I’m sure we’ve all been there before: You park at a mall or grocery store or airport or theatre and you come out, whether it’s 30 minutes or three hours later, and you can’t remember where you parked your car. It’s happened to me countless times and the other day, it happened to my wife in the Target parking lot. RELATED: The Truth About Hotel Room Key Cards

You know the feeling … you’re standing in the middle of the parking lot, turning in circles, looking around and muttering under your breath, “I know I parked somewhere around here.”

Before the pandemic, I was traveling so much that I sometimes forgot what my hotel room number was.

Heck, even when I wasn’t traveling so much, I still had embarrassing encounters, like the time I went to LAX for a media event and came back and thought for sure someone had stolen my car. I had remembered the parking level and number but after having a security guy help me, he finally said, “Could it be in the structure next door?” The parking structures are attached and the buildings are identical, as are the parking space numbers.

After that incident, I now always take a quick picture of my hotel room door or my parking spot number with my phone. If you’re parked in a really large parking structure, like at at the airport or at a stadium, also take a photo of the column or section you’re parked in. It’s so simple, and yet it can save you so much time and frustration.

And since almost everyone always has their phone on them, you can take pictures of all kinds of things to help jog your memory. By nature, I document everything. I mean, everything. Just ask my wife. She often laughs at the things I take pictures of but countless times, she’s asked me a question about something and I’ve been able to refer back to my photos for the answer. Once, after returning home from a long trip, we thought we might have forgotten one of the kids’ travel strollers but a quick search through my photos showed that we had it with us when we arrived home. Anyhow, my point is to take photos of anything you might want to refer back to later. Here’s another related tip: How a Simple Picture Can Prevent Headaches and Hassles if an Airline Loses Your Bag


8 Ways To Make Sure An Airline Doesn’t Lose Your Bag … And That You Don’t Get Robbed or Stalked
The Trick For Getting Airport Luggage Carts for Free
Airline Lost Your Luggage? Do This If You Want to Get Compensated
Why Frequent Fliers Use Apple AirTags or Samsung SmartTags When They Travel
An Airline Executive’s Number One Tip for Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly

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13 Comments On "Forgetful? The Trick to Remembering Your Hotel Room Number or Where You Parked"
  1. Jack Collins|

    For parking I use Carr Matey. Leads you back to your car via Google map.

  2. mccooltravel|

    Taking pictures of rooms, parking spots, and rental cars is sensible. Also take a picture of the front of the hotel (with name) in case you get lost or need to show a cab driver.

  3. Sheryl|

    Genius! Simple solution to a common problem. No smart phone here, but camera always available.

  4. Lynn K.|

    I also take a photo of my hotel room door # and hotel front, with name, but back in the days before cell phones and digital cameras, I was on an overnight train without a prior berth reservation. I had no trouble finding space, however, my name wasn’t posted on a stub outside the door, so when I got up in the middle of the night, to use the restroom, I realized on my return to the car, that I didn’t know which berth I was in! I couldn’t very well rummage around in various berths, at 3:00 in the morning, and I didn’t want to spend the rest of the trip standing in the hallway. Fortunately, my husband began to worry about why I hadn’t yet returned & he peaked out the door, so I was able to find the correct berth (whew!). From then on, I’ve always taken window clings with me when I travel (a post-it note will also work). They take up almost no room in the packing, and can be temporarily stuck to the inside of the widow of a train berth, or the inside of rental car windows. This trick not only helps you identify your unfamiliar rental car, but can also help it look more like a personal car, and less like a rental (since rentals are often targeted for break-ins). I also generally buy a local paper & leave it on the back seat, again, to give the impression that the car is owned by a local. Window clings can often be purchased at school or office supply stores & can be carried stuck on a piece of plastic wrap. I’ve found some great ones of fish, that look whimsical, yet are very distinctive when I’m trying to find my rental car.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good one!

  5. Joan Reilly|

    Brilliantly simple. Have to share this with my guests. Thanks Johnny!

  6. San|

    Lol. Is not the room number that I have problems with. Is the hotel’s name and address.
    501 Tornstrom…that must have been somewhere in Sweden.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      It was!

  7. DebbieT|

    Excellent advice! This has been especially helpful to us in the middle east shopping malls where the parking level # does not necessarily match the shopping level # – very confusing!

  8. nancy reid|

    Good idea! I always take a pic of my parking space! It’s saved me a number of times from going in circles!

  9. Pat Fory|

    What a great idea…can’t believe I never thought to do this!

  10. Wanna Travel|

    I also take a pic of the mall entrance showing the nearest shops when in an unfamiliar mall such as Mall of America a few years ago. Then I showed the pic to a security guard who was able to point us in the right direction to exit near our car.

  11. Patrick|

    Saving your parking spot location can be easily done with Google Maps on your phone.

    • Find & save parking locations:

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