pounds 82

per adult (pounds 68.80 for under-18s) you can spend five nights at the City of London YHA youth hostel, right opposite St Paul's cathedral. This price includes breakfast and is valid until the end of February. Details of this and other YHA youth hostels in London on 01727 855215.

pounds 180

per day, you can rent a house that sleeps 10 people on the Isle of Skye, available over Christmas. Duisdale House is on the water's edge and within walking distance of the Gaelic Whisky Company. Call Rural Retreats on 01386 701177.

pounds 301

you can spend some of the first nights of 1998 in Venice, departing Gatwick on January 1st or 2nd. Stay in three-star Hotel Do Pozzi. The price is based on two sharing and includes scheduled flights. For reservations, call Citalia on 0181 686 5533.

pounds 529

per person, four people plus their car can go on an eight-day skiing holiday in France over Christmas, departing on 20 December. The price includes return ferry crossings, HB accommodation in the village of Bessans and nordic ski pack (with passes). Call Headwater on 01606 813367.

pounds 549

per person, you and your partner can waltz at the Ball at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, at the end of next January. This is one of Europe's biggest social events. In addition to the Ball, the package includes return flights, five-star accommodation, a four-course dinner and tickets to a Mozart concert. Call 01442 879000 and quote the Vienna Ball offer.

pounds 684

per person, you can spend seven nights half-board at the delightful La Roserie Hotel outside Marrakesh. Facilities include not only a swimming pool and tennis courts, but also 50 acres of parkland, lemon and lime groves and Arab horses which can be rented by the hour. Price includes scheduled flights from Gatwick. Call Cadogan Holidays on 01703 828304.

pounds 1,070

per person, based on two sharing, you can indulge your love of opera next summer by joining an eight-day tour of Poland, including at least five nights at the opera in Warsaw and Krakow. Price includes half-board accommodation and various tours - as well as all that opera. This is one of a series of such opera tours in different parts of Europe. Call Brompton Travel on 0181 549 3334.

pounds 1,129

you can spend two weeks casting off tensions by learning the "Alexander Technique" in Greece. The first week (full-board) is spent in the mountains of Northwest Greece, the second (B&B) in a small island village. The Alexander Technique is taught in morning group sessions. Call Travelux on 01580 765000.