A lost passport doesn’t need to be a drama.
While there maybe odd items among your possessions that can go missing without any real consequence, like sunglasses or an item of clothing, there is one thing that you mustn’t lose.
More than 20,000 Britons report a lost passport each year, some having been stolen. Most of the losses are thefts mainly occurring in Spain followed by the USA, France and Australia.
The British passport is considered to be the fourth most valuable passport in the world. It allows visa-free access to 175 states.
Take copies of your passport photos with you as there may not be facilities readily available for taking photos. This could possibly cause a delay of days.
Take with you any evidence of your citizenship.
Get one of these, it’s an anti-theft laptop-backpack with lots of securely hidden pockets. If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind.
Re-new a lost passport
An emergency passport is only valid for 12 months. When you return home you must apply for a new passport to be able to travel abroad again.
In 2014 – 2015 the British high commissions had to attend to 470,000 enquiries to assist Britons having lost their passport, across the globe.
The most enquiries came from Spain, followed by the USA and Thailand.
Passport safety advice for travelers.
Keep your passport out of sight and secure from the inevitable ‘pick-pocket’. You must be constantly on your guard.
Don’t allow your passport to become damaged as it may compromise its validity so you must look after it.
Make two photocopies of your passport page showing your face and details, place one copy with a trusted friend or family member and take the other with you. Ensure that this is concealed in a very secure place. This can be used as an alternative to get you out of trouble.
It is also an option to store a photocopy electronically out on the web provided access is password protected. If needed you can then download it from anywhere and print it out.
Some countries require that your passport be valid for six months after the date of travel. You must check on the entry requirements before travelling.
Fill in the emergency next-of-kin details before you travel.
In addition to what the FCO say
Take photocopies of your credit cards and any other cards and documents of identification and keep it in a secure place about your person or store it in a secure, password protected folder on the web.
It may be an option to email this information to yourself before travelling but you will need to be creative at ‘encrypting’ this so that you understand it but an email-hacker would have no chance.
Don’t save it out as a straight image when storing on the web, even in a password-protected folder. Hide the information by concealing it in a graphics file that, on the face of it, looks like something totally banal and of no consequence. When you return home, delete this information to remove any possible risk.
Have with you a list of phone numbers of the nearest embassy or consulate. Consider how far away you may be from the nearest embassy at any time on your travels and will you have the funds to get there?
Before you hit the ‘panic-button’ and start any embassy or consulate proceedings, take a while to search every where among your belongings, including among any travel companions belongings.
With some basic planning and preparation you can put yourself in a very powerful position. Prepare fore the eventuality of a lost passport. The technology is out their to help you, use it.
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