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What to do if you lose your documents while travelling?

Imagine a situation where you are on a vacation in a foreign country and after a pleasant sightseeing tour you head for a lavish lunch at an up market Hotel. You reach for your bag, where you have your credit cards, passport and other important travel documents. To your horror you find that your bag isn’t there! Scary…isn’t it?

We all have that one friend who has lost all their belongings like their passport, credit cards, money and all other documents on one trip or another. You walk up to a nice place for lunch and pull out your wallet except that is when the horror of losing their belongings for someone begins!

Suddenly your happiness vanishes, your mind goes blank and you feel stranded in an unknown land. What are you going to do? How will you pay the bills? How will you go back home? Questions like these start floating in one’s mind.

lost passport

You are not alone! Travelers around the world face the same situation from time to time. How you deal with it entirely depends on how well you are prepared for it. There are a few things you can do to help yourself in such a scenario.

1) Report to the police

Reporting to the local police is the first and the foremost thing that you must do if you have lost your documents on the go. You probably would not have an issue if you have e-tickets stored in your phone/laptop. Language barriers could be another frustrating issue but it becomes a lot easier if you carry extra copies of your passport and other IDs.

2) Report to the embassy

Get in touch with the local embassy of your country as soon as possible because you need to be present in person at the embassy to apply for a new passport. If you still have copies of your national ID card then getting a new passport would be relatively a quick process.

Note: Passports reported as lost or stolen become invalid and you need to apply for a fresh passport.

3) Keep photocopies ready

Keep a spare set of all your travel documents handy including flight and hotel bookings, national ID, passport, visa(if issued one), your card details and most importantly some money in case of any problems. Whether you go to the police station or the embassy having these things in handy will alleviate any problems you might encounter.

What to do before leaving for a vacation to a new country?

1) Keep photocopies

Before traveling to a foreign location it is a must that you pack photo copies of all the important documents like the visa and passport. For travelling on domestic airlines in another country, e-tickets that you have can always come in handy if you lose originals.

2) Keep a copy of documents on the internet

Cloud storage of all the information is also advisable. You can use google drive or any other cloud based service to store all the documents that you might need to access when abroad.

3) Get your passport renewed

It is a must to get your passport renewed if it is about to expire, before leaving for another country. Keep sufficient time margin between applying and getting it  and your date of departure for travel.

4) Keep documents safely

All your important travel documents should be kept safely especially when you are travelling around however also keep in mind that you may need to frequently access them.

You must keep your important documents in a small bag and keep it safely, so that you can access it all the time. So the chances of your documents getting lost or stolen are reduced.

5) Stay alert

If you are travelling to a location  where you know the crime rate is high, be very careful and vigilant about your documents, credit cards and money. Don’t leave any of these things unattended.

Checklist of the documents you should carry before leaving.

  1. Passport
  2. Visa
  3. Credit card
  4. Trip itinerary
  5. Tickets of hotel and airline bookings.
  6. Important phone numbers like the your embassy contact number, phone number of friends and family back home.
  7. Backup of all your documents on a cloud storage.

We hope that you do not ever face a situation where you lose your documents, however if you do find yourself in a situation like this, do not panic and follow the steps above to ensure that you never find yourself stranded!

Take care. Happy Travelling!


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