Essential oils for holidays

Wherever you are off on holiday, from camping down the interstate to flying off to far-flung climes, our Essential Oils For Travel will help you be fully prepared. Tackle challenges like sunburn using Helichrysum and take Ginger and Spearmint for dealing with an upset stomach. Pack Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils for travel versatility in dealing with insect bites, cuts, and scrapes. Lavender is also helpful for coping with homesickness, insomnia, and jet lag when you return home. Don't let pesky issues like mosquito bites or aching muscles spoil your vacation.

Why Are Essential Oils For Travel Useful?

Essential oils are tiny bottles packed full of many properties so they can do many things for a fraction of the price of over-the-counter remedies. 

Take Lavender and chamomile, for example; these essential oils for travel soothe sunburn, ease poorly bellies and travel sickness and stop insect bites and itching.

How many other products would you have to buy to cover all that?

Where Are Your Essential Oils for Travel Going?

I plan my emergency essential oils for my travel kit around my holiday destination, depending on if it is a camping trip or a tropical holiday.

I went off camping this weekend and was my usual barefoot and feral self in a field in the heart of England. I took Lavender for any nicks and scratches, Tea Tree for disinfecting purposes, and Geranium because of its coagulant properties, making it ideal for cuts. Galbanum for Blackthorn splinters, Oregano for aching muscles and keeping germs at bay. Finally, Citronella essential oil as an insect repellent.

I took the essential oil blend I would typically use in the bath at night and added it to my moisturizer before bed to ensure restful sleep.

Getting good sleep means you can jam-pack your days with holiday fun, and I certainly did!

Taking Control

It gives you control to prevent annoying things like bug bites and the ability to address any issues quickly and without having to dash to an unknown pharmacy, especially in a foreign country where you may not speak the language.

Use the intricate knowledge of your family and their personal needs to help you develop a kit with essential oils for travel that will serve all your needs. Maybe your kids suffer from motion sickness, or you are prone to burning quickly under the summer sun; perhaps the hubby is always the first to be bitten. Whatever your family's needs, you will find something to suit you all.

Keeping it Flexible

I always make up a couple of extra blank lotions and pop those into the holiday travel kit. It means I have everything at hand to make a quick preparation on the go to suit any arising issues.

I have never suffered from air motion sickness, but a trip to India in 2017 had me with my eyes shut and abject nausea from the moment of take-off until we landed 10 hours later. It was awful, probably because it caught me so unawares and unprepared.

The trip back was vastly different because I got some Ginger essential oil out there and blended it with some lavender. I kept rubbing some of my essential oils for travel sickness onto my wrists every 30 -60 minutes, and It worked a treat.

Essential Oils for Travel - International Vacations

Can We Carry Essential Oil on International Flights?

We frequently get asked about essential oils for traveling on planes, but different airlines and even specific destinations have unique restrictions. These restrictions are always subject to change, so please always check the CURRENT guidance of both your home country and those of your destination. Usually, though, it is OK to pack them into your suitcase in the hold. 

How to Pack Essential Oils For Airplane Travel

Generally, essential oils can be carried on international and domestic flights as long as they fit into a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag that measures up to 20 x 20cm and/or offers a total capacity of up to one liter.

Generally, the standard TSA rule is to bring bottles of up to 100 ml or 3.4 ounces of liquid. You can get as many containers as you want if they are individually 3.4oz or less.

Most essential oil bottles are much smaller than this, so you should be fine to bring them on both international and domestic travel flights.

Adding a layer of bubble wrap around each bottle is usually worth adding to offer extra protection from bumps and baggage handling. It often proves helpful in wrapping gifts on the return flight home!

Can I Carry Essential Oil in Checked Baggage?

You can take your essential oil travel case or kit in your checked baggage, but the guidelines above often apply. They must be 100ml or 3.4Fl oz or less and sealed into a 20 x 20cm ziplock bag.

Best Essential Oils For Holidays - Emergency Travel Kit

No one knows your or your family's needs better than you do. Therefore, I have included some of the essential oils' more holiday-specific and valuable properties in their bios. All essential oil properties and actions cited are from Julia Lawless - The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (1992).

If you are disappearing to a hot and sunny destination, your choices of essential oils for travel should be to deal with sunburn, dehydration, and upset stomachs.

If your family generally has delicate tummies and constitutions, your most beneficial essential oils for travel will probably have digestive actions.

Plan for bites, scrapes, and cuts if you are off camping or hiking. Look for essential oils with antibacterial actions and properties. I stepped on a thorn and embedded it into my heel yesterday! Thankfully, I took the Galbanum with me, and I might get it out with some drawing ointment and a long soak tonight in a salt bath.

Planning on a cruise? Unfortunately, germs and pathogens are easily spread in these environments. In this case, your most beneficial essential oils for travel will likely have antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-infectious properties. (Remember those for sea sickness!)

Perhaps, your holiday is much more adventurous, and you are off jungle trekking or on a safari. Now essential oils that act as insect repellents and parasiticides will come to the fore for you.

So, our list of essential oils for travel is necessarily a hotchpotch. Pick the ones that will work best for you.

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)

I know, I know! It is an obvious one to include here, but that is because it is so wonderfully versatile. Time and again, it proves its efficacy and efficiency in dealing with many challenges. It is top of the essential oils for travel.

Fantastic for those cuts, scrapes, and bites with its analgesic and antimicrobial actions. A perfect partner for Ginger in dealing with the symptoms of stomach upsets.

It's a great choice to use sparingly at night to help you drift off to sleep soundly, but you can use it with a little more wild abandon in the morning to stimulate your day. Though I do appreciate that this is not the case for everyone, some find it too relaxing or stimulating, if this is you, choose it judiciously.

It's also perfect for anyone feeling a little low or homesick.

Lavender essential oil actions 

Analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, insecticide, parasiticide, sedative, stimulant, tonic.

Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale)

Next on the list of essential oils for travel is Ginger. Used worldwide for digestive issues, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, Ginger is lovely for settling upset stomachs, relieving flatulence, and reducing spasms.

Its warming actions are a real treat for muscle pain after a long day of walking or hiking. Mixed with Lavender and Juniper, it helps clear toxins that can make our joints and muscles ache.

It's also a lovely aphrodisiac, so it is one of the essential oils for travel if you are hoping for a honeymoon to remember! Add in some Ylang-Ylang and Patchouli for some extra pizazz!

Ginger essential oil actions: 

Analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, aphrodisiac, stomachic, tonic.

Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Perhaps the most important of the defensive essential oils for travel.

Bursting with fantastic actions to protect you from specific bugs, germs, parasites, viruses, and fungal infections, it is a beautiful essential oil to have on hand.

If I could only have one essential oil for travel, this would be my first choice.

Perfect to use on bites, cuts and scrapes, and sore, aching muscles after a long day of exploring. Also, an important essential oil where you might come into contact with people exposed to germs and pathogens.

Tea Tree essential oil actions useful for your holidays: 

Anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, and parasiticide.

Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia serrata)

This might not be the first essential oil that springs to mind when you think of an emergency kit of essential oils for travel, but it is a well-considered choice.

Frankincense's anti-inflammatory actions are lovely for soothing tired and aching muscles. I love it in a decadent massage oil at the end of a long day. If you're hiking, include this in your essential oil blends.

It is a beautiful choice if you are feeling stressed, as it slows and deepens your breath, helping to relieve nervous tension and anxiety. Lavender and frankincense should be your go-to essential oils for travel if you are a nervous passenger. 

It's also lovely on sunburnt skin, bringing nourishment and hydration. Frankincense oil's combined antibacterial, antiseptic, and antioxidant components also protect the skin and reduce inflammation.

Frankincense essential oil actions: 

Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, digestive, sedative, tonic.

Spearmint Essential Oil (Mentha spicata)

When dealing with digestive issues, many people think about peppermint essential oil.

Can I persuade you to use the delightful properties of Spearmint instead?

It is much gentler and is a much better choice of essential oils for travel if you have kids... Peppermint has high levels of menthol that can slow respiration, so we don't recommend it for use on young children. Spearmint has a different chemical makeup and is a better choice for little bellies and nausea...

It can take the sting and itch out of insect bites, cuts, and scrapes with local anesthetic actions.

Spearmint essential oil actions: 

Anesthetic (local), antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, digestive, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, tonic.

Our Favorite Recipes with Essential Oils for Travel

Do You Have Limited Space?

We highly recommend making our versatile lotion base and making up your blends before you go on holiday. However, you may need to select small vials of essential oils instead.

If this is the case, remember you must dilute them, so pack l amounts of aloe vera gel and carrier oils. I would choose a solid extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil for easy dilution of whatever you want your essential oils for travel to do.

Versatile Lotion Base

I will make this super simple because you have enough to be thinking about preparing for your well-deserved getaway.

You can make all of these products using just ONE versatile base lotion. Your chosen essential oils for travel will define one product from another.

This is a super light lotion because no one wants to be plastered in heavy cream in 30-degree heat, do they?

The base is designed to hydrate the skin and has ingredients that will soothe and cool. Make one or two extra bottles so you can add your essential oils for travel emergencies as they arrive.

You Will Need:

    • Measuring jugs, cups, and spoons
    • Mixing bowl
    • Stainless steel stirrer or spoon
    • Funnel
    • Good quality plastic bottles of your choice; I recommend 100ml/ 3.38flOz
    • Labels


This will make 6 x 100ml bottles.

    • 300 ml/10.14 fl oz of Aqueous Cream
    • 75 ml/2.53 fl oz Spring Water
    • 100ml/3.38 fl oz Rose Water 
    • 50ml/1.69 fl oz Glycerine
    • 1 tbsp Rosehip Carrier Oil
    • 2 tbsp Argan Oil

Optional: You can swap out some of the Spring Water and Rose Water for your favorite Hydrosol; I would choose a mix of Yarrow and Sandalwood. Both of which are fabulous for soothing sore skin.


Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and thoroughly combine until well mixed. Make sure all of the oils are well incorporated.

Top Tip: Resist using a handheld mixer, or you will have too much air in your lotion base, which will sink back into the bottle, ultimately giving you less product.

It is tempting to think you can save time by adding the lotion to the bottle and then adding the essential oils, but it only sometimes behooves you to do that. The essential oils don't get well distributed, and you don't want that.

So, mix your essential oils for travel, then separate the base lotion into individual bowls or measuring jugs. Decant your mixture into bottles and label your ingredients clearly if airport security decides to scrutinize your work. Well-labeled bottles generally foster more confidence and less suspicion! Not to mention the safety reasons behind it.

After Sun

I used to think my mom's After Sun was just the best and that there wasn't even much point in me trying to make my own because how would I ever be able to live up to it? But I did, and the key ingredient here is Helichrysum essential oil. It makes EVERY difference to the final result.

Add the following 20 drops (1% dilution rate) of essential oils to 100ml of base lotion:

How to use: 

Always use good quality sunscreen when exposed to the Sun. Don't let cloudy days catch you out, either. Sunny, windy days at the beach can catch you unawares because the lovely breeze keeps you cool, and you don't realize you are burning.

If you get burnt, dampen a cloth or towel in tepid water, not cold water; you don't want to shock yourself and lay it on your burnt skin for a few minutes. Replenish the water if necessary. This helps your skin regain much-needed hydration before applying any After Sun lotion.

Very gently and carefully apply your After Sun; if you are very burnt or sore, don't rub it in thoroughly, let it sit on the skin, and it will sink in. After 30 minutes, apply another thin layer. Then use it every hour for eight applications in 24 hours.

If your skin is so burnt that it is swelling up, that can indicate a more severe sunburn. You should seek professional medical advice immediately - do not delay seeking medical attention. 


    1. Do not use this blend in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. 
    2. Not for Children under 6 - but you can reduce the overall dilution rate to 0.5% (10 drops) but still not use it on babies under 6 months. 
    3. Always do a 48 hr patch test before use.
    4. Helichrysum thins the blood, so this would not be suitable if you are already taking blood-thinning medication or have a platelet disorder.

Essential Oils for Travel: Insects Be Gone!!!

Now we will make two preparations of essential oils for travel from this first base. Then we will divide it equally and add more essential oils to each.

Here is the base:

    1. Put 200ml of the base lotion in a mixing bowl and add the following essential oils:
      1. 4 drops of Melissa Absolute (Melissa Officinalis)
      2. 8 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
      3. 2 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil (Citrus bergamia)
      4. 6 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
    2. Then separate this mixture into two bowls with half the mix (100ml/3.38 fl oz) in each bowl, and we'll now make these into Bug Bite Boo Boo and Mozzie Mace.

Ingredients for Mozzie Mace

    1. Add the following additional essential oils to the 100ml lotion mix in the bowl:

Mozzie Mace not only puts mosquitoes off but also tends to deter other biting insects. I take it camping with me and very rarely get bitten, and when I do, it is because I forgot to apply it!

Dusk and evening are usually the time most people tend to get bitten by mosquitoes, but that depends on where you are in the world.

To use Mozzie Mace, rub it into the areas of more exposed skin; pay particular attention to your ankles and the back of your neck if they are exposed.

Replenish regularly if you are in and out of the water, but one to two applications in an afternoon into the evening is usually sufficient. If you have trouble with Mozzie's in your hotel rooms, cabin, or tent, apply a generous layer all over - avoiding intimate areas- before you sleep to keep you protected throughout the night.

If you have power availability or can use a candle diffuser, you could use this Mozzie Mace essential oil blend for diffusing essential oils across your living/sleeping spaces. It would act as an insect repellent and keep your area a bug-free zone.


    1. Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
    2. Not for children under 6.
    3. Always do a 48 hr patch test of these essential oils for travel before you leave.

Bug Bite Boo Boo

    1. Add the following additional essential oils to the 100ml lotion mix in the bowl:
      1. 3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Cananga odorata)
      2. 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

I love this product; it was one that I used to get many comments about how soothing and effective it was. That's always a pleasure to hear, not only for myself but because it helped that person when they needed it most.

At festivals, it never mattered how many I took with me; it always sold out, usually because of positive word of mouth.

You can use these essential oils for travel bites in two ways. 

Use it as a spot treatment when you have been bitten, applying it directly to and around the bite area.

Alternatively, you can use it like you would Mozzie Mace, applying it to the bite area and the more exposed areas of skin for that double layer of protection against insect bites.

Using it more widely is more practical over prolonged exposure to biting insects, primarily at night. 


    1. Avoid this blend in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy.
    2. Not for children under 6.
    3. Always do a 48 hr patch test before use.

Tummy Tamer

Having an upset stomach on your holiday is never fun, so the quicker you get to soothe any tummy issues, the better.

Packed with excellent essential oils like Ginger and Spearmint, which are well utilized by indigenous people, herbalists, and aromatherapists for settling upset tummies and addressing symptoms like flatulence and nausea across the globe.

I recommend making the two different versions of these essential oils for travel sickness, or stomach upsets if you have children; kids' tummies are very sensitive and need gentler, more soothing essential oils. Adults usually need something with a more robust edge to work more quickly.

Please do NOT use the adult version on children; it is too strong for them.

For the ADULT VERSION of Tummy Tamer

    1. Add the following 60 drops (3% dilution rate) of essential oils to 100ml of base lotion:
      1. 30 drops of Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale)
      2. 10 drops of Spearmint Essential Oil (Mentha spicata)
      3. 20 drops of Fennel Essential Oil (Foeniculum vulgare)

Method of Use:

I would use mine by applying it directly to my abdomen in a clockwise motion (in the same direction as your bowel travels), and I would also apply it to the bottom of my back and across my hips in a broad band across my body.

Applying any product with essential oils to your wrists and inner elbows will help the essential oils absorb more quickly, as blood vessels are much closer to the skin. So pop some there, too, for extra oomph!

Apply every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours and then every hour with a maximum of 12 applications in 24 hours.

If you are suffering from intense nausea, see if you can get hold of a fresh lemon and cut through it and smell it, it tends to cut through the sickness instantaneously. I always use a blend of citrus-based essential oils to overcome my nausea. Alternatively, try a few drops of lemon essential oil on a tissue under your nose. 


    1. Do not use it during any stage of pregnancy.
    2. Do not use it on children under 12.
    3. Always do a 48 hr patch test before use

For the CHILDREN'S VERSION of Tummy Tamer

    1. Add the following 10 drops (0.5% dilution rate) of essential oils to 100ml of base lotion:
      1. 3 drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Anthemis nobilis L.)
      2. 3 drops of Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale)
      3. 1 drop of Spearmint Essential Oil (Mentha spicata)
      4. 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)


    1. Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
    2. Do not use it on babies under 6 months of age.
    3. Always do a 48 hr patch test before use.

Sweet Dreams

No one wants to stare at the ceiling in the early morning hours when you are on holiday. Getting good sleep is vital to waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day's adventures.

This preparation is an easy way to use essential oils for travel and can be used up and finished off when you arrive home too. Once you discover how effective it is, you might not want to give it up.

You can also use it when you get home to counter the effects of jet lag and re-regulate your sleep patterns. Lavender is a beautiful essential oil for jet lag, and this pilot study from Ko (2021) found that Lavender essential oil promotes the occurrence of slow wave sleep. Helping the body overcome the effects of jetlag.

The lotion is super light and full of nourishing and hydrating properties, so it's perfectly suitable for your face. Many of us tend to moisturize before bedtime, so this is the perfect product to have a dual purpose: cutting down on the toiletries/bottles you take. 

I use mine by applying it to my face and my décolletage, but I also add a generous dollop to my forearms and rub it down my inner arm from the inner elbows to my wrists. This helps it to absorb faster into my bloodstream and helps me feel the effects quicker.

Not only that, it is incredibly soothing if you have been in the Sun just a little too long, don't be afraid to use it for that purpose too. 

This is the perfect blend of essential oils for travel to catch up on a peaceful and restful night's sleep. Waken feeling refreshed and ready for a day of holiday bliss.

Sleepy Essential Oils for Travel

Add the following 20 drops (1% dilution rate) of essential oils to 100ml of base lotion:

    1. 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
    2. 5 drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Anthemis nobilis L.)
    3. 5 drops of Vetiver Essential Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides)
    4. 5 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemon cablin)


    1. Do not use it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
    2. Not for Children under 6 - but you can reduce the overall dilution rate to 0.5% (10 drops) but still not use it on babies under 6 months.
    3. Always do a 48 hr patch test before use.

The Final Word

Vacations are meant to be fun, to give you time and space to relax and kick back. They are for exploring new places, indulging in the local culture and cuisine, and immersing yourself in your incredible destination. The last thing you want is to be unwell or deal with challenges like mosquito bites or sunburn.

Thinking about your essential oils for travel well before your holidays allows you to do skin tests of your diy aromatherapy preparations. It gives you a real head start in having the holiday of your dreams.

Just this weekend, the girls laughed at me for being prepared with my little bag of essential oils for travel emergencies. I had the last laugh when they needed my magic bag for insect bites, a pulled shoulder, insomnia, and hay fever. I also used it for that thorn in my heel.

It was well utilized because it could cover a range of different challenges and issues that we faced and because I chose essential oils with versatile and varied properties and actions.

Have a good think about your needs and those of your family, and develop your own fabulous little magic bag of essential oils for travel, blends, and preparations. Whatever oils you choose f have a truly remarkable time. You deserve it.

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