What to pack for a stress-free holiday

bigstock-Word-Relax-On-Beach-50760366707I must confess I am not good with holidays, usually leaving it to the last minute, and then slightly dreading them as the time to ‘get away from it all’ draws closer.  Oh the expectations are so very high; the weather, the food, the mattress, the view, the other people if we’re in a hotel, the lack of other people if we’re half way up a mountain. In the past most of my packing consisted of first aid (cystitis, conjunctivitis, piles, thrush, athletes foot, you name it I am prepared) and toiletries – litres of sun care of every SPF, hair protecting serums, bronzers of all types;  face, legs, body, matt (for day) glossy (for night), herbal mosquito repellents, full on warfare repellents and creams and pills for when neither work. They regularly part company from their firmly put on lids spreading their contents throughout my freshly prepared holiday clothes. I have been known to empty my linseeds (they stop constipation) from the inside of my husband’s trainers where mysteriously they decided to migrate when the bag split. How does that happen snugly packed away in a suitcase? The holiday usually starts off badly as we wait for the dreaded 3am taxi to the Gatwick Express and I am several kilos overweight with my husband yelling things like “We are NOT going to an African war zone, they have pharmacies in France!’’  So I have finally pared down but this is my list of cannot-do-withouts on my holiday packing list that I have to bring from here:

Noise & Light: Muffles wax ear plugs and a good firm eye mask

Mosquito bites: take a good vitamin B complex with extra B1 a week before and during the holiday; although there is no firm scientific evidence it does really help some people as they make the skin smell bad to a mosquito, so worth a try. Also Avon Skin So Soft body cream has a fantastic reputation for being an excellent mosquito repellent.

Upset stomach: Optibac Travel Probiotics, just take one a day to help protect as well as speed recovery from bugs.

Constipation: Herbs Hands Healing Chamomile & Cascara capsules and glycerine suppositories

Skin: This Works In Transit First Aid, from cuts to spots, bites and stings this is a one stop cream that smells fabulous and from the same range Turbo Balm, for lips, cuticles and rough skin everywhere.  I also love the Aesop Travel Kits for their delicious smelling skin and hair products in small bottles

Sleep: Better You Magnesium Goodnight Spray from Holland & Barratt, Biovea Melatonin 3mg if you are travelling through time zones.

Suncare Futurebiotics High Potency Astaxanthin, one a day starting two weeks before you leave may help to protect your skin from burning and sun damage. With new research suggesting that chemical sunscreens damage sperm it could be assumed that they are not very good for anyone so try products like Neals Yard’s new chemical free range or Mypure Natural Mineral Sunscreen, Jason Mineral Sunblock or Dr Mercola Natural Sunscreen from Evolution Organics.

Hair: Aveda make three lovely products to protect from sun damage and chlorine – a spray, a shampoo and a serum.

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