices go up in late spring and summer. The cheapest prices apply to travel from Jan. 20 to March 20. The deal is based on availability.
Tested: I checked online and chose April 11 as my departure date for a spring-break escape to Tuscany. In my package, the outbound flight from Los Angeles routed me to Rome on Delta Air Lines and then onto a connecting Alitalia flight to Florence. The return trip routed me from Florence to Paris on Air France and then from Paris to Los Angeles on another Air France flight.
The entire cost, including taxes and fees, came to $1,276 per person -- a great price considering that round-trip airfares alone on the same dates, when I researched them online, started at $1,272.
Contact: Sceptre Tours, (800) 221-0924.