Summer holidays are much on our minds, whether you’re escaping to the sun before school’s out or starting to think about that family break with the kids.
Whatever your holiday plans are, we’ve got some nifty tips and tricks to help you all stay well while you’re away….
Check out where you check in
Suffer from travel sickness?
When checking in online, select seats over or near the wings of the plane as they get the least amount of motion, or choose window seats, which allow you to keep an eye on the horizon.
Listen to an audio book instead of reading and use the vent overhead to blow air on your face.
Don’t arrive with a cold
Studies show that travelling in close proximity to others can put us at greater risk of catching respiratory viruses.
US researchers found that a sick member of cabin crew was able to infect an average of four passengers per flight, while anyone sitting within a row or two seats of an unwell passenger had an 80% chance of picking up an infection.
Echinaforce Throat Spray (£10.99; Holland & Barrett) can help support immune responses against air cabin infection (and swimming pool germs too).
Make sure you drink plenty of water when you fly – particularly if you’re going long-haul.
“When we fail to drink enough water, the composition of our blood changes and becomes more concentrated,” explains Professor Mark Whiteley, venous specialist and founder of The Whiteley Clinic.
“On a long flight, it is imperative to stay hydrated as concentrated blood, coupled with a long period of inactivity, will heighten the risk of a clot forming.”
Banish the bugs
Swabs from aircraft tray tables revealed that 60% tested positive for MRSA.
Other “hot spots” include the pouches on the backs of seats and pillows which are often recycled after flights without being cleaned.
So pack an antibacterial wipe and give your table the once over before you settle in.
There’s a risk of serious infection if you wear contact lenses while swimming, whether you’re in a pool or the sea.
Exposing lenses to any kind of water, including showers, hot tubs and lakes, carries the risk of exposing them to microorganisms which can cause infections that lead to pain, visual impairment and, in worst-case scenarios, blindness.
Never use tap water to rinse them, or put them in your mouth to clean them either.
Waiting to apply your sunscreen until you get to the beach ignores the fact that you’ll be exposed to UV rays as soon as you head outside.
Eight out of 10 people fail to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun, according to a recent survey by the British Association of Dermatologists.
“It should be applied half an hour before going outdoors, giving it time to be absorbed and start working,” says Clare O’Connor, UK sun care adviser at Boots.
“Applying your first coat while naked in the privacy of your hotel room or apartment bathroom means a more even coverage and reduces the risk of straps rubbing off wet cream.”
“Studies show the more variety and choice of foods on offer, the more we tend to eat,” warns psychologist and nutritional therapist Christy Fergusson.
So have a plan of attack when it comes to approaching the buffet on an all-inclusive break.
A good strategy is to pick up a side plate, hit the salad bar first and then go for the freshly cooked meat or fish.
And never “double carb” – avoid eating bread and pasta, or chips and pastry in the same meal. Stick to one or the other.
Don’t feel the burn
Add Soleve Sunburn Relief (£9.95, lloydspharmacy.com) to your packing list.
Unlike conventional after-sun lotions, it contains pain-relieving ibuprofen, taking the sting from burnt skin while a soothing and rehydrating emollient helps lock in moisture, reduce skin tightness and minimise irritation any from clothing.
If you forget and the pharmacy is closed by the time you get back from the beach, you could always try a natural remedy – apply cold milk or natural yoghurt –to the bits you’ve fried.
“The lactic acid in dairy acts as an anti-inflammatory,” says skincare specialist Dr Ross Perry, Medical Director of CosmedicsUK.
“Cooled tea can also help – the tannic acid reportedly helps draw heat from sunburned skin and restores the pH balance.”
Keep on moving
Aim to spend at least 10 minutes every hour moving, whether in the water or exploring your destination on foot.
It will help offset the inevitable holiday weight gain – a whopping 62% of Brits say they put on weight on holiday, according to a recent survey.
Learn the lingo
Or at least a sentence or two… Get your medical condition or any food allergies translated into the language of the country you’re visiting to avoid any confusion if you become ill, suggests pharmacist Alison Freemantle.
And keep a list of any medication you are taking in case you lose any of them.
Sun loungers can be a nightmare for anyone with lower back pain.
When lying on your back, placing a rolled-up towel under your knees will help take the strain – and try not to stay horizontal for hours on end.
Don’t go sightseeing in flip flops, advises podiatrist Emma Supple.
She says: “Wearing thin-soled, unsupportive shoes that slap against the foot as you walk creates dry, hard skin.
“Use an intensive moisturiser like Flexitol Heel Balm (£9.99) for soft summer feet.”