Smarter Travel asked readers to tell us about the worst thing that they've ever lost while traveling. The two lucky winners will get a pair of pickpocket-proof Long Johns from good ol' Clever Travel Companion, to keep their possessions safe on their next trip. Here are the winning contributions:
Susan M. wrote, "My twin sister and I have traveled quite a bit; and in 2010 we took a 5-country trip all over South America (it was fabulous!). While in Brazil, we crossed the border by bus ;to and from Argentina several times to see the awesome Iguazu Falls. Each time we crossed the border we were required to submit passports and fees to a bus guide for immigration officials. While waiting to cross, a photographer passed down the aisles taking 'head shots' to later superimpose on souvenir Tango photos. All that shuffling of papers and money, posing, getting on and off the bus.
Once back in Rio, the first leg of our five-country, 2.5 week trip, I discovered I was missing one thousand dollars! It is still a total mystery what happened to that amount of cash. Sister and I reconciled by believing whoever 'found' it needs it more...and good thing the incredible meals and wines of South America are so delicious yet reasonably priced. It was still a great trip!"
Jeannette T. wrote, "This may not be the worst ever in terms of how everything worked out in the end. It is a true story. My boyfriend Darren was on a small Thai island on December 26, 2004. He was backpacking and had just off-loaded on the beach with his backpack case. Long story short, the tsunami came and swept Darren out to sea. Thankfully, he was able to cling, fight, swim (you name it) and managed to get back onto land. He lost everything, including his shoes. All his travel documents including US Passport were swept away. (Amazingly, some 8 months later, his local congressional office contacted him that they have found his backpack case (sans content) and arranged to send it back to Darren.)
Darren was able to call me from Southeast Asia (I was back home in San Francisco), and I was able to help arrange emergency provisions for him, as well as contact the US State Department on his behalf. Darren was more battered and bruised then anything, but IS completely recovered. Darren did lose everything in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and well, I can make the case that had Darren been wearing the Clever Travel Companion boxer briefs (too hot in Thailand for long johns J), then all his important stuff, including passport would have been on him, and not easily lost."