There's nothing worse than a hard-earned holiday getting blighted by sun-burn or ill-health. That's why it helps to know what to look out for whilst abroad and how to prevent problems arising in the first place.

Why mosquito repellents work

Mosquitoes have an extraordinary sense of smell. Studies have shown that a big part of a mosquitoes' brains is devoted to this sense. Female mosquitoes (the ones that bite us) find their blood meals by using their smell to sniff us out but fortunately they hate the smell of the mosquito repellent DEET. It used to be thought that DEET worked by masking the odours that attract mosquitoes to us but actually it turns out that it's the DEET that they smell and it's their dislike of this that keeps them away from us.

Does ginger help prevent travel sickness?

Ginger has been used to prevent and treat nausea in many cultures for thousands of years. There have been some studies testing whether ginger prevents nausea associated with morning sickness and also in people undergoing chemotherapy. But in all cases the results have been mixed. In a review of its impact on chemo patients, three studies suggested it did reduce sickness, two implied it had some impact and two showed it had no effect whatsoever. Studies on its impact on motion sickness are scant. So in short ginger (taken as a supplement, as ginger biscuits or in tea) may prevent travel sickness but it's inconclusive.