Budget hotel chain Travelodge has revealed the strangest objects left behind at its 500-plus branches across the UK over 2013.
They include a 6ft piece of snake skin, a life size cardboard cut-out of reality TV star Joey Essex, a set of yoghurts not-yet-released to the public, a suitcase of Prince George memorabilia, a method actor’s wooden “lucky foot”, a case of Geisha outfits, four bespoke lipsticks, and a Vera Wang dress worth £6,000.
Animals also made up much of the list, including a pet tarantula called Hercules in a special box, and an owl called Hedwig. There were also religious items including a set of 24-carat gold Indian gods, a 5ft Buddha and a 6ft wooden cross.
Important documents left included a folder of tax returns, a pre-marital agreement and deeds to a £2m property, while the sentimental items found include a framed Mother’s Day poem from a daughter to her mother, and a green dragon cuddly toy whose owner travelled to Warrington from London to pick up, after her son would not sleep without it.
The chain also reported nearly 10,000 smartphones and tablets left in its hotels over the past year, joining electronic chargers, books, teddy bears and toiletry bags as the most-left items.
Most items are identified and reclaimed quickly – including the lipsticks, which were returned by express air mail to the USA once the owner realised her mistake ‒ but the Vera Wang dress from Torquay, for example, is yet to be claimed.
Anything not claimed in three months is donated to local charity shops.
Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed commented: “What is becoming evident after speaking to our customers is that the pace of life has become so fast and we are so eager to get from A to B that valuable possessions are easily being forgotten.”
Late last year Travelodge also revealed the most-left books in its hotels, with E.L. James’s Fifty Shades Freed the most likely to be left.
Top 10 most commonly left items in 2013
- Mobile phones
- Laptops / tablets / kindles
- Pyjamas / clothing
- Toiletry bags
- Teddy bears
- Electric toothbrushes
- Bags / suitcases
- Sat navs
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