Have you ever had that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach after losing something valuable? Or even worse, getting something stolen.

While it’s probably the last feeling you’d imagine having on a vacation, it’s very likely it could happen. A cold sweat takes over, as you search high and low, retracing your steps a dozen times – before the reality of it hits; you’re never getting it back.

But don’t give up just yet. There are a few things you must do, starting with taking a deep breath and remaining calm. Yes, you might be out hundreds – even thousands – of dollars, but it shouldn’t mean it’s the end to a vacation. Unfortunately, tangible things tend to rule our lives nowadays – with smart phones and tablets at close reach. Be thankful you’re still in the company of your family and loved ones. They’ll help you to lift your spirits and to take the next steps in finding your missing items.

It wouldn’t also hurt to file a police report, especially if that special item was stolen. The cops are more than used to dealing with victims of theft. They’ll have you fill out a lengthy report and leave your contact information. It may sound like a lost cause, but rest assured, items have been returned in the past. In fact, a tourist who visited Maui six years ago just got her class ring back, after a man found it on the side of the road and turned it into the police. I love happy endings.


If you lost the item on a flight to or from your vacation destination, then you should contact the airport or airlines immediately. To find the best phone number, visit: http://hawaii.gov/hnl/customer-service/lost-found. This includes contact info for all Hawaii airport, airlines and TSA security.


Public transportation, such as TheBus, usually always has a lost and found website. Go here, for TheBus lost and found: http://www.thebus.org/CS/LostFound.asp.

Make sure to have the description of the lost/stolen item, route number of the bus you were on, date and time it was lost and the time you boarded the bus. Also, if you remember where you were seated on the bus, then that’d be helpful. TheBus only holds lost items for 30 days.

The Beach

Losing something at the beach gets tricky because the landscape is always changing. By that, I mean the ocean tides and waves shift things around underwater or even on shore. And with all the foot traffic, it’s easy for your lost belongings to get buried in the sand.

If there are lifeguards on duty, you could always let them know and leave your contact info with them. It’s by no means a guarantee they’ll find it. But it wouldn’t hurt to try.

And because the ocean is often the culprit in lost jewelry, it’s not uncommon for a tourist to rent a metal detector. There are several places you could visit, such as Hawaii Rent-All. It’s $25 a day or $100 a week. In fact, some tourists sometimes rent them for fun. You never know what treasures you’ll discover. If you don’t want to rent, then hire someone to do it for you. Check out the websites for Lost Ring Maui or The Ring Finders.

If All Else Fails…

Craiglist it. There’s a Lost and Found section for every city listed on the popular website. Most people go there to report something they lost. But you’d be amazed at how many “good samaritans” there are out there, who log on just to report an item they found.


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