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7 essential oils to keep in your carry-on for stress-free travel


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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed
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When it comes to packing a carry-on, there are some must-have accessories you know better than to forget: headphones, a phone charger, and a cozy cardigan for those cold cabins. But if you’re not using them already, it might be time to add essential oils to that list.

Whether you’re afraid of flying, hate waiting in long lines at TSA, or have trouble adjusting to the discomforts of tiny airplane seats, there’s an essential oil combo that can solve your woes. A few drops from the tiny vials can feel like a double espresso shot, a trip to a masseuse, or a session with your facialist since essential oils are especially suited to fight the stress, fatigue, and pain associated with hitting the road.

“If I have trouble sleeping, I’m in a new place, or my mind is wandering, I find that frankincense, lavender, and chamomile totally black me out.”

Amy Galper, a certified aromatherapist at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, keeps seven oils within reach when she travels. “If I have trouble sleeping, I’m in a new place, or my mind is wandering, I find that frankincense, lavender, and chamomile totally black me out,” she says.

For those who can’t handle hearing the words “unexpected turbulence,” Galper recommends sandalwood, lavender, or frankincense to calm any jitters. And if you’re stuck in a middle seat on that eight-hour flight (with the person in front of you fully reclined), try frankincense, helichrysum, and pink-grapefruit oils—particularly on your lower back and neck—when you get stiff. Your travel-related headaches aren’t limited to unforeseen flight delays? Massage lavender or rosemary on your scalp to temper the altitude discomfort.

See? There’s an oil for every travel woe. And you’re about to be the coolest customer on any plane.

Shop Galper’s essential-oil travel pack below.

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For an even better excursion experience, check out the gadgets that will seriously improve your trip. And if you love oils even when you’re not traveling, here’s a list of stylish diffusers for your home