The very word ‘holiday’ often induces an immediate panic attack in me in terms of what to pack in order to cover all potential disasters. I often have so much emergency medical equipment on me that I can barely fit any clothes in my bag! From thrush and cystitis, to piles, conjunctivitis, constipation, diarrhoea, sunburn, prickly heat, bites and food poisoning I am covered. Then there’s my toiletries, fake tans, wash-off tans, suntan lotion, after sun, facial bronzers; and that’s without the cleansers, shampoos, hair protecting stuff, moisturisers and nail stuff. Then there’s my food. Yes, I have to take my breakfast everywhere with me, my linseeds (milled and whole) accompany me round the world in a bag, or I’ll be constipated or get hot flushes or what? Another panic attack perhaps! And my tea bags, and sometimes my portable kettle. Clothes are the least of my worries here!
So, you may think I am perhaps not the best person to advise, but I am changing my ways, streamlining my products and also, I am very conscious of using chemical free, eco- friendly products, which are what I advise for everyone trying for a baby or going through IVF. I am going to buy a lovely new wash bag, and if anything doesn’t fit then it stays behind!
Hopefully we can forget about the strong mosquito stuff, as anyone trying for a baby or about to do IVF should be avoiding the Zika virus areas. So, I’m just going to focus on European mosquito avoidance here. And for everything else, if you are anywhere in Europe, the pharmacies are fabulous.
SKIN: Two weeks before your holiday, take a supplement called Astaxanthin which helps prepare the skin to protect itself from UV rays. Also, a tablespoon of tomato puree mixed with olive oil eaten every day for two weeks before is believed to help reduce UV damage dramatically.
FAKE TANS: Look at this article for DHA-free fake tans (DHA is the chemical that makes fake tans smell awful and may be linked to health problems).
MOSQUITOS: A good B Complex and a separate B1 taken a week before you go and during the holiday will make your skin smell bad to a mosquito. And try this gentle spray on your skin that is organic, vegan and paraben-free, formulated for babies.
TUMMY PROBLEMS: Taking a good probiotic from a week before you go and during your holiday can really help protect you from bugs and poisoning. I like Optibac Probiotics for Travelling Abroad - available here.
MANI/PEDI: I would say no to gel/shellacs as the chemicals are way too strong but this website gives you a choice of some lower chemical nail polishes just for your holiday.
LONG HAUL TRAVEL: A good blood thinning anti-clotting (DVT) is Pycnogenol - try Viridian Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Complex, one a day from a week before, during and a week after. Take it before sleep in the night time of whatever time zone you are in.
And Neal’s Yard Organic Facial Wipes are brilliant for travelling.
WHEN YOU ARE THERE
SLEEP: To re-set your body clock, especially from long haul travel, Melatonin is brilliant. Take it before sleep in the night time of whatever time zone you are in. And I usually take Muffles wax ear plugs from Boots and a good eye mask like Solait from Superdrug are essential.
SUNSCREEN AND AFTERSUN: Organic and chemical-free Organii and Green People are fabulous and I take a little bottle of good olive oil with me as studies have shown that it can help repair sun-damaged skin (and unfortunately even a light golden glow is a sign of sun damage).
CONSTIPATION: Loads of water and a glycerine suppository (Boots) usually helps, plus the linseeds.
TUMMY UPSET: Optibac Probiotics Extra Strength one a day (just take one a day when you are there) and this organic mineral gel, Enterosgel, is brilliant for any tummy problems and comes in sachets so easy to pack.