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Help! My passport’s been stolen!

Help my passport has been stolen!

It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare, it’s the day before you’re due to fly home and you’re turning your room upside down trying to find your passport. Have I checked that pocket? Have I checked under the bed? Did I leave it in the cab? Did I leave it at the airport? It has to turn up, it can’t just walk off by itself right??

Well around 80 emergency passports are issued to just British nationals around the world every single day, with 28,783 issued in the last year due to loss or theft of a passport whilst travelling. So if it does happen to you, don’t worry you’re not alone!

My first experience with a stolen passport was whilst travelling to Kenya for a holiday when I was 7. Back then children didn’t have their own passports, you were a name at the back of your Mum’s passport, how mental is it that?? So my Mum had hold of our passport and after coming through customs, strolling through Nairobi Airport without a care in the world, beach bag wide open and completely unaware of just how much of an easy target she was. The passport was taken out of her bag without us even noticing.

Fast forward 2 weeks later the night before we’re due to fly home, everyone is packing their bags and our passport is nowhere to be found. Unfortunately for us, because we hadn’t found out about the passport until the end of the trip, we ended up staying in Nairobi for a few extra days at the expense of my Dad who then also had to buy new flights to get home waiting to have new travel documents issued (poor Dad!).

Although a bit of a dampener on an overall fantastic holiday, don’t let this happen to you! Read on…

What do I do if my passport gets stolen?

1) Report the loss or theft to the Police as soon as possible. Chances are you won’t get it back but file a report anyway so you have a paper trail. Make sure you get a copy of it too.

2) If you have travel insurance, get in touch with them just incase, some policies require that they be informed of a loss or theft within a short timeframe. In some cases claiming a stolen passport might not be worth the insurance hike so check your policy before you claim.

3) Find out where your country’s nearest Embassy is, explain what has happened and seek an emergency replacement passport. Take with you any other form of ID, photocopies of your passport and a copy of your police report. An emergency passport will only be valid for enough time to get you home so order a new one passport at least a month before your next trip after you’ve returned home.

How do I prevent future theft?

-Whilst travelling keep your passport zipped in a pocket inside your bag. Your main bag should be zipped up at all times.
-Never leave your bags unattended, keep them zipped up and with you at all times.
-Be aware of your surroundings and people getting too close to you or your bags, especially on public transportation or busy tourist spots.
-If you have one, keep your passport in your hotel room safe, it’s safer there then floating around in your bag. If you need ID (e.g. drinking alcohol), use another form of ID or take a photocopy of your passport.
-Be prepared in case your passport is taken, keep digital copies of your passport in your email account and keep physical photocopies in another pocket in your bag.

There are lots of other ways of generally decreasing your chances of theft but I’ll cover those in a more detailed future post. For now, it’s all about keeping that passport safe folks!

Have you ever had your passport stolen? Have you got any other tips to avoiding losing/having your passport stolen? Comment below :)

Mel x

About the author

Hi! I'm Mel a full-time Marketeer and part-time adventurer. I’m a British travel blogger who loves nothing more than immersing myself in different cultures and exploring new places. My goal is to inspire all of you office dwellers to follow your travel dreams whilst still working your 9-5.