Quick Travel Tip: Designate a Spot for Keys!!

A month ago, a coworker was traveling to visit a client. When she landed at her home airport, she rummaged through her bag for her car keys. Couldn’t find them. Starting to freak out, she pulled everything out of her purse. They weren’t there. Super frustrated, she opened her wallet to get a friend’s work phone number and found her keys, hooked on the change pocket.

Last week, I was traveling with a friend to a conference. After a long drive and almost seven hours of meetings, we finally made our way to the hotel. We checked in, dropped our stuff off in the room, and headed down to the bar for a beverage. After a quick glass of wine and some conference debrief, we went back to the room. Walking out of the elevator, my friend started looking in her purse for the room key. Couldn’t find it. Similar story to above–she took everything out of her purse and the keys still weren’t there. This time, however, it turned out we left them at the hotel bar. Oops.

The moral of these stories (and several other stories people have told me over the years) is that it is super important to have a designated place for keys. It doesn’t matter if they are car keys or hotel room keys, or if you are a man or a woman, knowing where your keys are can save a lot of headache. I have a specific zipper pocket in my purse where I keep my car keys, and I keep my hotel room key in the outside pocket. Getting into the habit of putting your keys in a specific place doesn’t take too long, just be deliberate about it.

Note: I strongly recommend that the designated place for your car keys is in your personal item, NOT your suitcase. I have heard too many horror stories of airlines losing bags with car keys to ever want anyone to go through that.

Readers, do you have a place for your keys? Where is it?


  1. I am key-paranoid so this one is close to home for me.

    On the road, my car keys always go in the inside zipper pocket of my briefcase, so they can’t fall out anywhere.

    Hotel keys always go in my back right-hand pocket. I use a front pocket wallet so the key doesn’t get in the way there. That’s also where I keep my boarding passes folded up as I fly.

  2. I am really scatterbrained, so I always do this with my keys. For my car keys, I like to use a small pocket in my laptop bag that is otherwise unused. That way, I minimize the risk of the keys accidentally falling out when I’m rummaging around for something else. And my hotel key always go in my wallet – easy enough!

  3. It drives me crazy when my husband digs through his giant duffel bag, trying to find his keys! I, on the other hand, always put my keys in the same inner pocket of my tote or the same outer pocket of my suitcase, depending on what I’m carrying for travel. I also need to keep my keys handy since I carry my work VPN security code on my key ring.

    Hotel keys are a bit of a different story, though I’m getting better at putting them in the same spot in my purse. The best hotel I stayed at recently didn’t use hotel keys, they used your fingerprints!

  4. I ask for two hotel keys then put one in my purse zippered pocket and the other in my wallet. So if I decide to nip downstairs with just my wallet to get something in the lobby, I’ll always have my key.

    My standard carryon backpack has its own insde clip for my house keys.

    I also keep boarding passes, ID or passport, credit card, and itinerary in the same zipper pocket in my purse every trip.

  5. Same goes for your hotel key once you get into your room – I always put it on or right in front of the TV – there is a TV in every room, so this works for me.

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