I blame the hangover.

Arriving at the Jetstar check-in counter in Melbourne I reach into the slot in my bag where I am absolutely certain I've left my passport. Absolutely certain. It's not there. Problem.

We'd left the hotel early. Retracing my steps, I recall seeing my passport sitting on a table in the hotel room as I was heading out the door the night before.

"Probably safest to pop it in my bag, out of sight," I thought. And that's what I did.

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Absolutely, certainly putting my passport in the side pocket of my carry-on shoulder bag.

Several beers, a few wines and a couple of pink mojitos (don't ask) later, I was snoozing away, safely tucked into my hotel bed. Rise and shine in the morning, a leisurely breakfast with a fuzzy, hungover head and we're off to the airport... where I find the passport-shaped void in my bag.

My travelling pals Alex and Alice give me looks that say: "You forgot your passport? And they let you be Travel Editor?"

A flurry of panic. A phone call to the hotel.

"Have you checked your pockets?" asks Alex.

"Of course I've checked my pock... Ah. Got it."

A lesson absolutely, certainly reaffirmed.

Have one place you put your passport and be absolutely certain you stick to it.