23 Reasons Why Coconut Oil Is A Must-Have for Travelers

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Who hasn’t filled up their bag of toiletries with bottles of for instance body lotion, face cream, eye cream, make-up remover, bath oil, after-sun lotion, lip cream, hand cream and hair nourishing oil/conditioner when going on a holiday trip? All these beauty products take up quite some space in your suitcase or backpack, not to mention the weight they add to your bag! So how to pack smarter, and still have all these beauty products that keeps your skin and hair smooth and young? The answer is Coconut Oil!

The shops in Bangkok are full of coconut oil.

I have read and heard a lot about coconut oil for some time now, even before I went on this trip. Out of old habit I bought and brought along all kinds of different lotions, filling up my backpack and making it heavy. When I ran out of these beauty products a few months back, I decided to try something new instead of buying all the same stuff all over again. So in the “mother land” of coconut oil, Thailand, I bought a bottle of this oil. In Asia they are nuts about coconut oil, and use it a lot, so it is easy to find in shops. I have now used it for a while, and wow it is amazing! There are so many benefits of coconut oil!

Why You Should Bring Coconut Oil When Traveling

1. Moisturizer

Apply coconut oil on you skin (face, body, hands and feet) to keep it smooth and moisture. As the coconut oil has an antimicrobial effect, it is suppose to protect against skin damage, prevent aging and liver spots and other blemish caused by aging or sunlight. Coconut oil is very high of the antioxidant tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E, making it ideal to prevent skin aging.

I feel that it really works as face cream and body lotion! It soaks into the skin quickly, making the skin feeling soft.

2. Hair Conditioner

Use it in your hair as conditioner and nourishing oil. I apply a few drops to my hair after each wash, and it softens and make the hair look more shiny. But be careful not to put too much coconut oil in your hair, as it can become greasy and not look newly washed anymore. Coconut oil is also an incredibly intensive natural conditioner. Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours before rinsing with warm water.

3. Bath oil

Add 5-10 drops of coconut oil in your warm bath. It is great! It relaxes both body and mind. I bought a coconut oil with jasmine fragrance, and it is really nice in my bath.

4. Massage oil

Use it as massage oil. Have never tried the coconut oil as massage oil, unfortunately. But I bet it is great!

Kalpa Vriksha – The tree that gives all that is necessary for living!

Kalpa Vriksha, Sanskrit name for coconut tree

5. Eye-makeup remover

Coconut oil works really well as eye-makeup remover. I use it every day to remove my mascara.

6. Sunscreen

Coconut oil can be used as sunscreen, working as SPF 4. It can not get more natural than that!

7. Body Scrub

With coconut oil you can also make your own natural body scrub to use in the shower. Just mix it with some sugar and scrub ahead. Works great and is so much cheaper than to buy body scrubs.

8. Lip Cream

Use coconut oil on your lips to keep them soft and moisture.

9. Helps Digestion

There is some evidence that drinking a few table spoons of coconut oil helps digestion and may even kill intestinal parasites or yeast.

10. Energy Booster

Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a tablespoon of Chia Seeds, and drink it, for an all-day energy boost. Do NOT take this in the evening as it will keep you awake!

11. Helps with Cold or Flu

Blend a tablespoon of coconut oil into hot tea to help speed recovery from cold or flu. Also helps with a sore throat.

12. Cooking

Coconut oil is better for high-temperature cooking than olive or vegetable oils.


13. Sunburn

Can help with healing of sunburn. I usually use aloe vera lotion when I get sunburned, but when this ran out I started using coconut oil, and it works just as good as aloe vera!

14. Shaving

Coconut oil works perfect as a natural shave cream and after shave lotion.

15. Feet

Mix coconut oil with salt to remove dry skin on feet. Wash your feet afterwards with water, and rub your feet with coconut oil to make your feet soft and moisture.

16. Mosquito bites

Rub coconut oil on your mosquito bites, and it reduces the itch.

17. Deodorant

Use coconut oil by itself as a natural deodorant.

18. Bug Repellent

Mix coconut oil with catnip, rosemary or mint for the perfect natural bug repellent.

19. Dry Elbows

Rub coconut oil into your elbows daily to help against dry, flaky elbows.

20. Skin healer

Coconut oil can help skin heal faster after injury or infection, and even with scars.

21. Teeth

Pulling coconut oil through your teeth for 10-20 minutes, helps improve gum health. I do this a couple of times a week, and it works great! My teeth feel so clean! Do not put too much coconut oil in your mouth for pulling, one tablespoon is enough.

22. Hand Cream

Use coconut oil as a naturally antibacterial hand cream. I put coconut oil on my hands every night before going to bed, works fantastic!

23. Weight Loss

Drinking a few tablespoons of coconut oil each day have been proven to help with weight loss. The oil consists of saturated fat of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss.


Here you have 23 good reasons why you should get rid of all your bottled beauty product and replace them with only one bottle of coconut oil on your next holiday trip! It saves both room and weight in your luggage, and does great things for your body!

It is a jungle out there of different coconut oil brands and products!

For external uses, expeller pressed or other types of refined coconut oil will work, but for internal use, an unrefined virgin coconut oil is best. If you don`t bare the thought of drinking pure coconut oil, you can put it in tea, coffee, smoothies, yoghurt, or in your cereal or on your bread. It tastes great! An other option is to freeze the oil in small cubes, and swallow it, but this is not so easy when traveling.

I bought the Paradise Organic Virgin Coconut Oil at a super market in Bangkok (at Central World, 7th floor), with Jasmin scent. This I use for external use only, on my face and body, and as bath oil. I use BB Natural Oil for internal use, have it in my tea every morning as well as cleaning my teeth a couple of times a week.

You can also buy many different coconut oil brands from Amazon.


Do you use coconut oil already? And if not, would you give it a try after reading this? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment area below! If you like this blog post, and find it useful, please share and like it on social media! Thank you so much! 🙂

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About The Writer Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.


  1. I’ve recently discovered the benefits of coconut oil and I am in love with the stuff! I use it on my skin and in all my cooking and baking. Thanks for inspiring some more uses! I’m going to try utilizing it to maintain good gum health,

    • Thanks for your comment Charli! And thank you so much for tweeting this blog post! I have also just recently discovered the fantastic coconut oil, in Thailand where they use it a lot for everything. I put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in my tea every morning. It tastes really good! 🙂 Don’t do much baking or cooking unfortunately at the moment since we are travelling so much and stay in hotels, but can imagine that coconut oil is great for this too!

      You should try using it on your teeth: Put a table spoon of oil in your mouth and pull it through your teeth for about 20 min., spit it out and flush with water. I do this a couple of times a week, and it works great! The teet feels so clean! I usually do this in the evening, before bed, and brush my teeth normally after the oil pulling. Happy travels with cocnut oil! 🙂

  2. coconut oils as all the good oils [EXCLUDING canola oil -{or it real name RAPE Seed oil}] supplies the brain with much needed fat! The LOWFAT diet fat craze has the dementia care facilities overflowing with poor people who starved their brains because of some medical “TREND”

  3. Maria – I LOVE coconut oil! I use it at home as a toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizer, makeup remover and for cooking. I wasn’t aware of some of the others. I also use it a lot when diving, because I have super fine hair that gets tangly, the coconut oil helps keep it a little more manageable and doesn’t dry it out. I still need to find a good container for it though, since it doesn’t stay solidified in most places I travel too. I was so happy to stumble upon this post! 🙂

    • Wow, I think we have to meet some day Katie, I just know we will get along….we both love fruit and coconut oil, and are travel bloggers! 🙂

      Great tip about using coconut oil in the hair when diving. We haven`t been diving for some years now, but are thinking of taking a refresher-course in Indonesia and do some more diving, so I will definitely bare this in mind. Thanks for the tip!

      Yes, coconut oil becomes liquid at room temperature or higher. But I actually prefer it liquified, it is easier to use both as toothpaste, moisturizer, makeup remover and in my hair. So I keep it in the bathroom. We also drink two table spoon of coconut oil each morning before breakfast (together with some juice and chia seeds).

      I am so glad you found this blogpost! I wrote it at an early stage of my “blogging career”, so I didn`t put it in the slider on the front page, because I thought it wasn`t that travel related. But lately I think almost everything is “travel related”. We have to do some redesign of our front page so that people find what we write in the different categories hidden in our Menu. Have to figure out how to make things more visible to our readers. So much to do, the to-do-list just keep getting longer and longer… 🙂

      • YES! We absolutely must meet one day! We have so much in common! I eat chia seeds on almost everything, so I am definitely gonna try CO with juice – sounds yummy. I just need to find a small airtight container so my coconut oil doesn’t leak when traveling – haha! That is not ideal… I actually drafted a post about how I pack light, and one of the items was the multiple uses for coconut oil. If I ever post that, I am definitely linking back to this – there are so many uses! I literally just broke down and bought a gallon of the stuff I use it so much.

        For the diving – I can’t take full credit for that one. Another girl saw me struggling to get my mask off my tangled mess of hair and offered to let me use a spray bottle she had of it. She was obviously a genius. It worked beautifully!

        BTW – I hope you’re going to include coconut in your Fruity Friday series – it’s another thing that I really miss about SE Asia! 🙂

        I hear you about the to-do list! I struggle with the tech side of it (a lot), so it takes me FOREVER to do almost any layout type stuff. Your site looks fantastic – you have so many features I love! 🙂

        • Oh, please do publish that post about how to pack light, I REALLY need some tips on that subject! I am a terrible over-packer and over-shoppper! I actually have to send home a lot of clothes and stuff this week, before we go on with our travels, as I have trouble closing my backpack! 🙂

          Totally agree with you on the airtight container! Not much fun to get everything in your backpack soaked in coconut oil, yeak! 🙂

          Yep, a coconut post is written and scheduled for the Fruity Friday series, so stay tuned for that! It has SO many health benefits, you will not believe it!

  4. Coconut oil is fantastic. On our most recent housesit the property has dozens of coconut palms. We make oil instead of throwing the coconuts into the jungle. I agree it is great for lipbalm, hair, cooking, & moisturizer. But as an insect repellant, no way. I’ll take my nice toxic DEET whenever I go near the jungle.

    • Wow, coconut palms on your housesit property, lucky you! Sounds like a great housesit! We would love to try out housesitting too, I might email you Tim for some tips and advice. 🙂

      Hehe, I agree, nothing beats DEET in heavy mosquito areas!

      Thanks for commenting! Happy travels!


  5. We love coconut oil! We have discovered it while traveling and are now using it at home to safe place in our cupboards as we are minimalists ? . It also saves us tones of money and allows us to avoid many chemicals so we can only recommend it to anyone

    • Good to hear from a fellow coconut oil fan! Nothing beats natural coconut oil, we use it for everything too, even on travels.



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