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How to Stop Leaving Your Things in Hotel Rooms

I have a confession to make.

My name is Jon and I’m addicted to leaving my things in hotel rooms. I do have good news though – I haven’t done it in over a month now and my sponsor (Gia) thinks I have a great chance of finally overcoming this problem. I’ve left phone chargers, phones, SD cards and portable hard drives behind to fend for themselves. I left almost all of my underwear in a hotel room in Greece. I left my favourite t-shirt in a guesthouse room in Laos. I had a problem, but I found the 10 step progamme that has served alcoholics so well over the years. I made amends to the people I’ve wronged (including the guy that owned that hotel in Greece who might have thought it was all some kind of protest), put my faith in a higher power and am now determined to help all of god’s children to stop leaving their things in hotel rooms.

Here is a list of tips to help you recover from this disease.

Be messy

It’s much easier to notice clothes strewn across the floor than in neat piles in the corner of the room. Don’t be too organised with your belongings – try and avoid putting your clothes in the wardrobe as this is how I lost my favourite t-shirt. I’d say the best place to put anything you think you might forget is right next to the door – if you have to step over it on your way out then you probably won’t forget it.

Check the walls

Wall sockets are popular places for your things to hide so make sure you check them all before you leave.  Another place I’ve had demons with before is the USB outlet on hotel TVs. Apart from the fact that hotel TVs almost never manage to play my movies, I’ve left my portable hard drive in that spot 3 times. Everything turned out OK 2 of the those times, but the 500 gb hard drive I called “Blue” now lives with another family in Indonesia – I hope he misses me as much as I miss him (and all of the TV shows and movies that were on him).

Get a room with no furniture

It’s really hard to leave anything in room with no furniture – there just isn’t anywhere for your things to hide. Obviously you could still leave something under the bed so the best idea is to get a room without a bed. A mattress on the floor is basically the same as a bed anyway and that room is probably going to be pretty cheap, so not only are you saving your things but you’re saving your money!

Don’t pack while drunk or tired

Not having complete control over your mind is a surefire way to forget something while packing. We’ve all had to get up at 4am for an early flight before…everything is dark and you’re basically still asleep – it’s almost a miracle if you don’t leave something behind.  If you’re faced with this situation it’s much safer to pack the night before; you’ll also be able to sleep in for that little bit longer.

I know it may seem like these tips aren’t enough, that there’s no escaping the nightmares of all those lost items. It does get easier. I still think about Blue, maybe I always will, but I now know that the chances of losing another portable hard drive are pretty slim. I found the light, and if you follow these tips then just maybe you will too.

What have you left behind in hotel rooms? Do you have any tips on how to avoid it? Let me know!

 

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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12 Comments

  1. April 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm — Reply

    Enjoyed the tips, since I suffer from the same malady. I have a system that works fairly well, where I start in one corner and “clear” areas while packing to leave. Once an area has been “cleared” you don’t have to go back and look there any more. The key is to be sure an area is really empty of all your things before you move on. Haven’t brushed your teeth? Bathroom can’t be cleared. No exceptions. Worst thing I’ve left behind was my Kindle…but believe it or not the hotel found it and sent it on to my next hotel. Fortunately, I was staying at the same brand. I paid the FedEx, of course, and was more than happy to do so. Thanks Marriott! I’ve also gone back and retrieved items weeks later after calling, locating, and asking a guest house to hold something I’d left.

    • April 19, 2015 at 5:38 am — Reply

      Haha, sounds like a good system. I left my phone in the Sofitel recently and they emailed me about it before I even realised it – pretty good service!

  2. April 21, 2015 at 8:01 am — Reply

    My favorite almost-new bright red Converse! And when I went back to ask about them the next day, the hotel denied ever seeing them. I generally don’t unpack, and just keep putting everything back in or near my suitcase. But I still leave stuff behind!

    • April 22, 2015 at 10:13 am — Reply

      That’s annoying! I think it’s unavoidable, I’m on a good run at the moment though so I hope I can keep it up.

  3. April 22, 2015 at 9:24 am — Reply

    I am the type of person that leaves things EVERYWHERE! I am constantly checking to make sure I have everything everywhere that I go – hotels, friends homes, the bus, you name it. Great tips 😀

    • April 22, 2015 at 10:15 am — Reply

      Thanks Chanel, we definitely have that in common! A month or 2 ago I was drying some clothes in my sister’s dryer just before a flight and obviously forgot all about them – really annoying.

  4. May 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    My name is Lisa and I too am addicted to leaving things behind. Worst of all was leaving behind an expensive body wash I had barely used and only used in small doses. Is have drank the stuff if I knew I was just going to leave it behind for someone else to have. I also left my glasses somewhere so I’ve kissed goodbye to seeing until I get back to the UK. But yea, the body wash was the worst

    • May 3, 2015 at 10:23 am — Reply

      Haha yip it sounds like you have a problem, there is hope though!

  5. November 29, 2017 at 11:29 am — Reply

    I never thought that being messy is a good idea to not forget things in the hotel room. My friends and I are planning to go on a vacation for the holidays. My mom suggested staying in hotel rooms to be safe and shared this article with us. It says that we should not pack our things while tired or drunk because we’ll surely leave some things behind.

    • December 21, 2017 at 6:40 am — Reply

      Being messy is great — definitely try it!

  6. May 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm — Reply

    Oh! I’ve left my portable hard drive in that spot 3 times.

    • May 15, 2019 at 7:40 am — Reply

      It’s easy to do — so annoying too!

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