Where in the world does your money go?

You can pitch a tent for under £100; a private island will cost just a little more. Jill Crawshaw on this year's holiday offers
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The Independent Culture
HOW much? That is the critical question most holidaymakers agonise over, wondering whether there is enough in the kitty to fly off to visit friends in Budapest, relations in Australia, or to fulfil dreams of exploring India, East Africa or the Sahara desert.

Here we look at a range of starting prices for holidays, flights and short breaks, from under £100 to no more than £750. We haven't costed in any expenses or extras, and in some cases the dates available are limited. The prices listed are not necessarily the lowest, but they are typical of what is available - and what does emerge on the whole is what good value holidays are.

For under £100 you can cross the Channel and spend a weekend exploring the canals of Bruges, or the markets of Paris; while on a round-the-world air ticket costing less than many scheduled return flights, you can stop off at some exotic destinations.

We include some of those much maligned package holidays which are one of the consumer revolutions of the last 30 years, and can provide unbeatable value for those who select with care. There are some ideal family resorts on offer for under £250, and Far East, Caribbean and African destinations for under £500. It is often worth taking the low-priced offers and using them as a base for exploration, adding your own "extras", because it would be impossible to organise the holiday independently on a similar budget.

If you prefer to have your own island or atoll to yourself, you can - at a price. We have also listed lots of ideas for the increasing number of people who prefer to do something on holiday, whether it is studying the secret life of otters, discovering the Catalan coastline on foot, or exploring the Provenal countryside by bike.

Is the critical question now, can you afford not to go?

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