What to do if you lose your passport abroad
If you find yourself in a position where all of your money and ID has been lost or stolen then you are in a bit of a pickle, but it’s not the end of the world.
1. First and foremost you should get a police report. For insurance purposes, it is best to do this immediately and certainly within 24 hours if possible.
A police report is vital when without money and identification in a foreign country. You will also need to show your police report when you come to apply for an emergency passport.
2. Next you should head to your embassy or consulate. If you explain your situation to them and show your police report, they should be able to find your details on their system. British nationals have to pay for an emergency passport. If you have enough money on you to do so, then you can purchase one at this stage. If not, then the embassy/consulate can provide you with stamped confirmation of your passport details.
Staff at the embassy or consulate should also be able to offer you advice regarding legal representation if needed. It’s also worth bearing in mind that consulate/embassy documentation will help support a travel insurance claim.
3. Next you should find somewhere offering free internet. This could be a local library, a fellow traveller or possibly use of the internet at your hostel or hotel. By accessing your email account you should then be able to print the scanned copies of your ID that you originally emailed to yourself.
You can also use Skype or Facebook to contact friends and family at home and arrange for money to be sent to you for collection at the nearest Western Union. It can take as little as a few hours for the money to be wired. Your family and friends may also be able to help you arrange accommodation if needed.
If you struggle to find free internet, you could always try explaining your situation and showing your police report to staff at internet cafes. Most people will be sympathetic and helpful. Alternatively, you could ask to use the telephone at the police station when obtaining your police report.
4. You can collect the money that has been wired to you at a Western Union, provided you have photographic ID. You should be able to collect your money using the ID you have printed and by showing your police report and embassy/consulate document.
5. Once you have received the wired money, you can head back to your embassy or consulate to purchase an emergency passport.You will be able to use this passport to return to your home country via a maximum of 5 countries.
Hopefully after reading this blog, you can head off on your travels knowing exactly what to do if you lose your passport abroad. With any luck you will never find yourself in this position but, by following the tips I’ve laid out in this blog, you will give yourself a much better chance of avoiding such a situation. Furthermore, should the worst happen, you will have saved yourself a lot of hassle by planning in advance.
This is a personal account of one volunteer’s experience on the project and is a snapshot in time. Your experience may be different, as our projects are constantly adapting to local needs and building on accomplishments. Seasonal weather changes can also have a big impact. To find out more about what you can expect from this project we encourage you to speak to one of our friendly staff.