Travel health: the experts' picks

Depending on your destination (and when you're travelling) you're likely to pack suncream, sunglasses and any prescription medication you usually take. In addition to the above, we asked the health professionals to choose the one holiday essential that they wouldn't travel without.

The general practitioner's pick: antioxidants

“Antioxidants such as vitamin complexes with vitamin C and E will stimulate the immune system. Often people get unwell on holiday after the flight or due to not sleeping enough or not eating healthily. Taking a regular antioxidant supplement before and during your holiday can help boost your immune system and stop this happening. To protect my skin from sun damage I always use a body cream rich in vitamin E and aloe vera. The antioxidant vitamin E helps repair damaged cells and aloe vera hydrates the skin and replenishes cells.”

Dr Sohere Roked, GP, at the Marion Gluck Clinic

The nutritionist's pick: probiotics

“Over half of us have experienced an upset tummy on holiday, which could be due to anything from dehydration to over indulgence. Probiotic products can help your body to protect itself against harmful, unfamiliar bacteria potentially found in food. By taking lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium probiotic capsules (such as Nature’s Best Acidophilus Extra 10), you can help maintain the optimum healthy balance of bowel flora. This can also help to minimise the impact of infectious diarrhoea.”

Moyra Cosgrove at Nature's Best

The health editor's pick: rehydration salts

“These are good to have with you in case of extremely hot weather which can leave me feeling a bit dehydrated and headachy. They're also good to have to hand in case of a spot of tummy trouble and diarrhoea while travelling, as this risks leaving you dehydrated, too.”

Karin Mochan, editor, benhealth magazine

The beauty expert's pick: body oil

“I like to decant some Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse into a small bottle when travelling. It’s a multi-purpose dry oil (£28 for 100ml, Marks & Spencer) which works brilliantly as a moisturising after-sun body oil and smells divine so it doubles as a fragrance. It’s great on hair, too, and a little goes a long way.”

Alice Hart-Davis, creator of Good Things skincare

The vascular surgeon's pick: travel stockings

“I find that most important thing to prevent a DVT [deep vein thrombosis] when going on holiday (providing you are fit and healthy) is to wear properly fitted travel stockings for the flight, and then keep well hydrated both on the flight and in a hot climate. You can still have alcoholic drinks on holiday – I just make sure I have water and juice with them!”

Professor Mark Whiteley, venous specialist at The Whiteley Clinic

The microbiologist's pick: travel-size hand sanitiser

“The size of the product makes cleaning up myself and my kids just so much simpler. I like alcohol-free products, like EcoHydra, because it makes it less of an issue with kids - I can leave them with the bottle to clean themselves up and not worry. The foamier the better too, as the kids even treat it like a game, which is a bit of a bonus!

The active ingredients in this particular hand sanitiser mean that it is effective against an enormous range of bugs, so when travelling you can be sure that it will be just as effective as when you're at home. It’s also really pleasant to use, even after repeated use, because of the aloe vera in the ingredients. It doesn’t dry out your hands or make them crack, which can make you even more prone to bacteria."

Dr Carl Edwards, independent healthcare technologist

Suggested reading

Travel: your pre-trip checklist

Travelling with a health condition

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