Backpacking with young children is a great way to travel but can have its challenges, as we discovered during our two weeks of travelling in Northern Thailand earlier this month. Thankfully our 3 and 7 year old like egg fried rice and January in Northern Thailand is winter and the perfect time to travel. Not too hot and very few mosquitoes.

We started in Chiang Mai, then travelled north to Chiang Rai, visiting the Golden Triangle and local hill tribes, then onto the Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre, ancient ruins at Sukhotai, and finally a few days rest in Phuket.


Thailand is a relatively easy and inexpensive place to travel round with very friendly people. The main hazards would have to be traffic and tummy bugs. Thankfully we didn’t have problems with either, and escaped relatively lightly with just a few cuts and grazes with our accident prone daughter.

This time our first aid kit was much smaller than our usual kit.  Instead of Panadol, we had peppermint oil and in place of Betadine we had melaleuca.  I’ve included a list below of natural solutions to ten common health concerns while travelling.  The oils that I use and recommend are doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essentail Oils.


 Top 10 natural first aid travel tips

  1. Insect repellent: we used an essential oil blend made by doTERRA called Terrashield as well as a natural repellent made by Mosi-Guard. Both worked really well.
  2. Insect bites: if we did get bitten by the occasional insect, then a drop of lavender and melaleuca took away any swelling and itching within minutes.
  3. Stomach upsets: as a preventative we used product called Travel Bug by Ethical Nutrients, and I also took a probiotic (I can recommend DoTERRA’s PB Assist). We also carried another Essential Oil Blend called Digestzen, just in case of any stomach upsets, indigestion, diarrhoea etc.
  4. Sunscreen: I used a mix of fractionated coconut oil and sandalwood essential oil. Its not the cheapest sunscreen but it smells great and works well. I only tested this on myself and used Invisible Zinc on my kids. I would recommend caution and doing further research if you decide to make your own essential oil based sunscreen.
  5. Burns: Lavender oil for burns, including sun burn, as well as for dry lips.
  6. Wounds: Clove oil for pain relief, helichrysum for reducing bleeding and bruising, melaleuca to prevent infection, lavender to promote healing.
  7. Headaches: I use essential oil blends of Past Tense and Deep Blue, and single oils of lavender, frankincense and peppermint.
  8. Deodorant: A mix of wild orange, frankincense and Fractionated Coconut Oil mixed in a small spray bottle.
  9. Antibacterial hand wash: 10 drops of On Guard blend mixed with water in a small spray bottle.
  10. Aches and pains: Deep Blue Rub and essential oil blends of Deep Blue and Aroma Touch.

Including everything in the above list, my kit was small and lightweight, I took it with me everywhere, and we used it every day.

I also took a handy reference guide: An Introduction to Modern Essentials, which has a very useful A-Z guide for the therapeutic use of essential oils.

If you would like to find out more about this lightweight and effective natural first aid kit for both at home and abroad then click here or come along to a talk on Travelling with Essential Oils on 19th March at 7.15pm at the Rivervale Community Centre. You can also contact Tanya on 0407984793 or email for further information.