A small, but startling, percentage of people would give up their spouse to get this back

CarRentals.com polled 2,000 people about items to discover the most common things people leave behind and what they would do to get them back.

Jewelry. Old photographs. Your grandfather’s watch. Old stuff animals. Your wedding ring. Sensing a pattern? Many people would go to great lengths to get back precious sentimental items if they lost them.

We’re about to find out exactly how far they’d go. CarRentals.com polled 2,000 people about things – some of them precious, some of them pets – that they left behind in rental cars, and scoured lost-and-found databases of airports to discover the most common things people forget.

They then asked the forgetful drivers what they would do to get their lost items that were valuable or sentimental items back.


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The results were … revealing.

  • Logging off: 32% of respondents said they’d give up a year of social media to retrieve something they lost of sentimental value.
  • Soda for me! 23% would go sober and give up a year of drinking and smoking.
  • Another 18% said they’d even give up a whole year of dining out.
  • Oh, joe! 16% would give up a year of coffee.
  • No raise this year: 7% would give up a job promotion
  • And 4% said they’d give up, well, their significant other to get that special something back. (Hey, spouses and partners can be replaced; old photographs and family Bibles can’t). Men were twice as likely to ditch their partner to get an item back then women.

Well, there you have it. Some things can’t be replaced. But in certain situations, you can be. Be sure to prevent this by super-double-checking your rental car before turning it in!


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.