Your vacation plans may not go as well as you’d like. They could be interrupted by a stressful problem that will make it hard to enjoy your guided tours and your frosty drinks by the hotel pool. One stressful problem that you might encounter is losing a necessity like your passport in the middle of your trip, whether it was pickpocketed from your bag or simply misplaced.
You can’t go back home without your passport. So, what should you do if you lose it?
Find the Nearest Embassy
The moment that you realize that you’ve lost your passport and you’re positive that you can’t retrieve it, you should go to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. There are U.S. embassies and consulates around the globe, usually located in major cities. So, find out where the nearest one to your location happens to be and contact it immediately. If it’s closeby, you should go directly to the building.
Report Your Missing Passport
Once you get to the embassy, you will need to report your passport as lost (or if it’s been pickpocketed, report it as stolen). Then, you will need to apply for a replacement as soon as possible. You won’t be able to fill out an application until you have collected certain documents and gotten a fresh passport photo. The embassy should direct you to a location where you can get a proper photo taken.
Collect Your Documents
In order to apply for a replacement passport, you will have to present some important documents at the embassy: your travel itinerary, official identification, evidence of U.S. citizenship and a passport photo.
For your travel itinerary, you will want to show evidence of your planned departure from the country (for example, a plane ticket). This will help the embassy employees know what type of replacement passport you will need. If your itinerary reveals that you’re booked to return home very soon, you could apply for a limited-validity emergency passport, which can only be used for your immediate return home.
If your travel itinerary reveals that your departure date is far away, you can apply for a fully valid passport as a replacement. This should last you for the normal period of 10 years before officially expiring.
For official identification, you can present a valid driver’s license, an expired passport or a government employee ID.
Proof of U.S. Citizenship
For evidence of U.S. citizenship, you could show your birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, a U.S. permanent resident card or even a photocopy of your lost/stolen passport.
Before you travel out of the country, it’s recommended that you make a copy of your passport photo just in case it goes missing and you need to present it as an ID or proof of citizenship. Make sure to put the photocopy in a different part of your baggage as your actual passport while traveling, and when you’re staying in a hotel, keep the photocopy locked away in the room safe. This will reduce your chances of both documents going missing.
You will need a brand-new photo for your passport. It will have to meet all of the necessary passport photo standards in order to be approved. For example, you cannot be wearing a hat in the photo or else it will be considered ineligible for the application.
Apply for Your Passport
Once you have all of your essential documents, you will be able to fill out and submit an application for a passport renewal through the embassy. You will have to pay passport fees to complete the process. Expect to pay an adult renewal fee for a passport book, along with fees to expedite the application and delivery process.
How can you pay for these fees? Hopefully, you will have an emergency fund that you can rely on in these types of situations. You can withdraw the necessary savings from your emergency fund to pay these fees immediately and then move forward with your vacation.
Without an emergency fund tucked away into a secure bank account, you might have to borrow funds to cover this unanticipated expense. You could try to apply for an online personal loan and use the temporary funds to handle the emergency. If you’ve never used this payment solution before, you should find out what is the meaning of an online personal loan. You’ll get essential details like what requirements you need for an application and how you can manage repayments once you’ve used the loan. The information could be very useful.
The final step is waiting to get your passport replacement. Once that document is in your hands, you’ll be able to head back home without any trouble. That’ll be a huge relief.