Creating A Natural First Aid Kit for Vacations

Creating A Natural First Aid Kit For VacationsVacations and travel can bring up all sorts of unexpected health problems, depending on where you are traveling; however, you can prepare yourself for several common nuisances that may other wise disrupt your hard-earned vacation time by preparing an aromatherapy first aid kit before you leave home. Use essential oils, such as lavender, lemon and ginger to treat minor vacation illnesses such as stomach upsets, insect bites, and travel sickness; here’s a few simple remedies.

Essential Oils for Travel Sickness

Travel sickness is no fun whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile. Two of the most common essential oils for travel sickness are peppermint (Mentha piperita) and ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oils (source: Aromatherapy Workbook, Shirley Price). Combine the essential oils in a massage blend, such as sweet almond oil, or simply add a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil to a tissue and inhale the aroma to relieve the feeling of nausea.

Essential Oils for Mild Stomach Upsets

Mild stomach upsets often occur on vacation due to a change in dietary habits; although mild stomach problems are not usually serious, they can disrupt your vacation. Again, ginger and peppermint essential oils are often recommended to relieve the symptoms of mild stomach upsets. However, several of the citrus essential oils may help to relieve stomach/digestive problems too. I have found that an aromatherapy blend of ginger, grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) and lemon (Citrus limon) essential oils in a base of either sunflower oil or white lotion can help to relieve mild stomach ache; simply rub the blend onto the affected stomach area.

Essential Oils for Insect Bites

There are many different insect bites that you might encounter on vacation, depending on where you are traveling; however a couple of common essential oils that I would recommend that you have handy to treat insect bites, include lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile); in addition, you might want to consider antiseptic essential oils such as tea tree(Melaleuca alternifolia),eucalyptus (Eucalyptus smithii) and thyme(Thymus vulgaris) (source: The Complete book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood). I find that a white lotion base is often more soothing to apply than a regular carrier oil.

Essential Oils as an Insect Repellent

Preventing insects from biting you in the first place is often more preferable than the end result!  Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), lavender, Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) are some of the essential oils that are listed as insect repellents (source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless). Blend your chosen essential oils in a base of white lotion in order to avoid the “oiliness” associated with a regular carrier oil base.

Preparing Your Aromatherapy First Aid Kit

There are often several essential oils that can be used to treat one particular health travel problem, so it is probably wise to choose four or five essential oils that can treat a number of problems. A basic aromatherapy first aid kit for travel could include:

  • lavender – insect repellent, insect bites, some stomach upsets, to relieve stress, cuts and bruises, wounds and headaches
  • tea tree – insect bites, wounds and burns
  • peppermint/ginger – travel sickness, indigestion, mild stomach ache
  • roman chamomile – insect bites, cuts and bruises, insomnia, toothache and sunburn
  • geranium – bruises, burns, blisters and jet lag.

(source: The Complete book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood)


If you are unfamiliar with the use of essential oils, consult a qualified aromatherapist and your health care practitioner before using them; in addition, make sure that you are aware of any contra-indications for use of a particular essential oil. Some of the common groups where caution is recommended in the use of essential oils is in the use with children, the elderly and in pregnancy. If you are taking any form of prescribed medication, be aware that it might interact with the use of essential oils, depending on the type of medication that it is. Seek professional medical attention if your condition becomes serious.

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