Travel can put both physical and emotional stress on your body. With a bit of advance planning, you can easily put together your own aromatherapy travel kit to help you deal with the stresses of travel and any minor problems that may arise during your trip. Whether traveling for work or pleasure, there are several essential oil blends that might be able to help you have a more enjoyable trip!
Essential Oils for Travel Sickness
Perhaps you are just traveling by car to visit a relative, or perhaps you are flying across several time zones to an exotic location; either way, certain essential oils may help to ease the nausea associated with motion sickness:
- peppermint (Mentha x piperita)- not to used by babies and children under five years of age. Use spearmint (see below) instead.
- ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
- spearmint (Mentha spicata).
Use the above essential oils via inhalation for the best effect; this includes diffusion and a personal inhaler (Falsetto, 2014). If inhalation is not an option, blend the essential oil with a carrier oil or lotion base and massage over the abdomen as needed.
Essential Oils for Jet Lag
Your body does generally not respond well to traveling across different time zones; this is due to the interruption to your circadian rhythm, disrupting sleeping and eating habits. Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) essential oil may help to keep you more focused and alert during the period of adjustment, or try one of the other citrus essential oils such as sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia). In addition, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oils may help with alertness; however, it is preferable to use citrus essential oils with young children.
Again, inhalation via diffusion or personal inhaler are the best methods of application, although an aromatherapy roll-on blend may help when applied to the pulse points. Simply mix the appropriate essential oil with a base oil such as jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis).
Essential Oils for Easing Anxiety when Traveling with Children
Children can easily become anxious when traveling due to tiredness, unfamiliar places and routines, and strange practices (such as airline security checks). It helps to take a familiar toy, have plenty of (healthy) snacks to hand, and games to keep them occupied for travel delays. In addition, an aromatherapy blend may help to calm a stressed-out child (and parent).
Essential oils such as Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), and rose (Rosa x damascena) may help to soothe and calm an anxious child. Add the essential oil to a personal inhaler or add to an aromatherapy roll-on with a base of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis). Keep the dilution at 1% or under for young children. It is a good idea to make sure that your child reacts favorably to the blend before traveling.
Essential Oils for Minor Troubles
Other minor problems that may arise during a travel trip include stomachache, headaches, sun burn, and insect bites. The following essential oil blends may help with these particular ailments:
- stomachache – use any of the the citrus essential oils in a blend of carrier oil or unscented white lotion base; massage over the abdomen area as needed.
- Headache – people react differently to aromas and I have consequently found that an essential oil that is recommended for headaches may work for one person and not another. Recommended essential oils include lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), peppermint (Mentha x piperita), and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Blend the appropriate essential oil in an aromatherapy roll-on base of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and apply to the temples.
- Sun burn – Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oils in a base of unscented white lotion can be both calming and cooling to skin that has been exposed to too much sun.
- Insect bites – I find that a blend of geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oils in an unscented white lotion base is soothing for the itchiness caused by insect bites. Replace tea tree essential oil with rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) essential oil in use with young children.
Dilution Rates for Travel Aromatherapy Blends
In general, use a 2% dilution rate for aromatherapy blends for healthy adults. Use a 1% dilution rate for use with young children, the elderly, people with certain health conditions, and for those taking certain medications. Check with a certified aromatherapist or qualified health care practitioner for further advice, use, and contra-indications for use of specific essential oils before using essential oils. The advice given in this article is for information purposes only.
- Falsetto, Sharon, 2104, Authentic Aromatherapy, UK: Skyhorse Publishing
- Worwood, Valerie Ann, 1991, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, US: New World Library