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How to Travel with Essential Oils (and Cure Travel Ailments Naturally)

how to travel with essential oils

Essential oils are the latest trend in personal care. They provide a way to use natural elements to ease ailments and make you feel better using aromas. The different plant oils have different uses including anything from calming anxiety to promoting healthy skin. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Romans were also fans of essential oils, especially frankincense.

After battling eczema for many years, people recommended that I check out essential oils. They’re now an item that I always pack, no matter what trip I’m going on.

What Are Essential Oils?

According to Merriam-Webster, essential oils are “an oil that comes from a plant, that smells like the plant it comes from, and that is used in perfumes and flavorings.” They come in small, concentrated bottles in dozens of different aromas including grapefruit, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and ginger.

traveling with essential oils

Why Should I Pack Them? What Types Should I Buy?

Essential oils cure ailments naturally and can be an important part of your medical kit. They serve multiple purposes, including making you feel better and eliminating funky smells in hotel rooms. Do your research to find out which essential oils are best for you. The ones I have on hand are tea tree, grapefruit, lemongrass, and lavender oils.

Here are just a few of the oils that help what ails you.

  • Peppermint for digestion
  • Tea tree for the immune system
  • Lavender for relaxation
  • Ginger for nausea
  • Eucalyptus for headaches

More suggestions: 50 Surprising Uses for Essential Oils That Will Blow Your Mind, Natural Living Ideas

Where to Buy Them

Natural food stores like Whole Foods in the United States, Fundies in Australia, and Planet Organic in the UK are a good place to start with essential oils, but they’re also easy to find online.

I’ve found a good selection on Amazon, where you can buy bottles individually or in a thematic pack. I bought a combo pack of oils that deter mosquitoes recently with three for $20 USD. GNC stores are also helpful and even Target now sells them.

Non-Travel Uses for Oils

Even when you’re at home, there’s plenty you can use your oils for. Add them to your own lotion, make your own citronella candles, or add to beeswax to make your own solid perfume! Add some to witch hazel for spray on deodorant or to coconut oil for scrubs and other bath products. Pinterest is a great place to find ways to use essential oils.

The Essential Oil Packing List

travel with essential oils
A diffuser and a pillow case are a few of the items on Caroline’s essential oils packing list.
  • Travel diffuser: I purchased a small diffuser the size of a coffee cup that I bring on all my trips. Simply plug it in, add water and a drop of oil that turns to a scented vapor. The white noise is soothing and there’s also a light setting.
  • Storage container: Keep your essential oils in their original container if you’re only bringing one or two, throwing them into your TSA approved bag. If you’re carrying more than that, you can purchase a specific storage container for your adventures.
  • Spray bottle: Included in my Pitotubes cosmetic kit was a bottle with a spray top that I’ve used to make my own essential oil concoctions. There’s an interchangeable pump top as well.
  • Pillowcase: If you don’t want to travel with essential oils, spritz some on your clothes and pillowcase before you go. I’ve also purchased a special pillowcase made with tea tree oil to prevent breakouts from hotel rooms that use lots of chemicals in their detergent.

traveling with essential oils - safely and without leaks!

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Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Nicola says

    Essential oils are great for travel! I started using them about two years ago for health support and I bought a small neoprene key chain carrier (like this that I put in my zip lock bag of liquids when I travel. It allows me to bring a variety of essential oils without taking up much space!

    It should be noted that not all essential oils are created equal. Many brands use fillers or ‘extenders’ to dilute the oils they sell, so many oils are not pure and might not be safe to use topically. Always read the directions on the bottle. It’s best do some research online to find an essential oil brand you feel comfortable using.

    I love this blog and really appreciate the range of topics you write about! Thanks for another great article.

  2. Diane says

    Tea tree and lavender always travel with me.

    Tea tree dries out a blister, takes the sting out of bug bites and is good for just about any cut, scrape or rash. Doesn’t smell that good (to me), which is probably why it repels bugs.

    Lavender is relaxing, doubles as a cologne, and soothes whatever ails your skin, especially sunburn.. I also add it to whatever lotion is handy and rub it into sore muscles (I’ve done this with hotel hair conditioner). But be careful if you’re camping – bees love it!

    Neat (undiluted) essential oils don’t mix will with plastic, so put a small amount into tiny amber, cobalt or green glass bottles (you can find these online,) and a tiny case to protect them. I use a tiny zippered pill case and use the extra sections for earplugs, earbuds, hair ties and jewelry.

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