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Keeping track of your stuff while traveling

It may seem like common sense that one would not lose a laptop, phone, credit card or wallet while traveling internationally, but these happen to be the most common items people leave behind. Other top loss items include cameras, passports, keys, charging devices and sunglasses.

Hotel lost-and-founds are packed with charging cords, e-readers and yes, even shoes. Because we are out of our usual position and routine while traveling, and may be moving quickly, our customary rituals for keeping track of possessions don’t work. To avoid coming home after an international trip only to discover your house keys are somewhere in Spain, try these tips for wrangling your possessions.

Most common lost items and how not to lose them

Laptop: The best advice is to leave it at home. Most likely, it contains sensitive data that would be difficult or impossible to replace.

Cellphone: Restaurants and bars are the most common places where cellphones are lost. Avoid placing your phone on the table where it can be overlooked in the clutter when you leave. Keep it in an inside pocket to avoid theft.

Clothing and shoes: When you are all packed and ready to leave your room, make a final sweep. Check every drawer, look behind every door, and check under the bed and bedding.

Sunglasses: It’s normal to set down sunglasses to go for a swim or when coming into a restaurant. Instead, wear them on a strap around your neck.

Charger: Unplug the charger as soon as your device is charged and store it in your luggage. Check the outlets before you leave the room.

Camera: Keep it on your person whenever you are out and about, either on a strap or in your bag.

Cash and wallet: Before leaving home, clean your wallet of anything you won’t absolutely need on your trip. Have a separate record of credit card numbers in case of loss or theft. Take only the cash you need when you go out to sightsee and leave the rest in a safe.

Passport: Always keep your passport on your person and a photocopy in your luggage. If your passport is lost or stolen and you have a SafeTrip Travel Protection plan, call the 24-hour Emergency Response Center at the number on your member ID card for help in getting it replaced.

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