Essential Oils For A Summer Staycation
Within just a few weeks of travel restrictions finally being eased around the world, we find the COVID-19 virus is beginning to spread rapidly again.
Return trips from many countries now require a 14 day quarantine period once you arrive back home, effectively ruling out overseas travel to many popular destinations such as Spain, Canary Islands and Portugal.
Many countries such as the USA and Canada simply won’t let us Brit’s across their borders. Period. Given the speed at which coronavirus can spread, you can hardly blame them since there is still no cure on the horizon.
Not worth the risk
Travel information and rules are changing almost every day right now which makes it extremely risky booking any overseas holidays given you can’t claim on your insurance if you choose to cancel your holiday or have to return early due to cancelled flights. All of this is causing the revival of taking creative holidays in our home countries rather than abroad, usually involving day or weekend trips to local attractions. Known as a ‘staycation’, this idea makes a lot of sense under the current circumstances of a global pandemic.
A staycation brings other benefits when travel restrictions are enforced; there is no airport stress, time zones to cross, missing luggage or foreign money to deal with. We can all do without that. However, travelling in your own country can still present a few challenges for the unwary, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for all eventualities.
Fortunately, essential oils can make holiday breaks the relaxing time they are meant to be for the whole family, with absolutely minimum effort on your part. Just pack a few carefully chosen oils and they will replace a whole arsenal of medicines that you would usually take with you, saving lots of precious space in your suitcase.
Essential oils for a summer staycation
Wherever you are heading, if you plan to take only one essential oil on your travels it should of course be your trusty lavender. Your second choice ideally should be tea tree essential oil since like lavender, a few drops can be used undiluted in case of an emergency. These two lifesavers slip easily into your handbag or pocket and will prove invaluable for all sorts of cuts and scrapes. But what other essential oils should you take with you, ‘just in case’?
Peppermint essential oil is another great all-rounder that you simply must have with you on your travels due to its versatility. For example, if you are prone to travel sickness just put 2 drops each of peppermint and lavender oil on a tissue and gently inhale before starting your journey. This will help keep your head clear and soothe both your anxiety and digestive system. If you still suffer from queasiness whilst you are travelling try inhaling 3 drops of ginger oil and 1 of peppermint from a tissue to settle your upset tummy.
If you have long drive ahead of you, a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and cardamon essential oils creates a great ‘stay-alert’ blend, helping you to maintain concentration for long periods. Put 2 drops of each essential oil on a tissue or cotton-wool ball and place it in the cup holder or suitable place, avoiding the plastic or expensive leather upholstery!
Refreshing and reviving essential oils
One of the very best things about essential oils is their versatility. Essential oils can be inhaled directly from tissue, used in a massage, added to bathwater or vaporised in a burner.
If you are travelling long distances by car or coach the chances are that you will be exhausted by the time you arrive at the hotel or back home. A refreshing and revitalising aromatherapy bath is often the best way to recharge the over-travelled mind and body. If the hotel doesn’t have a bath you can use your oils in the shower, or make a footbath.
Alternatively just place a few drops of essential oil on a tissue and inhale the aroma directly. I admit to always taking an electric vaporiser with me on my travels to enjoy my oils!
The balancing properties of geranium oil makes it your first choice, along with black pepper and grapefruit to revive your flagging energy levels. Other reviving essential oils you can use to replenish your flagging energy levels include basil, cardamon, clove bud, geranium, ginger, juniper berry, may chang, pine and rosemary. Just the ticket at the end of a hard day’s holidaying.
Remember that in an emergency, lavender, tea tree or chamomile essential oils can be applied undiluted to skin to disinfect burns, cuts or bites etc. This is why it’s always a good idea to carry them with you when you are travelling so you can apply them quickly to disinfect the affected area.
Insect repellent essential oils
If you are planning on being outdoors quite a bit or taking a camping trip it’s quite likely you will become dinner for the mosquito’s and other local bugs. Apart from carrying a variety of diseases, insect bites can be really unpleasant causing hot, itchy skin that can lead to a rash or worse if they are not disinfected properly. Fortunately, several essential oils can be used effectively to keep the biting bugs at bay while you enjoy the great outdoors.
Some of the most effective insect repellent essential oils include citronella, lemongrass and eucalyptus lemon essential oils. To make them really effective blend them with a base note essential oil such as patchouli or cedar atlas, since they too are renown for fending off the buzzing little critters. When essential oils are blended this way, the base note helps to keep the fragrance working longer too.
If a persistent little mozzie does bite you, simply apply one drop of neat lavender to the skin and it will disinfect, soothe and speed up the healing process. Bites from larger bugs or bees and wasps require a different treatment. Firstly, remove the sting and apply a cold compress using a few drops of Roman chamomile. Repeat the compress several times until the pain and swelling has eased, and then apply just 1 drop of lavender essential oil to the wound.
If you stay in the sun too long and get burnt, take a cool bath containing 5 drops of lavender essential oil and just 1 drop of peppermint, since this oil will help to soothe and cool your skin down. Make sure that you agitate the water well before getting in since peppermint oil can irritate the skin when not dispersed properly. It’s always best to use an essential oil dispersant to spread the oils evenly on the surface of the water.
Nothing calms over-exposure to the sun like Aloe Vera Gel – it is just the most amazing botanical, so be absolutely sure you include that in your travel bag too if you intend to do any serious sunbathing.
To make a soothing after-sun lotion that will keep your skin from drying out, add a few drops of your lavender and geranium essential oils to a carrier lotion or aloe vera gel base, and apply 2 or 3 times daily. Using this type of moisturising lotion will also help to prolong your tan for much, much longer too.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2020. Written by Sue Charles