When I’m travelling, I’m always on the look out for multi-tasking products that will save me space- especially in the precious liquid department. There’s absolutely no way I’m going to waste my coveted backpack space with things like liquid cleanser or random body sprays. Though, as a bit of a beauty addict, this can sometimes be difficult. I hate to think that I’m compromising or going without something that I really need but luckily, I have a secret weapon that does *almost* everything I want: coconut oil.
I’ve discovered a ridiculous number of uses for coconut oil which is why I recommend it to all space conscious backpackers on the move. Packing a lighter backpack saves backache and stress so why not swap out some unneeded products for a little tub of coconut oil.
These are some of my favourite coconut oil life hacks for female travellers but, if you have some of your own, I’d love to hear about them, too.
Remove Waterproof Mascara with Coconut Oil
When I first discovered that you can use coconut oil to remove waterproof mascara, my mind was blown! I sometimes feel excessive carrying make up when I travel as I don’t always feel like wearing it in the hot, hot heat but I do like to have it on hand. This little hack allows me to at least leave the make up remover at home, leaving more space for essentials.
Use Coconut Oil as a Shaving Cream
Going to hot countries means you can’t get away with not shaving your legs and just wearing tights every day. (You win some, you lose some, eh…) A razor doesn’t take up much space in my backpack but who on earth has spare room for shaving foam? Not me. I used to be a fan of the old hair conditioner method until I discovered that coconut oil does a much better job. I’m now a convert!
We’ve all had those days when we’ve for sat out in the sun too long and had to spend the next few days sitting under the shade with a million layers of sun cream on. Sunburn’s not only an absolute eye-sore, but it bloody painful, too. Since coconut oil is so moisturising and soothing, it cures sunburn very nicely!
(And Dry Skin)
There’s nothing like lathering your body in coconut oil when you’re feeling a bit dry! Why would anyone waste space carrying body cream around with them?
Make your own Coconut Hair Mask
If you’re like me, chances are you’re terrified of getting your hair cut in a foreign country. (Thanks for that one, Korea!) Stop your hair looking straggly by doing a coconut oil hair mask once or twice a week. Simply apply coconut oil all over your hair, go to sleep and then wash it out the next day. Just make sure that you use a scarf or towel so that you don’t get oil on your hotel’s pillow slips and wash your hair thoroughly the next day to avoid looking like an oil slick!
Protect your Hair in Salt Water with Coconut Oil
When I was in The Philippines last year, Veeran and I did an island hopping tour in El Nido, spending loads of time swimming about and snorkelling in the salt water. Aside from getting stung by a few jellyfish, this was all fun and games until it came to getting a brush through my straw hair that night…
The next day, I decided to pop some coconut oil on my hair and, although it looked a bit greasy in the morning, I managed to avoid sporting a big matted mass of hair.
Use Coconut Oil to Make your Own Mosquito Cream
Much to my dismay, the mosquitos of the world have been having an unrequited love affair with me for quite some time. It’s a tough life to live, especially since I hate wearing deet but also hate mosquito bites. Luckily, I’ve found an alternative that doesn’t involve covering my body in smelly, nasty chemicals or getting eaten alive.
Last year, before I went to India, I experimented with making my own bug spray. I made a lovely concoction containing witch hazel, lemon eucalyptus, neem oil, lemongrass and citronella. Not only did it smell great, it kept the mozzys at bay, too.
Aside from bug sprays, coconut oil can actually be used as a carrier for all kinds of aromatherapy oils. Just remember that it will solidify in cold countries but in tropical countries, it’s a dream!
Drink Coconut Oil in your Coffee
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being unhealthy on the road. Street food is cheap but it’s often carby, starchy and has little nutritional value. That’s why it’s important to have some good habits. Now, I don’t like to preach too much but, on my good days, I like to get up, do yoga or go for a run, take a multi vitamin and have a coffee. For extra bonus points, I put a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee and make it bulletproof- giving me a big dose of healthy fats for the day.
Cook your Food in It
Leaving the most obvious one for last- penny-pinching backpackers around the world turn to hostel kitchens as a way to save money. However, most hostels only provide cheap, refined oils like vegetable and sunflower oil. If you have your own coconut oil, you can prepare your own healthy and cheap dinner guilt free.
So, hopefully now you won’t be leaving home without your trusty coconut oil! My personal favourite is this organic extra virgin coconut oil which I keep in these handy leak proof containers. These are just a few ways that I use coconut oil on my travels but I’m always on the lookout for more. If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment and let me know!
Looking for more eco-friendly travel tips? Don’t miss these posts!
- Essential products for eco-conscious travellers
- 10 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips
- 14 Packing Tips for Girls
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