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Holistic health tips for a staycation or holiday abroad

The past year has been extremely tough for us all, with stress and anxiety over the Covid-19 pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives.

As restrictions have started to lift, many of us will be hoping to take a much-needed holiday this summer – either at home or abroad.

“Burnout can influence every aspect of your life from relationships to physical and mental health,” says Dr Lynda Shaw, a neuroscientist, business psychologist and change specialist. “One of the main ways to tackle burnout is taking time off to relax. Time off helps to ease feelings of stress and anxiety, alleviating pressure and feelings of burnout. Working without breaks creates an imbalance in hormone levels and increases inflammatory processes which weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, viruses and other illnesses. Giving your body frequent periods of rest prevents poor health and can reduce the chances of serious medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.”

So, as you prepare for your UK staycation or holiday abroad, take note of these natural remedies and holistic helpers that will keep you feeling happy, healthy and well.

Sun protection

“Sunburn can be excruciating, and quite often ruin your entire trip,” says Margo Marrone, co-founder of The Organic Pharmacy ( “Relieving pain seems impossible at the time but there are some things you can do to ease the burns. Stay hydrated; this means both inside and out. Drink plenty of water and take frequent cold showers to reduce the inflammation. Soy and aloe vera are both ingredients perfect for cooling and healing sunburn and should be applied as and when needed. Try to apply at least twice a day to minimise unpleasant tingling sensations. For prevention of persistent burning, an SPF or an SPF moisturiser should be worn every day, even under your make-up and even during the winter months. It not only protects from sun damage and skin cancer, but it also maintains your skin’s healthy appearance and contributes to the fight against premature ageing. This applies to everyone, no matter what their age or skin type. Adding sunscreen to your daily skincare routine should be at the top of your list as UV rays are harmful all year round.”


“Dehydration is a common illness with holidaymakers, caused by not drinking enough fluid, to replace the fluid that the body loses due to the heat,” explains Holly Lee-Huntley, a Nutritional Therapist working with Pukka Herbs ( “Several factors can help our body to become dehydrated such as the climate, physical exercise and our diets.

Hydration is one of the simplest things we can do on holiday to keep our health in the best condition it can be. Drinking the right amount of water can help with many physiological processes, such as flushing out waste, regulating body temperature, supporting brain function and is also key to maintaining a healthy immune and lymphatic system.”

Sleep aids

“Common suggestions to help minimise jet lag include keeping hydrated on your flight and trying to sleep on the aeroplane if it is night-time,” says naturopath Sarah Burt ( “On reaching your destination, stick to the local time schedule. Supplements like melatonin (2mg to 5mg) taken half an hour to two hours before sleeping can help as they delay the waking portion of the circadium rhythms to help shift your sleep pattern.”

Holly Lee-Huntley adds: “Valerian acts as a natural sedative to ease tension and anxiety. Lavender flower, oatstraw and chamomile flower soothe, calm and ground your body and mind and help to promote a healthy sleeping routine.”


“Travel motion sickness and nausea can be another condition experienced with travelling,” says Sarah Burt. “It can be greatly reduced with the ingestion of ginger, a traditional remedy used to help seasick sailors. Take as a sweet, tea, capsule or as ginger ale. Lemons, green apples and apple cider vinegar all have properties that help to fight stomach acidity which causes this nausea. There is a pressure point located three fingers breadth below the wrists on the inner forearm between the two tendons which, when pressed, can help too.”

Bite protection

“For any nasty bites or stings, most insects are deterred by the smell of vitamin B1 in the blood stream, so take this as a daily supplement when travelling,” advises Sarah Burt. “If bitten, colloidal silver spray is an essential all-round first aid spray to have to hand. Highly antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal in its compounds, it can prevent any bites or stings from turning nasty. Colloidal oatmeal in the form of a cream or an over-the-counter powder is very effective for the itchiness of bites. Manuka honey is an osmotic agent that pulls water into the wound and has an antibacterial action, so carrying some of this with you too is a good tip.”

Good gut health

It’s all too easy to get caught up in holiday excitement and end up overindulging in food and drinks that you wouldn’t normally have. And, if you’re going abroad, travellers’ diarrhoea can often become an unwanted element of your trip. In the weeks leading up to your holiday, eat plenty of gut-friendly foods to keep your gut in optimal shape. “Eat the rainbow – aim for 30 different plant foods per week to bring a diversity of beneficial bacteria to the gut, says Marilia Chamon, a Registered Nutritional Therapist and founder of Gutfulness Nutrition ( “Also, eat fermented foods, also known as probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and live yoghurt.” If you do find yourself experiencing diarrhoea, Marilia recommends limiting foods that act as gut irritants like coffee, alcohol, spicy foods and high fat meals. She adds: “Saccharomyces boulardii, a non-pathogenic yeast, has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing traveller’s diarrhoea. Beneficial bacteria such as L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, L. reuteri and L. plantarum have all shown some level of evidence in assisting with diarrhoea, be it antibiotic-associated diarrhoea or due to an infection such as gastroenteritis or food poisoning."

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