Essential Oils for Travel | Homemade Hand Sanitiser & Insect Repellent


Flights? Check. Accommodation? Check. Shorts, swimmers, sunglasses? Check. It’s time to pack your bags and head for the airport. Before you know it, you’ll be on the beach, sundowner in hand and enjoying that little bit of paradise which has been tantalisingly out of reach since you started planning your summer trip way back in the dark winter months. Guaranteed sunshine and lovely balmy temperatures are what most of us dream of and you’ll soon be soaking up those rays.


Beware of biting bugs

Now, the last thing we want to do is to put a dampener on all that excitement but one of the travel essentials which is often at the bottom of the list is insect repellent – probably because we don’t want to focus on any negatives when we’re dreaming of the holiday to come.

Let’s face it though, warmer temperatures invariably mean that there will be more insects around. The best advice, of course, is to keep covered up to minimise the chance of those pesky little holiday-wreckers biting in the first place. There are always areas of skin that will be exposed as we can’t realistically wrap ourselves in cotton wool. And those biting bugs seem to find those tender spots particularly delicious!

Before you head to the store for a commercial product bursting with potentially harmful chemicals, check out our simple essential oil recipe for a homemade natural insect repellent.


Beware of non-biting bugs!

Not only do we want to protect ourselves from the misery of biting insects but also from the germs that inevitably multiply in the summer heat. The only thing you want to be bringing back home is souvenirs and memories to last a lifetime, not nasty bugs. That calls for hand sanitiser.

But, we hear you cry, they’re full of harmful chemicals! Yes, that’s true of commercial sanitisers, which have been getting very bad press recently, but we have an essential oil recipe for a hand sanitiser which will help to protect you from harmful bugs without any negative side effects.


Protect yourself and have more fun

Sure, it’ll take a little more time and effort to prepare homemade insect repellent and sanitiser than nipping into the chemist’s at the airport and buying commercial products. But we think you’ll find it’s worth it.



Natural homemade hand sanitiser recipe



Take a small glass bowl or container. Add essential oils and vitamin E oil (note that vitamin E oil is a natural preservative and it also has skin-softening properties, too) and mix together. Then add the witch hazel (or alcohol) to the oils and swirl again. Combine this mixture with the aloe vera gel and mix thoroughly. Shake gently before each use. Store in small, clean, coloured bottles (this will ensure that the delicate essential oils are not exposed to damaging light).

Tip: Remember that the bottles should be less than 100ml if you are planning to travel with hand luggage only.

This recipe isn’t just useful for holidays – keep a small bottle in your handbag for daily use at home. This homemade hand sanitiser should last for several months with the help of the Vitamin E and alcohol.




Make your own natural insect repellent

The best news about this recipe is that there are only two ingredients – what could be simpler?


  • 2 tbsp carrier oil (avocado or sweet almond oil are recommended as they’re not too greasy)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oils (citronella, rosemary, geranium, spearmint, thyme, lemongrass and clove oils all work well as single oils; see below for some blend suggestions)

Take a small bottle or re-use an empty glass jar. Add 2 tbsp of chosen carrier oil. Shake. That’s it! Just shake gently before each use and smooth into areas of exposed skin. You’ll find that you won’t be ‘bugged’ by those pesky biting insects, you’ll smell fab and your skin will be nourished. No brainer!

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