Time to Explore; Whether Your Budget Means You Need to Find a Cheaper Destination, or You Just Fancy Discovering Somewhere New, the World Is Your Oyster

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THE holiday season has started in earnest, with Scots everywhere looking forward to their annual summer getaway.

Everyone knows what floats their boat when it comes to unwinding, whether it's a fortnight on the beach, a mountain trek or a learning break.

But just because you know what works, doesn't mean you can't try something new.

If you've been there, done it and bought the T-shirt, it's time to spice things up a little. And you can enjoy the buzz of trying somewhere new without risking any disappointment.

For instance, if the sunny beaches, friendly locals and instant flair of Spain draw you to the Costa del Sol every year, you're bound to love Morocco, too.

Despite being in North Africa, only nine miles of sea separates Morocco from Spain. And with exotic cities like Marrakesh, Fez and Casablanca to explore, there are always things to see and do.

If you're planning to stay in the south of Spain, there's nothing to stop you taking the ferry over to Morocco to see what it has to offer. But, if you want to do the country justice, you'll need at least three days to tour the cities and sample its many delights.

If the credit crunch is making you think twice about visiting expensive locations, it's time to seek out cheaper destinations.

If you love Italy for its ancient history and culture, Greece will offer you just as many inspirational delights. Athens and Rhodes are stuffed full of historic sites, while islands such as Crete and Mykonos have plenty of cosmopolitan hang-outs and natural beauty spots.

Many tour operators, including Thomas Cook and First Choice, offer package holidays to Greece, making it a viable destination for anyone thinking about lowering the cost of their getaway.

For Scots who like to experience some home comforts while on holiday, nowhere comes quite as close as Canada.

With stunning scenery, loads of cultural landmarks and plenty of atmosphere, it's no wonder that Nova Scotia is one the country's most popular provinces.

But if it's excitement you're after, cities like Toronto and Montreal are well known for their film and beer festivals, with Toronto even having its own version of the Fringe. …