This article was originally published in Arabic on Safar Project; go show them some love.
It’s safe to say that losing your passport while on a trip abroad is one of the worst things that could possibly happen, especially if you still had other countries left on your trip's itinerary. Horrible and terrifying as it might be, it’s not the end of the world – take a deep breath, take some precautions, and know what your options are for that fateful day when it finally happens.
PRECAUTIONS: BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING
This is a must for anyone travelling abroad, in case your bag or passport get snatched. Make a couple of copies of your passport, as well as relevant visas, and stash them in different places; keep one in your pocket, another in your suitcase, and maybe even in your shoe just in case you're one of those "of course that would happen to me" people. You can also scan your passport and email it to yourself or keep a copy of it on your phone, which would really help when you go to the embassy.
KEEP A COUPLE OF PERSONAL PHOTOS ON YOU
To get a new passport from the embassy you'll be needing some photographs. Of course you can find a place to take some pictures in wherever you are, but having them on you would save you a lot at a time and hassle so you can get on with your trip.
KNOW THE LOCATION OF YOUR COUNTRY’S EMBASSY
It's best that you have your embassy's number and location saved on your phone before you travel, and it also helps to know exactly how far it is from where you’re staying; sometimes it's not even in the same city. For instance, if you’re an Egyptian traveling to Florida, you’ll have to go to another state to get a hold of the Egyptian embassy. You should also be aware of their working hours, since they take weekends off like any other place.
via Safar Project
NEXT STEPS: WHAT TO DO ONCE IT GETS LOST
STEP 1: FILE A POLICE REPORT
You’re going to have to file a police report to document that your passport was stolen. This police report is crucial because you’re going to take a copy of it to move around in the country until a new passport is issued. Patience is key while filing the police report because not all countries have the same procedures. And yes, taking a trip; to the police station while on vacation is probably not the most pleasant experience, but you don't really have a choice on this one – try to make the most of it somehow.
STEP 2: GO TO THE EMBASSY
The next step is to go to your embassy, which is hopefully not terribly far from where you are. Take your police report with you, as well as those personal photos and copies of your passport and visas you had made – it's what they'll use to issue you a new passport.
STEP 3: GO TO THE AIRLINE
The last step would be going to the airline and discussing options with them, concerning your ticket which you might’ve very well missed already. You could try to have them push your ticket back a few days to make up for the lost time in getting a new passport. It all depends on the airline and the reservation, and each case would be handles separately. So, it’s important to get in touch with them and know what your options are.
Losing your passport on a trip can be a real bummer, but at the same time it’s a problem that does have a solution. It happened to a lot of people and they figured it out and went home safely, without any problems. If you have any other tips on what to do if you lose your passport abroad, share them with us!