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DUFL- It’s not just for men.

Andrea Graziani - Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer

Andrea Graziani – Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer

My name is Andrea Graziani and I am the Chief Marketing Officer at DUFL. We think this goes without saying, but it never hurts to reiterate. DUFL is for anyone who travels for business at least once a month and doesn’t want to pack, unpack, or schlep their bag with them all over the world.

I can tell you – with a self-proclaimed air of authority (thanks to countless surveys, research, casual conversation, and general interrogation of the American business traveling public), it’s official –  this mythical creature who raves about the joys of packing does not exist. We have yet to encounter a person – male or female, who gets excited about doing laundry, packing, unpacking and wheeling their bag into the bathroom stall with them at the airport. (If you’re reading this and thinking -I do! I do! you may want to flip to a different article…).

Maybe you’re asking yourself – why would I pay to have someone pack for me? How lazy can I be? Allow me to tell you why – it’s because your time is valuable. And in reality, maybe you don’t need to pay for this personally at all (though a lot of people do). Many companies that we work with offer DUFL as an employee benefit – a way of recognizing the drudgery of business travel and thanking their employees for spending time away from home for business.

Perhaps you’re a working mother, like I am. I have three beautiful daughters and spent the majority of my career torn between two lives that I love. I love what I do, have loved (most) of my jobs, and of course love my daughters, but the push/pull of a work/life balance is challenging, even for the best of us. Now let’s say you need to add business travel to the mix.

I’d spend the weekends getting the laundry done for myself and everyone in the house to be sure that my husband didn’t have the extra burden of being a single parent for the week and having to worry about clean clothes for the kids. And also so that I wouldn’t have nightmares about them going off to school in dirty clothes or worse yet- nothing at all (because according to them they never have anything to wear as it is)! Then it was time to pack, which meant trying to figure out how to fit everything I wanted to take with me in that little carry-on bag that I was taking for a five day trip because my colleagues would not tolerate waiting for a checked bag to come off the carousel.  Inevitably I would have to sacrifice something. The comfy shoes I wished I could wear after walking in heels all day? My workout shoes? What would it be this time? Could I fit an umbrella if it was going to rain, how about my favorite shampoo? Or would I have to use the toiletries the hotel provided? Flat iron? Hair spray? Regardless of what my mother had told me when I was growing up – I could not, in fact, have it all. Something had to go. Fine, I’d wear the same black suit jacket to all of my meetings, so much for my vision of looking uber-stylish.

Many times I waited until I had put my girls in bed to start packing, not wanting to miss out on the valuable time spent with them before I was about to leave for a week. This usually meant I was scrambling around to make sure I had everything I needed while desperately wishing I was relaxing watching my favorite show, reading a book or even better, in bed. Or, maybe there was a special birthday dinner taking place the night before my trip. You may be thinking why didn’t you pack a day prior so you didn’t have to stress about getting home from dinner at a reasonable time in order to get the kids in bed and pack your bag? Why? Because in my world, I’m lucky if I have enough time to get my nails done before I go, let alone have all the laundry and packing done in advance. That’s right up there with getting my Christmas shopping done in advance.

I am the person who tried to make sure my leaving was as seamless as possible for my family. I would premake dinners, make sure we got as much homework done as possible, had carpools arranged, and maybe even squeeze in time to bake some cookies or some other special treat before I left. I admit, my determination to be supermom has waned over the years. Perfect I am not. My girls are older now and able to take care of themselves for the most part and truth be told, my husband is a great dad and they probably love ordering pizza when I’m gone and not having someone nag them about homework. Even so, I miss my family when I’m on the road.  Which brings me back to the main point. Why should I have to sacrifice 3-5 hours of my time per trip doing laundry, packing, unpacking and getting to the airport early to get my bag in that overhead bin? This is a business trip, which keeps me away from home for days- do I really have to give up those extra hours getting ready for it?

That’s why you DUFL. You can now pack from anywhere. You may be at the grocery store or even at lunch or in a meeting and think- oh, I forgot to pack for my trip. You open the app, type in your hotel address and arrival date and tap on the pictures of your closet items that you want to take with you. What used to take an hour or more takes less than two minutes.

When you’re at the airport you can browse in the bookstore, have a drink, grab some food to take on the plane, buy some last minute souvenirs for the kids and have enough hands to carry everything because you aren’t wheeling a bag around with you. It’s totally freeing. The minute you get to your hotel and open up that DUFL bag and see your clothes wrapped in tissue and plastic and neatly folded and pressed – it’s like someone gave you a present. You feel like you’re the one being taken care of for a change.

So don’t sacrifice your personal time, your favorite shampoo, your umbrella, your workout clothes- don’t sacrifice anything. You CAN have it all. With DUFL there are no size or weight restrictions on what you pack. Not sure which of your five favorite shirts you want to wear on the road? Take them all. Three suit jackets – no problem. Workout clothes- no excuse.

It’s time to get rid of the baggage, ladies. Sign up for DUFL and enjoy more time for yourself – you deserve it.

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