Complete Guide to Traveling With Essential Oils

airplane in the sky with text overlay "guide to travel with essential oils"

You’ve discovered the magic of essential oils at home, why not use them when you travel too?  They could actually come in handy on your holiday.

When you are traveling with essential oils, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind.  In this guide, we will cover all the basics so that you can get the most of your oils during your trip.

Why Should You Bring Essential Oils When You Travel?

Essential oils can come in handy when you travel, so don’t leave them at home.  You might need something to help you relax, fight anxiety, relieve pain, or more.  Oils can take care of those types of issues so that you can enjoy your holiday.

If you want to learn more, check out these books about essential oils.

Can You Bring Essential Oils on the Plane?

Yes. Essential oils can be brought on the airplane but there are limits to how much can be put in your carry-on luggage.  Since essential oils are liquid, they are subject to the 3-1-1 rule when traveling within the United States.

Liquids must be in 3 ounce containers and each person can only bring as many as will fit in one clear quart-size bag.  It’s the same bag that must be able to fit any tolietries or other liquids you want to carry on board the plane.

There is no limit to the amount of oils you can bring in your checked luggage.  Be extra careful packing essential oils so that they don’t spill onto the rest of your belongings in the bag.  Also, if you can avoid essential oils in your checked bag during warm weather as it can reduce the effectiveness of the oils.

woman at the airport with roller carryon bag ready to travel

How to Pack Essential Oils for Travel

You know you need to be careful about storing essential oils when you are at home so that they last, but you may be wondering the best way to pack them when you travel.

If you can carry your essential oils on the plane, that’s ideal so you don’t have to worry about them being thrown around in your checked bags.  Still you will need to make sure they are in appropriate containers and fit in a clear quart size bag like this one.

For essential oils in your checked bag, you need to make sure they are protected from rough handling.  It would be a good idea to put the bottles inside a padded travel case.  Also, use plastic bags to prevent any spills from reaching the rest of your belongings.

Whether you pack your essential oils in your cabin or checked bags, it might make things easier if you dilute them with carrier oils.  That way you don’t have to bring a separate bottle for the carrier oil.  You might even prefer to buy a rollon essential oil travel bottle to make it more convenient.

Can You Bring a Diffuser on the Plane?

Yes, if you want to take a diffuser with you when you travel, you can bring it on the plane.  Don’t use the diffuser on the plane as it could bother other passengers.

Consider getting a travel-sized diffuser to save some space in your bags.  You can opt for a wireless option or there are some that can be powered through a USB cord.

Check out the options for travel diffusers here.

How to Use Essential Oils in the Car

Essential oils can definitely come in handy on a road trip and they can be easy to use in the car.  There are diffusers specifically designed to be used in your car.  Some sit in a cup rest and are powered by USB.  There are even some that you can attach to the vent of your car.

See the options for car diffusers here.

Best Essential Oils for Travel

Now that you know how to travel with essential oils, let’s take a look at which essential oils you should bring.  Of course, it will depend on your personal preferences.  You can bring any that you use at home and also consider some that can specifically help with potential travel issues.

Lavender is the best essential oil to bring when you travel because it has some many uses like helping you relax and relieving pain.  There are other essential oils that you might find useful too.  Let’s go over a few examples.

Essential Oils for Motion Sickness

If you are doing a road trip or have any long drives planned during your trip, you need to be prepared for motion sickness.  The roads sometimes can be rough!  It’s also not unusual for people on cruises, ferries, or boat tours to feel seasick.  Mother nature controls the tides, and you never know when it will be a bumpy ride.

In general, ginger is the best essential oil for nausea and motion sickness. (1) It can be diffused into the air, rubbed on pressure points on your forehead and wrists, or even rubbed directly on your stomach.

Peppermint, spearmint, cardamom, and fennel essential oils are also good when you feel sick to your stomach.  There are some popular blends that some people swear by or you could make your own at home.

If you are worried about being seasick, you could also try an anti-nausea wrisband or a seasick patch that goes behind your ears.  Both are 100% drug free.

Essential Oils for Flying Anxiety

Flying makes some people anxious which is not the way you want to start out your vacation.  Don’t worry, there are many essential oils that can help you stay calm.

Lavender is probably the most popular essential oil for people who want to relax.  It has been studied extensively and has been shown to relieve anxiety, depression, migraines, and a host of other ailments.  The scent is definitely calming.

Chamomile essential oil is another option to help reduce anxiety.  You’ve heard how a cup of Chamomile tea can be calming, well the essential oil is even more powerful.

RELATED: Chamomile Tea Bags on Eyes – An Easy DIY Spa Treatment

Essential Oils for Ears When Flying

Even on a smooth take-off or landing, you can sometimes feel the pressure change in your ears.  The pain some people have in their ears when they fly can be quite piercing especially if you are conjested.

Try melaleuca (also called tea tree) oil or eucalyptus to make it more bearable.  Melaleuca helps ears adjust to the cabin air pressure changes, while the decongestant properties of eucalyptus can help to ease popping ears and sinus discomfort.

Before take-off and landing, you can rub a little tea tree oil (diluted with carrier oil) around your ears and earlobes.  Alternatively, you could deeply inhale eucalyptus essential oil. 

Essential Oils for Jet Lag

Jet lag can be a real issue when you travel across timezones.  You can feel disoriented, exhausted, and find it hard to have energy to do things.  At night, you might have a difficult time sleeping.

Use lemongrass oil to help maintain a healthy balance of hormone levels which can help get rid of the cloudy brain fog and eliminate the fatigue that comes with jet lag.  When you need a burst of energy, try peppermint oil as it can increase alertness.

Lavender can help if you are having issues sleeping.  Rest can help reset the body’s internal clock.  You can even use it if you have problems sleeping on long flights.

In addition to using these essential oils for jet lag, it make sure to drink plenty of water.  Hydration can also help fight jet lag symptoms.

Essential Oils for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are your worst nightmare and if you are not careful they could come home with you and cause havoc there too.  Essential oils such as cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, clove oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, thyme oil, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil can help prevent that mess.

Make your own bed bug fighting blend.  Just mix ten drops of lavender essential oil, six drops of lemongrass essential oil, six drops of tea tree, and ten drops of thyme oil.

hotel room with bed

Add a bit of this blend to a spray or atomizer bottle filled with water and spray it on the inside of all your luggage before you pack.  You will also want to spray around the area where you will be sleeping.  For personal protection mix a few drops of the blend with a carrier oil and then apply a few drops strategically on your body.

Essential Oils for Pain

Just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t mean that your chronic pain will take a break.  Sometimes when you travel, you may be more active than when you are at home which can also lead to soreness.  You don’t want the pain to interfere with your trip, so consider using essential oils to get some relief.

Both lavender and peppermint oils can help with pain management along with provide other benefits too.  Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties and helps you relax too.  Peppermint oil can help fight inflammation and relieve swelling, along with helping you feel refreshed.

All the luggage you might have to carry, could cause issues for your back.  These essential oils for back pain can help.  If you are concerned about how your feet will cope with the amount of walking you plan on doing, consider bringing along some essential oils for foot pain.

Related: How to Warm Up Oil for Massage

Traveling with Essential Oils Safely

While essential oils are natural, if you don’t use them correctly then there can be serious consequences.  They are potent so you should never apply any essential oil directly to the skin unless it has been diluted with a carrier oil.   Essential oils should also never be ingested without consulting a medical professional first.

It is possible for essential oils to cause a skin irritation.  If that happens, stop using it immediately and if the irritation gets worse or doesn’t improve contact your doctor.

Remember this post is not medical advice so if you have a serious issue or pain that last several days, you need to speak to your doctor.

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Elena Curtis