Guide To The Perfect Aromatherapy Travel Kit
It doesn’t matter whether I am travelling for business or pleasure, taking a long-haul flight or short bus journey, my Aromatherapy travel kit is always the first thing I pack! Essential oils are incredibly useful around the home, so why not take them with you? Their scents can be uplifting, reassuring and soothing, while their wide range of properties can help with an impressive list of holiday conditions and complaints such as jet lag, travel sickness, sun burn, insect bites, oedema and travel tummy. Assembling a kit couldn’t be easier and it’s certainly more cost effective in the long run.
Nervous fliers can definitely benefit from the soothing and calming properties of essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and neroli. One of my favourite travel blends is 6-drops neroli, 3-drops lavender and 1-drop geranium in a personal Aromatherapy inhaler. Small and convenient to carry, the inhaler lets me have access to this deeply relaxing and balancing blend when I most need it. Although a pricier oil then most, neroli is a must-have essential oil for anyone serious about Aromatherapy. It blends beautifully with other oils and its sedative effect can help with stressful situations, and lets face it, travel can be very stress inducing at times!
Another benefit of using a personal Aromatherapy inhaler is the immune boosting, anti-viral properties of essential oils. Imagine the amount of germs floating around a crowded bus or train. Planes, with all their recycled air, are notorious breeding grounds for germs. How many times have you got off a plane and felt the oncoming symptoms of a cold? You worked so hard for your vacation the last thing you want is to get sick! Oils such as lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus have powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune stimulating properties. Try adding 6-drops lavender, 3-drops tea tree and 2-drops eucalyptus oil to your Aroma inhaler to help combat the risk of germs on crowded public transportation.
Travel or motion sickness can affect anyone at any age, and it really takes the fun out of going away. Symptoms often include nausea, increased saliva production, vomiting, headaches, increase in perspiration, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Both ginger and peppermint essential oils are ideal for this condition, but as both have very intense aromas I would suggest choosing just one. Personally the aroma of ginger is too strong for me, so I always opt for peppermint, which is also helpful in relieving headaches. A great travel sickness remedy for your Aroma inhaler is 6-drops peppermint and 3-drops lavender. If you prefer the scent of ginger then try using 4-drops ginger and 6-drops neroli. Of course you don’t have to use a personalized inhaler. A tissue with 4-5 drops of essential oil on it can also work wonders. Just keep the tissue in a Ziploc bag so the scent doesn’t fade too quickly.
Jet lag is the bane of most travellers. It wreaks absolute havoc on your body and its effects are not limited to making you sleepy when you should be awake and vice versa! Jet lag also affects your digestive system, which can lead to all sorts of problems such as constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, increased appetite and general stomach upsets. It can also cause headaches, mood swings, nausea and dizziness. Use relaxing, sedative oils such as lavender, chamomile and neroli to help you regain your natural sleep pattern. Add 1-2 drops to your pillow or alternatively use a few drops mixed with carrier oil in a warm bath or massage blend. Oils such as peppermint, rosemary and geranium can help you stay alert and focused. These oils are energizing, stimulating and mood enhancing. Try 3-drops geranium and 2-drops rosemary in carrier oil and add to a warm bath. If you don’t have time for a bath add 3-drops rosemary to a tissue and inhale the aroma whenever you need a quick pick me up.
Sore, painful sunburned skin can really take the joy out of a holiday. A great sunburn remedy is 3-drops lavender and 3-drops roman chamomile in 1-Tablespoon jojoba or aloe vera carrier oil. Add the blend to a cool bath and use 2-3 times per day. These essential oils will bring almost instant relief through their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can also make a convenient spray to administer throughout the day. In a 100 ml spray bottle add 80 ml of purified or distilled water (boiled water from a kettle will do), 10 ml of witch hazel and 12-drops neroli, 6-drops roman chamomile, 6-drops lavender and 3-drops peppermint essential oil. Shake every time before use to ensure the oils have been dispersed. All essential oils have cell-regenerating properties, but lavender and neroli are exceptionally beneficial at helping new skin cells to grow. Although peppermint, may seem an odd choice those suffering from sunburn will welcome its cooling action.
Argh! Insects can be a complete pain! Don’t let them spoil your vacation! Many over the counter insect repellants contain all kinds of nasty chemicals, so try using a natural version instead. In a 100 ml spray bottle add 90 ml of distilled or purified water, 10 ml of vodka, 12-drops rosemary, 12-drops lavender and 6-drops peppermint. Mosquitoes, gnats, flies, moths and ants should be kept at bay. If you are bitten, don’t panic! Apply 1-drop of either neat lavender or roman chamomile to the bite to take the sting away and prevent itching. These oils will also speed the healing process.
Another common travel complaint is the infamous ‘travel-tummy’. If you have eaten something that hasn’t agreed with you make sure to drink plenty of bottled water to prevent de-hydration. Create a compress by soaking a flannel in a bowl or sink of hot water that has had 6-drops chamomile and 3-drops lavender added to it. Swish the flannel around and give it a good wringing out before applying to your tummy. Both these oils have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties while chamomile is also anti-spasmodic. Continue applying the compress several times a day to ease cramps and discomfort. This blend is also helpful for period pain too!
Fluid retention or oedema is a common problem for many travellers. Sitting for long periods of time, especially on a plane, can lead to painful swollen legs. If you’re on a long-haul flight do make sure to get up and walk around as much as you can to keep everything moving, and avoid alcohol and salty foods, which can make the condition worse. Geranium is a wonderful oil to help with oedema caused by long flights. Use 5-6 drops mixed with carrier oil in a warm bath or apply to the legs in an upward motion toward the heart. Geranium has a stimulating effect on the lymphatic system so helps to drain away excess fluid. It also has a lovely aroma that is grounding and balancing to the emotions.
No matter where you go on holiday, you can always benefit from the use of essential oils. Below is a list of the best oils to bring, so make room in your suitcase for these natural, healing plant extracts!
Aromatherapy Travel Kit
- Roman Chamomile
- Tea Tree
- Peppermint (can substitute ginger if you prefer)
- Neroli (can substitute sweet orange if you prefer although it doesn’t have the same sedative properties)
- Personal Aromatherapy Inhaler (bring extra if you want different blends for different uses)
- 100 ml Spray Bottle (bring extra if you want different blends for different uses)
- 100 ml carrier oil such as jojoba, aloe vera or sweet almond
- 50 ml witch hazel (optional but great for sunburn spray)