Traveling with Essential Oils

Later tonight, I’m hopping on a red eye and am embarking on a 10-day trip to Ireland with my mom and brother. My cousin and his fiancé are getting married in Belfast and, when presented with the opportunity to attend, there was no way that we were going to pass it up. We decided to make several stops while we are there, including Dublin, Galway, and the Aran Islands.

While I am so incredibly excited, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a little panicked about not having all of my oils and oil-infused products at my fingertips. You see, while I love to travel, I haven’t taken an extended vacation since oils have become such an integral part of my everyday life. As such, I’ve put a ton of thought into what I will bring on my journey – so much so that I decided to compile a detailed list and share it with you.

For starters, Young Living makes an adorable, portable, itty bitty diffuser that is perfect for traveling. The diffuser that I am referring to is called the Orb. It’ll save me from having to lug around one of my full-size diffusers, and it is both spill-proof and USB-powered.

Next, let’s talk about travel bags for essential oils. I searched the internet for hours looking for the perfect travel bag. Believe when I say that Baggage and Co. (via Etsy) makes the cutest, most practical travel bags around. They use Rifle Paper Co. fabric, for crying out loud! I ultimately purchased one of their 10 bottle bags that fits roller bottles, 5 ml bottles, and 10 ml bottles. Versatility is the name of the game! I won’t deny that narrowing my collection down to just 10 oils was a painstaking process, but now that I’ve decided on which are worthy of coming along for the journey, I feel so freaking good about what I selected.

ESSENTIAL OILS

  • Valor: A blend of Black Spruce, Camphor, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and Geranium, this is one of my absolute favorite oils. It goes onto my wrists every. single. day. Personally, I call it “liquid courage” as it helps me get through everyday woes. I have no doubt that it will come in handy for those pre-flight jitters.
  • Deep Relief Roll-On: Between flights, train rides, and walking on cobblestone streets, I have a sneaking suspicion that this trip won’t be without achey muscles and joints. And, let’s be honest: I’ll likely experience a little bit of head tension after over-indulging in too much whiskey and Guinness. Comprised of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Balsam Copaiba, Wintergreen, Vetiver, and Dorado Azul, this magical roll-on provides relief from all types of discomfort.
  • Peace&CalmingLavenderCedarwood: Every oil user has their tried and true sleep trio, and this happens to be mine. Although I generally sleep well on vacation, changing time zones can be tricky and result in a compromised sleep schedule. Ain’t nobody got time for that when there are sites to be seen! Fun fact: Cedarwood is known to naturally stimulate melatonin production.
  • Tummy Roller: This is one of my favorite DIY roller bottles because it is a total miracle worker! In a 10 ml roller bottle, combine 15 drops Digize, 15 drops Peppermint, and unfractionated coconut oil. Irish cuisine, while delicious, can be both heavy and indulgent. Since I generally don’t eat that way, especially for prolonged periods of time, both Digize and Peppermint will provide me with mind-blowing digestive support. Digize is a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli. I prefer to add extra Peppermint to Digize as it tends to mask Digize’s not-so-lovely smell.
  • Oola Family: The Oola line of essential oil blends is my latest obsession. All of the blends are incredible in terms of both functionality and aroma. Because this is a family trip, bringing Oola Family along for the ride seems more than appropriate. This blend is too complex to list all of the single oils that it contains, but trust me when I say that it’s absolutely amazing!
  • Present Time: A blend of Bitter Orange, Black Spruce, and Ylang Ylang, this essential oil is incredible for emotional support. I have found that my best travel experiences take place when I completely let go of the mundane things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. It’s difficult to live in the moment when you are worried about sharing the perfect Instagram photo or racking up a less-than-ideal credit card balance. Present Time is all about living in the moment and embracing the YOLO mentality that we know and love!
  • Orange Vitality: I love love love Orange and include it in countless diffuser blends. Unfortunately, I won’t have my entire oil arsenal with me, so Orange is coming along for a more practical purpose. I add a drop of Orange Vitality to my Thieves AromaBrite toothpaste for a naturally brighter smile.
  • Frankincense: Similar to what I said about Orange, I love Frank (yes, we are on a first name basis) as it is a staple in many of my diffuser blends. Again, as I won’t have all of my oils with me, Frank is tagging along for a more practical purpose. I add a drop of it to my ART Light Moisturizer as it provides phenomenal skin support.

Next, let’s talk supplements because Lord knows that I can’t be without them for 10 whole days. Interestingly, extensive research has made it quite clear that the vast majority of supplements on the market do not get absorbed by the body. What does that mean? You’re literally pissing money away if you’re not investing in high quality supplements.

Well, Young Living’s supplements are not only high-quality, but also infused with essential oils. While this may seem silly, hear me out. Taking supplements that are infused with essential oils makes them 70-80% bioavailable to the body. This is HUGE. Because of this, I notice an insane difference in my wellbeing when I am without them. This, my friends, is why they are coming along for the ride.

Young Living’s Core Vitality Case is the bomb.com for storing supplements. Damn straight I have a pill box − I’m 28 going on 84 and proud. Because I’m terrible at remembering to take my precious supplements, I use this case both at home and while traveling. It houses three Vitality oils, which means that I get to bring three additional oils with me. SCORE! It also houses veggie capsules and provides enough room for a dropper bottle of carrier oil so that I can make my own supplements on the fly.

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Thieves, Lemon, and Peppermint Vitality: I love my Vitality oils. The pretty white label means that they are safe for consumption.
    • 2 drops Thieves + 2 drops Lemon + carrier oil will provide much-needed immune support. Between germy trains planes, trains, and automobiles; overindulging; and being on-the-go, traveling wreaks havoc on the immune system.
    • 2 drops Lemon + 2 drops Peppermint + carrier oil will allow for detox from the overindulgence mentioned above. I have a “when in Rome” mentality while traveling, but it tends to get me in trouble once those early morning tours and train rides roll around. In those instances, this combo will provide me with some pepp in my step − literally.
  • Multigreens: This powerhouse capsule is packed with chlorophyll, which is present in every green plant. Key ingredients include spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, bee pollen, eleuthero, and Pacific kelp. As I anticipate eating much more meat and potatoes than I typically do, I’ll take all the green nutrition that I can get.
  • Life 9: Combining 17 billion live cultures from 9 beneficial bacteria strains, this is the probiotic of all probiotics. Gut health is hugely important, but even more so while traveling. My digestion gets all sorts of whacky after flying and veering away from my largely plant-based diet, so there is no way that I’m leaving home without some digestive support.
  • Super B: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 are engery-boosting and so very important. Each one plays a unique role in the body’s overall function. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy level since I started taking Super B, hence why it’s coming along with me.
  • Ningxia Red: This delicious beverage is loaded with antioxidants and has become a staple in my everyday life. I seriously crave it. Because of that, I love that Young Living offers it in convenient, single use packets that are super convenient for traveling.

Lastly, I am so grateful that Young Living’s Bon Voyage Travel Pack exists. Now that I know just how terrible most personal care products are for our health and wellbeing, I can’t imagine having to resort to bringing them along with me for the sake of being TSA compliant. I also love that I don’t have to triple check a toiletry list to make sure that I’ve packed everything that I need. Instead, everything comes in a neat little bundle, ready to go. All of the incredible goodies that are included in the travel pack are listed below.

PERSONAL CARE

  • Thieves AromaBright Toothpaste
  • Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash
  • Thieves Dental Floss
  • Cinnamint Lip Balm
  • Young Living Toothbrush
  • Lavender Shampoo
  • Lavender Conditioner
  • Morning Start Bath + Shower Gel
  • Genesis Hand + Body Lotion
  • ART Light Moisturizer

And, that’s a wrap! As you can see, traveling with essential oils is well within the realm of possibility. If you’ve traveled with oils before, I’d love to know which made the cut.

Also, feel free to follow my journey on Instagram, and stay tuned for Ireland travel tips! :)

DIY Garden Spray

As a city dweller, I take pride in my urban garden. Between veggies, herbs, and flowers, I’ve got containers upon containers of homegrown goodies come summertime. While most gardeners in the ‘burbs and countryside have to worry about a whole slew of insects, rodents, and even large animals such as deer, the most common pest that I’ve come across in the city is squirrels. Ugh!

I love animals of all kinds. I also love using all-natural products whenever possible. As such, store-bought and toxin-filled products just weren’t cutting it for me. I’m not in the business of hurting harmless critters or myself; I simply want them to stay away from my labors of love. After a bit of research, I’ve come up with a recipe to keep the squirrels away without harming them or poisoning my food. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. unscented Castile soap
  • 25 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 16 oz. glass spray bottle

What you’ll do:

  • Add the filtered water and red pepper flakes to a small pot; bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes; allow to cool to room temperature
  • Pour the mixture over a fine mesh strainer; add the liquid to the spray bottle; discard the red pepper flakes
  • Add the unscented Castile soap and peppermint essential oil to the spray bottle; top with filtered water until the bottle is full; apply the lid and give it a good shake
  • Give your plants and the soil below them a good spritz every several days, especially after rainfall

DIY Dry Shampoo

Hellooooo, ladies! If you are an avid dry shampoo user such as myself, you will love this post! I am a dry shampoo junkie. I go through cans and cans and cans. Between work, school, maintaining a social life, enjoying hobbies, and working out, whose got time for daily hair washing and styling?! Quite honestly, I should have invested stock in Batiste a looooong time ago. However, as I’m on a mission to rid my apartment of all things toxic now more than ever, I almost fainted when I realized what goes into that aerosol can.

Upon researching how to make some dry shampoo of my own, I was blown away by how simple (and cheap!) it is to make. As an added bonus, I made mine with peppermint and lavender essential oils. They not only make the final product smell wonderful, but have functional benefits as well. The tingling sensation of peppermint on my scalp is also amaaaaazing! It’s truly incredible how much more I have incorporated essential oils into my life since joining the Young Living community. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and know that I have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is to learn.

Ingredients:

  • Corn starch: adds volume
  • Baking soda: cleanses
  • Peppermint essential oil: anti-itch
  • Lavender essential oil: anti-dandruff, strengthens hair, stimulates hair growth

What you’ll need:

  • A 4 oz. powder shaker with lid (I purchased this one from Amazon and it is perfect for this project!)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • Optional for brunettes: 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to the shaker, apply the lid, and shake well
  • Shake the dry shampoo onto the roots of your hair and use your fingers to work it into your scalp; allow to sit for roughly 5 minutes
  • Once 5 minutes has elapsed, brush the remaining dry shampoo through your hair and style as usual

Backpacking Transylvania and Budapest, Part 4: Budapest, Hungary

If you missed the into post to this blog series, be sure to check it out here.

Day 7

The majority of our day was spent en route to Budapest via train. The ride was roughy 10 hours long. However, with endless countryside views and a stockpile of snacks, we agreed that the ride flew by. When we arrived, we headed to our Airbnb and were greeted by our host’s lovely friend. She took the time sit down and review a map with us, which was extremely helpful. As taxis do not have the best reputation in Budapest, she recommended the Hop On, Hop Off pass and we were so happy that she did. For roughly $25, you are granted 48 hours of access to two bus lines, a boat tour, and a walking tour. As the name suggests, you can hop on and hop off at your leisure, and the buses pass by all of the major attractions that Budapest has to offer.

Although we were tired and it was getting late, we weren’t going to let our first night in Budapest go to waste. We decided to check out Szimpla Kert, which is Budapest’s most well-known ruin pub. After visiting, it was no wonder why. Szimpla Kert was even more amazing than we expected it to be. Picture a huge warehouse, divided into themed rooms and open air gardens. Ruin pubs are a huge part of Budapest’s identity. Mostly located in District VII (the old Jewish quarter), ruin pubs are established in abandoned buildings or lots and are artfully decorated with vintage items, making for a ridiculously cool vibe. Anyway, after a few rounds, we called it a night.

Day 8

We woke up bright and early for a walking tour with Free Budapest Tours. Of note, we had booked this tour prior to purchasing our Hop On, Hop Off pass, so unfortunately, I can’t speak for the walking tour offered by them. Anyway, the highlights of our tour included the following: Danube Promenade, Buda Castle, Matthias Church, Presidential Palace, Chain Bridge, Fishermen’s Bastion, Origin of the Magyars, Royal Palace, and St. Stephen’s Basilica. The tour was excellent! It started on the Pest side of the city and, by walking across beautiful Chain Bridge, ended on the Buda side of the city. I loved experiencing the bustling, city vibes of Pest and the hilly, historic feel of Buda within only a couple hours.

After our walking tour, we headed back to Pest for the Hop On, Hop Off boat tour along the Danube River. This may seem excessive after partaking in a walking tour, but being that it offered incredible views of many sights that the walking tour did not, I still recommend it.

Afterwards, we headed to Great Market Hall. As the name implies, Great Market Hall is a huge, two-story market which offers goods such as groceries and souvenirs. This a great place to grab some quick and delicious grub. Be sure to pick up some paprika – a spice largely associated with Hungarian cuisine – while you are there. It makes for an excellent souvenir!

We ended our action-packed day by indulging in the Essentials of Hungarian Wine Class at Tasting Table Budapest. Being that this class was one of my favorite things that we did on our trip, it comes highly recommended! It also provides an opportunity to pick up some impressive souvenirs. The sommelier that guided our tasting was lovely and shared an absundance of knowledge regarding Hungarian wine. Do yourself a favor and add the hidegtál (a platter of local, artisan cheese and charcuterie) to your tasting. It was divine!

Day 9

First, we headed to St. Stephen’s Basilica. Although we had seen the basilica from the outside the day prior, Lopko wanted to check it out from the inside. It was truly breathtaking.

After, we headed to the nearby Budapest Christmas Market in Vorosmarty Square. I’m not what you’d call The Grinch, but I’m not one to go nuts over Christmas markets either. So, believe me when I say that the Budapest Christmas Market is magical. If you are fortunate enough to be in Budapest while the market is in full swing, stopping by is a must! With countless vendors offering gorgeous, handcrafted items at unbeatable prices, it’s hard to resist going on a shopping spree. The market offers indulgent, yet delcious food. I highly recommend trying lángos, chimney cake, and mulled wine. (Yes, I pigged out, thank you for asking.)

Next, we headed to Széchenyi, which is one of many thermal baths in Budapest. Being that our time was limited, we opted to check out the most famous bath of them all. Think pools upon pools upon pools of hot-spring water that you can unwind in. I’m relaxed just thinking about it! Tip: spend the extra money to rent a cabin as opposed to a locker. The privacy is a plus and an extremely secure place to store your things allows for peace of mind.

Afterward, we hopped onto the Hop On, Hop Off bus for one of its night tours. For the stop at Gellért Hill alone, this tour is well worth it. It allows for stunning panoramic views of both Buda and Pest, and it is particularly mesmerizing at night. Although I am pleased with how my photos turned out, they don’t do the views justice.

We spent the final hours of our trip by – you guessed it – going out to dinner. Unfortunately, I completely forget the name of the restaurant where we ate. It’s unfortunate because the food was both authentic and delicious. Nevertheless, it was a great way to end an incredible journey. A huge shout out Lopko, Zekany, and Verost for making this trip of a lifetime so memorable. Cheers to many more adventures!

…Next stop, home sweet home!

Backpacking Transylvania and Budapest, Part 3: Sibiu, Romania

If you missed the into post to this blog series, be sure to check it out here.

Day 6

We arrived into Sibiu on a blustery, snowy morning. Everything was snow-capped and it looked absolutely stunning. Yet again, our Airbnb hosts were gracious enough to let us check in early. We ditched our bags and promptly headed to the main area of town. Before we knew it, we were on an impromptu bar tour of Sibiu. We got so lost in the moment that, quite honestly, I didn’t take note of the pubs and cafes that we visited.

Later in the afternoon, we met our guide, Florin (also known as Sibiu Tour Guide), for a private tour. He’s a sweet man who is extremely passionate about both his city and his country. Highlights of the tour included the following: Orthodox Cathedral, Lutheran Cathedral, Bridge of Lies, Little Square, Greater Square, National Archives Street, Thick Tower, and Council Tower. During our visit, Greater Square was being set up for its annual Christmas market. While we were bummed that we didn’t get to experience the market in full swing, the festive lights were magical given the snowfall earlier that morning.

After our tour, we invited Florin to dinner and went to Crama Sibiana per his recommendation. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was even better! It is located in Little Square and is situated underground, providing the feel of a wine cellar. We ended our day in Sibiu by heading to a local grocery store to stock up on Romanian wine, as well as snacks for our long train ride to Budapest the following day.

…Next stop, Budapest!