I write this from yet another hotel desk in yet another hotel. I check out tomorrow and so will begin a ritual, perfected over years of travel, to ensure I will leave nothing behind.
I pack lightly and regularly so know intimately the contents of my suitcase and can do a mental check that I have all my clothes and shoes (a very uncool list would work well for others). I pack these the night before, laying out the next day’s outfit. I also use the inevitable hotel pen and paper on my bedside to list anything that will need to be added to my handbag (toothpaste, makeup and EVERYTHING I’ve put in the safe).
Hotel safes are dark. Australian passports are dark. My phone and tablet cases are dark. Pretty much anything I put in a safe is a dark. And as safes are often placed beneath my line of sight, after pulling out what I think is everything, I have left things behind. Hence the list.
But sometimes things happen. You’ve set your alarm for PM not AM, you forgot to book a wake up call, your tour was late coming back, or you’re just so cocky that you THINK you’ve packed everything and you simply walk out the door. And so you get to the front of the queue to check-in to your flight only to realise that while you’ve got the new pair of shoes you picked up for a bargain at an outlet mall in New Jersey, your passport is locked up in the safe back at the hotel.
This is the tip, picked up from Ty Opoku Adjei, a member of British Airways cabin crew, that has changed my packing ritual forever.
“My top tip is to keep one of your shoes you plan to wear on your journey home in the safe,” she said, as reported by New Zealand’s Stuff.
"If you do this, you'll never leave the hotel room without checking the safe ever again... as long as you don't forget where you put your shoe, of course!"
So if you ever see me hobbling around an airport wearing only one shoe, you’ll know I’ve left my passport (and shoe) behind!
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