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Picture this: your Uber drops you off at home after a night on the town. You make it across the threshold, only to realize your bag is a bit lighter than when you left. If you’re lucky enough, you may run back outside and find your car hasn’t pulled away quite yet. But often, the car is long gone by the time you realize you’re missing something.
As embarrassing or inconvenient as it might feel in the moment, just know that you’re not alone. So much so, in fact, that Uber itself posts an annual index of the most common and unique forgotten items of the year. And if you really need a pick-me-up, you can also take solace in knowing that people left some very strange items in Ubers in 2023, including an actual 8-week-old chihuahua and a fog machine.
While some riders successfully get their items back, this isn’t the case for everyone, and both Uber and its drivers are off the hook for any lost items. Here are the top 10 most common items to lose in an Uber and how to replace what you’ve lost on the cheap. Plus, we would be remiss not to mention some ways to better keep track of your belongings.
The 10 most common items left in Ubers in 2023
Seeing as they generally stay on your wrist, it may be a bit surprising to see watches coming in as the 10th most common item to leave behind in an uber. If you’re in need of a new smart watch, we recommend our value pick, the latest generation of the Apple Watch SE. With many external customization options and great iPhone integration, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
$219 from Amazon
Laptops are a particularly painful thing to lose, as they’re one of the more expensive items on this list. Fortunately, replacing one doesn’t have to be so hard on your wallet. We chose the Acer Swift X as our value pick for best laptop thanks to its charging options and great performance. If you’re looking to save even more, there’s the Acer Aspire 5, which boasts a thin design, good performance and several helpful ports.
$829 from Amazon $539 from Amazon
For the bookworms out there, there are few things more heartbreaking than losing the book you were in the middle of, particularly if it happens to be a library book on loan. To have one less thing to worry about losing, you can opt to read your books digitally. One of the best ways to do this is by using a Kindle such as our favorite, the 11th-generation Paperwhite. We love it for its gorgeous waterproof display and its unparalleled content selection. its gorgeous waterproof display and its unparalleled content selection.
$110 from Amazon
Due to how important they are, house keys are just about the worst thing you can leave in a car that’s zooming away from you. Without them, you won’t be going very far, and any dreams of rest and relaxation will quickly be put to bed. Perhaps the only consolation about losing them compared to other items, is that you’ll immediately know that you’ve left them behind.
If you find yourself in this predicament, it’s time for a trip to The Home Depot. The Home Depot offers key-making services, with dozens of designs to choose from. Life hack: we recommend making at least one spare and hiding it in a secure location in case you lose your main one.
Shop The Home Depot
Losing jewelry is another expensive loss that many riders have dealt with. When it comes to replacing jewelry, whether you’re looking for a new earring necklace or bracelet, one of your best bets is Nordstrom. The major retailer offers countless pieces of jewelry at an affordable price. Plus, Nordstrom has frequent sales, meaning that you’ll save money even if you’re eyeing the pricier pieces of jewelry they offer.
Small and with a surprising knack for blending into any surface, wireless earbuds are some of the easiest items to lose. To replace them cheaply, we recommend getting the Anker Soundcore Space A40, our value pick for the best headphones. These earbuds feature great sound quality for their price, customizable sound settings and a great battery life. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, consider our favorite earbuds, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen). They boast excellent noise-cancelling, great battery life and sublime sound. Finally, if you’re looking for something larger and therefore harder to lose, consider getting our overall favorite headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4. Not only does this pair feature great noise-cancellation and sound, but they provide all-day comfort.
$79 from Amazon $200 from Amazon $348 from Amazon
A missing wallet is especially upsetting. Most likely, you’ll be without your ID, cash and any cards you had in the wallet. Whenever you lose a wallet with cards in it, the first thing you’ll want to do is contact your credit or debit card provider to report them missing and freeze them. If you need a new wallet, one of the best ones you can buy is the Velez Bifold Leather Wallet. The bifold design means that it holds cash well. Plus, it’s roomy and made from real leather. If you prefer the design of a zipper travel wallet, there’s Toughergun’s Women’s Leather Wallet, which is compact, has multiple color options and has RFID blocking to keep your cards from being scanned.
$30 from Amazon $12 from Amazon
If you’re someone who carries a lot of belongings wherever you go and are prone to misplace them, a bag will be helpful in making sure you leave nothing behind in an Uber, assuming you don’t forget the bag itself. If you’re looking for an inexpensive backpack replacement, we recommend Case Logic’s 16″ Laptop bookbag. This bookbag has nearly 1,000 positive Amazon reviews, with buyers praising its durability and lightweight build.
$40 from Amazon
A phone is one of the worst things you can leave behind, not just because of how pricey phones have become, but because of how useful they are in our daily lives. Fortunately, we’ve reviewed several phones under $500. Our top pick is Samsung’s Galaxy S8—it offers a great camera, long battery life and top-notch performance, all while being much cheaper than the competition. If you’re looking for a more affordable iOS option, they’re a bit harder to find, but still out there if you’re willing to go with a previous generation. For example, the Apple iPhone 12 Mini is one of the best 5G phones out there. While it’s not cutting edge, it still has plenty of storage, a beautiful display and a 4K HDR-capable camera.
$328 from Amazon $300 from Amazon
Topping off the list is clothing. Whether a hat or shirt, it sucks trying to put together an outfit only to realize pieces of it are missing. Fortunately, you have good replacement options. Nordstrom Rack has all the brands and styles you love from Nordstrom at a more affordable price. Another brand to shop is Uniqlo, a Japanese retailer that offers everything from sweaters to jeans to polos. Of note is their extensive graphic tee collection, too.
Shop Nordstrom Rack Shop Uniqlo
Tips for keeping track of your belongings
Get a tracking device
If your belonging doesn’t have a built-in tracking device (or if tracking is inaccessible, such as when your phone is dead), using a physical tracker can be a game-changer if you’re someone who often misplaces their items. Apple’s AirTag and Life360’s Tile are the premier Bluetooth trackers on the market. We’ve compared both devices and found that the AirTag is better if you use iOS devices, while Tile is a good option if you don’t.
$30 from Apple $20 from Tile
Back up your items
Whether it’s a phone, a laptop or an e-reader that you accidentally leave behind, if it’s a device that connects to the internet, you’ll be happy that you backed up your data when it comes to buying a replacement. Consider this your reminder to do just that.
Register your items for warrantees or get insurance
If an item has a lifetime warranty or even a temporary one, make sure to register it online so that the warranty is actually activated. A warranty can cover problems such as damage to a product during a certain period of time from the manufacturer. This may not cover a lost item, but if your item gets damaged while it’s not in your possession, you’ll be relieved you activated your warranty.
For things that a warranty doesn’t cover, consider getting insurance for a given product to cover damage, loss or theft, depending on the kind of insurance you get. If it’s a valuable possession, you’ll be happy it’s covered.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.