What to do if Your Passport is Lost or Stolen while Traveling Overseas
What You Should Know.
Trying to manoeuvre your way through the myriad of issues surrounding a visit to any overseas destination can be a challenge for most people, especially the first time, and particularly in a foreign country ..passports, visa's, travel insurance, travel cards, money exchange, booking accommodation, language barriers, to name just a few, can all be a tad overwhelming for most people. To have had a passport lost or stolen while traveling overseas takes the stress of traveling to a whole new level. To lesson the stress in this difficult situation these tips might help when traveling.
If you are unfortunate enough to have your passport lost or stolen while traveling you will have already realized just how difficult it is to gain an emergency passport. The time, money, cost of travel and language barriers in foreign countries can be extremely stressful. These tips can help ensure an easier process in the unlikely event.
Tips That Help
1 The first thing to do when realizing that your passport is no longer in your possession is to make a police report. This of course is easier said than done in a foreign language speaking country. It can take time and effort and can be quite an intimidating process needing patience and persistence. However where ever you are, whether in transit from one country/city to another, at an airport or train station or out shopping,eating or sightseeing it is imperitive to find the local police station, or office in airport or train station and make the report . If a report is not filed it will be difficult to claim the cost of replacement passports on your travel insurance cover. That is of course presuming you have travel insurance cover. A report will also validate your information should your passport turn up anywhere to be used illegally.
2 Secondly find where your countries embassy or consulate is located nearest to where you are, and make contact with them as soon as possible. It is a normal procedure for most embassies to require around 48 hours to process replacement passports. Making immediate contact is necessary to save delays with the issuing of emergency passports. It can also prevent the expense of hotel rooms and travel to and from the embassy if departure is delayed. These expenses can be unfortunate if experienced at anytime of your holiday, but even more so near the end when money is scarce. Make sure all the details of the loss are detailed when you ring them as this can speed up the process. Include the last time you remember seeing the passport,where you were and what time of day when you think they were stolen/lost, who you were with,where you are currently staying and contact number and of course your details in your home country ie address, phone number and emergency contact. If you are lucky enough to have a photocopy of your passport,or number written down somewhere it will help as they will need the old number as well. Any information that you are able to provide them with will save them time gaining it from your home country.
3 When making initial contact to the embassy by phone ask if payment for a replacement passport is by cash only. You need to check this before you get there. It is not unusual once you get to the Embassy to find that they have no bank card, credit or visa card facilities for payment. It is an inconvenience to make your way there to be told that they can't help you. Finding an ATM close by can be daunting task and may be blocks away from the embassy. Also it may be difficult to access the large amount of cash that is needed from an ATM machine at one time as with some machines there are daily limits to the amount of cash that can be withdrawn.
4 NEVER let your passport or other important documents out of your possession. And lastly, keep passports safe by carrying them in a concealed bag,best kept out of site on your person. And be aware that passport theft is common in some European countries as some passports, particularly older ones without electronic chips are valuable on the black market.
1. Inform police immediately.
2. Know where your countries embassy is located and how to get there.
3. Find out before you make your way there the cost of replacement passports. And how payment can be made.
4. Never let your passports/documentation out of your possession. And keep a copy of your information online so it can be accessed easily.