I love to pack a few essential oils in my bag when I travel. They take up virtually no space and can come in handy for headaches, sleep, staying awake on the road, bugs, yucky washrooms, fevers and even…hangovers when fireside drinks get carried away. These are some that I find I’m always throwing into my bag for the road.
Hyssop: Not many people know about this oil. It comes from a plant that has been used to treat illness dating back to biblical times. It is strong in properties that are antiviral and antibacterial making it good to keep around for disinfecting toilet seats. Just put a drop on some toilet paper and give it a wipe before you sit. The last trip we went on, I used it on my stomach (diluted) for cramping and on my husband for his headache. It worked really well as the oil also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory compounds. Because of some of these compounds, hyssop is not recommended for children under 10 years.
Lemon Eucalyptus: This is my number one choice for bugs. I usually have enough room in my bag for our forest fun bug stuff, but if I’m trying to pack as light as possible or am recommending an oil for bugs to back-packers this is the one. Last week I had some customers buy it for their diffuser bracelets for camping. I thought this was genius!
4 Thieves Spray: We have the pure oil too, but if I have room for the spray, I prefer it. It has a bunch of oils including clove, frankincense, lavender and tea tree that are all great for killing germs. I also find the smell of this oil quite relaxing. The essential oils we’ve used in this blend are also said to be good at boosting the immune system. I like to use it to spray down our bedding either in the morning or at night. I also like to keep it around to spray down toilet seats, taps and handles in places that don’t look very sanitary. It’s also a nice relaxing body spray that will hopefully help keep me feeling well during vacation.
Cajeput: This is what I use in my car if I’m sleepy while driving. You can get car diffusers or you can just get a felt pad that you usually use for the bottom of chairs and stick it in front of a vent to place your essential oils on. Cajeput is a shrub that is part of the tea tree species but has a smell somewhere in between eucalyptus and tea tree because of it’s properties. Similar to eucalyptus, it’s great at increasing blood flow to the brain and has been shown to help increase alertness. It’s also a great disinfectant which I like to keep around just in case there is a minor cut or scrape and not a lot of access to clean water or other sanitization methods.
Patchouli: I’m a hippie at heart and love the smell of patchouli. In addition to smelling great and being relaxing, patchouli is a good deodorizer helping to neutralize body odor and take away funky tent smells and smelly shoes! For body odor, you can mix it with a bit of coconut oil and rub under your pits and on your feet. For the tent and shoes, you just need to place a little drop somewhere inside. It’s pretty safe for the skin and also contains properties that help to kill bacteria making it another good choice to keep around for the minor cuts that may happen on the campsite.
Lavender: Some people love this smell and others are not so keen on it but no one can disagree with the versatility of lavender. Some strains of lavender are actually more invigorating than relaxing. Our French lavender is the relaxing type and an awesome oil to help the body prep for sleep. I like to put a drop in the middle of our sleeping bags. Lavender is also a great oil to help soothe burns, both the sun type and the fire type, making it great to have on hand for summer camping. It can also help to deter bugs and moths and has strong anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. To me it’s a must have oil for traveling for all these reasons PLUS it’s known to be a gentle oil that is safe for kids and babies in proper dilutions.
Now, I’m sure if you talked to five others that really knew their essential oils, their list of oils to bring on trips would be different. Some may include lemongrass, tea tree or peppermint which are also great options. There are so many great oils out there. The thing to always remember is that essential oils are much stronger than you think they are. They are not intended to be used in large amounts topically and we never recommend internal use unless under direct supervision of a certified aromatherapist and a doctor. Even though I have these oils packed with me, I barely ever end up using all of them. If I ever end up having to apply, it’s always diluted in less than a 3% concentration. That looks like 1-2 drops in a Tbsp of oil. When I’m camping it’s usually olive oil that I use for diluting as we have kicking around for salads.
If you have any questions about these oils or this blog, please give us a shout or leave a comment on our Facebook page so that we can have others join the conversation!