How many times have you forgotten something in a hotel? Many, considering I’ve traveled to all 50 states of the US as an adult on road trips. My favorite comb, which I bought at Six Flags Over Georgia, was the first thing I left behind at a condo resort in Panama City Beach.
The comb was cute and had a curvy handle and a printed handle. I was in fourth grade. Since I stopped combing my hair and began writing full-time, my combs have been replaced with lost cords and cables. It happens, you know. Here’s what I learned about dealing with lost and found hotel guests – yes, it is a thing!
Rules for Hotel Liability & Traveler Protection
When you arrive at a hotel or motel, you should first read the information on the bill and the leaflet in your room. It will give you all the details about the hotel.
The manual or booklet, for example, will include contact information, the address, and what to do if an item is lost. The info can be read while you are still in the room.
You should be prepared for any emergency while you still have time. You will only be able to find the information you need if you leave your hotel room while you travel to the airport. You will be able to respond to any crisis that may arise if you need to know who to contact or where to go if items are lost at the hotel.
Hotels have a Lost and Found Section.
A hotel will usually state that they have a lost and found section to manage items left by guests. Similar to my son’s elementary school, many gloves and hats were left behind every day after school, and the lost and found was full quite often! It is likely the case in hotels.
The Washington Post confirms the hotel’s lost and found section. It states that valuables left behind at large hotels or chain properties are usually logged into a lost and found database. More specifically, Marriott International spokesperson John Wolf said that if employees or guests discover an item, it is “placed or secured in a safe or secure place.”
Guests are asked for their identification and description of the property. The guest’s information is added to the log when an item is claimed.” It is essential, considering that high-value items are those we want to contact and have returned to us when lost.
Phone chargers, items in the fridge and in-room safe, socks and pillows, as well as toiletries and combs, get lost most often in hotel rooms. Over the years, I have left in my hotel rooms full bottles of shampoo and conditioner, combs, and an iPhone charger. It happens!
Do You Need to Ask Hotels For Forgotten Items?
You can still get the item back, even if it is expensive. To ensure that you receive it before, you will need to know all details about the item. It would be unjust to contact a hotel and have the item not returned because you need to know the name or color of the phone.
When staying at a hotel, pay attention to what you have packed. You can stop packing your bags and take a photo.
The items hotels keep are of no value. Please call the hotel immediately if you have forgotten clothing or a stuffed animal for your child. You can return even the most damaged items, saving time and money.
Take inventory of your luggage.
You can pack more efficiently at home and in the hotel by having a written or typed list of all your items. This list can confirm the items in your hotel room when you pack.
This information is essential if you’re a business professional who travels for work. A voice-dictated list can be created on your phone using the notes app. It is beneficial if you are a high-tech note taker rather than a traditional pencil, paper, and pen note taker.
For example, if you’re a nurse traveling with medical samples, you may have done an inventory to ensure compliance. YouTubers and bloggers who have thousands of dollars worth of gear and equipment may consider something other than a professional inventory.
Nurses must keep track of their inventory for work so that a freelancer can do this job.
Again, checklist, checklist, checklist! You can pull out your inventory and present it to the hotel clerk if you lose an item. You can then confirm your claim, assure them of your story, and provide additional documentation about the missing item.
What to do if you forget items?
Be quick if you think you’ve left your laptop cord or eyeglasses at home. It is best to call the front desk immediately after you realize you have forgotten something. Contact them—only email, hoping that corporate will take care of it. The chances are that the housekeeper may have yet to see the item after you leave the hotel room.
You may not be able to tell them, but they will. You have the best chance to get it back if you call the hotel as soon as possible.
Are Hotel Liability and Lost Belongings an Issue?
It is a different matter if you’re concerned about an item taken by the housekeeper or any guest staying at the hotel. It is where you will be discussing legal and liability issues regarding whether or not the hotel is responsible.
You must prove that the hotel was negligent and file a lawsuit against it. You should not expect to be able to do this in just a few hours.
Legal Mix gives more information on the innkeeper’s rule, joint hotel liability issues, and how to win a lawsuit against hotels when they are liable. Some of the most common hotel liability issues include accidental fires or natural disasters that are unpredictable and not preventable.
You might lose your luggage if you have to leave it with an attendant. You could also use the hotel for negligence.