I sent one of my sims travelling to france. When I got there it was empty and my sim was not to be seen. I couldn’t have any interactions at all and had no idea what to do. I clicked on a house and it took me to Build Mode. I closed this and it took me to edit town and I couldn’t find my sim? After this it wouldn’t let me click on any households. I clicked on the top left symbol “home” and it took me to my home town but I couldn’t click on my active household. I closed the whole game and now it just shows my game but without my household. I’m not sure why it’s not showing up and where my family have gone. It won’t let me play anything and when I click “return to game” in my home town it brings up the loading page and goes back to home town or France town editor. I’m completely stuck! Help!!
@Jessmaadge It sounds like you already saved with the game in this state, and from your screenshots, it looks like you never made any backup saves. However, if you only saved once, you may still be able to recover your save by using the automatic backup that TS3 itself creates.
Go into Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves, and you'll see two folders. One will be labeled with your save name, and the other will have the same name but with a .backup extension. So if your save is IslaParadiso, the folders will be IslaParadiso.sims3 and IslaParadiso.sims3.backup. Delete the .backup extension from the second one and change the save name (e.g. IslaParadiso1.sims3), and it will be available to load from the Main Menu, where you currently only see the one blank save.
If this works and you see your sim again—this would be before you tried to travel—use "save as" to rename the save right away. This will create yet another new save file, so you can experiment with it and still have one backup if you need it. You can try traveling again; maybe it will work this time. If it doesn't, quit without saving and let me know. I'll write out steps you can take to increase the chance of your sim getting through the travel transition intact.
If your sim doesn't show up in the backup save either, that means the saves are corrupt. There might be a way to get your sim back, involving swapping files within the save folder itself, but there's no guarantee it would work. Still, if you'd like to try, let me know and I'll show you how.
@Jessmaadge You can still try to travel, if you want. Just don't save if there's a problem. And make sure you've used "save as" to make a backup copy of the save, in case something goes wrong later. That way, there's no risk—worst case scenario, you're in the same place you are right now.
To help with the travel transition, you'll want to decrease the stress on the game engine as much as possible. Here's how:
If this doesn't work, then you can reload and try again. But without mods, there's always some risk of the travel transition failing. How much of a risk will depend on a lot of factors and isn't always easy to predict. Still, as long as you make backup copies of your saves, there's no harm in trying.