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Darcie Connell is a travel pro that’s made a successful business from her passion. As a seasoned traveler with a degree in business marketing, Darcie co-wrote “Business in a Backpack” and has been running successful websites since 2008. She’s the founder and CEO of – a daily newsletter for active women who love travel – and the well known  She enjoys traveling the world and writing for women. Read on to learn more about Darcie and her efficient packing tips.


Interview with Travel Pro Darcie Connell from Trekity




Q: Suitcase or backpack? What do you recommend?

I’ve used both suitcases and backpacks for a variety of trips. For short, weekend or business trips I prefer a small suitcase carry-on suitcase. When I traveled for two years through Asia and the Americas, I used a small backpack.  In fact, my husband and I shared a medium sized backpack for clothes and a small school backpack for our electronics.


Q: How have your travel clothing selections changed over the years?

In my younger twenties, I was more focused on style rather than comfort.  I over packed a lot and learned a very hard lesson… DON’T DO IT! Now, I pack more for comfort and functionality.  (Learn how to pack for function and fashion in Travel Fashion Girl’s universal packing lists.)



San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua


Q: What is the most useless item you ever packed?

When I cycled across Ireland in the early 2000s, packing was a little more tricky because I only had two panniers which when over the back tire on my bicycle.  They were over packed with items including a tent, sleeping bag and pad, bike tools, and clothes.

I had just bought a thick jacket from REI for over $100 dollars and a waterproof windbreaker.  Turns out I didn’t need the thick jacket and I shipped it back home. For some reason, it never made it back home and I was so disappointed. I learned a good lesson… ALWAYS pack in layers.


Q: What’s your ideal travel outfit for a long flight?

I usually don’t think about being comfortable on a flight.  Most of the clothes I wear and pack are already comfortable, so I don’t dress any differently. I would recommend wearing Velcro sandals to allow better circulation through your feet.  You can also wear or pack socks in case your feet get cold or you don’t want to be barefoot through security.


Q: Do you have any travel clothing items that transition well from casual to dressy?

The Saress – a combination of a sarong and dress – is a near product that can be used on the beach by day and dress by night. (I love convertible dresses!)



Angkor, Cambodia


Q: Do you carry a purse or handbag when you travel?

For long-term trips, I don’t carry a purse.  I use a money belt that rests against your stomach under your clothes.  It’s near impossible to pickpocket. For short-term trips, I carry an oversized, over-the-shoulder bag with a zipper.  I can pack multiple items in it like water bottles, camera, scarf, etc. and the zipper adds more protection against pickpocketers.


Q: What are your travel shoes of choice?

Usually, I only pack one pair of shoes in addition to those I’m wearing.  My preference is one pair of leather sandals with straps for ankle support and one pair of hiking boots.  Sexy, I know! If I’m going on a girls get-away or a shorter trip, I’ll pack heels or something a little more attractive.

For women traveling to Asia, I highly recommend flip flops for when you visit temples or a home and have to remove your shoes.  Also, if you need to shower in a shared bathroom, you’ll want flip flops.


Q: Do you alter your beauty or skincare regimen for travel?

Not really.  I don’t wear makeup much and usually just use a little face soap and face lotion with sunscreen.   Sometimes, for longer travel I’ll run out of my usual products so I try new products on the road. India had the best shampoos and conditioner I’ve ever used in my entire life.  Those women have incredibly beautiful hair… and now I know why.



Rocky Mountain National Park


Q: Do you recommend any specific beauty, makeup, or skincare products that are perfect for traveling?

I always pack Olay complete face lotion with 15 SPF and regular sunscreen. If you can’t pack a hair dryer or curling icon, wrapping your hair into a bun (or several) and using large butterfly clips is a great way to give your hair a little wave and extra body. (Check out these easy hairstyles for travel.)


Q: Finally, any travel packing tips for new travelers?

An absolute MUST-PACK is a scarf or sarong as you can use them for nearly anything… fashion statement, towel, blanket, pillow cover, etc.  They are so functional and lightweight. Also, hand sanitizer and wipes go a long way in any country.

Thank you Darcie for your wonderful travel tips! Don’t forget to check outTrekity – for women who love travel and inspiration.


If you are interested in sharing your packing tips on TFG, you can download the interview questions and submission guidelines here

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