Have you wondered what to do in a situation when you are abroad and lose your passport? Who should you contact and what steps should you take to return to your country? In the following article we will describe our proven ways to store documents while traveling.As a rule, common sense, logic and prevention seem to be the most at stake in traveling. In some countries, even hotel safes do not guarantee an adequate level of security, and you may be surprised how things left in them will most simply perish. Have this knowledge the most important documents we always try to carry with us. The passport does not weigh so much that it would be a significant burden, and if it is lost, depending on the country in which we are, we will have to deal with a lot of hassle and running around, which translates into additional costs and wasted time. Often priceless when traveling. The passport is a key document, especially if you are traveling outside the European Union. That’s why it’s worth buying such a special pouch or belt, which can be hidden under clothes, so that it doesn’t interfere with our travel and is also not too visible and accessible to unauthorized people. Some models of trekking pants have special prepared interior pockets for documents, which also seems to be a good place for security. There are probably many others – you need to think beforehand and choose the place that will be most comfortable for you. So much for the „physical” security of the document.
Based on the assumption that the simplest ways are the most effective, we always scan the most important travel documents (passport, ID card, policies, visas, flight and hotel reservation numbers, etc.) to an email inbox to a directory created especially for the occasion. Vaccinations are required for some countries so it’s also a good idea to have scans of yellow vaccination books in case anyone asks. The same with other permits, licenses, authorizations, etc. depending on the nature of the expedition. All documents are worth having scanned with the exception of credit cards – but about that in another article. In case of an emergency, you only need to have access to the Internet and you can use scans of documents. Admittedly, a scan of a document will not replace the entire procedure associated with the issuance of a new passport, but it will always be helpful in quickly establishing personal information and citizenship. It is also worth having a simple photocopy of the most important documents in another place of luggage in case there is a problem with logging on to the post office. An ID card, although not a document authorizing travel outside the European Union is sometimes also useful, following the principle that two documents are better than one.
In the event that we find that we do not have a passport we have two options. The first is to go to the consulate and declare that we have lost our passport. The second option, if we are not sure whether we actually lost our passport or it was stolen from us, it is safer to go to the nearest police station to report the theft and make a statement. After writing a report confirming the theft, we can continue to function in the country where we are because in the event of an inspection, the report from the local authorities will be enough to explain the situation. The fee for a lost or damaged passport is three times higher than for a stolen one, so it is worth considering what actually happened to our passport.
Go to the consul and wait for the case to be settled. The consul will have to verify that you are indeed the person you claim to be before issuing you a temporary passport. So it’s crucial to provide him with photocopies of your documents, which will greatly speed up the verification and we can even get a temporary passport the same day.
A very good move is to check before you leave whether there is a Polish diplomatic post in the country you are going to. If there is one, it is worth writing down its location, so that later, in case of necessity, you do not have to nervously search the Internet. If there is no Polish diplomatic post, then as a citizen of the European Union we can go to another nearest post of any of the EU countries and the consul there should also help us. So it is worth checking the diplomatic posts of other EU countries because this information may prove useful.