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International Travel Tips

Taking Aromatherapy With You Abroad

While most countries will allow you to bring essential oils with you into the country, there may be some countries that restrict or impose duties on items you bring into the country with you (especially if you plan on selling them). For tips and information for those in the U.S. on traveling to specific countries, click here. Many other countries also have international travel information specific for their country posted on the internet.


As anyone who has ever caught a nasty intestinal bug during a trip abroad can tell you, you should always be aware that a sanitary water supply may not be readily available in many countries you may visit. Most experienced international travelers make it a habit to only drink bottled water and beverages any time they are visiting a country with a water supply that hasn't been purified (and many make it a habit even in countries where it has been purified). Less obvious sources of contaminated water can be ice or foods that have been washed or prepared using regular water (including fresh fruits or vegetables).

Anytime you suddenly switch your diet, such as when you travel to a different country, it can take the body a while to adjust to the new foods. It is common to feel feelings of indigestion during this time of adjustment. Some essential oils that can help with minor indigestion include Digestive Blend, peppermint, ginger, and lavender.

It is also usually wise to avoid eating foods from street vendors or restaurants where the foods may not have been kept or prepared in sanitary conditions.

Traveling by Air

When traveling internationally by air, often the flights are long and require sitting with little room to move for many hours. Because of long periods of sitting, it is possible to get blood clots, since the body may not be able to circulate blood properly. Thus it is important to drink lots of water and move around the cabin as often as allowed. Frequent bathroom breaks can help keep the blood circulating properly. Black pepper and cypress essential oil can also help with circulation. You can make a blend of 2 drops black pepper, 1 drop cypress and 1 drop lavender to 1/2 oz. fractionated coconut oil and place in a 1/2 oz. dropper bottle and use to rub on feet and legs before flying (adapted from doTERRA's Living magazine Spring/Summer 2013).

Also, for long flights, just removing your shoes from your feet and only wearing socks can be very beneficial in getting comfortable and relaxed. You may also want to take calming oils such as lavender, Focus Blend, ylang ylang, bergamot, Calming Blend, and Invigorating Blend to help you relax and possibly sleep.

Traveling by Cruise Ship

Cruise ships are a popular way to relax, travel, and visit many different places in a short period of time. Some people, however, get motion sickness caused by the waves of the sea. To combat motion sickness, peppermint, Digestive Blend, and ginger essential oil can help. You can place a couple drops in a capsule, suck on a peppermint beadlet, diffuse or apply oil to hands, tissue, or cotton wick and inhale, or massage on stomach.

Often cruise ships go to warm destinations such as beaches, and the possibility of a sunburn in high. You may want to make your own natural sunscreen or take a cooling spray made up of 40 drops of lavender, 15 drops of peppermint, and 5 drops of Roman chamomile diluted in water and mixed in a 4 oz. spray bottle (adapted from doTERRA's Living magazine Spring/Summer 2013). If you do get sunburned, try applying lavender to help relieve the pain from minor burns. A mix of lavender and peppermint (10 drops each) and 4 oz. of water in a spray bottle helps cool the sunburned skin.

Some places also have annoying insects or bugs, so you may want to take bug repellent oils such as Repellent Blend, patchouli, basil, lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, thyme, and Cleansing Blend essential oil. You can just rub Repellent Blend essential oil blend on your skin or mix a few drops of some of the other oils with fractionated coconut oil and rub on skin. Create a repellent spray by placing 5 drops lavender, 5 drops lemongrass, 3 drops peppermint, and 1 drop thyme mixed with water in a spray bottle and mist onto the skin. If you do get bitten, lavender and Repellent Blend usually help soothe the bitten area and reduce itching.

Additional Tips & Testimonials

- "I travel international twice a year and take my oils along with me.. My favorites are [Massage Blend] for restless leg, Lavender to help me sleep, Lemon of course for my water or a cocktail pickerup'er, Lemongrass and Lavender mix for my aching back and shoulders, and Melaleuca swiped on my sinuses to help fight the germs that go around on an airplane. Love to hear people comment "what is that smell? It smells good" after I have applied all my oils. Best travel partner ever, never get sick anymore traveling back and forth between continents. Also the nice bags from AromaTools that are printed and padded work great for transporting my 30 oils from one side of the world to the other no worries about breaking bottles they are packed safe in these cute bags!.. I LOVE EO!" - Valorie Rollins Thieme

- "Lemon oil is wonderful in many ways. I travel internationally often and always keep my lemon oil with me to place a few drops in the water I drink. So far with all my travels I have never been ill from the water. I also do not like to drink tea without fresh lemon in the water. Therefore when traveling and I can not have fruit, I add a couple drops of lemon to the tea and it tastes just as refreshing!" - Jeanette (California, USA)

- "Air or car travel: [Digestive Blend] on the tummy for motion sickness. [Grounding Blend] to keep you grounded as you deal with restless kids and passengers. Packing: Put a drop of lavender in your suitcase so clothes won't smell musty. Also pack an empty spray bottle so you can mix lavender and water to spritz on clothes to smooth the wrinkles out." - Kimberly Packard (San Marcos, CA)

- "Mix a few drops of lavender and [Protective Blend] oil with a little fractionated coconut oil and put in a tiny container. Apply to pulse area before flight and on particularly long flights, every couple of hours during flight. May not be necessary to refresh as the lavender will ensure that you sleep soundly! [Protective Blend] helps to keep flight borne bugs and typical germs that are in abundance when in a crowded and air conditioned environment such as a packed aircraft. I also take [Respiratory Blend] (to avoid congestion that usually accompanies air conditioned environments) and melaleuca (for incidentals, e.g. scratches that come with lugging heavy luggage etc. and for wiping down publicly used items on aircraft/seating area, e.g. remotes, seat adjustment buttons, etc.)." - Colette Maat (Paraparumu, Wellington, New Zealand)

- "I am a flight attendant and I don't go anywhere without my oils! I keep the keychain pack on me with the 8 most common oils I use on a regular basis. I've had TSA ask me what they are (when going through security) and it was a great opportunity to give them a bit of information on what the oils are, how to use them, and why I prefer them." - Ryan T. Uhrig (San Bruno, CA)

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