It’s every traveller’s nightmare - losing your wallet, passport and other important documents in a foreign country. And it’s surprisingly more common than you think - almost 30,000 UK passports are lost or stolen abroad each year
. Here's our tips on what you should do if your passport goes missing.
Go to the police
Whether it’s your wallet or passport that’s been lost or stolen, you should always report it to the police. If you’ve taken out travel insurance
, your insurer will want to see the police report as part of the claims process, and if your passport's been stolen, you'll need the same report to get emergency travel documents for your journey home.
Contact your bank
If your missing wallet or purse had a credit or debit card in it, it’s essential you tell your bank straight away - they can cancel it before it’s put to fraudulent use. Every bank has a phone number specifically for reporting missing cards, so make a note of it before you jet off, just in case. A handy list can be found on the Financial Fraud Action UK's website
For lost travellers’ cheques, all you have to do is get in touch with the provider and follow their process for replacing the lost cheques. Again, there’s usually a dedicated number for this, so jot it down before your holiday.
Report a missing passport to the relevant UK authority
If you’ve lost your passport, you should notify the UK embassy, consulate or high commission in the country you’re in. They can cancel it to prevent it being used by anyone else (you can also do this online
), and so you can acquire documents to get you home.
You may need to make an appointment to apply for emergency travel documents, so call ahead first. It’s a good idea to make a note of the nearest authority
in your destination before you go.
Emergency travel documents will help you get home without your passport. There’s a specific process
for this, so you should ensure you take all the relevant paperwork with you to your appointment.
This includes a completed form, a recent photo, a copy of the police report in the case of a theft and details of your journey home. The process also incurs a fee that can usually be claimed back through your travel insurance.
Contact your holiday or flight provider
If you’ve lost your travel tickets or other related documents, be sure to notify either the tour operator if you’re on a package holiday, or the airline in the case of missing plane tickets as soon as possible. You might have to pay extra for a replacement ticket.
Arrange to have emergency funds sent to you
If the loss of your wallet means you don’t have enough money to tide you over until you get home, get in touch with a friend or relative and see if they can transfer some money to you. This will usually incur a fee, so look into this first.
Follow the right steps when making a travel insurance claim
As well as getting a copy of the police report, there are other things to consider when putting in a claim on your travel insurance
, such as proving you took reasonable care in looking after your possessions at the time of the loss or theft of your money or passport.