Your passport gone is? What do you do now?
Along with your credit card, this document is pretty much the most important thing in your backpack. Just don’t panic. It happens to a lot of travellers and nobody has died because of it, yet.
So, what to do when your passport is stolen?
Rule number one is ALWAYS taking it easy. You still have both of your arms and legs, so it could be worse, alright?
Rule number two:
Go and see the embassy or consulate of your home country. Most of the time you can find those in the bigger cities or even in the capital of the country you are currently in.
Writing an email to the embassy and asking for advice is pretty senseless as they usually take forever to reply (authorities :-p ) They take their time to reply to any messages, so you will most likely just waste your time… But sometimes you can also have some luck:
The German Online-Travel portal ab-in-den-urlaub.de made a test with 150 embassies around the world.
They send out emails claiming they lost their passports. The company found out, that every 5th embassy needed more than five working hours to reply to your email. Four didn’t even bother to respond at all. 59 per cent of the embassies replied within 2 hours and also had some advice to give.
How to get a new passport
- You can find out the address of your embassy or consulate here, or just type it into Google (XY country consulate)
- Take a spare copy of your passport with you to the embassy (always keep a copy of your passport in your Google drive or somewhere else)
- Go to the local police station and make an advertisement of loss
- Make new passport pictures (you should have some with you anyways on every departure)
- Go to the embassy
- Request a new passport and pay
- Wait for a couple of days (…or weeks)
- Go and pick up your new passport
‘Replacement passports’ are usually issued very quickly within just a couple of days. Usually, they are just valid for a short amount of time.
Embassies exist in only one place in the country, usually in the capital. Consulates, depending on the country, are represented more often in other cities.
How to prevent the loss of your passport and other valuable items
If you go out, leave the most important documents behind your accommodation.
Your best bet would be to leave it in a safe or in a locker, or even at reception. (Unfortunately, in some countries, e.g. Australia (WA), you only get into clubs and pubs with your passport as a foreigner, they do not accept a regular ID).
- Create a backup of your most important documents (physical copies and also online)
- Wear a bumbag with all your belongings when you are on the go
- Always have body contact with your daypack (the little rucksack). E.g. on the bus. Stick your foot through one of the arm straps or just have it sit on your lap
- For your valuables, use a Pacsafe 12L
Other than that, I had only my Kindle gone missing. It was in Australia when I gave some people a lift with my car. During the trip, we decided to stop at a nice place for a couple of days, go kayaking together and camp in the bush. My Kindle then magically disappeared…
Even if you have some like-minded people in your car (at least that’s what you think), you will be surprised how wrong you can be at times.
But compared to the number of times I have done these things, that one time was a rare case anyway.
Normally, people are in the same boat and take care of each other when you travel together.
Nevertheless, always be on the guard. Luckily, it was just the Kindle.
Learn more about how to stay safe on the road here.
Did ever anything like that happen to you? Things went missing? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.
Please share this post among your friends, they might find it helpful.