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Risk Prevention Idea

After some of the discussion on the forum, I have been thinking about how to reduce the risk of losing something while traveling since I will be moving locations very often in this upcoming trip. I came up with an acronym this morning for my most critical items that I can say out loud, plus point at all four as they go into their packed location or touch my stomach to confirm. Have I PACT? (“packed”):

P-Phone
A-”Attractive” RS Money Belt (or Assets, if you don’t wear a money belt)
C-Chargers/adapters
T-Toiletry kit w/ prescription meds

Posted by
14090 posts

I love this Jean!

I just wrote on our meet-up thread that I start a "sweep" in the bathroom, then from the far side of the hotel room to the door to make sure I've got everything. I never use the hotel safe as I'm sure I would forget items in there. I also gather things the night before and allow myself plenty of time on departure day to get things together. Now as I do my sweep, I can mutter PACT, PACT, PACT, lolol!!

Posted by
7364 posts

Pam, I haven’t left anything behind on previous trips, except somewhere I left my fleece jacket during the RS GAS tour in 2003.

Make sure your hotel door is closed when you’re muttering - LOL!

Posted by
6 posts

Id add: dont use drawers, but search them anyway. Look under bed. Look everywhere twice on the way out. Dont outsmart yourself. Ie putting passport in pants pocket hanging in closet then forgetting where you put it.

Posted by
4910 posts

I do best if I get a routine for checking my important stuff, and never changing it. I count my vital items, and take an inventory ( passport neck case, phone, wallet, glasses, backpack, suitcase.) When leaving a hotel room, many times I have found stuff left behind by others! Looking under the bed can be both scary and interesting.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
1419 posts

Before I carried a smart phone and wasn't even using my phone as an alarm clock I did a 12 day domestic bus trip w my mom that I think used 9 hotels.

Every night I threaded my phone charger thru my birkenstocks before plugging it in. I knew I'd not leave the room barefoot, so had no problem keeping track of phone and charger . Seems like I parked my purse next to this conglomeration

Posted by
27261 posts

When I have yogurt or cheese I need to remember to retrieve from the mini-fridge, I tilt my shoes against the fridge door.

I'm still mad about the phone charger I left on the bed in a Romanian B&B as I rushed to join my little tour group. Putting a white charger down on a white sheet--that was a dumb thing to do. I need to put a bit of contrasting duct tape on all my cords so they are more visible no matter what surface they're on.

Posted by
1491 posts

It is so easy to get flustered and distracted while traveling. The thing that works best for me is to habituate my behaviors that have to do with my belongings during travel. Everything has a place that it belongs. This is most important for my cross body bag. My phone goes here, my passport is here, my foreign cash goes here, my back-up USD goes here, my chapstick goes here, my pen is here. Pouch A has these things, Pouch B has these things. Then similar for my carry-on travel backpack. This packing cube always has these things, this pouch has these things, this organizational pocket has these things.

Even if I have to make the person behind me at a counter wait an extra 20 seconds, everything goes back into its place, no exceptions. My crossbody bag goes on before I leave my hotel room and doesn't come off until I am back in my hotel room. For no reason, except for a security check, does that bag come off. My money pouches are secured to the bag by clips. I don't have to think about what to do, it has become automatic.

The only vulnerable piece to this puzzle is my phone as i use it so often. So instead of saying PACT, I am chanting phone...phone....phone. But I really like your idea.

Posted by
7364 posts

Vandrabrud, I agree. Everything is repetitive, and it all goes back to the same location every time. That helps when switching cities and also very much when first arriving with jet lag.

Posted by
7364 posts

Acraven, I applied thin fluorescent striped duct tape to my chargers back when I traveled sometimes for work. I brought a small down pillow on those trips and realized quickly to wrap it in a plaid pillowcase instead of white!

Posted by
1401 posts

This is more possible to do in apartments than in a hotel room, but I remove all of the decorative or informative clutter from any horizontal surface I am putting my own stuff on --- that way I can do a clean sweep. I put nothing into drawers, even when I am staying for a week.

Posted by
7364 posts

Nancy8, those are good ideas. Especially the stuff on end tables or by the bed.

Posted by
7364 posts

Pat, would I sleep better if I checked under the bed as I arrived or when I’m leaving to go to the next location? LOL!

Posted by
3171 posts

I do most of these things too.
I never use a hotel wall safe, or put things in drawers either in hotels or rental apartments. (Ick!)
All that decorative stuff in a room is what gets put in the drawers!
Clean surfaces for me too.
I repack my day bag every night before sleep, and hang it near the exit door with my shoes right there too.
My moneybelt is put into it, ready to wear next day.
That way if I have to get out in an emergency , everything I need is there to be grabbed on the way out to safety.
As others do, everything goes back in the same compartments with each reorganization.
Personal alarm/flashlight on the bedside table overnight.

I’m leery of looking under beds.
I went to a wedding once and stayed in a sort of pub/hotel in a small town here at home.
Under the bed was an old pizza in its box and two empty beer bottles.
Ick, indeed!

@SJ,
Seriously - the prior occupants should have, at least, left some beer in the bottles to go with the under bed pizza! Geez!

Posted by
4910 posts

Jean,
Little did you predict the humorous bend that this thread has taken! ( winking emoji!)

Posted by
206 posts

Brilliant thread, great ideas! I love the simplicity of “PACT” and I will probably be chanting “phone, phone, phone.”

However…..even though I can get up early, I think better later in the day. So I bring a laminated, printed list to help my fuzzy “morning” brain.

I use a travel tray for my nightstand, wherever we stay. The list lives in the travel tray. My eyeglasses stay in the travel tray, so I can’t forget it. The list reminds me to check places like the back of doors, top of the sink, under the bed (no pizzas so far, glad to say). My list has items like: charging cord, adapter, wallet, phone, etc., but also has reminders such as: take vitamins, bring today’s guidebook pages, refill water bottle, etc.

That list has saved me so many times. I started using the list on Rick Steves tours because we change hotels every few days, it’s easy to forget things, and we are sometimes pressed for time to meet our tour group. Also, our main bags go in deep storage in the bus, so anything I need from there has to be retrieved while still in our hotel room.

Posted by
7364 posts

SJ, my husband teases me for having a nose that can smell out anything. My detective bloodhound nose would have honed in on pizza & stale beer as soon as I walked in the door - LOL!

Posted by
7364 posts

Pastelholic, I like the idea of a travel tray. I was considering the Tom Bihn one. It’s lightweight for me - just not sure I like that it’s cylindrical in my backpack afterwards. Which one do you use? Currently I’ve been using my mesh zipper pouch where I keep my charging cords and just placing my earrings and watch in it at night.

I hesitate to state the number because people will think I am crazy, but I have 17 different B&B’s/hotels during my next trip for 33 nights. They span 1-5 nights each. The positive is that I think I only have two early trains/buses to catch & several are quick rides.

Posted by
3171 posts

Now the question is: do we look under the beds at the beginning of a stay or at the end?!
Hmmm. ;)

Posted by
4707 posts

I use a clear plastic (rectangular) bedside tray, which started life as a Campari tomato tray from Costco. It's large enough to fit my phone, glasses, guidebook, charger, etc.

I added strips of my travel-standard, red duct tape for visibility. One of my mesh packing cubes tucks perfectly into it, so it takes no extra luggage space.

ETA: it weighs in at about 1.5 oz on my kitchen scale, with colorful duct tape.

Posted by
14090 posts

CWSocial...I assume the Campari tomato tray is a tray that had fresh tomatoes in it? I'll have to look at Costco when tomato season is in, lol. I've considered a tofu tray but it's not quite long enough for my glasses and phone. I'd started using my tech cube for beside my bed as I like one that opens flat and has a lighter color interior but that gets a little messy with cords sproinging out everywhere, lol.

Lots of good ideas! I do try to have a place for everything and everything in it's place. And yes, I try not to do as Mandrake mentions....and outsmart myself either when I am just leaving on a trip or if I am on the trip.

Posted by
7364 posts

This has been a helpful post - thank you! I haven’t had a problem leaving stuff behind, but Pastelholic, you had me thinking about how nice a travel tray would be! I had looked at the Tom Bihn ones in the past, but the price and whether the small was too small or the large too large always stopped me. I made both sizes out of paper & tape this morning to see which size will work better for me - LOL!

I will be switching lodging 17 times in the upcoming trip, so having bedside stuff - my extra set of reading glasses, a pen, etc. stored in it for the whole trip would be really nice! I like the design; the sides of the cylinder fold up & close with a drawstring in the morning.

Safety - always take your room key with you during an emergency in case you needed to return to your room because of blocked exits. That was the deciding factor between the sizes. The larger metal keychains in Europe can sit inside the large Tom Bihn travel cylindrical tray. So, I will have my phone, money belt, key, etc. all ready for the morning but also all ready to grab & close the drawstring & carry in case of an emergency. Win-win!

Posted by
7364 posts

Good idea, CWsocial!

Pam, I have a Costco blueberry tray - just finished lunch! It’s 7x7x1”. Or I have two Rubbermaid containers you can use. I can bring any of those to our meeting next month if you want one. Or, I have two snazzy prototype Tom Bihn travel trays made out of paper - ha!

9x5x2” rectangular cube
9.5x6x2” rounded ends divided rectangular cube

Posted by
4707 posts

Pam, exactly right, the plastic try held Campari tomatoes. Not the clamshell style that my Costco used to use, but a version that has a plastic film covering over a plastic tray base that roughly measures 7-1/4" x 11" x 2-1/8".

Microwave meals come in good bedside tray variations, and you might find one with compartments that you like. I tried that for a while, but prefer one with no compartments, to nest with my packing cubes.

Posted by
3214 posts

Well, the best I can come up with is BIP, and I don't mean chatting.

B =bedbag (I use Tom B's right now)
I =important stuff: PP, CC, money, which I would have left in my purse by the door the night before, with my shoes facing the direction of the fire exit.
P= Phone (if not already organized as it would have been in my bedbag).

My bedbag has everything I used before going to sleep (phone, earrings, glasses, etc.), what I used sleeping (eye mask), and was I need waking up (medicine, eye drops). If I grab this I'm good on so many levels...except there's no coffee in this wonder bag. LOL I just draw this bag closed and I'm done.

PS, I should not have looked at this page. My kindle is new and will not fit in my smaller bag. Now, I just have to order the larger one for when the kindle travels with me.

Posted by
7364 posts

Wray, I laughed out loud when I started to read your reply! I thought your ”B” was **bedbug”! Ugh! Yes, check for bed bugs - ick! Then I reread it and now realize you can sleep soundly; it’s a bag!

Later in the reply it does say bedbug….

I just ordered the larger Tom Bihn one this afternoon, and I think I will really find it handy. Mine will be orange because that’s my designated “fun color” and won’t get left behind since rooms rarely have anything orange in them. My kayak & Townie bike are both orange. : )

Thanks for the reminder about coffee. Instead of storing my instant coffee sticks in my tote, I will place a few in this bedside bag. I like to have my first cup when I wake up,

Posted by
3214 posts

haha. Jean. Thanks. That darn autocorrect really wants to talk about bedbugs. I've corrected that third one. I don't want to bring them with me!

My new one is orange as well...

Posted by
1419 posts

Hello Sun and SJ,

In hotel rooms I have found pizza under the bed, also half of a hamburger and fries in a drawer. On one occasion I looked under the bed and discovered that part of one leg was missing and three flattened beer cans had been stacked to make a little platform.
Still doesn't answer the question from SJ, should we look early or late?

@doric,
Sounds like the staff went out of their way to repair the bed. Drank 3 cans of beer, then flattened them and inserted under the broken bed leg. That took some time and creativity.

Posted by
14090 posts

Double haha to Sun-baked and kudos to the staff who "fixed" the bed! Good grief!

Jean, thanks for the offer, I will go have a wander around Costco during the week when it's not busy. My brother is the designated Costco shopper and he goes in with his list, never looks left or right and is out in short order. I'll do a quick recon on my own, hahaha!

Posted by
7364 posts

Pam, my new Tom Bihn large travel tray (circular design) arrived today. Wow, it’s exactly what I wanted - happy dance!!

Very lightweight, smashes down to almost nothing, will hold and secure some items easily for repacking, and I selected my favorite fun color - orange!

I suspect going into Costco on your own will end up costing much more than a Tom Bihn item - LOL!

Posted by
248 posts

Posted by doric8

Still doesn't answer the question from SJ, should we look early or
late?

I think "don't look at all" is the best option.

Posted by
14090 posts

"I suspect going into Costco on your own will end up costing much more than a Tom Bihn item - LOL!"

Hahaha....I will be strong! Will your new Tom Bihn bag be packed in your Carry on which you'll bring to the meet up?

BTW, I was at an Easter fun day at New Leaf Nursery today where there were also vendor kiosks. One lady had her own version of packing cubes. I did not bring my kitchen scale so I could not weigh them to decide if they were a possibility, hahahah! They were pretty pastel colors though!

Posted by
7364 posts

Pam, I will try to remember to bring the Tom Bihn. It will normally be in my Cotopaxi when I am traveling.

Posted by
8537 posts

A tip I read a while ago in my newsfeed is to put one of your shoes (the ones you'll wear when leaving) in the safe (or I guess a drawer would work too). So when you're be looking for it, be reminded to check the safe

Posted by
7364 posts

I don’t use the safes since they’re easy to use a default code to open - check out some of the videos on YouTube. But, I could imagine someone pulling a fire alarm, and I am hopping down the hall with only one shoe on because I can’t remember the number I entered for the safe! : O

Posted by
7364 posts

SJ, Doric8 & others,

You’re giving a whole new meaning to hotel listings that include breakfast! Guess we will have to start checking the lodging guest photos to see if they ate breakfast on the floor of their bedroom or if it was in the common breakfast area - LOL!

Posted by
1419 posts

Or, eating their breakfast sitting on the floor w the three beers in cans about to be "recycled "

I’m with Khansen. “Don’t look at all” is a good approach. I can remember two occasions where I saw things that I did not want to see. Now, I can’t forget them.

Wonder if I want to travel with Doric and SJ and let them book the rooms. Hmmmm.

I think Doric and I travel in the same economic track.

Posted by
3171 posts

Ha ha.
I could be the advance party going ahead to check under all the beds.
But would you want to know what I find?!!

Posted by
1419 posts

Sun, in 2 weeks I'm taking the greyhound from Kansas city to Oklahoma city. Get your back pack and come along, perhaps we will find Floor Pizza

Doric,
If I didn’t have to work - I absolutely would join you. (Someone has to help empty those cans of beer!)
Visit the art museum and the Muir building memorial if you have time. Fading history - the Muir building was struck by a truck bomb around 1995 - Timothy McVeigh and another guy. Act of domestic terrorism. It was a big deal at the time, for good reason. I was in Oklahoma City not long after the blast.

Posted by
14090 posts

"the Muir building was struck by a truck bomb around 1995"

This is pretty pedantic of me but it was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that McVeigh and Nichols bombed on April 19, 1995.