Don't give up on a late holiday in the sun, just make sure you snap up good deal somewhere you can meet the locals. Ian McCurrach selects the best

1 Dubai

Dubai hits the headlines for its swanky five-star resorts. But there are other, cheaper, well-appointed options, too. The budget-but-chic Rimal Rotana Suites, in downtown Deira bordering the Creek, has a rooftop pool where you can soak up the same rays and be within walking distance of the city's cultural highlights. Remember, you can make further savings by eating at local restaurants.

Details: BA Holidays (0844 493 0758; ba.com ) offers five nights' B&B at the four-star Rimal Rotana Suites, from £768, including return BA flights from Heathrow. Valid for departures from 14 to24 January and 30 January to 21 February 2009.

2 Sri Lanka

Fly'n'flop takes an exotic twist at the ocean-facing Hotel Riverina on the sands of Beruwela beach. This cut-price option is an especially good choice for families, because there are plenty of children's activities at the hotel.

Details: First Choice (0871 664 9011; firstchoice.co.uk ) offers a two-week B&B break at the four-star Hotel Riverina from £529, including return direct flights from Gatwick with Thomson Airways and internal transfers.

3 Kenya

Tourism is on the increase again in this East African nation. And it isn't all about safari, there are great beaches to enjoy, too, without crippling jetlag. Book a package to the Diani Sea Resort to get good accommodation at three-star prices with the city of Mombasa within easy reach for a day trip out.

Details: Portland Direct (0871 231 3237; portlanddirect.co.uk ) offers seven nights' all-inclusive at the Diani Sea Resort from £625, including return flights with Thomson Airways and transfers. Departs 23 January.

4 India

For the culturally minded traveller in search of warmer weather, Kuoni's introductory trip to Rajasthan takes in the country's must-see historic palaces and forts at a snip. Highlights include New Delhi's Lutyens' architecture, the Taj Mahal at Agra, the "Pink City" of Jaipur and its Amber Fort.

Details: Kuoni Travel (01306 747008; kuoni. co.uk ) offers a six-night four-star Taj Tour of the Golden Triangle from £869, including return flights with BA from Heathrow and a mixed meal plan. Valid for travel during January and February 2009. Book by 30 November.

5 Dominican Republic

More budget all-inclusive beachfront action is on offer at the Casa Marina Reef Hotel in Sosua on the north coast of the island. Facilities include five restaurants and four bars, guaranteeing variety during your two-week stay. And when you need to get out, choose from the collection of excursions.

Details: Airtours (0871 664 7661; airtours. co.uk ) offers a two-week all-inclusive break at the three-star Casa Marina Reef Hotel from £650, including return direct flights from Gatwick with Thomas Cook Airlines and transfers. Departs 26 January 2009.

6 Thailand

The Cosy Beach Hotel Pattaya is another beachfront resort with tropical gardens in a quiet location. The property only has one restaurant serving a mix of cuisines, but you can cab it cheaply to nearby central Pattaya for more choice and shopping. There are plenty of watersports on offer and the beach is quiet and safe for kids.

Details: Teletext Holidays (0808 201 5325; teletextholidays.co.uk ) offers a seven-night B&B break at the three-star Cosy Beach Hotel Pattaya from £823, including return direct flights from Heathrow and transfers. Departs 23 January 2009.

7 Jamaica

A week in the sun on an island with a laid-back vibe is a no-brainer for beating the winter blues. Trelawny Beach Hotel, set on Trelawny beach in the north of the island, offers the whole deal for a bargain price: good watersports, crèche facilities for families, and a raft of excursions, including the YS Falls and Kingston.

Details: Thomas Cook (0844 412 5969; thomascook.co.uk ) offers a seven-night all-inclusive break at the three-star Trelawny Beach Hotel from £690, including return direct flights from Gatwick or Manchester to Montego Bay with Thomas Cook Airlines and transfers. Departs 19 January 2009.

8 Cape Town

Cape Town is a topographically stunning city offering visitors beach, city and mountain in one hit, with sunshine guaranteed. And thanks to the weak rand, after-dark dining at world-class restaurants such as Tank in trendy De Waterkant will cost less than a takeaway at home. Stay at the Camps Bay Resort and you'll be based in one of the trendiest areas of the city.

Details: Trailfinders (0845 050 5871; trailfinders.com ) offers five nights' self-catering at the three-star Camps Bay Resort from £739, including direct return flights with South African Airways from London Heathrow. Valid for departures until 9 December 2008 and from 9 to 31 January 2009. Book by 29 November.

9 Mexico

You can set the budget from the outset on an all-inclusive break. And all-in doesn't mean you can't break out and explore the country you're visiting. The Catalonia Riviera Maya Hotel, set on a beach on Mexico's Mayan Riviera, offers interesting excursions such as a trip to the historic Mayan ruins in Tulum. Meanwhile, on site there's a coral reef that offers good snorkelling, and facilities include five swimming pools and a choice of six restaurants.

Details: Thomson (0871 231 3235; thomson.co.uk ) offers a seven-night all-inclusive break at the four-star Catalonia Riviera Maya Hotel from £709, including return direct flights from Gatwick with Thomson Airways and transfers. Departs 14 January 2009.

10 Rio de Janeiro

Rio is all about the beach. But make sure you tick off the must-see sights – Corcovado, Sugar Loaf, the traditional tram to Santa Teresa – before you hit the city's sands. Ipanema and Leblon are the trendy places to hang out.

Details: Expedia (0871 222 9478; expedia.co.uk ) offers a six-night B&B break at the two-star Hotel Aeroporto Othon from £722, including return flights from Heathrow via Madrid with Iberia. Departs 12 January 2009.



All prices are correct at time of going to press. Prices are per person, based on two sharing, and are subject to availability

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