Travel opens your eyes to new sights, your mind to new experiences, and your taste buds to new treats. But travel can also mean lost luggage, jetlag, and an upset stomach. Small, but powerful, essential oils can help reduce travel anxiety, battle insomnia, and so much more.
I have an MBA (and not an MD), so the advice in this article is based on my personal experience and how I travel with essential oils. It should in no way be perceived as medical advice as I’m clearly lacking the letters required on my diploma to be a physician.
Some people swear by essential oils while others believe they are modern-day snake oil. Regardless of your opinion, 40 percent of all prescription medicines are plant based, so there must be something to the practice of leveraging the healing properties of the earth’s flowers, grasses, fruits, roots, trees, and leaves.
My personal experience with essential oils has been positive. As a lifelong migraine sufferer, I first tried essential oils as an alternative to expensive prescriptions and painful injections more than a decade ago. Lavender essential oil kept me out of the emergency room and had me back on my feet in no time, and I’ve embraced essential oils ever since.
This article from Johns Hopkins University emphasizes the importance of high-quality, reputable essential oils. That’s why I’m a loyal customer of Rocky Mountain Oils. They are high quality, responsibly sourced, sustainably sold, and don’t involve a multi-level marketing program like Young Living and doTerra essential oils.
Whether I’m exploring my hometown or traveling halfway around the world, I never leave home without essential oils. Read on to discover eight great reasons to travel with essential oils and learn more about my favorite essential oils for travel.
Related Article: The Best Essential Oil Carrying Case for Travel
1. Essential Oils Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Whether you suffer from travel anxiety or are just having a rough day, traveling can be stressful. Road trips can include construction delays and squabbling kids. Flights can be canceled and your luggage may be lost in transit.
Lavender is my go-to essential oil for stress. Just inhale it with a few deep breaths or apply a drop to your temples or wrists and immediately feel a calm wash over you. And because it delivers so many other benefits, it’s one of the best essential oils for travel.
Extracted from the peel of bergamot oranges, the fresh citrusy fragrance of bergamot essential oil is another stress buster and mood lifter. Breathe in its delicious scent by inhaling from the bottle or by diffusing.
2. Battle Insomnia and Jet Lag with Essential Oils
Whether you’re too excited to sleep or are struggling to adjust to the local time zone, essential oils can help battle insomnia and beat jet lag. Just as it reduces stress and anxiety, lavender essential oil can soothe sleep disturbances. Simply put a few drops on your pillow or let it wash over you from a travel diffuser while you sleep.
For a warmer, woodsy scent, add a few drops of cedarwood essential oil to your essential oil diffuser to create a sense of calm and usher in a night of restorative sleep.
Related Article: Ready, Set, Snooze! How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep While Traveling
3. Essential Oils Help Battle Motion Sickness, Indigestion, and Heartburn
If your travels include winding your way through the mountains, bumping through the sky on a small plane, or spending time at sea, then check out these essential oils for motion sickness and other stomach issues.
If you’ve ever sipped a ginger ale to manage nausea, you know that ginger root has stomach-soothing properties. If you’re experiencing motion sickness, add a drop of ginger root essential oil to a glass of water and sip to manage your symptoms.
Another proven tummy soother is peppermint, but I personally find it to be too strong for my taste. Therefore, I recommend spearmint essential oil as another motion sickness buster. Add about 20 drops of spearmint essential oil into a personal aromatherapy inhaler and take three deep breaths as needed.
4. Soothe Aching Muscles with Essential Oils
Sitting in an uncomfortable seat, lugging your bags, and walking a marathon as you explore your new surroundings all contribute to sore and achy muscles. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil into an Epsom salt bath to soak the pain away. Or add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your body lotion before gently massaging the sore spots.
If your sore muscles are accompanied by inflammation, then add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to your lotion as well. It contains citral, with anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain and swelling.
Sage Advice: Lemongrass essential oil has the added benefit of repelling insects, so it’s a great essential oil to take on hikes!
5. Kick Headaches to the Curb with Essential Oils
Essential oils can help manage headaches of all kinds, from a nagging ache tied to jetlag to a full-blown migraine. If you’re able to lie down and rest, then lavender oil is one of the best choices for battling a headache. Gently massage lavender essential oil into your temples or apply a few drops of lavender to a cold compress placed over your eyes and forehead before catching a cat nap.
Sage Advice: Peppermint is a “hot” oil. This means it can only be applied to the skin when diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil. If not diluted properly, applying peppermint oil can cause skin irritation.
6. Lemon Essential Oil Attacks Allergies
You don’t have to travel to a destination with freshly cut hay to be affected by seasonal allergies and hay fever. In fact, you can experience new plants, flowers, and trees that bring on sneezes and sniffles just a few miles from home! Whether you travel near or far, lemon is one of the best essential oils for travel.
Inhaling lemon essential oil or applying a few drops of lemon essential oil to the soles of your feet can help manage seasonal allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Or pair lemon essential oil with lavender in a travel diffuser at night for a one-two punch that ushers in a good night’s sleep and helps you get ahead of allergies the next day.
7. Essential Oils Take the Itch and Sting Out of Bites
If you use lemongrass oil as a natural insect repellent, chances are you’ll experience fewer mosquito, flea, and other bug bites during your travels. But if you’re bitten, one drop of lemon essential oil will immediately remove the itchiness that accompanies an insect bite.
Sage Advice: Only apply lemon essential oil to bug bites that haven’t been scratched. If the area is raw or bleeding, applying lemon essential oil can burn, so apply a drop of soothing lavender essential oil instead.
8. Essential Oils Keep Harmful Germs at Bay
After the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are extra vigilant about keeping germs at bay, whether they are at home or traveling. Several essential oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, allowing them to fight germs without harsh chemicals.
Tea tree essential oil, also known as niaouli or melaleuca, is a popular essential oil to use in hand sanitizer and sprays to combat airborne germs. However, tea tree oil’s strong medicinal smell is not my favorite. So, I prefer to use lemon, sage, or eucalyptus essential oils instead.
Diffusing any of these essential oils will help kill bacteria and other germs in the air. They can also be used to create a DIY hand sanitizer by mixing 10-20 drops of your desired essential oil with ⅓ cup aloe vera gel and ⅔ cup isopropyl alcohol. Once the ingredients are fully incorporated, pour it into a dark glass spray bottle.
Do You Travel with Essential Oils?
Why do you travel with essential oils? What are your favorite oils or blends to bring along on any trip? Any additional advice to pass along? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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- Don’t leave home without travel insurance from AXA
- Discover the sights, history, and culture of your destination with an interactive scavenger hunt
- Need something else to plan your perfect trip? Visit my travel resources page for more trusted partners. Happy wandering!