The anticipation that builds when you’re getting ready to go on holiday is almost as exciting as actually arriving at your destination and checking out the local beach or city.

So whatever you do this year, make sure you allows pack a suitable insect repellent to ensure you don’t spend the majority of your well-earned break trying not to scratch your itchy bites.

There are lots of different options when it comes to mosquito repellents, from the chemical-based solutions to the natural oils that can be burnt to ward off intrepid bugs.

For those who are looking for eco-friendly products there is citronella essential oil, which is widely used to repel mosquitoes, black flies, ticks and fleas without being toxic to the environment. It can be mixed with a small amount of carrier oil for a solution to apply to any exposed skin when you step outside at night.

You may need to re-apply the mixture every hour or so because citronella can evaporate quickly when exposed to the air, but this can be done quickly and easily if you pack a small spray bottle in your bag before you head out.

Dr James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine urged holidaymakers to watch out for nasty insect bites when they go abroad this year, because there are certain parts of the world that still pose a malaria risk.

"Mosquito bites also cause itchy reactions which can become infected if the skin is broken, particularly in hot countries abroad," he noted.

"Many repellents only work at a short range and should therefore be applied like a suntan lotion - with complete coverage on exposed skin … The best advice is to reapply when you think it is necessary. We also recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers."

Posted by Sam Wallace