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Essential Oils for Travel

Aromatherapy and Travel

The anti-bacterial, anti-viral and emotionally nurturing and balancing properties of many essential oils are especially helpful when traveling or staying away from home. Use this guide to learn how essential oils can help make traveling much more pleasant and comfortable. Essential oils should not be used as a substitute for medical care by qualified medical professionals when needed.

Plan Ahead

By planning ahead and bringing a few carefully selected essential oils and aromatherapy products that you prepare yourself, several of the most challenging aspects of travel can be minimized.

Be sure to follow all safety guidelines for each essential oil that you consider using.


Long, tiring transit times and jet can take its toll on adequate sleep and energy levels. Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils are the typical go-to essential oils to reach for when having trouble sleeping. When traveling, add a drop of Lavender or Roman Chamomile to a cotton ball placed nearby or create a room and bed linen mist that can be kept with you and used when necessary. See AromaWeb's Aromatherapy and Insomnia article for more general information.


Lost and damaged luggage, rude travelers and delays are only a few of the stressors that can interfere with travel plans. The following oils can help combat stress:


Long hours, lack of sleep and boredom during transit can make it hard to focus and stay alert. The following oils can help combat fatigue and exhaustion:

Unpleasant Odors

Stuffy airplane cabins, unpleasant rental car odors and the harsh smell of some hotel rooms. Most essential oils, by their highly fragrant nature can help combat unpleasant odors, but Lemon, Lemongrass and in general, the Citrus Essential Oils are especially well suited for specifically combating smoky and unpleasant odors.

Greater Exposure to Germs and Illness

Whether traveling by plane, train, bus, car or even boat, you are in a more confined proximity to others and are at greater risk of being exposed to germs and various bugs. Tea Tree and Ravensara are the go-to oils here (use Ravintsara with children and if pregnant). For more general information, see Steps to Minimize the Risk of Contracting the Flu and Reducing the Risk of Contracting Flus and Colds With Aromatherapy.

Excessively Hot Temperatures

Depending on the time of year and where you travel to, outdoor climates and the temperature of your accommodations can sometimes be uncomfortable. Hydrosols can help keep the body cooler and more comfortable. For more information, read Aromatherapy and Essential Oils to Help Cool You Down When You're Hot.

Insect Bites

Camping and rural retreats increase the likelihood of insect bites. Citronella, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Lemongrass all help to deter insects. But they aren't a substitute for proven and tested commercial repellents when needed. For more information, See AromaWeb's Insect Repellent Recipe.

Essential Oil Inhalers Are Ideal for Travel

Aromatherapy Inhaler

Aromatherapy inhalers enclose a concentrated amount of essential oil. To use one, you simply unscrew the cap and raise the tip of the inhaler to your nose. They're small, highly portable and are handy for keeping particular essential oils or blends of essential oils within reach. They can be used discreetly, and they're great when in very tight quarters such as cramped air cabins and cars.

You can create your own inhalers to take on your journey. For more detailed information about inhalers and how to work with them, see AromaWeb's Aromatherapy Inhalers article.

Recipes and Blends for Inhaler Use:

The blends and recipes located in the Emotional Well-Being Section of AromaWeb's Recipe Box area can be adapted to use with an inhaler.

Room Sprays, Car Mists and Linen Sprays

Essential Oil based mists and sprays can be used to help kill germs and eliminate stale or unpleasant chemical odors from hotel rooms, bed linens, counters, tub/shower/toilet surfaces and rental cars. (Do use caution as some furnishings and surfaces can be stained, dulled or harmed by the essential oil contained in the spray). Room Mists can also be used to help combat stress, insomnia or fatigue. Keep in mind, however, that natural room mists may not be as potent in killing germs as commercial products that have undergone testing for efficacy.

AromaWeb's basic Room Mist Air Freshener Recipe can be adapted to create your own room mists.

Hand Gel/Oil

AromaWeb's Reducing the Risk of Contracting Flus and Colds With Aromatherapy article includes a recipe for a Hand Gel/Oil that can be used while traveling.

Traveling by Air With Essential Oil and Sprays/Liquids Made with Essential Oils

Essential Oils and products made with essential oils can be included in one's carry-on luggage provided that you carefully adhere to the restrictions for liquid carry-ons that are in place at the time of your journey.

For United States travelers, the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule is in place by the Transportation Security Administration. TSA.gov provides up to date guidelines for travelers.

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