In the two years since its inception, DUFL has changed the way savvy professionals travel for business. Voted Best New Travel App of 2015 by USA Today, this unique company eliminates the need to pack for a trip, check or stow luggage, even do laundry and visit the dry cleaner. They do it all for you.
Thousands of executives, salespeople, athletes, celebrities and others who use DUFL’s services enjoy a stress-free journey while the company’s staff carefully packs and ships their clothing, toiletries and personal items to their destination.
To say traveling can be stressful would be an understatement. From doing laundry and running to the dry cleaner, to trying to pack everything you need in bags of airline-approved size, many of us are frazzled before we even reach the airport. Then we have to cart our luggage from long-term parking or passenger drop-off to the ticket counter and wait in line for our checked bags to be accepted before we can head down the terminal and through security to our gate. Of course, the baggage adventure doesn’t end there. We also have to fight for space in the overhead bin, and in many cases, watch as a flight attendant ends up tagging our carry-on bag for check in.
Fortunately, there’s a better way—and it’s called DUFL. Founded by four serial entrepreneurs, and headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, DUFL will reduce the time it takes you to prepare for a business trip and eliminate the need to lug suitcases to the airport along with a host of other benefits.
“We like to say that the DUFL service was designed for road warriors by road warriors,” says Bill Rinehart, CEO and one of four co-founders. “Personal experience literally led us to this idea.”Inspiration struck while Rinehart was packing for a business trip to London.
“I had to be in New York the following Monday,” he recalls, “and I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to travel to London with these clothes, stress out trying to do laundry and get to the dry cleaner, pick them up from the dry cleaner, throw them into the same bag, and then haul that bag on my back to New York? There has to be a better way.”
Voted the Best New Travel App of 2015 by USA Today, DUFL is the “better way” he came up with. It’s basically like having a personal valet to pack, ship, clean and store your business travel essentials from clothing and toiletries to hair dryers and curling irons. Since its launch, thousands of travelers have signed up for the service, and the company’s revenues are increasing as much as 15 percent each month.
While DUFL has users who are on the road for 300 or more days a year, the company’s customers average two business trips per month and are comprised of consultants, executives, sales professionals, celebrities, and athletes as well as traveling doctors and nurses. “Really, anybody who travels for a living will benefit from DUFL,” Rinehart says.
How DUFL Works
Every DUFL user has a virtual closet where their clothing and other personal items are stored. Using an easy to navigate app, you virtually “pack” for each trip by selecting the items you want the DUFL team to include in your bag. They ship the suitcase to your destination while you travel bag—and stress—free, arriving at your hotel to find your suitcase waiting for you.
When you’re ready to head home—or to the next stop on your journey—you use the app again to schedule a pickup and leave the suitcase at your hotel’s front desk. When it arrives back at the DUFL facility, the team cleans and stores the contents with the other items in your closet.
It’s Easy to Get Started
Download the DUFL app (available for iOS or Android) and create a new user account. You will get a welcome kit that includes a suitcase to fill with the clothes you typically wear on business trips as well as toiletries and other personal items. Use the app to schedule a pickup and FedEx will deliver the suitcase to DUFL’s warehouse. There, the team photographs and inventories your belongings. They also launder or dry clean your clothing so it’s ready for your first trip.
Like to hit the golf course or the ski slopes when time allows? DUFL will even store and ship your sports equipment. You’ll no longer have to lug your golf clubs, surfboards, scuba gear or skis to the airport and go through the hassle of checking them as oversize or specialty items.
“The DUFL Sports service has been very well received,” Rinehart says. “The vast majority of our sports users are also DUFL closet users. They might be going to Tampa on a business trip and want to bring their golf clubs, or to Telluride and want to bring their skis.”
Pricing for DUFL is Simple
You’ll pay just $9.95 per month for a Virtual Closet or Sports Locker, and standard round trips within the U.S. are $99. This fee covers three-day shipping to your destination, three-day return shipping to the DUFL warehouse, cleaning and processing.
If you’re traveling at the last minute or internationally, DUFL still has you covered. Overnight shipping is available for an additional $49 each way, and the company added international shipping options in September. You can now have your suitcase meet you in Canada, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Melbourne or Sydney. Just use the app to request a price quote.
DUFL is Changing the Lives of Business Travelers
DUFL users love the company’s services. “Once our customers begin using DUFL, it becomes the only way they ever want to travel,” Rinehart says. The company has a 99 percent user retention rate, and it’s easy to see why when you consider the benefits.
- DUFL Saves Travelers Time
“We estimate that it takes three hours of personal time to prepare before and wind down after a business trip,” Rinehart explains. “When you use DUFL, all that goes away. You never have to pack, unpack, do laundry or go to the dry cleaner.”
- DUFL Makes Air Travel More Convenient
When you use DUFL to store and ship your clothing and other essentials, you no longer have to worry about the weight or size of your suitcase. You can pack full-sized toiletries, avoid waiting in line to check and retrieve your bags, and forget about fighting for overhead bin space for a carryon. You can even track your DUFL suitcase’s location during transit using the app.
- DUFL Takes Excellent Care of Your Clothes
The clothing stored in your Virtual Closet is professional cleaned and expertly packed. According to Andrea Graziani, CMO and another DUFL co-founder, “One of the biggest comments we get from our customers is how well we take care of their clothes. It’s a very white-glove service, and everything is packed really beautifully in the bag. For example, we use tissue, shirt boards and collar stays. There is plastic around your shoes so no dirt will get on your clothes. This gives a sort of wow factor for users when they open up the bag.”
- DUFL Will Help You Donate Items You No Longer Want
When you’re tired of the clothing in your wardrobe, you can actually donate it to those in need. “We’re launching DUFL Cares this holiday season,” Rinehart explains. “If you look at the statistics on people who are out of work, one of the biggest problems they face is that they don’t have the right clothes for job interviews or training. Our new service will allow DUFL users to donate the clothes they no longer want to someone who needs them more than they do.”
“Ninety percent of our users say DUFL has changed their lives,” he continues. “It sounds so serious, but it really is life changing to no longer worry about traveling with bags to airports or going to customer meetings with your bags and things like that. DUFL literally changes lives when it comes to business travel.”
How to Maximize Your DUFL Experience
For those who are ready to give DUFL a try, Rinehart and Graziani have a few tips for making the most of their company’s innovative services.
- Build a Large and Versatile Closet
“You should really send enough clothes and other items to allow you to travel Monday through Thursday, come home Friday, and then get back on the road on Monday without having to wait for that stuff to get turned around,” Rinehart explains. “That way, you can just pack the other clothes in your Virtual Closet and be on your way. And remember, you’ll need coats for cold climates and warm-weather clothes for hot ones.”There’s no limit on the number of items you can store. While the average closet size is about 100 items for men and 200 items for women, according to Graziani, the company recently had a couple send in 750. “They plan to travel around the world for two years and have us send suitcases to every new city they visit,” Rinehart says. You can add clothing, toiletries and other items to your DUFL Virtual Closet at any time. Just log into the app and choose Add Items, then ship your new additions to the DUFL warehouse from your home. You can even have new purchases shipped directly from your favorite retailers to DUFL, or place new items in your DUFL suitcase before scheduling a pickup.
- Use DUFL for Your Business Materials as Well
Do you regularly attend trade shows or make sales calls? If so, DUFL can store and ship your trade show banners, booths, tools, samples and marketing collateral thorough their new DUFL Business service. “It’s similar to our sports concept, but is for the tools of your trade,” Graziani explains. Learn more about this recently added benefit at dufl.com/business.