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Travel Tip: Keeping Up With Keys

I once traveled from city to city with work only to find out I was going to be returning home a bit sooner than expected. At the time I had a roommate so I figured, “ no big deal I’ll just uber home and have her let me in”. But unlike my original thoughts, it so happened she was going to be out of town that weekend and I had left my keys at home so wasn’t going to be able to get into our apartment.

What could have been a stress free process then became a process filled with stress as I scrambled to figure out what to do in the wake of this discovery. My apartment office was not open when I had returned and I was rendered lost and confused not knowing what I could manage to even get in, and after such a long trip I was exhausted and frustration set in quickly.

It was at this point that I like a lot of travelers realized that being stuck is not something I ever wanted to experience ever again. Had I lost my keys, no but the feeling was the same as I was lost without being able to access my home.

I was at the mercy of friends around me, who thankfully were able to extend a place to stay for the evening and good shower after all my travels to prepare me for the next day when I could talk to my apartment and get maintenance to let me in.

So many times, we get so consumed with our travels that we don’t realize the real possibilities of what can happen if something doesn’t work out how we would like. I’ve seen so many fellow travelers who have been in these same shoes with much worse tales to tell, some being locked out of their cars or even losing the sole key to them rendering them hundreds of dollars in debt just for a poor decision.

But life doesn’t always have to be this way if we just try to put in place a backup plan when we travel. I now always put in place two safeguards when hitting the road be it by air or road just to ensure a safe trip but a stress free return as well.


  • Don’t leave a hide a key in an obvious place. If you do this you make yourself a target instead of just making sure you are safe upon your return.

  • Never pick up a hide a key in plain sight of anyone else. Think about it people are nosey and even if they aren’t ultimately looking to get into your home, allowing them to see you pick up your key again does make you a target to their curiosity.

  • Plan ahead with your key buddy. If you are trusting someone with your key make sure they will be available upon your return.

  • Leave excess at home. Clear all but the bare minimum off your key ring so you are not bringing with you every key you own. You only need a house key and car key on the ring being stowed in your safety pocket. Less liability in case you still manage to drop them.

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