It is summer and the vacations are underway. What a welcome change from 2020. It is so great to be able to travel again. Of course, packing up is never easy. Before the vacation, we have to figure out what to take, and when the trip is over, we have to gather our belongings and avoid leaving anything behind. If you are taking a trip this year, be aware that there are some common items which people tend to leave behind in hotels, rentals, and host homes. To ensure a smooth trip, remember to check for these five items and make sure to bring them home.
5 Items to Remember When Returning From Vacation
Chargers are the #1 item left behind in hotels, Airbnbs, VRBOs, and the like. These are often plugged into outlets in less-than-visible locations, and it is easy to walk out without them. When grabbing your electronic device (shaver, phone, computer), ask yourself out loud, “Have I packed the charger for this?”
Whether they are sunglasses, prescription glasses, or readers, these are a common “left behind” item. Replacing them isn’t always easy, so be sure you have them. One trick is to keep the case for the glasses out in a prominent location near your suitcase or bag. This will help you remember to get the glasses that belong inside.
You may not want to bring home the half-used bottle of shampoo, but you might be sad to realize that you left a nice razor, costly cosmetic, or expensive toothbrush in the bathroom. We often keep toiletries out of our luggage until the “last minute,” and then walk out without them. When you take your final shower or bath, remove items that you wish to take home and place them on the counter. You are less likely to forget things that are in plain sight.
This is surprisingly common, and most typical for valuables left in a hotel safe. We put objects like jewelry, passports, and keys inside to keep them hidden and safe, and then we end up hiding them from ourselves. If you hide items in a safe (or elsewhere), make a note for yourself and put the note somewhere that will catch your eye when packing up.
This may seem unlikely, but believe it or not, we often leave clothing behind. Usually, it is the clothing that has been placed somewhere other than a dresser drawer. Top spots include the back of a door (e.g., a robe on a hook), the closet (e.g., a suit jacket hanging for last minute retrieval), and on the floor (e.g., dirty socks dropped in the corner). Before you leave a rental, check these locations to be sure you have all your clothing in your luggage.
If you do leave something behind on a trip, your best course of action is to contact the hotel or landlord as soon as possible. If you are lucky enough to realize your mistake before leaving town, try and go back to get it. Hotels will have a “lost and found,” but you may have a hard time getting the establishment to mail something to you. Airbnb and other short-term rental suppliers are rather hit and miss. Some will go the extra mile to find and mail items to renters in the hopes of improving their rating, but many will not. There is generally no stipulation in most rental agreements requiring landlords to return forgotten items. If the item is precious and has been found, always offer to pay the shipping to increase the odds of getting it back.
One final note: when researching this post, I discovered that many people leave items behind intentionally, such as food or beverages in the refrigerator or small utensils like a corkscrew in the kitchen drawer. Periodically we will purchase something because we need it on vacation, with no desire to bring it back home. Generally speaking, if you decide to leave something behind with the intent that it can be used by someone else, it is thoughtful to attach a note to this effect. This avoids confusion and increases the odds that the items will be kept and put to good use.
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Have you ever left an item behind on vacation?