When I first started traveling many years ago, I thought the definition of travel was….. sacrifice. Sacrifice healthy routines, sacrifice my normal products, and. . . . sacrifice that high-speed-high-powered blow dryer I used to tame this big ‘ole Texas hair I was blessed cursed blessed with. After years of routine work travel, one reaches a sort of status if you will. No, I don’t mean Super Duper Kryptonite Plutonium status with American Airlines, although I have certainly earned my fair share of free upgrades over the years by taking double layovers instead of direct flights because the secretary booking my travel could save the company six dollars and thirty-two cents. She may have even called it “adventurous” to see two U.S. coasts in a single day. By status I mean being able to basically claim at least a Master’s Degree in the thing that all of the once-a-year-Spring Break-or-summer-only-vacationers never get enough practice traveling to learn. . . how to properly pack a bag and leave no true essentials behind without taking that XXL luggage that your mama purchased from Big Lots in 1999 so you would have actual luggage instead of garbage bags when you moved away to college. OK, I’m not actually sure if Big Lots was around in 1999 but you get the point.
I like to travel light, while still having all of my true comforts. When I travel alongside my male colleagues, the taxi driver almost always takes the plaid XXL Big Lots luggage out of the trunk and with a smirk, sets it on the curb at MY feet, then gives a respectful nod while placing my no-nonsense carry-on-only roller bag right there next to my male travel companion. I know what he is thinking— as if I even own that many pairs of shoes. The point is, I have gotten efficient at travel. As a self-proclaimed tomboy girly-girl, I even learned how to fit every liquid I would need for an entire week or more into a one-quart size zip lock bag. Yep, you heard it. Even tomboy girly-girls can be efficient enough to carry-on only. A little sidebar here- when you get on enough planes, you learn that luggage can get lost. . . even on direct flights. Don’t ask me how airlines, whose only job is to fly people …..and stuff….. all around the globe every single day of the year- manage to lose cargo when the plane just goes from point A to point B, but as I write with my hand over my heart, I am here to tell you it happens. So, my mantra is carry it on and at least you have a pair of clean drawers (this is country speak for underwear) and a toothbrush when you hit the ground.
Nearly a year ago, I entered the oily world that we all know and love. I quickly became accustomed addicted to using essential oils from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. Essential oils were now in my lotions, toothpaste, hair care, supplements, and drinking water – just to name a few. AND, I discovered uses for EO’s that I didn’t even have travel products for before- such as what I like to call “die-hotel-cooties-die spray”. Soon I uncovered the fact that I needed to rework my quart size liquids travel kit. There was no frickin’ way I was going to travel without my comforts and what I had begun to realize were key to my new and improved healthy routine. So, over the last almost year, I have been slowly rebuilding my travel kit into an oily travel kit. I will share with you some of the tips and tricks I have learned, so that hopefully you may be able to Travel Like the Oily Pro You Are.
Let’s talk basics. Everyone has a list of things they absolutely must travel with, but here are some of the items I typically like to have with me: facewash, skin toner, lotion, shampoo, conditioner/rinse, toothpaste and maybe even mouthwash, hair spray, soap or body wash of some sort, flavor adders for drinking water, vitamins/supplements, deodorant, antimicrobial spray and other items to support you for things such as respiratory health or digestive health. Oh, and of course my DIY Sweet Dreamz EO roller ball. These are all items which can come in liquid form meaning that carry-on travel is restricted for them.
Step one is to really determine what you need for your basics. For example, if you usually use two different products for moisturizing your body and your face, can you use just one product for both? Also keep in mind that most hotels these days do offer soap or shower gel and shampoo/conditioner at the least. Since I have been phasing out harsh chemicals and fragrances, I try to stay away from using these if possible, however, in a pinch sometimes you gotta just use what you have. Another question to ask is- are there some common base ingredients across some of your DIY products? This can come in super handy- for example, I sometimes use Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner for my face, and I often use it in a hair rinse. So- if I am short of extra room to take my tea tree/lavender witch hazel toner, I can simply take a small 1-2 oz spray bottle filled with 1:3 ACV:water. Now I have toner and hair rinse all in one. If you want to add EO’s, add those that are gentle for hair and for your face (lavender perhaps).
Facewash. I don’t know about you all but I NEED to feel that scrubby scrub feeling on my face at the end of a long day. It could possibly be just in my head, but it makes my pores feel sparkly clean so humor me. Since I have been experimenting with many different face wash products lately, I am not set on a particular harsh-chemical-free/fragrance free product yet. Sometimes I use a little almond flour or corn starch mixed with enough water to make a paste. This is a great one for travel, because you can fill a snack size zip lock baggie with your starch/flour and it doesn’t have to go in your liquids baggie (Whoohoo! One less liquid!)
A trick I like to use is traveling with a shot glass. You can never be too prepared for a bad day. Just kidding. I use the shot glass to make up pastes in the shower- face scrub, body scrub, Peppermint/carrier oil to massage into my sinuses. . . or . . . this takes us to another product I was going to mention- add water + a drop or 2 of Thieves or Peppermint to use for a mouthwash. See, you weren’t sure where I was going with that shot glass were ya? If you are addicted to Ningxia Red, Young Living’s super-antioxidant Wolfberry juice blend, like I am- you can also use the shot glass to halve your Ningxia travel packets into 2 servings, keeping that other serving in your hotel fridge for later. You know what that means. . . if you usually only take 1 shot a day, you can do a Monday-Friday travel week with just 2 packets of Ningxia- which will mean more room in your liquids baggie for other stuff.
Soap and deodorant. These are simple because you can easily use the solid form of each. In fact, if you have a favorite non-toxic bar soap already, you can just cut it into a small piece and throw that bad boy in a small bag for travel. I make my own deodorant and it is in a full-size deodorant stick container, however, because I am obsessed with packing efficiently, I will soon be making mini deodorant sticks for travel. Both your soap and deodorant should be small enough to pack in one shoe. See how easy that is?
What about all the EO’s you can’t live without? The smaller 5/8 or ¼ dram glass containers work well for traveling with many oils. You can easily fit the entire Premium Starter Kit array (11 oils ya’ll!) in your quart size liquids baggie when using ¼ drams.
I know you are curious about that “die-hotel-cooties-die spray” I mentioned earlier. Well. . . I don’t know about you but I feel better when I spray the air….and sheets. . . with a little something before I spend a few hours exposed to either. After staying in as many hotels as I’ve been in you start to believe the stories you see on 20/20. Travel with an empty spray bottle packed neatly in your shoe next to your soap and deodorant. Things like sprays can be made up ANYTIME after you cross that security entrance at your first airport (unless you are clearing customs for a connection in a different country on the same travel leg, in which you will have to cross security once again and your liquids will once again be restricted). If you remembered to pack that tiny pack of salt you may have left over from when you splurged and had Chic-fil-A for lunch last week, you can easily make your Thieves hand spray as-you-go….. maybe even at an airport bathroom sink. That empty spray bottle is one less liquids container you have to cram into that single zip lock baggie. Side note: if only we had consulted our Crystal Magic 8 Balls before air travel was so regulated. . . who else would have bought stock in Zip-Lock?
Another tid bit of advice…… you likely need much less volume of your liquids than you believe. A little can go a long way. There are lots of great options for small reusable travel containers. 1 oz glass spray bottles have multiple uses. Nalgene makes super leak proof containers too – this is the brand that water laboratories across the world have standardized on for that reason. The small “pill size” plastic jars are awesome for facecream and toothpaste. Unless you are traveling with kids and a husband. Then it goes far less because they like to use 3 inches of toothpaste, which 2 inches ends up stuck to the inside of the sink.
Oh, and do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a box of super duty freezer strength quart size zip lock bags. After you return from a week or two on the road, you will be thankful you did.
Enjoy your trip, and Stay Oily my friends. ☺
~Discovering the freedom to live simply yet fully in a complex world.
Email Tanya: IndependentlyReal at gmail.com
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am just a mom who shares what works for me!