I often wonder if my travel misplacements would ever have warranted its own category on $25,000 Pyramid. There are six slots on the board, so I'll simply list some items before I rummage through the lost and found.
6. The book I'm reading
Very frustrating. I fall asleep on a flight and slide it in the seat back in front of me, then forget it when we deplane. Hopefully it's not a hardcover. Although it lightens the load in the backpack, that's real money wasted on a replacement.
The legal pad is tougher to deal with since it's got all my homework. So I label the front with my name and number. But I'm not quite bold enough to leave it with the smiling brunette flight attendant.
5. Shaving Kit
Once in a while a game ends late, I go out for some drinks, and manage to grab 2-4 hours sleep before a flight home. Sometimes I just collect the room and throw it in the suitcase, but forget what's on the bathroom sink.
4. My Hat
I have to wear a hat if I'm spending significant time outdoors to protect my most valuable asset from the elements. But once I get inside a plane, car, hotel room, or meeting, I forget about it. All my baseball caps are swag, so they're a dime a dozen. But my true haberdashery, the essential piece to my my producer uniform is always tough to swallow.
Sunglasses are along the same lines. I try and keep mine in a case or use the straps so they stay around your neck.
3. Cell Phone Charger
This is, by a mile, the most common item.
Here's a tip. Every hotel you check into, tell them you lost your charger. They will go into the back office and come out with a huge moving box full of them. Find your match and take your pick.
2. The Jacket
For years I've been traveling from Savannah to some Big 12 wintry outpost. But late October is the worst. It will still be high 70s at home but 30s on the road. Once you take off a jacket and have to carry it, invariably you will lose it.
In the last 5 years I've had two top-notch network jackets that are lightweight yet warm. One I left in the Ford Field press box in Detroit, one somewhere in the Syracuse airport. These are irreplaceable and I spent hours of my life trying to retrieve them to no avail.
1. Electronic Accessories
Thankfully, I have never left behind my Garmin GPS. I have a routine for that, like I do when I leave the house, checking thermostats and alarms.
But last week I changed rental cars in Houston and I left my leather pouch full of chargers, USBs, and ear buds in the previous car. The killer was the MacBook power pack. By the time I replaced everything (or at least everything I needed) it was over $100.
That's alright, I got Best Buy on retainer.
Can I expense any of these items? Not directly, it's the cost of doing business in my chosen profession.