5 Essential Oils You Should Never Board A Plane, Train, Or Automobile Without
While vacations offer the opportunity to sightsee, spend time with family and friends, or do some solo adventuring, they can sometimes cause stress and anxiety. Perhaps you are traveling with rowdy children in a small car, maybe you fall ill in an unfamiliar place, can’t get a wink of sleep, or you’re rocking a painful sunburn. Whatever your conundrum, there are powerful essential oils and botanical remedies that can assuage any anxiety, support sleep, and even make that burn feel better in the morning.
Below are five must-have multitasking essential oils to pack no matter where your summer travels take you!
For me, planes are too cold and stuffy. In fact, the air in planes is actually drier than the Sahara Desert, making it the ideal locale for coming down with a cold. If you’re prone to catching things easily when traveling, rosalina is an oil to take on all of your journeys. Known as lavender tea tree, this oil makes the list not only because it’s a go-to for coughs and colds but also because it’s safe to use (properly diluted) on and around children. Rosalina contains two notable chemicals: 1,8 cineole and linalool; 1,8 cineole is effective at ridding mucus and supporting respiratory functioning, and linalool is known to have a sedating and soothing effect. This antibacterial and immune-supporting oil also has an often-beloved scent—sweet and camphoraceous.
How-To: Add 10 drops rosalina and 5 drops lavender to an aromatic inhaler. Give to children (or yourself) to inhale for calming, or use when nasally congested.
Afraid of flying? Anxious to be away from home? Fear the worst-case scenario in an unknown land? If you have travel anxiety, you’re not alone. Nearly 20 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety, which can get in the way of enjoying a trip. Distilled from the roots, vetiver is incredibly grounding and boasts an earthy aroma—there is even preliminary research suggesting that inhalation reduces anxiety1. Vetiver is also safe to use with children and is particularly useful for those diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.
How-To: Create a travel ritual to lessen anxiety. Add 3 drops vetiver, 5 drops lavender, and 8 drops sweet orange to an ounce of sunflower oil. Anoint on pulse points before and/or during travel when feeling overwhelmed.
Few admit it, but many experience it when traveling. What am I? Constipation! If you suffer from IBS discomfort and backed-up bowels, join the club. Many travelers are unable to easily "go" when away from the luxury of their homes and routines. If this feeling rings true for you, pack some ginger. The fresh and spicy aroma is known for kick-starting digestion and movement. Recent research highlights that ginger is indeed gastro-protective2. Like peppermint, ginger can also assuage motion sickness and nausea and is gentle enough to use on children with stomach issues.
How-To: Relax abdominal muscles with a warming massage blend. Add 6 drops ginger and 3 drops fennel to an ounce of sesame oil. Massage on lower abdomen as necessary.
If you are traveling anywhere—beach, mountains, city—lavender needs to be in your bag. This essential oil helps you get to sleep faster, relieves sunburn, takes the itch out of bug bites, makes a wonderfully delicate perfume, and so much more. I never travel without my lavender. And if I could only take one oil on a trip, this would be it. A renowned antimicrobial and skin healer, lavender accelerates the healing of wounds and burns. It has also been clinically shown to reduce pain in burn patients3. Got sunburn and need some potent all-natural relief? Use lavender. It's also great for healing cuts and scrapes on both adults and kids.
How-To: For an adult, add a few drops of lavender neat—directly on any sunburn or non-opened bug bite. Traveling in unbearable heat? Try cooling off with a spritz of lavender hydrosol.
This oil is conceivably the dark horse in the bunch since it’s not an incredibly well-known essential oil in the aromatherapy world. But if you have agonizing jet lag and are not able to effortlessly regulate your body’s biological cycles to a new time zone, fragonia will be your new best friend. Fragonia helps restore the body’s natural balance. Interestingly enough, the therapeutic benefits of recalibrating and harmonizing the body and mind are also reflected in its nearly 1:1:1 chemical ratio of oxides, monoterpenes, and monoterpenols—giving us the gift of an extremely well-rounded oil.
How-To: Upon landing in a different time zone, add a few drops of fragonia to the back of your neck and pulse points. Combine with roman chamomile to aid in sleep or pink grapefruit to maintain alertness and fight the urge to sleep.
If you're building your essential oils collection, check out our list of oils for clear skin.
Leigh Winters is a neuroscientist, psychologist and natural beauty expert. She received her M.S. in Neuroscience and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. She is the founder and CEO of Leigh Winters Beauty, and has previously contributed to NBC News, Allure, Health, and Shape, and worked as a researcher at Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute researching mindfulness and biobehavioral health.