Yes, Hotels Can Mail You The Items You Left Behind. Here's How

If you've ever forgotten a personal item somewhere — not even just at a hotel — you know the sinking feeling you get in your stomach when you finally realize it, especially if the item was expensive or sentimental. It's easy to begin spiraling and despair for your lost item, coming to terms with the reality that you may never see it again. However, contrary to what many may believe, these items are not, in fact, lost to the hotel's lost and found abyss.

With a few simple steps, you can easily get in contact with the hotel and have them collect your lost items and even ship them for you on your behalf. But what happens when you reach out to them, how do you make the process go a bit more smoothly, and what can you do to prevent losing items in the first place? Keep on reading.

Stop losing your stuff in the first place

Okay, this is way easier said than done. We know! No matter how near and dear to our hearts some of our possessions can be, sometimes we simply forget things. It happens to the best of us. So what are some steps you can take to never forget your stuff again or at least decrease the chances of it happening?

You should always make it a habit always to do a final double-check of the entire hotel room before you leave. If you're traveling with a partner or friends, make sure they do the same. After all, two pairs of eyes are better than one. Even if you're confident that you never put anything in a drawer or even hung anything in the closets, always double-check. You never know what you might have done in a jet-lag-induced stupor. Be sure to also check under the bed sheets and pillows for socks and clothes and shake out your towels in case you rolled up a swimsuit in one of them.

Secondly, If you're prone to forgetting things but very organized (or at least committed to never losing your stuff again), you might want to create an inventory of the items you packed. You can check this list as you're packing your suitcase and make sure you don't leave anything behind.

What to do if you do leave something behind

First, don't panic. Most hotels have protocols in place in case items are left behind. Valuable items are kept in a secure area. If it's a small inexpensive item (like a charger, toiletries, or clothing), it's placed in a lost and found bin. As soon as you realize your mistake, call up the hotel, don't email them. They will probably ask you to describe the item to them and they will check for it in their lost and found area. If they don't find it, but you're pretty certain you know where you left it (somewhere housekeeping might have missed) ask if they can check the room.

If they still can't find it, you might be out of luck but if it's a very sentimental item, you might call back in a few days and ask if it turned up. If they do find it, many hotels will ship it back to you using a service called "I Left My Stuff" which handles everything from lost and found item management to shipping the item back to its rightful owner. However, you'll be on the hook for the shipping costs. Redditors from r/talesfromthefrontdesk, a subreddit for stories from hospitality workers, call this the "stupid tax". Yup, you have to pay for your own mistakes! This does mean shipping something from overseas can be a bit pricey, especially if it's a heavy item or something that will need to go through customs.