A DIY Essential Oil Travel Kit

 

This is Part 3 in a 3-part series that explores Shamanic Travel Alchemy—how to use both shamanic practices and aromatherapy to support your travels. Be sure to check out the first two posts in the series:

 
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I consider myself to be a pretty well-seasoned traveler, with nearly 40 countries and 6 continents under my belt. Over the years, I’ve refined my packing list, and I’m sharing my aromatherapy secrets here!

In order to cover as much as possible and still pack light for travel, you need multi-taskers! I’ve chosen 3 multi-tasking essential oils that just about have you covered for the following travel issues . . . can you guess what they are?

  • Boosting your immune system

  • A disinfectant

  • Cuts, scrapes, and bites

  • Rashes, bruises, and sunburns

  • Sore muscles and poor circulation

  • Headaches

  • Anxiety, stress, and insomnia

  • PMS & jet lag, depending on the circumstances

  • Insect repellent 

  • Digestive issues

  • Smelling good and feeling good ;)

Read on for my top three essential oils—plus recipes!

Before we begin, important notes on safety: 

  1. As a rule, you should never use essential oils “neat”—or undiluted—on your skin. However, the following three oils are generally safe to apply undiluted on occasion—but only in small amounts (think 1 drop), and only for a limited time, and only on adults

  2. Excessive use of undiluted essential oils—even the generally safe ones here—can lead to sensitization over time. This means that you could be using an oil with no problems for quite awhile, and then one day have a terrible reaction from seemingly out of nowhere. Plus, sensitization lasts. If it happens to you, you’ll have to say goodbye to one of your favorite oils, perhaps permanently.

  3. The following advice is for ADULTS ONLY. Children and animals have very different needs and tolerances. If you’re interested in more child-safe recipes or pet-safe information, let me know in the comments or contact me directly—I’ll see what I can do!

My Top 3 Essential Oils for Travel

When you’re traveling light and your liquid carry-on bag is already stuffed to the brim, you need multi-taskers! Together, the following three oils should have you covered for just about anything you need.

I recommend bringing a 1oz plastic spray bottle and a small bottle of unscented lotion with you. This will give you an easy way to dilute whichever essential oil or oil blend you need on the go.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

This is my number one essential oil for travel. I actually carry a little bottle of tea tree in my purse year round. Why? Tea tree is a mega antibacterial and anti-fungal powerhouse. 

Physically, tea tree reduces infections, supports the immune system, and is even useful for the respiratory system. 

Emotionally and spiritually, tea tree uplifts the spirits and gives you confidence and strength.

During your travels:

  • If your skin goes a wee bit crazy during travel, try dabbing a bit of tea tree oil on zits and other trouble spots.

  • Use tea tree on cuts and scrapes to prevent infection. True story: I was once bitten by a stray cat on an island in Thailand. I immediately put tea tree on the bite and repeated every few hours. No infection emerged and the bite healed quickly!

  • Stinky shoes? Summer travel means sweaty feet, and sweaty feet can mean stinky shoes . . . which can then lead to stinky car rides and hotel rooms. Add 10 drops tea tree to 1oz water in your spray bottle, and spray the inside of your shoes between each use. (You can also do half tea tree and half lavender for this!)

  • Sore throat? Need mouthwash on the go? Mix up to 3 drops of tea tree oil in one inch of water for a gargle—just make sure not to swallow and use high quality organic tea tree. Tea tree’s antibacterial properties will kill germs, preventing illness and bad breath. (If you have extra room, there’s a recipe for a mouthwash below.)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is a great all-around essential oil, helping with everything from bruises and scratches to relaxation and de-stressing. 

Physically, lavender has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, which make it helpful for sore muscles, bruises, rashes, and other skin irritations. Plus, it’s just about the best essential oil out there for burns. Like tea tree, lavender has antibacterial properties—using lavender and tea tree together creates a powerful synergy for treating infections and wounds.

Emotionally and spiritually, lavender is soothing and harmonizing. It can help with anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia. Plus, it works to harmonize all chakras. 

During your travels:

  • New environments and time zones can make regular sleep difficult. Try dabbing a bit of lavender essential oil on the edges of sheets and pillows to help you calm down, relax, and sleep deeply. You can also mix 6 drops lavender in a 1oz spray bottle and mist your room, the bed, and even your face. 

  • You can also use this mist if travel makes you anxious. Close your eyes, mist your face, and inhale deeply as needed. 

  • Lavender is great for sore muscles, bruises, and other skin irritations. Mix 1 drop lavender into a generous amount of lotion and massage into your skin. (I love a bringing healing balm made of lavender and tea tree for this, too).

  • Too much time in the sun? Lavender is the number one oil for burns. The mist or lotion from above will work, but aloe jelly is even better. Add 10 drops to a 1oz bottle filled with aloe for maximum relief. 

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

A high-quality peppermint oil is another great addition to your essential oil travel kit, as it helps with loads of jet lag symptoms. 

Physically, peppermint increases circulation, eases nausea, and supports the respiratory system.

Emotionally and spiritually, peppermint is energizing, uplifting, and good for mental clarity.

  • Travel tummy issues? Peppermint soothes the digestive system and can help relieve nausea and flatulence. Try rubbing a bit of peppermint oil onto your belly for almost instant relief (mix 1 drop with a bit of lotion or oil in the palm of your hand). 

  • Swollen ankles and sore muscles from long airplane or car rides? Massage in bit of peppermint lotion for increased circulation and tingly-good relief.

  • Peppermint’s circulatory effects can also help with headaches. Rub a bit of peppermint lotion into your temples, forehead, and the back of your neck for relief. Just be careful not to get any in your eyes.

  • When jet lag is giving you brain fog, peppermint comes to the rescue. Simply inhaling from the bottle will give you a good pick-me-up. I also like to rub a bit of peppermint lotion into my feet.

  • Bug bites are no fun, and I’m terrible with wanting scratch mosquito bites until they’re raw, but dabbing a tiny drop of peppermint oil directly onto a bite can help relieve the itching. I find that if I put one drop of peppermint directly on a mosquito bite as soon as I notice it, and then DO NOT SCRATCH (that part is important!), then the inflammation and redness go down and the itching stops. 

The Recipes

Here are a some super simple recipes for when you have the luxury of bringing a few more items in your travel kit . . . 

Aromatherapy Sprays

To make each spray, simply combine the ingredients in a 1oz bottle and fill with water. Shake and spray!

Purification Spray

A simple, smell good spray to disinfect whatever needs disinfecting during your travels.

  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

  • 10 drops lemongrass essential oil

  • ½ tsp vodka or witch hazel 

Uses: spray old clothes and inside bags/suitcases to keep clothes fresher longer, mist sheets and use as an air freshener, spray inside smelly shoes, clean up counters and toilet seats 

aromatherapy sprays

Hand Sanitizer

A natural version to take on-the-go.

  • 6 drops tangerine

  • 6 drops lemon myrtle

  • 6 drops lavender

  • ½ tsp aloe vera 

  • ½ tsp vodka or witch hazel 

Uses: spritz your hands and rub them together (no need to rinse), also great for wiping down airplane trays

Bug Spray

  • 5 drops citronella

  • 4 drops Egyptian geranium 

  • 4 drops lemon eucalyptus

  • 3 drops patchouli

  • 3 drops Virginia cedarwood

  • 2 drops catnip

  • ½ tsp vodka or witch hazel 

Uses: pray to prevent but bites as needed (an be used as a disinfectant, too)

Lotions

Here are a few of my favorite multipurpose travel lotions. To make each recipe, fill a 1oz bottle with natural, unscented lotion leaving a bit of space at the top, add the essential oils, and shake vigorously. 

Balance Blend

This blend is supportive for jet lag, PMS, and general emotional balancing—plus, it has skin-soothing properties and smells divine. 

  • 8 drops lavender

  • 8 drops geranium

  • 8 drops clary sage

Sore Muscles Blend

Another great all around blend, this reduces pain in sore muscles and increases circulation for swollen joints. It also can help relieve headaches when applied to the back of the neck and temples and indigestion when massaged into the stomach. Plus, it can help open the airways when you’ve caught a cold and wake you up when it’s time to get moving.

  • 8 drops cypress

  • 8 drops peppermint

  • 8 drops eucalyptus 

Digestive Blend

Massage this into your belly for nausea and digestive support. 

  • 5 drops cardamom

  • 5 drops Roman chamomile

  • 5 drops laurel leaf

Mouthwash

As promised, here’s my mouthwash recipe. To use, add about 2 drops to an inch of water, then swish, gargle, rinse, and try not to swallow. Make sure to buy organic essential oils. Then, fill a 5ml essential oil bottle with:

  • 60 drops tea tree

  • 30 drops myrrh

  • 10 drops clove

Shopping List

Wondering where to get started? 

There are a lot of great essential oil companies . . . and some pretty terrible ones. Choosing quality essential oils will be a post of its own. For now, here are some recommendations to get you started:

Happy making and happy travels!

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