The Best Essential Oils To Take On Vacation: Top 10 Must-Haves And How To Use Them

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A stylized shot of a bottle of essential oil and natural healthcare products, illustrating the topic of essential oils to take on vacation.

Looking for the best essential oils for travel, but not sure where to start?

Using essential oils can help to naturally treat a number of travel-related symptoms and issues, from stress and anxiety to strengthening your immune system, or even alleviating jet lag and travel sickness.

When used right, and with the correct recipes, quality essential oils can be a fantastic natural complement to traditional medicine – and the perfect tools to bring on a self-care trip. Beyond just travelling, they can also help to naturally alleviate any symptoms caused by your medical condition or disability, and help you to feel more at peace in your everyday life. It’s really no wonder they’ve become so popular!

So, what are the best essential oils to take on vacation? Read on for a list of our favorite essential oils below, a tutorial video on easy essential oil blends to make at home, and expert advice on how to travel with essential oils!

What Are The Benefits Of Essential Oils When Traveling? 

Essential oils are well-known for their natural benefits. These concentrated plant extracts are often used in aromatherapy and alternative medicine to treat a number of conditions, and can make a positive impact on your wellbeing and overall health – as long as you are using them safely.

Essential oils carry a strong, unique smell and each variety comes with a number of potential health benefits. Some of the top essential oils for travel can be used to reduce the stress associated with planning a vacation, boost your energy levels during long sightseeing trips, and even act as an insect repellent.

Some other travel benefits of essential oils include treating indigestion or an upset stomach, relieving pain, improving skin conditions like eczema or insect bites, and killing bacteria. Read on to find out about the 10 best travel essential oils, diffuser blends, and how to use them.

A stylized shot of a portable essential oil diffuser and essential oil bottles.

How To Use Essential Oils 

The most common ways to use essential oils is by either applying them to the skin or inhaling them through a diffuser or humidifier. Diffusers work by dispensing microscopic particles through the air, allowing them to be absorbed while you breathe. 

Do not apply essential oils directly to your skin, as this could cause severe irritation. Instead, add a few drops of your essential oils or oil blend to a carrier oil before applying to your skin. You could also add this diluted essential oil to a bath, body wash, or moisturiser to truly nourish both your body and your mind, or fill a small roller bottle with your blend to apply to your pulse points whenever you need a boost.

Be careful, however: if you’re looking for essential oils to take internally, speak to your healthcare provider first – especially if you have an existing medical condition. Not all essential oils are safe for internal use, and may even cause significant poisoning when ingested. Read more about the potential side effects of essential oils below.

The Best Carrier Oils For Travel

Carrier oils are a must when using essential oils, and so is choosing the right one for your skin type. Our two favourite carrier oils for skin application are jojoba oil and coconut oil – hydrating and nourishing, these oils will ensure you avoid irritation and get all the benefits of using essential oils!

They’re also affordable and usually come in large containers, meaning you’ll get plenty of product to experiment with different essential oils, oil blends, and all their virtues.

Jojoba oil

This huge bottle of pure organic jojoba oil from Handcraft Blends will last you forever! Plus, it’s preservative free, chemical free, and 100% vegan. Deeply moisturising and antioxidant, it’s the perfect carrier oil for essential oils.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory staple – from the kitchen to the bathroom, it really does it all. This 100% extra virgin coconut oil from Shea Moisture will provide hydration and take care of your skin while you enjoy an aromatherapy session.

A product shot of various essential oil bottles and carrier oil bottles, illustrating the topic of essential oils to take on vacation.

Essential Oil Side Effects

While they are generally considered safe, using essential oils should be done with caution – particularly if you suffer from any allergies or underlying medical conditions.

Some people may experience irritation when applying essential oils to the skin. You may want to conduct a patch test before using a new essential oil to ensure you’re not sensitive to it – simply apply a small drop of diluted essential oil to the skin of your inner arm, cover it with a plaster, and wait 24 to 48 hours. If no irritation or reaction occurs, you’re most likely not allergic to this oil and it should be safe to use.

Other side effects of using essential oils can also include breathing issues and headaches. Ingesting essential oils can also be potentially life-threatening – if any severe symptoms occur, or if you accidentally swallow essential oils, call emergency services immediately to get advice.

What Essential Oils Should I Take On Vacation? 

Top 10 Essential Oils For Travel 

There are many different uses for essential oils on vacation – from simple relaxation to repelling insects and healing mosquito bites. No matter what you need, there’s an essential oil for it!

We’ve compiled a handy list of 10 must have essential oils to take with you on a holiday – read on to find out more.

1. Rosemary

You may have heard that rosemary oil can stimulate hair growth, but did you know it can also relieve pain? Use it for headaches or muscle aches, arthritis, and sore legs after a long day of walking.

2. Rose

Rose essential oil has many benefits, from reducing stress to easing sore muscles. Its antimicrobial properties can even be used to freshen up your hotel room – add it to a spray bottle and breathe in the calmness.

A close-up picture of rose flowers, illustrating the topic of rose essential oil.

3. Peppermint

Whether in tea form or as an essential oil, peppermint has long been known to help with digestion. Use it to soothe an upset stomach or reduce bloating. When inhaled through a diffuser, it can also help ease coughs and colds.

4. Tea tree

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties, making it perfect to treat small cuts and insect bites. It can also help to reduce inflammation and combat acne or fungal infections.

5. Lemon

Lemon essential oil is a fantastic all-rounder that can be used to treat a number of symptoms. It’s antibacterial, meaning it can help treat infection and wounds, as well as reduce cold symptoms and ease nausea.

6. Frankincense

Not only is frankincense essential oil known for its skin benefits, it’s been shown to help with breathing and asthma. It’s also one of the best grounding essential oils, supporting relaxation and reducing stress.

7. Lavender

Lavender oil is often used as a sleep and relaxation aid – but did you know it also works as an insect repellent? Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties can help stop insect bites from itching.

8. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil has insect-repelling properties (particularly those pesky mosquitoes) which make it the perfect travel companion. Use it in a spray or diffuse it around your room to keep bugs at bay!

9. Oregano

Oregano essential oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s also been shown to help with tummy troubles, from gas and bloating to the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea.

10. Citronella

Citronella is a tried-and-tested natural insect repellent, but it can also be used to heal skin irritation, eczema, and even slow down skin ageing – pretty helpful when you’re spending time in the sun. 

Best Travel Essential Oil Diffuser

When traveling with these essential oils, you may have space to bring a portable diffuser that fits in your luggage but is powerful enough to provide proper diffusion to make your entire hotel room smell divine. A diffuser is also a good way to use oils at home when you get back from your travels! 

This rechargeable, waterless essential oil travel diffuser is the perfect holiday companion! 

When buying essential oils online, always look for quality ingredients that are not synthetic.  Look out for pure organic ingredients rather than ‘fragrance’ oils. Cheap oils are also best avoided as they won’t have the key healing ingredients as are oils in clear plastic bottles. 

Oil Blend Ideas For Travellers

Creating your own oil blend at home before you travel can be a truly rewarding experience, allowing you to customise your treatment to your needs while spending some time breathing in all the calming scents of your essential oil collection.

Watch the video below to learn how to blend essential oils and create calming, nourishing oil blends to treat yourself to a session of “aromatherapy to go”!

Best Essential Oils Blends To Buy

If you prefer to take essential oils already blended and packed for you in a handy roller bottle, we’ve listed some of our favourite options below.

Neal’s Yard Remedies

This ‘Remedies to Roll’ collection of delicately scented essential oil blends will fit in your carry-on and can be used throughout the day to enhance your mood and wellbeing. Our favourite is, unsurprisingly, this Travel blend

With bergamot, neroli, rosemary, and clary sage, this blend will help keep you energised while promoting a feeling of calmness and relaxation.Roll the bottle onto your temples and wrists and breathe in its energising fragrance for an immediate boost of wellbeing.


Vocā’s essential oil blends come in roller ball bottles, sprays (perfect for misting your pillow before enjoying a restorative sleep), and diffuser elixirs. They’re especially designed to help you get a good night’s sleep and help you create soothing evening rituals that invite deep relaxation. Browse Vocā products here.

Summary On Essential Oils To Take On Vacation

Whether you use essential oils for jet lag, to relax after a stressful day, or to keep bugs and mosquitoes out of your hotel room, there are many different benefits to bringing our 10 essential oil must haves with you when you travel. 

A portable, rechargeable essential oil diffuser and a travel case will also come in handy when you’re looking for essential oils to take on a cruise, airplane, or train trip! 

For your safety, make sure to follow proper instructions when using essential oils and watch out for any irritation or side effects. If you have an existing medical condition, speak to your GP or specialist consultant before beginning to use essential oils.

What are your favourite essential oils to bring with you on your travels? Share your recommendations in the comments below!

A woman in a satin robe applies essential oils to her skin using a dropper while a scented candle burns in the foreground.

Essential Oils To Take On Vacation FAQ

What are the top 3 best essential oils?

If you’re just beginning your collection, some must have essential oils for beginners include lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and peppermint essential oil. These can form the basis of your essential oil travel kit –  however, the best essential oils for you will depend on your specific needs and the benefits you’re after. For example, not only is rose oil calming and relaxing, it’s also been used safely for centuries!

What essential oil keeps sickness away?

Many essential oils can help fight illnesses like the common cold, as well as reduce nausea – which can come in especially handy when travelling by plane or boat! Eucalyptus, rosemary, and chamomile essential oils may help ease cold or flu symptoms by reducing inflammation and fighting bacteria in your body. To combat nausea, some good essential oils for travel sickness are ginger essential oil, peppermint oil, and lemon essential oil.

How do you carry oil when traveling?

Whether by plane, train, or car, traveling with essential oils takes some extra preparation to ensure they get to your destination safely. If you’re wondering: can I bring essential oils on a plane? Thankfully, the answer is yes! Oils are allowed in both your carry-on and checked-in luggage – to avoid leaks or breakages, wrap each bottle in protective bubble wrap and use leak-proof caps wherever possible or pack each bottle inside a sealable plastic bag. Avoid opening your essential oils on public transport or planes, as their potent smells might irritate other passengers or cause allergic reactions. Instead, apply your blends before boarding and wait until you’ve arrived at your destination to reach for them again.

Can I bring essential oils on my carry-on?

Worrying about how to pack essential oils for airplane travel? Flying with essential oils is totally fine, but you will need to ensure you follow the rules for packing liquids in carry-on luggage. This also applies to your carrier oil. Before traveling, decant any large bottles into travel-size containers, and make sure to close them tightly. Place them in a clear plastic bag and don’t forget to take it out of your hand luggage when you go through security.

Can I bring a diffuser on a plane?

As long as you stick to your airline’s rules – absolutely! In order to bring a travel oil diffuser with you on a plane, you might need to pack it in your carry-on bag (especially if it is powered by a lithium battery) and make sure it is powered off before the flight. While you won’t be allowed to use your diffuser during the flight, it’ll be with you and ready for use once you reach your destination.

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