Must-Haves of Travel: Apple Cider Vinegar

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Now I’ve really gone off the deep end, and am suggesting that you pack a spray bottle filled with… vinegar?


I’ve written about traveling with coconut oil. I make sure to have a container of it with me every time I travel.

More recently, I’ve started taking a little spray bottle filled with apple cider vinegar.

Here’s why. 

Benefits of apple cider vinegar

Now before I say anything else, I’ll go ahead and address the smell. While apple cider vinegar (ACVdoes smell apple-y, it also smells vinegar-y.

But don’t worry, you won’t go around smelling like a salad. The vinegar evaporates quickly and then it kinda smells… like nothing. Faintly apple-y.

If you’re using shampoo/conditioner/perfume or cologne in conjunction with ACV, the smell will be more than covered.

Here are a few of the health and beauty uses of apple cider vinegar:

  • Facial toner
  • Hair detangler
  • Bruise fader
  • Deodorant (!)
  • Mouthwash
  • Foot spray
  • Detox bath
  • Scalp soother
  • Sunburn de-oucher
  • Zit spot-treatment
  • Relieve tired/achy muscles

Because it’s a vinegar, it’s acidic. ACV strives to maintain pH with whatever it comes into contact with.

Along with health and beauty uses, it’s extremely versatile for other things, too. You can use it as a household cleaner, disinfectant, fruit and veggie wash, or to treat bug bites, stings, and itchiness.

Because it’s anti-bacterial, it can help rebalance your skin and kill anything that might cause acne later. For the same reason, it helps to kill the bacteria that causes odors – so you can use it as an deodorant, or spray it on your feet / in your shoes to quickly get rid of any unpleasant smells.

In fact, ACV is great for pulling strong scents (like smoke or cooking) out of a room. Leave a little in a shallow container and set it out for a half hour or so.

How to use apple cider vinegar while traveling

  • Use it as a toner before you use coconut oil to moisturize
  • “Wake up” and refresh your skin after a flight (or during!)
  • Rub into legs and feet to soothe tired muscles after a long day of walking around
  • Spray into shoes to kill fungus and odors while you sleep
  • Use as a deodorant or refresher to kill odor-causing bacteria
  • Calm down irritated skin after shaving
  • Spot-apply to acne to reduce swelling and redness
  • Out of mouthwash? Use ACV instead, just be sure to dilute with water
  • Get a sunburn, scrape, or bruise? Relieve and speed up healing by rubbing ACV on it
  • If you decide to take a bath, add a little to your bathwater to draw out toxins
  • Rebalance your scalp if you’ve rapidly changed environments. Just spray a little and rinse out after you wash, as a final rinse
Apple is the new coconut

Apple is the new coconut

I primarily use ACV as a toner.

After washing up, I spray it on and let it sit for a sec before I do anything else. It works to refresh skin and gives you a healthy glow.

I also must say: it kills odors fast! If you’re sweating a lot, spray it into your shoes. It’ll absorb smells and kill bacteria. Great to have around in summer.

More recently, I’ve been using it as a “pick-me-up” deodorant. I’ll admit: it’s super weird to spray ACV into your pits. But it works.

I don’t completely rely on it to deodorize. Maybe in the winter when I’m not running around in the heat and humidity as much. But it’s standing up to NYC summers quite well.

Why pack this?

For starters, you don’t need a lot.

I have a tiny spray bottle that lasts me about a week when I travel.

It takes up no space in my bag, and I enjoy the skin benefits too much to leave it at home. Also, knowing that it’s good for bumps, scrapes, stings, and insect bites, I like to have it on hand to treat topically.

I often forget to pick up those little TSA bottles of mouthwash. But if I have ACV, I can use a little of that to freshen up and keep teeth and mouth clean. Because it’s very acidic, be sure to dilute it – it can erode your tooth enamel over time, with repeated exposure.

I can also attest that it’s great to rub into tired muscles after running around/dragging suitcases/walking a lot.

It’s a great product with a ton of versatile uses. If you drink it, it can give you a boost of energy by restoring alkalinity to your body’s pH and sweeping away toxins.

I’m just now discovering all the various uses, and so far: I love this stuff!

Other resources

Much has been writ about ACV. Here are a few of my faves:

I always love to find ways to replace chemical-laden products with equally, if not more, effective all-natural counterparts.

If the apple or vinegar smell is too strong for you, there’s an easy fix: add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I don’t mind the faint apple smell it leaves behind, but if you like vanilla, lavender, mint, whatever… add it!

I like the Bragg brand because it’s all natural, organic, and very good quality. Check out the comments for testimonials and ideas for other uses!

Bottom line

I’m still figuring out new ways to incorporate ACV into my life and travels. So for now, I’m experimenting with my own swamp witch variety. 🙂

I’ve also started drinking ACV along with a little raw, organic, unheated honey every day and am having a great time exploring all the health benefits of this concoction.

And of course you can cook with it!

What other product can you use to clean your countertops, spray on your face, and then drink?

If that’s a little too “out there,” remember this: it’s a great facial toner and it quickly kills bacteria and odor. I have a little spray bottle that I keep handy, as it has so many great uses for travelers.

Does anyone else use ACV? Would you consider taking it with you on a trip?

Any other travel must-haves?

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Essential oils are always good as bottles are usually suitably sized. Just bring a 3 oz of base oil.

  2. Nice read! I love ACV. But what kind of bottle do you put it in when you travel ? I’m concerned about the vinegar and plastic not working well together as a muji plastic bottle I have had a warning on the outside. Any tips would be great. Thanks!

  3. why can’t I find organic apple cider vinegar in small packets like other condiments.
    such as mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard etc.

    • lol I don’t think they make ’em that small. But you could always get some travel tubes or little spray bottles and do it that way?

  4. Hi. Think i just got a haemmoroid day before my holiday to thailand!! Read you can drink it n bathe in it but can i take it in a plane in my hand luggage in a 50cl water bottle??

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