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We all get guests who leave the odd sock or some half-used toiletries behind. But what about those guests who leave something truly dreadful? And are those dreadful things outweighed by the occasional items left behind that turn out to be better than anything you’ve ever had before?
(And before someone accuses me of not trying to return things to guests, I do send items back to guests if they are from the UK, and they agree to cover the return postage. )
So here are my best and worst items left behind by a guest.
Worst, a very soiled pair of mens underpants stuffed down behind the sofa cushions. (I had to remove and wash the sofa covers as this was so disgusting!)
Best, a really fancy folding men’s umbrella left by a Japanese guest. We get strong winds here in North West England, and this Japanese umbrella has proven to be completely indestructible (unlike numerous umbrellas we have paid good money for, only to be disappointed.)
Anyone else like to share their best and worst items left by guests?
I don’t get much left. One guy left a pair of sneakers that a different guest (who I thought had left them) informed me were super expensive designer shoes. Think hundreds of dollars. The guy hadn’t even noticed! Sadly, I tracked him down and sent them to him, but he never reimbursed me for the shipping.
A very heavy and, according to the young guest, quite valuable gold necklace/amulet. I have reminded her twice to arrange a prepaid way to ship it to her but - almost a year later - it’s still in my drawer.
I had to ship a very sexy lingerie set to Australia as, “I wear them every Anniversary” I didn’t want to jinx the marriage
There was a guest post somewhere about how she and her friends had a break-in, with valuables stolen, not once, but twice, in a listing. The booking was in a touristy beach location, in a foreign country, which are areas most seasoned travelers are aware can be targets for thieves and are on guard against. You’d think they would have found a way to secure their stuff after the first break-in, or looked for another more secure place to stay, but no, they continued to leave their valuables in the room while they went to the beach (it was a group- they could easily have taken that stuff with them to the beach and took turns watching it while they alternated going in the water) and got ripped off again.
The guest said among what had been stolen was her “priceless gold necklace”. Honestly, why would anyone take an irreplaceable priceless gold necklace on a beach vacation?
I would say 99% of our guests don’t leave much of anything behind. But the few that do, items have ranged from a pair of shoes, a cocktail dress, a sex toy (very interesting…) to a loaded pistol tucked under the pillow. That last one was the only thing I’ve walked away from, called the guests back and said they had to return and retrieve it. The big Bowie knife on the bed made we wonder, but it has turned out to be a useful gift. They become gifts or trash if, after repeated requests, we don’t get a response.
for some reason, and it’s not widely known, the Japanese are obssessed with umbrellas, and have so many excellent options. on our last trip there we bought 3 and brought them home with us!
I’ve not had anything exciting left behind, water bottle, hair brush, toothpaste… best things are wine, beer and ice creams. Oh and when we have the wedding prep groups through they always overcater and leave us their leftovers.
One guest had flowers delivered for his wife’s bday and when they left they didn’t take them. We left them in the cottage for a week and then I kept 2 of the flowers (australian grevillea type thing, they dry well) and put them into single vases and they lasted for about 4 months as cute bedside table flowers. oh and we scored the big vase they were delivered in.
"Hi, XX, thank you for booking with us, I hope you had an enjoyable stay. We did find a personal item left behind, which we would be happy to mail back to you if you send us the $ for postage.
If you don’t want it back, could you maybe explain to me in which way it is meant to be used- I’m a bit “square” when it comes to these gadgets, but wouldn’t be opposed to trying it out after sterilizing it, if I was clear on where to insert it."
I routinely take household items through Customs. Once, I was taking LED candles. The Customs agent asked me what it was for. I smiled, and said “The bedroom. This is the first vacation my DH and I have had without a kid for 18 years!” (I was 58 and my DH 64). He grinned, put it back in, closed the luggage, then yelled out to me as I was leaving “Have fun without the kids!”