One of the tipping points between couples involves their travel compatibility! It's when you find out whether you can be outside of your normal surroundings and how you handle it. In addition, it's an eye opener on how you handle navigating in new cities, how stress levels affect you and of course how much one packs! We talked with the team at DUFL to find out how they are a solution to your travel needs as well as tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to your next destination!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What is your background and how did it lead you to create DUFL?
ANDREA GRAZIANI: I’ve spent the majority of my career in internet technology and software. Because of this, we spent a lot of time on the road traveling for business. On one particular trip, I’d packed for 14 days in London in a carry-on bag because my business partners all traveled with carry-on bags and there was no time to wait at baggage claim. We were heading back to Arizona on a Friday and had to spend the weekend unpacking, doing laundry, dropping off same-day dry cleaning and then packing everything in that carry-on again in order to be in New York on Monday. Our CEO and Founder, Bill Rinehart looked at us and said ‘there has to be a better way.’ And the notion for DUFL was born.
AM: What is DUFL and how does it make traveling easier?
AG: DUFL is a travel service that inventories, photographs, cleans and stores your business wardrobe in a DUFL virtual closet. When you are ready to travel, just open the DUFL app, enter their destination, arrival date and tap on the photos of the items in your DUFL closet that you’d like to pack and a professionally packed suitcase will meet you at your hotel. When you’re all done, request a pick up in the DUFL app, attach the provided shipping label to your suitcase and drop it at the hotel front desk.
We’ll ship it back to the DUFL warehouse where we’ll clean, inventory and store your items until you are ready to travel again.
DUFL eliminates the need to pack, do laundry, unpack and drag a bag through the airport or to client meetings or events. Packing takes about 60 seconds in the app and eliminates stress and gives our users approximately 3-5 hours of personal time previously spent on those meaningless tasks.
AM: Why is the notion of traveling as a couple such a big deal whether you're embarking on your first trip or the umpteenth one?
AG: I think there’s a different dynamic with couples, and a lot of communication around events, clothing requirements, who’s bringing the hair dryer to who’s bringing the shampoo. I tend to over pack when I’m traveling with my husband because we both have different ideas of things we’d like to do when we are on a trip.
AM: What packing tips can you share with us that are worth noting when traveling with your significant other?
AG: Try to have a bit of a plan - if not with pre-planned itineraries, then at least coordinate who will bring what so you don’t double up on toiletries, etc. For shorter trips, it’s sometimes possible to consolidate the packing into one large suitcase for the both of you. If you don’t want to check a bag, take advantage of the allowable two bags per person on the plane and consolidate your electronics and snacks into one bag to allow more room for clothes and shoes!
AM: When traveling to warmer climates, one would think that the packing is easier but what should we consider when bringing items with us?
AG: I personally hate to check a bag so knowing that I need to take items like sunscreen and bug spray creates a problem for me. Either take a few travel size bottles of each or purchase those items when I arrive at my destination. I’d also recommend taking light layers, a few swim suits if there’s a beach and ziploc bags for your wet and sandy items returning with you. I’d also recommend bringing anti-frizz hair products, moisturizers, and perhaps some oil blotting wipes to keep your skin regulated.
AM: What should we do upon returning from a trip to make it easier?
AG: I’d like to say unpack right away but that would make me a hypocrite as I may hold the world record for taking the longest amount of time to unpack :). Prior to using DUFL, I would try to do my laundry before returning home to make re-entry a bit easier.
AM: Tell us more about Battle of the Sexes: Vacation Travelling (i.e. women traditionally over pack and men tend to oversimplify. Do you see a difference in gender when it comes to packing?)
AG: I must say, I have been surprised to see that there are plenty of men who ‘over pack’ just like the stereotypical woman does! While women do tend to store more items in their closets, we think that because DUFL allows folks to take as much as they want with them (no sacrificing items to fit in a carry-on bag or stay under weight limit at the airport), our customers tend to take as much as they want. They bring business clothes, 70% of our users take workout clothes with them on their trips and sometimes things like pillows, blankets and robes make the trip as well.
AM: What are 5 essentials that everyone should have when traveling?
AG: Your own shampoo and conditioner, a good book, headphones, workout clothes, comfortable/sensible shoes, and bug repellent- especially to tropical areas
AM: What are 5 items that we should not bring when traveling?
AG: Too much jewelry. Stick with a few classic pieces so they don’t get lost/stolen during your travels and take up too much space, too many clothes- make sure to pack items that you can wear again, impractical shoes, expensive items and kids :)