How to sleep in a heatwave and other tips for making the most of your holiday

From staying safe and avoiding scams to packing like a pro, MICHELE O’CONNOR asks the experts for their top troubleshooting tips and tricks…

Getting there

Fake tan disaster the night before? Don’t panic. Make a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice, then jump in the shower and gently rub over uneven patches to fade them.

It’s easy to pack like a pro, says decluttering expert Vicky Silverthorn (

“Pack different outfits together rather than throwing random items into a suitcase. And ensure every item has a purpose by separating them into ‘pool’, ‘beach’, ‘evening’ and so on,” she says.

“Think through what you’ll need and when. Make sure pyjamas and wash bags are easy to access if you’re arriving at night. And pack a bikini in your hand luggage in case you have to wait to check in at the hotel.”

At the airport

Invest in luggage scales and pack them for the return journey too. “This will offset any nasty surprises at the airport,” says Natalie Smith, publishing director at travel website Culture Trip.

Buy essentials at the airport. Natalie says: “You could save up to 2kg luggage allowance by stocking up on toiletries and suncare at the airport where deals can be better than on the high-street.”

Travelling with family? “Create plane activity packs for young children with games, crafts and toys,” adds Natalie.

“Label hold luggage as fragile, even if it isn’t,” says Alana Gomez of bargain flights website “This will ensure your bag is handled with care. It will also come out of the hold sooner.”

You’ve arrived

“Combat the aching back and stiff neck caused by hours spent in a car or plane by using a tennis ball to massage sore areas,” says Marc Sanders of the British Chiropractic Association. “Place the ball between your back and the wall and make gentle circular movements to ease tight muscles.”

For a healthy alternative to ice cream, cut watermelon into large triangles and make a small hole in the skin. Push a stick into the hole, then freeze for a refreshing ice lolly.

Banish bugs by cutting limes in half and studding with whole cloves. Place around your outdoor table or patio to deter mosquitoes.

If you’re too hot to sleep, Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan suggests chilling your pillowcase in the freezer before going to bed and sleeping in cool wet socks. You could also rinse your feet and wrists with cold water and put a bowl of ice in front of a fan to cool the room,” she says.

Hit the beach

Avoid bringing sand back with you by carrying essentials in a mesh bag. On the beach, an empty beer or wine carrier is perfect for storing drinks, cutlery and condiments.

Make a DIY speaker with your phone and a glass. Pop your phone inside with the speaker facing upwards and the glass will magnify the sound, boosting volume.

“Protect your phone with a sandwich bag”, says Kate Pattinson at Ashleigh Money Saver.

“You’ll be able to use your touchscreen and take photos without your phone ending up smeared with sun cream and sand.”

Picnic on a fitted bed sheet. “Stretching it out and pinning the corners into place with your bags is a great way to create a walled, sand-free space,” says Kate.

“It’s particularly effective if you have a small baby or you just want a space to eat where you won’t get sand in your sandwiches.”

Stay safe

Check credit card charges before you pay, warns Mark White, boss of fraud prevention firm Reassura. “Some issuers charge a minimum of £2 per transaction abroad, so there’s no point paying for a three euro beer with your card.”

Avoid public wifi spots. “They can be set up by fraudsters trying to get personal information – particularly in airports,” explains Mark. “If you must use public wifi, check with a member of staff that it is legitimate.”

No safe in the room? “Hide valuables in the toes of shoes, then stuff with socks and keep at the top or underneath storage units that aren’t generally moved,” says travel blogger, Gareth O’Sullivan (@garethgoesplaces).

The Lifeventure Travel Door Lock, £5.99 ( is a nifty device that keeps your hotel room secure.

Pop it in the frame of your hotel or wardrobe door, and no-one will be able to open the door by the handle from the outside.

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