Dude, where’s my car?

When departing for a trip, the very first vacation photo you must always take is of your car with the sign in the background showing where in the parking lot you left it.

Airport parking lot sign

Airport parking lot sign

Bear in mind that some parking lots have stupid systems. For instance, at the long term economy lot at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, the numbered rows run the entire length of the parking lot.

I once left my car right under the sign for row 21C. Upon my return I found that row 21C is nearly ½ mile long! Since I hadn’t also photographed or made note of which was the nearest shuttle stop, I naturally got off at the wrong end of the row and had to walk the entire length of the parking lot.

So in addition to a photo showing your car and the parking lot locator sign, also get a picture of the shuttle stop.

Airport parking shuttle stop

Airport parking shuttle stop

Having these as photos will convey a lot of information later when you return and haven’t seen your car in a week or two. (Worst case scenario, they can also be valuable evidence if anything happens to your car in your absence.)

Making sure these are among the first photos you take will make them easier to find later.

The contents of your luggage

If you have any concerns about the airlines losing your luggage, especially if you’ve packed anything unusual or particularly valuable, lay everything out on the floor or on a bed before stuffing it into your suitcase. Each item should be visible so it will all take up quite a bit of space.

Take a photograph of the arranged collection of items, then pack them into the suitcase and take another photo showing them in the suitcase. (You won’t be able to see everything but the items on top should be distinctive enough to identify.)

If your bag goes lost or anything in it is missing or damaged you’ll have the photos to help your claim with the airline.

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