9 THINGS TO DO IF YOUR PASSPORT IS STOLEN
It’s quite possible that the worst that can happen to you while traveling internationally is your passport getting stolen. At least that’s what I thought, until it happened to me. My passport was stolen in Melbourne, Australia. A place where I felt completely comfortable and safe.
On my first international trip to Costa Rica, my professor explained how important it is to keep your passport on you. That US passports can go for $10,000 on the black market. Not only that, but you are NOT allowed to leave a country without that little blue book. No exceptions. So yeah, it’s important. However, it’s not the end of the world.
9 things you need to know if your passport gets stolen:
- First, just know that it can happen in a second. It can happen in a place where you feel completely safe so you let your guard down. I let my guard down and my passport disappeared. Thieves are everywhere. Ruthless sons of guns.
- Contact your country’s embassy to begin the process of an emergency passport immediately.
- Embassies aren’t in every city you travel to. There is typically one in each country. If you aren’t in that city, you’ll need to make arrangements to get there. It’s best to know where your embassy is before you travel.
- Embassies don’t necessarily run Monday-Friday 9-5. I can almost guarantee they won’t be open on the weekends. Most embassies do not consider a stolen passport as an “emergency.” That’s what they told us in Australia. That being said, if your passport disappears on a Friday night or weekend; you more than likely won’t get one until Monday.
- Emergency passports don’t come cheap. My dad and I both had our passports stolen in Melbourne and they ran about $250 each.
- Unexpected expenses will indefinitely pop up. The extra hotel stays, the flight changes, the taxis to get everywhere. Flying terrifies my dad, so he paid the extra $250 each for more leg room and movies on our flights. We lost that perk entirely.
- File a police report. If more than your passport goes missing, or just the passport, your insurance will need a police report for documentation to reimburse you.
- Get all your flights figured out. Luckily, we had a travel agent for this trip and she took care of all those nitty-gritty details. But the biggest thing was getting us on the next flight out. If you don’t have a travel agent, it’s an even bigger hassle and you’ll have to deal with making the flight change yourself.
- Enjoy the extra time you are blessed with on your vacation! There’s nothing you can do to change what has already happened. Accept it and enjoy the time you have left.
There are worse things that can happen than getting your passport stolen. Murder, rape, sex trafficking. All terrible things and all are far worse than your passport being stolen. Don’t panic, you aren’t the first person that this has happened to.
It happened to me, and honestly, I had the luckiest situation possible when it comes to getting your passport stolen. It happened on a Friday morning when we were about to leave for our flight (terrible timing). We were in Melbourne, which is where the consulate is located, luckily. There was no one in line, so getting our emergency passport took just a few short hours. We were able to book our flight out for the very next day. Don’t be fooled though, this cost thousands of dollars that took months to reimburse.
Not only that, but I lost my tattooed passport that was pretty epic-looking. But I made it through one of the worst things that can happen to a traveler. I didn’t die or get overwhelmed with panic. And now it makes for a killer story to tell.