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Taking Aromatherapy With You on the Plane

With restrictions placed on carrying liquids on the plane, the easiest way to take aromatherapy with you on-board a flight is to just take essential oils that have already been absorbed into a tissue, wipe, handkerchief, cotton ball, wick, or a decorative clay or terra-cotta pendant, where they can be taken out and inhaled or used to wipe down a surface as needed. Since there are no restrictions for the amount of liquid packed in a checked bag, you can still take your oils with you to have after you land.

If you still do want to carry the essential oils or other liquids on the flight with you, it is best if you know the rules.

Carrying Liquids on U.S. Flights (3-1-1 Rule)

In the United States, the TSA has currently imposed what it calls the 3-1-1 rule for carrying liquids on board an airplane with you. Simply put, this rule states that all liquids must be in containers that hold 3 liquid ounces or less, all containers with liquids being carried on must be contained in 1 closed zip-top plastic bag that is 1-quart (or less) in size. That zip-top bag must also be pulled out of carry-on bags to be screened separately when going through security. This rule covers any type of liquid, lotion, paste, cream, or gel. This rule does make a few exceptions for baby and medical supplies (see for more details on exemptions to this rule), but pretty much covers any type of essential oil, massage oil, liquid soap, shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, beverage, liquid or gelled food (such as jams and cake frosting), and even gel shoe inserts.

If you don’t want to check your baggage, or desire to keep your essential oils or other liquids with you on board the plane, you may wish to condense these liquids into smaller glass or plastic containers in order to maximize the variety of liquid items you can carry with you. A few ways for doing this include:

  • Place essential oils in smaller 5 ml, or 5/8 dram glass vials, using larger containers for oils you will use more often.
  • Place lotions, soaps, shampoo, conditioners, and other personal care liquids, creams, and gels in smaller 1 oz. or 2 oz. containers.
  • To bring a small amount of toothpaste with you, squeeze the into a small container.

Click Here to See More Tips on Carrying Oils on a Plane!

Dealing With Pressurized Cabin Air

The pressurized air that is re-cycled through an airplane cabin can often feel stale and dry, and can intensify any feelings of airsickness that may arise. To help counteract these effects, try bringing either a small spray bottle with water and a few drops of peppermint oil to mist the air around you, or make your own moisturizing wipes to wipe down your face, neck, and arms.


According to the Reference Guide for Essential Oils, by Connie and Alan Higley, ginger, peppermint, lavender, nutmeg, and spearmint essential oils applied to the feet, temples, and wrists can all be effective at counteracting the feelings of motion sickness that can arise on flights. Inhaling the scent of peppermint oil from a tissue, inhaler, or aromatic pendant can also help calm feelings of nausea.

Disinfecting/Sanitizing (seats, luggage handles, etc.)

As with any situation where many people share a confined space, there is always a much higher probability of coming in contact with other people’s germs while you are flying. The most likely places you will come in contact with these germs will be places other’s hands have touched, such as on armrests, trays, in-flight literature, lavatory handles, seatbelts, call buttons, and luggage handles. For a quick disinfecting, wipes that have been pre-prepared with an anti-microbial oil or oil blend can be used to wipe down areas you will likely be touching constantly, or to wipe off and disinfect your hands before eating or touching your face. Some anti-microbial oils are melaleuca, melissa, cinnamon bark, lemongrass, cypress, rosemary, thyme, peppermint, oregano, and clove.

Click Here to See More Tips on Sanitizing!

Calming Children

Sitting in a confined place for a long time can often be trying for young children. To help them calm down, Valerie Worwood recommends in her book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, using a massage oil made with 15 drops of chamomile in 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil. Massage a small amount on the child's legs and feet. Other oils that are good for calming include lavender, ylang ylang, rose, orange, cedarwood, bergamot, jasmine, and onycha (benzoin).

Click Here to See More Tips on Calming Children!

Jet Lag

Jet lag often occurs after flying to different areas of the world, especially areas whose time difference is drastically different than the one left. It is experienced as the body's internal clock adjusts to the new daytime and nighttime schedule. It is recommended to drink lots of fluids and to avoid alcohol or caffeine while flying to help prevent jet lag. Avoiding naps and forcing yourself to stay awake until your normal bedtime the first day can also help the body recover more quickly.

The Reference Guide to Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley recommends using invigorating oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus in the morning and calming oils such as lavender and geranium at night to help combat the effects of jet lag. Dilute as necessary, and apply to temples, thymus, and bottoms of feet.

Click Here to See More Tips on Overcoming Jet Lag!

Additional Tips:

  • When traveling I learned while flying that if you cannot get up so easy to wash your hands after using the oils, you can cut the oils on your hands with the Thieves hand sanitizer. Also, use Valor for balancing the energy around the ears, if you get pressure. Has worked so well for me. - Sue, St. Michael, Minnesota

  • I am a nervous traveler. I placed a drop of Valor in my palm, lightly rubbed together then a drop behind my ears and on the back of my neck. Worked great for me. I didn't feel any anxiety in the 5 hour flight. - Linda Freehold, New Jersey

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