Traveling with Essential Oils

Like many of my counterparts, I want to be healthy while traveling, breathing incubated plane air and staying in the same hotel rooms as thousands of bedmates before me. My travel bestie, Ilona Pamplona, introduced me to essential oils. I used it during my spring travels to India, Brazil and Scandinavia and I’d like to make a habit out of traveling with it from now on.


In my attempts to glean knowledge, I asked seasoned travelers what they do to be comfortable and sleep well on the road. Multiple times the response has been, “lavender.” Lavender has a calming effect and promotes relaxation and restful sleep. I also think there is something to the idea of scent familiarity when you’re trying to sleep. I decided to bring lavender oil on my last few trips, and it worked like magic. Here are the uses I tried:

  • Hands
    • Put a drop of lavender on your hand and inhale deeply five times
    • This is super relaxing
  • Feet
    • Put a drop of lavender on the bottoms of your feet
    • Again, super relaxing and helps you go to sleep
  • Pillow
    • Put a drop of lavender on your pillow before sleep
    • The consistency of the same scent at every hotel helps me feel more secure
  • Bath
    • Put several drops of lavender in your bath water to go to heaven


My work includes a lot of meetings, emails, stale coffee– you get the idea. Here is something I’ve found to help break up the day, relieve tension and anxiety, and even alleviate headaches: peppermint oil. Here are the ways I use it:

  • Temples
    • Dab a little bit of peppermint on your temples for pretty-much instant relief
    • Be super careful not to get it too close to your eyes or you will die
  • Neck
    • Put a drop of peppermint on the back of your neck
    • This creates a cooling sensation that makes you feel like you’ve just taken a shower and brushed your teeth (I do this in taxis around 3 pm and it works wonders)
  • Water
    • I drink the stuff.
    • Put a drop of peppermint oil in your water to make it taste good and help with your digestion
    • Use a straw if you don’t want your lips to be on fire


I was looking for something to help with digestive health before a long trip to India. That’s when I was introduced to Thieves: a crazy mixture of herbs and spices that smells exotic and is supposed to kill germs.

Here’s a fun story I heard about it:

In the time of the plague, grave robbers were a huge problem. They would dig up the graves of people who had recently died of the plague and steal the jewelry and clothing they were buried in. What really baffled the people was that the grave robbers were not getting sick– they weren’t contracting the plague. Turns out they had developed a mixture of germ-fighting herbs and doused themselves in it before digging. Now they call the mixture “Thieves” after the entrepreneurs.

Anyway, regardless if that’s true or not, I didn’t get sick in India and I think this stuff really helped. This is how I used it:

  • Hands
    • Put a drop on your hands and inhale deeply five times
    • Side note: I touched my face while doing this, and it cleared up the acne I had around my mouth. BONUS POINT
  • Water
    • Put a drop in your water to help with digestion

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