False teeth. Glasses. Vintage musical instruments. Keys. Scientific specimens. Wallets. Prosthetic legs. All of the former have been found on public transit systems (which more and more people are using than ever) over the past few years. I hope none of you are the owner of the teeth or the legs. Or the specimens! 

That special combination of having way too many items on your 'to-do' list, with all the trains, planes, buses and other forms of possibly unfamiliar transport, all packed with an extra serving of distracted and dreaming folks means that it's the holidays. And that you or someone in your traveling party is going to lose stuff. So consider the below list a gift to those who have lost stuff and want to (need to) find it. 

Lose something on a plane (or even just in the airport)? This incredibly useful TSA app enables you to search on a map or by airport code for the lost and found department so you can quickly get to the right person/email/phone number to report your item. If you leave something on a plane, you'll have to call the airline you have flown with, and those numbers are provided on the airport websites as well.

What could be better than an app? An adorable dog (named Sherlock, of course!) that finds your lost stuff and then sniffs you out before you even leave the airport (and maybe before you've even realized your things are missing). A dog at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines does just that. Check out the absolutely adorable video below: 

Amtrak has a very comprehensive and useful online system for both reporting an item missing, and an area with found items posted. 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) services millions of people in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and their lost and found system is just as impressive as their traffic numbers. There's a lost-and-found site for each one for each of the branches: Metro North, NYC Subways and Buses, the Staten Island Railway and the Long Island Railroad. The Metro North Lost and found, based in Grand Central Station, is worth a visit even if you haven't lost anything — incredibly well-organized and staffed during business hours, it is a throwback to a time past. 

The DC Metro employs "Lost and Found Technicians" (three of them) to deal with the stuff found on that city's subway and buses, and they keep pretty careful track of what comes in. 

Lose something in London? You can fill out one form on Transport for London's site, and it can be used to check for your stuff on London Buses, the Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, Victoria Coach Station, Black cabs (taxis) and Emirates Air Line. 

Remember being a child and losing a beloved toy? Well, so does someone at First Great Western, a railroad in the UK. They have a special webpage set up specifically for lost toys, called Teddy Rescue. Not only adorable, but totally useful for the under-8 set or for all those adult kids who travel with their cuddly toys (I know I'm not the only one!). 

We all lose stuff when we travel. Here's hoping your are successfully reunited with your missing items the next time it happens to you (I vote for Sherlock the dog to bring me mine!). 

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Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Lost something? Let a dog, special technicians or the Internet help
There are all sorts of creative (and better) ways of finding your lost stuff these days.