Fertility friendly holiday packing by Mel Brown

With “Freedom Day” for the UK fast approaching on July 19th, meaning all Covid 19 restrictions are to be lifted, many are thinking about travelling abroad for either IVF or a well needed holiday. We turned to fertility expert Melanie Brown for her guidance on what we should be packing in our suitcases.

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 be 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.

Holiday preparation

SKIN: Two weeks before your holiday, take a supplement called Astaxanthin which helps prepare the skin to protect itself from UV rays. Future Biotics. 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 website for DHA-free fake tans (DHA is the chemical that makes fake tans smell awful and may be linked to health problems.


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. Try this gentle spray on your skin that is organic, vegan and paraben free, formulated for babies. Babylabs Bug Spray can be purchased here

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. Optibac Probiotics for Travelling Abroad.


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. 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 here

SLEEP: To reset your body clock, especially from long haul travel, Melatonin is brilliant. And to re-set your body clock Melatonin 5mg is great to use.

Take it before sleep in the night time of whatever time zone you are in. And I usually. And Muffles wax ear plugs from Boots and a good eye mask like Solait from Superdrug are essential.

WASH OFF TAN: My absolute favourite of all time Tan Luxe Instant Hero Skin Perfector. Parabens free and vegan.

Sunscreen and aftersun

Organic and chemical-free Organii and Green People are fabulous and can be purchased from here 

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).


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 is brilliant for any tummy problem, comes in sachets so easy to pack, an organic mineral gel called Enterosgel.

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.


Herbs Hands Healing Chamomile & Cascara capsules and glycerine suppositories.


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.


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


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.


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

Mel Brown is a leading fertility lifestyle and nutritionist expert. To keep up to date with Mel, follow her on Instagram @melaniebrownnutritionist

If you haven’t caught up with any of Mel’s expert advice before, click here to read more

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