Is your passport gone? 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 travelers and nobody has died because of it.

So, what to do when your passport is stolen?

Rule number 1 is ALWAYS take it easy. You still have both of your arms and legs, so it could be worse, alright?

Rule number 2:

Go and see your embassy or consulate. Most of the time you can find those in the bigger cities or even in the capital of the country you are 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 it very slowly to reply to any messages.

The German Online-Travel portal 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.

Get a new passport:

  • Find out the address of your embassy or consulate, here for example, or just type it into Google (XY country consulate)
  • Take a spare copy of your passport with you to the embassy
  • Go to the local police station and make an advertisement of loss
  • Make 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
  • Done!

‘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 at 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 with 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. in the bus. Stick your food through one of the arm straps or just have it on your lap

For me, I only had something go missing once and that was my Kindle. 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 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 amount 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.

Did ever anything like that happen to you? Things went missing? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

Please share this post amongst your friends, they might find it helpful.

Check out those tips on how to keep your passport safe:



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