Have you ever lost something while on a trip? You were likely mad at yourself for being careless and resolved to be more careful in the future.
Most of the posts at McCool Travel are about money-saving travel tips and having fun–or reducing stress, if you prefer. For something different today, this post includes some tips to help travelers not forget items.
On my road trip last week, I stayed in four different hotel rooms. Those four rooms had different configurations and quirks. It is a challenge adapting to a different environment each day and it is easy to forget things. I did forget one item (a pillow).
One room had heavy room-darkening drapes covering the A/C unit. One of my shoes was perfect for holding the drapes in place but I worried about forgetting my shoe when I left. I had two pairs of shoes and could imagine being 100 miles away before figuring out that I forgot the one on the A/C.
I put my car keys on top of the shoe holding the drapes. I usually put the car keys–or the hotel room key–next to, under, or on top of things I do not want to forget.
- TIP: place required items–like car or hotel keys–next to things you do not want to lose.
A few years ago, a hotel employee told me that the most commonly left behind items are chargers. I imagine it is still true today.
- TIP: after charging your laptop, phone, or other device, unplug your charger and put it away (in your backpack or other bag).
If I have to depart early in the morning, I try to pack everything the night before. The morning of departure is hectic, with a dream-busting alarm followed by a mad rush. It is very easy to forget items.
- TIP: pack the night before early morning departures.
Still, it is difficult to pack everything in advance. For instance, the alarm is usually from my iPhone. As a precaution, I might leave a strategic note to remind me not to forget items. In this case, I will write a note saying, “remember iPhone” and put it on the doorknob. I have also sent myself email and text messages.
- TIP: send or write yourself a message to remember items.
These are just a few tips that I hope will help at least one person NOT lose an item in the future. Some items I have forgotten or lost include pillows, Flip camera, and cassettes and CDs (in rental cars).
One time we forgot a large bag with souvenirs from Southern California. Later that day, after flying home, I called the hotel to see if they found it. I paid to have the stuff shipped to me.
- TIP: track down lost items as soon as you can.
- TIP: pay to have forgotten items shipped to you.
Have you ever lost an item on a trip? Did you get it back? Any other suggestions to not forget items in the future?
Charles McCool is an independent consumer travel advocate.
© 2011, Charles McCool