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For value-conscious travelers, packages are often a smart way to go because they can save you a ton of money. Package tours are not the same thing as escorted tours. You'll be on your own, but in most cases, an air/land/hotel package to TCI will include airfare, hotel, and car rental -- and it'll cost you less than just the hotel alone if you booked it yourself.

You'll find packages to Turks and Caicos, but they aren't as common as for other Caribbean Islands (TCI has instead opted for upscale marketing). Check out some of the big online travel agencies -- Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz -- which do a brisk business in packages. Remember to comparison shop among at least three different operators, and always compare apples to apples.

One good source of package deals is the airlines themselves. Most major airlines offer air/land/hotel packages, including American Airlines Vacations (tel. 800/321-2121; www.aavacations.com), Delta Vacations (tel. 800/221-6666; www.deltavacations.com), Continental Airlines Vacations (tel. 800/301-3800; www.covacations.com), and United Vacations (tel. 888/854-3899; www.unitedvacations.com). Liberty Travel (tel. 888/271-1584; www.libertytravel.com) also occasionally offers packages to Turks and Caicos.

Of course, don't forget to check hotel or resort websites for very desirable package deals, especially in the off-season. No, these packages rarely include airfares, but they're packed with extra amenities (or a night free) if you book a block of vacation time, say, 5 or 7 days. These packages are often built around themes and often include meals, spa treatments, or excursions along with the lodging.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.