10 Best Essential Oils for Summer Getaways and Staycations (Updated 2020)

Sweet, sunny days are coming. If you’re a lot like many summer lovers, you’re probably giddy about soaking up some sunshine, swimming in clear blue waters, going camping, grilling barbecues, or even just relaxing at home or enjoying a cozy hotel staycation.

Whether it’s a summer getaway or a staycation that you’re looking forward to, your summer essentials will have a lot to do with how delightful the season will be for you. 

Of course, summer essentials wouldn’t be complete without your favorite oils. In this blog, we’ll talk about the best essential oils for summer and how you can use different oils for indoor and outdoor activities.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This year’s summer is bound to be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our advice: stay on the safe side and create your perfect summer staycation at home! Once things get better with the leadership of frontliners and your compliance with the directives of the government and the World Health Organization, you can then enjoy the outdoors without worrying about your and your loved ones’ safety.

Quick Rundown: Best Essential Oils for Summer
Spearmint Essential Oil creates a cooling sensation without irritating your skin or nasal passages
Eucalyptus Essential Oil has the perfect summer spice mixed with cooling and soothing benefits
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil offers a quick fix for whenever you’re craving tropical blossoms. Ideal for hair therapy and more
Patchouli Essential Oil exudes a strong fragrance with a hint of sweet flowery scent
Lavender Essential Oil has a soothing scent that’s great for various summer products, including air fresheners
Citronella Essential Oil has insect-repelling properties that make great summer getaway buddies
Basil Essential Oil has a warm and camphorous aroma that stirs up feelings of calmness
Rosemary Essential Oil has immunity-boosting benefits to help you prep for summer adventures
Fir Essential Oil brings a rich and clean rainforest aroma while releasing refreshing & healing benefits
Cedarwood Essential Oil has the right balance of sweet and warm notes that can relax your muscles and center your mind

How to Choose Essential Oils for Summer

Summer months can be a tricky time to use essential oils. However, with factual information and enough precautions, essential oils might just be one of your ultimate summer must-haves.

From cooling essential oils to the best smelling essential oils for skin, these gifts of nature can never run out of uses and benefits. 

But how can you use them safely during hot days? How can you distinguish sun-safe oils from those that aren’t? We’ll answer those in the sections below.


1. Beware of Oils that Cause Photosensitivity

In the words of medical author Dr. William Shiel Jr., photosensitivity pertains to the skin’s oversensitivity to light. It’s usually a result of medications or the topical application of products that trigger negative reactions when exposed to ultraviolet or UV radiation.

Some essential oils contain organic chemical compounds that can make the skin UV-sensitive. An example of these compounds is the furanocoumarin—usually found in cold-pressed citrus essential oils like lemon oil and bergamot oil. 

Photosensitivity can lead to many skin problems, including sunburns, rashes, and blisters. Worse, the effects of sensitivity can go deeper than skin and cause cellular damage leading to skin discoloration. 

While some oil lovers say that you can still safely use citrus oils under the sun, the possible consequences are probably not worth the risk. For your safety, avoid applying citrus oils—yes, even heavily diluted citrus oils—on your skin during sunny days.
But don’t fret if citrus oils are your favorites. You can still use these oils as aromatic diffuser oils or dilute them with a carrier oil for a relaxing, night-time massage.


2. Go for Oils that Exude Your Favorite Summer Scents

Now that citrus oils are out of the picture, you have a narrower set of choices for the best essential oils for summer. 

You can choose based on your personal take on the best smelling essential oils for your skin, your room, or wherever you wish to use aromatic oils this summer. To help you out, below are our top picks based on the aroma and vibe that the oils exude.

A little reminder: If you’re going to use any essential oils on your skin, be sure to dilute and perform a skin patch test first. You may refer to our general list of precautions on this Ultimate Guide for Using Essential Oils.

Minty & Cooling Essential Oils

Minty & Cooling Essential Oils
Spearmint Essential Oil creates a cooling sensation without irritating your skin or nasal passages. Perfect for DIY sprays, diffuser recipes, and more!
Eucalyptus Essential Oil has the perfect summer spice with cooling and soothing benefits. Bonus: it also has anti-inflammatory properties!

Hot summer days will naturally make you crave for something cooling and refreshing. And no, icy drinks aren’t the only cooling refreshments you can get.

Cooling essential oils are those that have menthol content. Menthol has a way of tricking our brain receptorsit makes us think of a cool sensation and actually feel it. This makes cooling essential oils, like spearmint oil and eucalyptus oil, great for hot summer days.

But before using any oils with menthol, remember that these oils are extremely potent and may irritate your skin or your nasal passages. For your safety, use cooling oils with moderation. If you’re out and about under the sun, it’s best not to use these oils topically.

1. Spearmint Essential Oil

Unlike other minty oils, spearmint oil contains a low concentration of mentholabout 0.5 percent, to be more specific. It’s strong enough to create a cooling sensation, but also mild enough for worry-free uses.

What’s more, spearmint is also known for its stress-relieving and insect-repelling properties.

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Being a popular medicinal plant for cough and colds, eucalyptus is an instant go-to when it comes to choosing cooling essential oils. Its main chemical component, the eucalyptol, gives it the spicy yet cooling properties that have been widely used in food flavoring, perfumes, mouthwashes, and many other products. 

During summer, eucalyptus oil makes a perfect diffuser oil to keep your place smelling cool and fresh. If you’re making DIY hair and body products, eucalyptus oil can give them the right level of summer spice for soothing baths or massages.

Sweet & Floral Essential Oils

Sweet & Floral Essential Oils
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil gives a quick fix for whenever you’re craving tropical blossoms. Great for hair therapy and more!
Patchouli Essential Oil exudes a strong fragrance with a hint of sweet flowery scent. Perfect for a great-smelling home & self-care recipes!
Lavender Essential Oil has a soothing scent that’s great for various summer uses. From air fresheners to self-care products and more!

If you prefer floral over minty scents, you can always bring your favorite spring essential oils to summer. Floral scented essential oils exude a garden-fresh vibe that’s great for any season.

Plus, their sweet scent is usually gentle to the nose, making them great for summer body products, like hydrating face mists, face washes, and lotions.

1. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Strong yet delicate, the scent of ylang ylang essential oil is a mixture of warm, sweet, and slightly fruity aroma. It’s one of the ultimate favorites in perfumery. Plus, it boasts of bountiful uses for home care as well as hair and scalp therapy.

2. Patchouli Essential Oil

Did you know that summer is also patchouli’s bloom season? Patchouli is a sun-loving herb frequently used as a perfuming agent for detergents, incenses, and potpourri. Its scent is usually very strongenough to overpower unwanted odors in your home or staycation area.

3. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is well-known for its calming effects that can help with sleeping problems and digestive issues. Without a doubt, lavender is one of the most versatile oils out there. 

During extremely hot days, you can use lavender oil to help you chill indoors. What’s great with lavender is that it smells perfect for summer both by itself and when blended with other oils.

Word of caution: Lavender triggers allergic reactions in some people. If you’ve experienced plant-related allergies before and you’ve never used lavender oil, it’s recommended that you test it out first or avoid it completely.

Herbaceous Essential Oils

Herbaceous Essential Oils
Citronella Essential Oil has insect-repelling properties that make great summer getaway buddies.
Basil Essential Oil has a warm and camphorous aroma that stirs up feelings of calmness.
Rosemary Essential Oil has immunity-boosting benefits to help you prep for summer adventures.

If you prefer more earthy scents, herbaceous essential oils might work best for you. These oils usually smell like grass with a hint of floral aroma. Their very scent gives a therapeutic feel to them, which most likely boosts their known healing benefits.

1. Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella has a long-standing reputation as a medicinal and insect-repelling plant. Its scent is a balanced mixture of grassy and sweet with a hint of citrus fragrance.

During summer getaways, citronella oil is best used to repel insects and the diseases they may carry. This oil also blends well with other scents, like tea tree oil and peppermint oil.

2. Basil Essential Oil

If there’s one scent that can remind us of fresh greenery, that is most likely the scent of basil. Basil is a staple in many kitchens, so its very smell can remind one of a warm home. Unsurprisingly, basil essential oil is known as a calming and anxiety-relieving oil.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Herbaceous and crisp, rosemary oil gives off a very distinct fragrance known for its energizing and spiritually grounding benefits.

Like citronella, rosemary oil also works as an insect repellent. Plus, it has plenty of other benefits, like reducing anxieties and body pain.

Woodsy Essential Oils

Woodsy Essential Oils
Fir Essential Oil brings a rich and clean rainforest aroma while releasing refreshing & healing benefits.
Cedarwood Essential Oil has the right balance of sweet and warm notes that can relax your muscles and center your mind.

If you’re more of a mountain person, woodsy essential oils will pack a punch for you. These oils have the right balance of fresh, mossy, sweet, and earthy in every whiff.

People often describe woodsy oils as rechargingsimilar to how nature trips recharge you after days or months of feeling stressed out. Not only that, but their forestlike aroma can work wonders for respiratory and metabolism issues, which are issues that people often experience during trips to new places.

1. Fir Essential Oil

The fir aroma is one of those fresh scents that seem to magically heal the body and the mind. No wonder it’s very popular in aromatherapy. 

Fir essential oil is rich with delta-3-Carene, a chemical compound that induces sedative effects, and alpha-Pinene, which helps relieve respiratory problems.

2. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Sweet and woodsy, the scent of cedarwood oil induces a pleasing, soothing sensation that’s perfect for when you want to chill indoors as the heat outdoors becomes unbearable. Cedarwood is also known for its antispasmodic, antifungal, and mood-boosting properties.

How to Use Essential Oils for Summer Getaways

Now that you know our top 10 summer essential oils, let’s talk about how you can use them during your summer getaways. Below are some recipes you can blend at home or while you’re on a trip. 

You can also play around different oils or oil doses, depending on what you’ve learned so far about the oils that work well for you.


1. Bug Spray

With citronella oil as an active ingredient, you can create a potent bug spray that you can take with you every time you go outdoors. But don’t apply pure citronella oil on your skin. Instead, dilute it first with the suggested ingredients below. 

For children or anyone with sensitive skin, it’s recommended to spray the bug repellant on one’s clothes instead of applying directly to the skin.

Ingredients: 20 drops of citronella oil, 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil (tea tree repels ticks) or any essential oil of your choice, 1/2 cup natural paraben-free witch hazel, and 1/2 cup water or apple cider vinegar

How to Blend: First, pour the witch hazel and apple cider vinegar into a container. Next, slowly and thoroughly pour the other ingredients and mix until they’re completely blended together. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it on skin or clothing as needed.

Related: Citronella Essential Oil Uses, Benefits, and Recipes


2. Cooling Face & Body Mist

If you need a quick pick-me-up after a long walk under the sun, a cooling mist can help freshen you up. However, to avoid skin irritation, essential oil face mists are not recommended for when you’re going outdoors. Instead, use them as you rest indoors or under a shade.

Additionally, be sure to close your eyes and your mouth when you spray on your face. Or better yet, spray on your hands first then gently pat the mist on your face. For a more enjoyable experience, we recommend using your personal picks on the best smelling essential oils for skin.

Ingredients: 15 drops of any cooling summer oil (refer to our list above), 15 drops of any floral summer oil (refer to our list above), distilled water

How to Blend: Pour the essential oils of your choice in a 4-ounce spray bottle then shake well. Add distilled water up to the neck of the bottle. Shake well before every use.

You can also add other skin-loving ingredients, like moisturizing jojoba oil or vitamin E. Jojoba oil is a good carrier oil, so it also acts as a protective agent for your skin.

Related: Beauty Essential Oil Recipes


3. Pain-Relieving Massage Oil

A day of adventure often ends in a lot of muscle pain. But hey, we’re not saying it’s not worth it! Besides, body pain calls for a non-negotiable summer getaway essential: a relaxing night-time massage. 

To craft your own relaxing and pain-relieving massage oil, you can combine the soothing benefits of floral oil, cooling oil, and woodsy oil. Together, these oils can create a refreshing, healing, and aromatic massage experience that you’ll surely crave for even beyond the summer.

Ingredients: 6 drops of ylang ylang essential oil, 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil, 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 1 ounce massage oil, 1 ounce jojoba oil

How to Blend: Put the essential oil drops into a bottle then shake well. Next, add the massage oil and jojoba oil, mix the ingredients well, then seal the bottle. Rub moderate amounts of the mixture on sore muscles as part of your night-time relaxation routine.

Related: Dream Time Essential Oil Collection

How to Use Essential Oils for Staycations

Who said you need to be in an exquisite getaway to use summer essential oils? Certainly not us! Even from the comfort of your home, you can still experience the benefits of essential oils and make this summer a memorable one.

The recipes that follow are also great for staycations in your favorite city or wherever you want to unwind.


1. Summer Diffuser Blends

Diffusing essential oils is one of the simplest and safest ways to use essential oils. Plus, you’ll never run out of diffuser recipes because you can always experiment with different summer essential oil blends or just use single oils as they are.

Here are a few recipes you can try. Simply drop the oils in your diffuser, press on, and you’re good to go! Note that some types of diffusers require adding water, so be sure to read your diffuser’s manual before use. 

Need help in purchasing a diffuser? Check our list of the top 10 diffusers on Amazon.

Tropical Beach Blend

  • 4 drops of lavender oil
  • 4 drops of bergamot oil 
  • 1 drop of ylang ylang oil
  • 1 drop of eucalyptus

Green Garden Blend

  • 3 drops of lemon oil
  • 2 drops of fir oil
  • 2 drops of basil oil

Fresh Lemonade Blend

  • 5 drops of lemon oil
  • 1 drop of spearmint oil
  • 1 drop of basil oil


2. Home Spa

Your body deserves a treat, and you don’t need to leave your house to have it! With essential oils, you can create your own home spa recipes, like bath salt blends, hair and scalp treatment oils, and more.

Check out this home spa guide and this home spa oils collection for tips that you can easily follow.

Summer Wishes

The possibilities are endless when it comes to essential oils. You can use them for relaxation, energy boost, digestive issues, muscle pain, and even for cleaning surfaces in your home or staycation hotel. 

During this sunny season, be sure to enjoy the fresh and invigorating scents of our best summer essential oils. If you tried our recipes or you have summer recipes to share, snap a shot and tag us on social media. We’d love to see you chill and beat the summer heat!


  1. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4883
  2. https://info.achs.edu/blog/what-is-photosensitivity-with-essential-oils
  3. https://info.achs.edu/blog/what-is-photosensitivity-with-essential-oils
  4. http://cleanlivingguide.com/journal/precautions-photosensitizing-photo-toxic-essential-oils/

Author Profile

Jane dela Cruz

Jane is an advocate of minimalism, intentional living, and sustainable lifestyle. She’s in love with woodsy essential oils because of how they make her feel grounded and one with nature.

  1. Overview
  2. How to Choose Essential Oils for Summer
    1. Beware of Photosensitivity
    2. Go for Your Favorite Summer Scents
  3. Minty & Cooling Essential Oils
    1. Spearmint Essential Oil
    2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  4. Sweet & Floral Essential Oils
    1. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
    2. Patchouli Essential Oil
    3. Lavender Essential Oil
  5. Herbaceous Essential Oils
    1. Citronella Essential Oil
    2. Basil Essential Oil
    3. Rosemary Essential Oil
  6. Woodsy Essential Oils
    1. Fir Essential Oil
    2. Cedarwood Essential Oil
  7. How to Use Essential Oils for Summer Getaways
    1. Bug Spray
    2. Cooling Face & Body Mist
    3. Massage Oil
  8. How to Use Essential Oils for Staycations
    1. Summer Diffuser Blends
    2. Home Spa
  9. Summer Wishes
  10. References