Lost Travelers - What I do if I lose a Travel Partner

Lost Travelers. The first thing do is to not panic. It only makes matters worse.

If I lose a travel buddy or significant other, I relax and think of it as another adventure. It's best not to overreact.

I follow these steps:

  1. If I have a cell phone, I use it.

    On a motorcycle trip to Corsica, I waited here up at a windy pass for my friend Dan to find me.
  2. I sit and wait. Sometimes a person goes off and starts shopping or finds something interesting and will be back soon. Hopefully.

  3. If that doesn't work. I go to the last important thing we did together. Eat lunch? Check out of a hotel? Park a car? Return a rental car? Whatever…

  4. Leave messages everywhere (such as hotels and restaurants) and with everyone (waiters and salesman.)

  5. I might just wait some more. Sometimes the person has spilt something and is cleaning themselves off at a nearby bathroom.
    A friend of mine got soaked in an accidental downpour in London. It took many minutes for her to stop laughing.
    I finally locate a lost friend in London.  She got soaked in a sudden cloud burst and  couldn't stop laughing for a better part of an hour.
  6. I go forward to the next place we were going. The person might just have decided to go to the next spot on the itinerary.

  7. I check with the local police station and leave a message. (Most places are pretty safe so I usually don't worry about foul play.)

  8. I go back to the first thing we did that day, if possible. (Such as checking out of a hotel.) If not, I go last place we arrived at, such as a train station.

  9. I leave a message with a friend or relative of my travel buddy or mine that we pre-arranged. I make sure this person will also not panic or have a heart attack. For instance, I can call my sister and leave a message.

  10. I get on email. Send a message (don't get rude) to that person and arrange a place to meet.

  11. I check back into the last hotel, if possible, and wait.

  12. I don't overreact when I'm reunited with my fellow lost traveler.

  13. Several times, I found a lost motorcycle friend at the next pub or café down the road.
After all it's my vacation and I need to slow down and have a good time.

One last point, make sure that the lost traveler didn't want to get lost. One person I met was very happy to be traveling solo again. Go figure.

Go figure…

Here are some important road skills:

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