Diary of a Travel Loser (7 Tricks for Not Losing Your Stuff)

Hi, my name is Abby Sugrue and I’m a loser. I lose shit. A lot. As Billie Joe Armstrong said, “There’s nothing wrong with being a loser, it just depends on how good you are at it.” Well, I’ve gotten very good.

In five months on the road, here is the list of items I’ve lost:

  • A microfiber pocket towel
  • Adapter
  • Tablet charger
  • Book (only 20 pages from the end!)
  • Ray Ban Sunglasses
  • Victoria’s Secret black bra (it was like wearing a cloud…)
  • THREE pairs of athletic socks
  • Foot insoles from my sneaks
  • Countless hair elastics, mini shampoo bottles, contact cases…

The latest was my very favorite blue, super warm, make-my-hair-look-great ski hat pictured here. I carelessly left it in the back of a taxi. Goodbye my friend, I hope your new owner loves you as much as I do.

I realize it’s not like losing the Holy Grail or Hemingway’s early fiction but this latest loss forced me to face facts. I’ve developed a losing habit that makes Pete Doherty’s drug addiction look like child’s play. Whether I’m scattered, negligent, unconcerned with material things or suffering from a genetic losing disorder, I’m determined not to forget one more thing on this trip. Here are tips and tricks for remembering!

Give yourself time to pack

Running late for a bus or massively overstaying your hostel welcome is the perfect time to lose stuff. Frantically shoving things into your bag usually means showing up at the bus station with a bottle of tequila and no passport.

Designate a place for everything

Shoes at the bottom of the bag, towel in the side pocket, charger and phone at the top. Remember everything’s proper place and be vigilant about putting stuff there. Not only will it help you find things more easily, you’re less likely to leave it behind if you know exactly where it’s supposed to be.

Put things back as soon as you’re done with them

Maaaaybe you’ll do it later or maybe you’ll end up dropping $60 bucks on a new adapter.

Be neat

Usually when I arrive at a hostel, even if it’s just for one night, it looks like my pack threw up its contents all over the floor. Hoping your bag will miraculously produce a new top or digging through everything you own to locate your belt (see #2) happens but you’re bound to lose something in the storm. Clean up!

Termo Vision

Channel your inner Terminator and scan the room before departing. Check the shower, under the bed, between the sheets, night stand drawers and the super-secret safe place you put that thing so wouldn’t forget it.

Photo Cred: Wired.com

Final Checklist

Passport? Check. Wallet? Check. Charger? Check. Phone? Check, check.

Listen to your inner nag

You know that quiet, little voice that says: Don’t put your phone on the cab seat, dummy… or Oh, just put your wallet in your purse right now… or Hang up your keys, hang up your keys… Listen.



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