Traveling with Coconut Oil: A Multitasking ‘Little Thing’ for Your Packing List

Coconut Oil

This interview is part of a larger series known as “The One Little Thing“.

I’m Lucy aka WanderLuce and I’ve been travelling (light) full time since 2013. My focus is on comfortable, slow travel and I guess you could call me a ‘flashpacker’. Travel, beauty and food are my passions which I cover on my blog, WanderLuce. My One Little Thing is Coconut Oil, and before you ask why, read on to be amazed…

What one little thing can you not travel without?

Coconut Oil! There is nothing more multi­tasking than this little gem. You can use it in multiple ways: body moisturiser, cleanser, sunburn and mozzie bite healer, lip balm and leave in hair conditioner. Taking it a step further, you can mix it with sand to make an exfoliator and even to make a tinted moisturiser out of your foundation.

>> Grab a travel-sized container of coconut oil on Amazon*. FYI – Affiliate links are denoted by asterisks.

Why has coconut oil been so important to you?

With a background in beauty, I’ve learned a thing or two about discovering multi­tasking products. Although my home base is Koh Tao, I travel full time so need to fit everything I need into a 35 litre backpack and don’t want to take five products when I can take one.

I spend the bulk of my time outside of Europe and as such, can’t be precious about which beauty products I stock up on, but coconut oil is always readily available and often the cheapest choice! Sticking with natural products is also a great way to stay healthy on your travels, particularly if you have sensitive skin like I do so coconut oil is a great option.

Coconuts in general rock my world. There’s nothing better than a fresh coconut to beat a hangover, it’s like natural Lucozade!

coconut oil

How packable is it?

It tends to come in a tub, or plastic bottle so isn’t bulky at all and is rarely heavy. Like anything liquid, I use micro-pore tape* to seal the cap so that it doesn’t spill all over my clothes, as although having coconut scented stuff isn’t the worst thing in the world, having a broken laptop is!

Why would you recommend traveling with coconut oil to your travel friends?

I can’t emphasise enough just how versatile coconut oil is. Even if you don’t consider yourself a girly­girl (FYI I hate this term!) everyone needs a moisturiser at the very least. If you want to cook, you can even use it instead of olive oil or butter and stir it into your tea/coffee!

Can you share a time when coconut oil was especially useful while traveling?

In South East Asia, finding affordable suncream is a bit of a nightmare so I extend the use of my UK bought suncream by mixing it with coconut oil, which is a natural SPF 4. I particularly loved the day I had next to no suncream left, so mixed the remnants with some coconut oil and smeared the mixture onto my parched arms which were also covered in sand fly bites which immediately soothed them.

How did you hear about this item?

I’m not sure how I heard about coconut oil as I’ve been using it for years. I’ve always devoured anything to do with beauty products and am a total beauty junkie so I think it probably entered my consciousness in a haze of beauty news.

coconut oil

What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?

In truth, any traveller should have this product. Male or female, it transcends sex, age and environment! If you like multi-tasking products and enjoy staying healthy whilst smelling delicious – coconut oil is for you! If you hate the smell, you can even go scent free.

About the author: In 2013, I quit my job and booked a ticket to Sri Lanka thinking I’d be back to the UK in 6 months time. Two years later, and I’m still travelling! In that time, I’ve discovered new passions (weekly spa sessions!) and old ones (travel, writing) and combined them all to create a career for myself that keeps me on the road. Alongside working for Travel Dudes and Roctopus Dive, I’ve been lucky enough to write for Lonely Planet Traveller, The Professional Hobo and, of course, Her Packing List! You can find me on my blog WanderLuce.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Bech says

    The only thing that stops me from traveling with coconut oil is the messiness. I haven’t found a container that it doesn’t leak out of that’s NOT a spray bottle. I don’t want to buy a travel size container of coconut oil like the one linked to in this post because I can’t verify it’s quality and already have coconut oil I’d rather use. What container do you store your coconut oil in to prevent greasiness from spreading?

  2. Kallie says

    So, I thought I’d think the same and spared two of my carry-on containers to the stuff (I use it for everything at home.) But coconut oil DOES spoil, and mine most certainly did after sitting for hours in the Costa Rican sun/heat. I think if you’re extra careful and keep it tightly sealed in a dark space, it maybe won’t spoil as quickly, but I use it to wash my face (among other things) and am certainly hesitant to travel to tropical climates with it again. On the positive side, those same tropical climates are ripe with fairly inexpensive coconut oil, so I just replenished my stock there and kept better watch over where I stored it.

  3. Celeste says

    I’m betting on GoToob. I’ve had coconut oil leak so I’m extra cautious. You can buy them at Amazon or MEC. Don’t buy the cheaper knock-off; I did that and regretted it.

  4. karen says

    I would like to take it to work with me to use as a moisturizer-want advice on what container I an use that won’t leak. Just want a small container. Thanks!

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