It’s ROAD TRIP SEASON!! Yay!! The time of year when you load up your loved ones and all the gear you need for adventure, and head out on the road for parts unknown. I love road trips so much more than flying. You get to really see the country, meet the people. But even the best vacations can have a few bumps in the road (heh), so I always carry both a little bottle and a pre-diluted roller of Lavender Essential Oil in my travel kit.
Lavender essential oil has so many uses, and a little goes a long way. I’ve divided the uses up into “Self,” for use on your body and for minor health complaints, and “Stuff” for use on your things and environment.
14 Reasons I Always Bring Lavender Essential Oil on a Road Trip
Lavender Oil for Your Stuff
Okay, this section could really just be one reason: People smell bad, and they make their stuff smell bad. But there are several specific places I use lavender oil to hide this fact. You can use any strong, pleasant smelling essential oil here. Lemongrass is a good one. I prefer lavender because it smells soapy. Just use a few drops of oil straight from the bottle. If you’re using it on clothing, try to drop it where it won’t be noticed in case it discolors the material.
Put a few drops on a rolled up sock and place in your suitcase, the smell will permeate through the whole case and keep your clothes smelling fresh.
I have a favorite sweater-jacket thing I like to wear in the car. I also like to wear it in the hotel. Midway through a trip, it’s less than fresh, usually more from the smell of fast food in the car than from the smell of me (really!). I’m pretty liberal with the lavender oil on this sweater. Putting a few drops on the inside of it makes it smell like it’s just been washed so I can avoid actually washing it.
At least three drops per shoe. Because we all have that one stinky kid who needs to take their shoes off in the car.
Put two drops in the toilet bowl before you (or Stinky Kid) get started. This will drastically reduce the odor. This is the ultimate hotel trick because there’s nothing worse than having a stinky bathroom that opens into the only living space you have.
Big Macs, teenagers, over-loved stuffed animals, diapers, teenagers (did I mention teenagers?) – cars can get stinky on road trips. Try putting a few drops strategically around the car and rubbing a few drops on the air conditioner vents, professionals from Ambrose Air, Inc. recommended me to do this at home but I guess it also works on the car’s AC.
Hotel rooms can smell stale or musty. You can diffuse oil by by putting a few drops on the register and turning the fan on.
Lavender Oil for Your Self
Lavender is great for a number of minor health complaints. There are other essential oils that can be used for each of these, but I don’t know of another that can be used for ALL of them.
I feel I should put a disclaimer here and a safety notice: Lavender essential oil is not evaluated by the FDA.
This post discusses MINOR physical complaints. If you’re seriously sick or injured, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.
Many essential oil experts warn against using any essential oil on a child under 2 years old. On a child age 2-10, the oil should be diluted. I buy a pre-diluted oil roller from Plant Therapy. The Hippy Homemaker has an excellent post on essential oils and child safety.
Also, people can be allergic to anything. Some people are allergic to lavender. Do a little test on yourself and family just to make sure that it doesn’t cause rashes or headaches.
When we’re on the road we try to picnic and grab healthier things from grocery stores, but there have been those trips where we have to knock out 15 hours of driving in a day and the only stops are to cruise through the Drive-Thru window. Fast food, bouncing around in your stomach for 15 hours can cause some issues, that’s why is important to prevent and have some options in case of an emergency like the Best Portable Toilet . The big people in our family drop a few drops on the abdomen right near the belly button and rub in a circular motion. For the little tummies, I draw a small circle around the belly button with the prediluted roller and then gently rub in a circle.
Traveling can occasionally expose you to coughs and colds. Yuck. Inhaling lavender scented steam can help ease a minor cough. To make a hotel steamroom, I put the plug in the tub, add in about 15 drops of lavender, and then run a hot shower. The person with a cough sits in the bathroom with the door closed and breathes. You could also add a few drops to a warm bath.
Agitation/ Fussy Kids
Cramped cars and hotel rooms, exciting adventures, messed up schedules, there are alot of reasons kids can get agitated on road trips, but lavender is calming. A few drops on the top of a stuffed animal to hold, or some drops in the bath, or a little swipe behind the ears with the prediluted roller will help calm a little person.
You know how, when you’ve been driving for a few hours and you lay down to sleep, you’re still driving? Or you’re just so wound up from all the fun you’ve been having, or you might have had one too many MM’s (apparently you can actually eat “too many”) and you just can’t sleep? Lavender can help with that too. Put a few drops on your favorite blanket from The Comfy Traveler, in a warm bath, behind your ears or on the soles of your feet to help you get to sleep. For children’s ears and feet, use the roller.
This one is less for your health, and more for the health of the people around you. If you forget your deodorant or it melts or falls apart, you can use lavender oil as an emergency deodorant backup. Just mix a couple of drops into a dime sized amount of hotel body lotion and spread on your armpits. It’ll hold you until you get to a drug store. It might even work so well for you that you give up store bought deodorant all together.
Mild Athlete’s Foot
Whether your feet are trapped in sweaty hiking boots or you’ve been at a waterpark or pool sharing bare-foot-space with strangers, there are many opportunities to get athlete’s foot on a road trip. Lavender oil has antifungal properties and can fix that nasty yeast infection. Just put a few drops on the affected area. Repeat as necessary.
Minor Burns and Bites
This is also the reason I always have a little lavender roller in the kitchen. My five year old loves to help cook, and I love to let her, but sometimes her little finger will get too close to the edge of the electric frying pan and she’ll get a little burn. After running it under cold water, I roll a little bit of diluted lavender oil on it and it seems to really help the pain. It also seems to heal more quickly than just using cold water alone. Lavender oil can also help ease the pain of minor bites and stings. Perfect for road trips that involve camping, fire and bugs.
Saved my favorite for last. Sunburns heal more quickly when you put a little lavender on them. I make my own “after sun” by adding a few drops of lavender to about 1 tsp of coconut oil and rubbing it on the burn (apply more as needed). You could also add the lavender to aloe vera gel or a commercial after sun lotion.
Check out this neat essential oils guide.