I’ve been traveling for almost 3 years now. To be honest, I’m a bit tired of it (I’m ready to get a base for a bit to grow IMPOSSIBLE), but I have to admit, after traveling so much – I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
Part of it comes down to streamlining the process for myself and having some rules set in place for traveling.
Here’s a couple of my golden rules for traveling:
- Pack half the stuff, bring twice the money.
- Noise-cancelling headphones are a life saver.
- Never check a bag.
As my travels have varied from climate to climate and from casual to professional settings, I found myself starting to wonder how to maintain rule #3.
How do I keep packing light, while nomad-ing around the world in different climates, cultures and settings?
Now, there are a couple ways I’ve seen people do this:
- Find a friend that lets you store an outfit or two at their place.
- If you have a regular hotel you use, ask the hotel to store a trunk of gear for you when you arrive (Tim Ferriss outlined this here).
Neither are ideal in my opinion. #1 seems annoying and #2 requires you going to the same place and staying at the same hotel multiple times to ask them for a favor of that magnitude.
For me, my travel has been varied. I visit lots of places, lots of times and often need different things. A race in the Arctic, to a conference in Thailand to a speaking engagement in North Carolina. All different types of gear, different situations and different temperatures.
I end up needing all different types of apparel and gear in each place and it just doesn’t work. If someone does end up checking baggage while traveling with me, I usually end up silently judging them at the baggage carousel.
Case in point: This is me silently judging my friend James on a recent trip through Amsterdam.
My recent strategy, especially when it comes to professional settings is something like this:
- Fly and pack my bags like normal.
- Get to destination city.
- Go to store and buy an outfit there.
- Do the engagement.
- Travel home and repeat.
You can probably already guess the problems repeating this more than a couple times. Not only does it get expensive, but I end up having multiple outfits in multiple spots around the US. Oh, and I don’t have access to any of them. So then, I just end up buying a new one at the next location and having duplicates around the world. Not ideal and really not sustainable at all.
So, I was surprised when I was in Tulum earlier this year, and a traveler mentioned DUFL. I looked it up and it’s a life saver.
It’s basically a virtual closet that follows you around the world.
The quick run-down is that DUFL simultaneously lets me ship my apparel, clothes or whatever else I have to them and store it in their warehouse. There, they clean, dry clean and iron the clothes and digitally photograph it all. Then, when I have a trip coming up, I can order the bag to my destination and it’s waiting for me at my hotel.
When the trip is done, I pack the bag, leave it at the hotel front desk and tell DUFL to pick it up via the app and keep traveling on my own like normal.
Personally, I’m super excited about this. As I expand my speaking engagements and do more travel for conferences and video shoots (here’s a preview on instagram) – this solved a real problem for me and lets me stay minimal and fast while traveling while also upgrading my options while I travel.
I just started this, but you can see an example of my closet from latest outfit at the Pencils of Promise Gala I was at in NYC. I plan to ship a bunch more stuff to my “locker” when I’m back in Southern California.
It’s $9/month plus $99/trip so basically the cost of one-way checked baggage but with anywhere access, plus the laundry, storage and shipping done for you.
My one wish list is that they’d add more international locations. They have some European + Asian hubs, but I’d love to have more possibilities around the world.
If you want to try it out – you can use the code “WBT-QVX” to try your first trip for free.
Have you used DUFL? If so, what do you think?