5 Best Essential Oils for Travelers (and How to Use Them)

5 Best Essential Oils for Travelers (and How to Use Them)

Travelling opens us up to new experiences, cultures, and most times, unexpected challenges. While everyone knows to pack the essentials: clothes, chargers, and sunscreen, there’s a hidden gem that even the most seasoned travellers overlook: essential oils. These potent liquids, extracted from nature's very essence, provide natural solutions to common travel woes, from jet lag to sudden fatigue. Dive into this guide to discover which essential oils you need to add to your travel kit to make your journey smoother, more enjoyable, and vibrantly aromatic. Safe travels await!

Why Essential Oils Are a Must-Have for Travellers

 Natural Remedies on the Go

Travel often comes with unexpected hiccups, from minor cuts to sudden headaches and runny noses that just won’t go away. Essential oils act as natural, portable solutions, offering relief without the need for bulky medicine kits. These compact bottles are easy to slip into a purse or backpack, ensuring you're prepared for common ailments. They provide non-toxic alternatives to many over-the-counter (OTC) products, which tend to cause their own negative side effects. So, whether you're combating jet lag with soothing lavender or treating a tropical bug bite with tea tree oil, these remedies are both handy and effective. 

One Oil for Every Ailment

Essential oils are not just versatile; they're travel-friendly multitaskers. You can apply them directly to the skin with an oil rollerball, or you can mix them with carrier oils and apply by hand. If you need instant relief for headaches, nausea, or sinus congestion, you can even inhale a few deep breaths directly from the bottle. 

With just one bottle, you can boost your immune strength around strangers in the airport, hydrate your skin after a long day of flying, and relieve any travel anxiety that you’ve been battling. And when you finally arrive at your destination, you can add a few drops to a relaxing shower or bath to wind down.

Best Essential Oils for Travelers


Lavender is a traveller's best friend, and it’s effective long before you pack up the car or head to the airport. In the nights leading up to your trip, add a few drops of lavender oil to a clean towel or cloth and place it under your pillow. It will naturally diffuse over the next few hours, relaxing your body & mind, ensuring you’re well rested when you depart.

Facing jet lag after a long flight? Lavender's calming properties can help reset your circadian rhythms, or your internal body clock. After spending all day in crowded terminals, you’ll want to clean up and get rid of all the germs; this includes your accommodations. Lavender oil is a well-known antibacterial & antiseptic agent, and with just a few drops, you can rid your room of germs. 


Perhaps best known for its invigorating scent, peppermint oil is an energising ally for travellers. Before takeoff, whether via train or plane, take a few deep inhales from the bottle to kick-start your day. If you struggle with motion sickness or are unlucky enough to eat some bad food, inhaling peppermint can provide relief.

In warm destinations, its cooling properties offer a refreshing respite from the heat, especially for your skin. It helps soothe inflammation, irritation, and itchiness, which can derail your travel plans if ignored.  And if travel fatigue sets in after a long day, peppermint's natural energising scent can perk you right up. 

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is another powerful essential oil for travellers. Worried about germs on your seat or door handles? Use it as a disinfectant to clean commonly touched surfaces, ensuring that your trip isn’t ruined by some easily preventable sickness. These same antibacterial properties come in handy when treating unexpected wounds or bug bites, which are bound to occur as you explore deep jungles & remote beaches. Proactively, it also acts as a natural insect repellent.

There’s often a brief adjustment period to the air quality of a new location, especially if you have lung sensitivities. Add a few drops of tea tree oil around your room to purify the air and help you adjust to the environment.  


Lemon oil is a zesty travel essential; if nothing else, it offers a refreshing moment away from the busy transit systems. Citrus oils are well-known sanitising agents; lemon is arguably one of the best. Pair it with a carrier oil, then bottle it up for a ready-to-go, natural hand sanitizer. 

Visiting a locale with unfamiliar smells? Lemon's uplifting aroma can rejuvenate stale hotel rooms, making them feel like home. And if you’re tired after a long day of hiking, but still have plans later that night, lemon oil can help kick that sluggish feeling and re-energize your spirits. 


Eucalyptus oil is a must-pack for your next adventure. Throw it in your carry-on to clear your nasal passages during long flights. After a tiring day of eating, hiking, and exploring, a eucalyptus-infused bath can soothe aching muscles, as can a gentle massage with a carrier oil. Your muscles will bounce back overnight, giving you the energy you need to conquer the next day's adventures. 

If you're navigating areas with many mosquitoes, eucalyptus oil acts as a natural repellent. Using the same massage blend, apply to open or exposed areas of your skin, being careful to avoid your eyes, nose, and mouth. And if cold symptoms threaten to ruin the party, eucalyptus can offer respiratory comfort. 

Practical Tips for Travelling with Essential Oils

Storing & Packing

When at home, you have access to your full suite of essential oils, tools, and diffusers. But you won’t have that same luxury when travelling, especially by plane. Though each country has its own regulations, most airlines limit the volume of liquids you can pack in your carry-on bag to 100ml (3.4 oz). Make sure that your travel-size oil bottles are made using dark glass, which shields the oils from UV light and preserves their efficacy. 

Place these oil bottles in a plastic bag or leak-proof container to prevent spillage in the event the bottles crack or leak. To quickly address travel needs, label each bottle clearly so you can grab what you need when you need it. If you’re packing the oils in your suitcase or other checked bag, place them in a zippered plastic bag or padded pouch for extra protection

Safety & Precautions

As healing as they can be, essential oils are potent liquids that must be handled and used with care Before using any new oil, especially while away from home, perform a skin patch test to check for reactions. Dilute the oil with a carrier oil and apply to a small, less sensitive part of your skin. If you don’t experience any adverse reactions, you’re good to go! If you react negatively, do not apply any more oil and seek medical treatment if your symptoms worsen. 

You should never ingest oils, as their toxicity can cause hospitalisation and even death in some cases. And it’s best to store them in your luggage, out of direct sunlight and away from children. 

Travelling is exciting, adventurous, and full of usually unforeseen challenges. And while those challenges make it all the more exciting, you want the tools to overcome them. By arming yourself with essential oils, you’ll have constant access to natural, effective remedies at your fingertips. Whether it's battling jet lag, killing germs, or uplifting your spirits in a foreign land, these aromatherapeutic wonders prove invaluable. Safe travels!