What getting my passport stolen taught me. - Travel N Fitness

What getting my passport stolen taught me.

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Passport Stolen

You always hope it won’t happen to you but when you get your passport stolen it is almost like the world falls apart, especially as a traveller.

Let me tell you how it happened to me: I was in Costa Rica in San Jose for New Years Eve. I went out for the evening with everyone in the hostel we had a fantastic evening. Met some great friends and ended up in some real random places. Came back to find out that someone had reached through the bars on the hostels windows and stole the bags they could reach which included mine, my dads and a German couple who were in the bunk beds next to us.

So here is what I learned:

  1. Make copies of your passport, even better take a photo and store it on icloud or some other remote storage space. Having those copies will save you having to prove who you are to the embassy when you get that far and may also serve you as ID in the mean time if needed.
  2. Tell your parents! I was with my Dad so didn’t think much of it at the time but something had happened at home and my Mum needed to contact me. She ended up talking to the British Embassy and they simply told her they had been in contact with me but couldn’t tell her why. This sent my Mum into a bigger panic.
  3. Carry passport photos with you at all times. Can be the worst mugshot of all time but will save you having to hunt down a place to get your photo taken before going to the embassy or paying their really expensive fees to get them done there.
  4. Keep the bag with all your important things in locked up! Some people will tell you to keep it with you at all times but after seeing bags being cut off people and pick pockets I would rather know it is locked up safe in the hostel. Have locks on the zips and if there isn’t a locker then lock it to the bed too. This will stop the opportunists from lifting the whole bag straight out of your hostel room. I usually carry at least 2 locks with me at all times.
  5. Never give your passport to anyone! It is like gold on the black market and can be sold for lots of money. They can take a copy but they do not need your passport. Give them a different form of ID if they insist.
  6. Have travel insurance and know exactly what it covers. I have claimed on mine a few times over the years. A couple of times my claim was not covered! This is because I didn’t read the small print! Make sure you get a police report for your incident, this doesn’t have to be in English if the local language is not English.

Have you had your passport stolen? Did I miss any great tips? Please feel free to comment below with anything that I have missed.

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passport stollen

14 Comments

  1. Marji Gabert-Milam says:

    I was just in Athens last week and was pick-pocketed in the Plaka. Lost 2credit cards and €100.
    1. Divide your credit cards and money in different compartments – I had 2 other cards I could use and Euros too, so I wasn’t destitute.
    2. Make a photo-copy of both sides of your credit cards-store in your suitcase so you have lost/stolen phone numbers at hand to call right away.
    3. I will try to find a backpack that I can carry on the front rather than back or side for more security.
    4. Make sure the straps on your purse are make of Kevlar so they can’t be cut off.

    • Deasha says:

      This is brilliant! it is such a pain to be pick pocketed. Kevlar straps are a great idea! Would never have thought of photocopying my credit cards. Thanks for the advice 🙂

  2. Ambuj Saxena says:

    I guess every incident that occurs in our life is a lesson! Some people ignore these lessons while some people dont. Still there are the one’s who enlighten the others about the lesson learnt! You fall in the third category! Thanks for sharing this blog post. It is highly informative and very useful!

  3. Garth says:

    Good advice, especially to take copies and a passport photo, sorry to hear yours got stolen.

  4. So sorry this happened to you! Never fun to have something like that go down when you’re trying to have a carefree adventure. Thanks for sharing the tips–silver lining out of a bad experience!

  5. David says:

    Very good advice for an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I agree about saving a photo on the cloud and for a while I even had my passport number memorised haha. Also travel insurance is a must!

  6. Wow, that really stinks! I definitely need to take some of these precautions. Awesome post 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing your story and advices! Never thought of carrying passport photos with me when travelling, but it makes sense in such cases.

  8. Great advice and how terrible that happened to you. You have covered great tips on what to include for your travels. I do like to take extra passport photos, copies of my passport and I wear a purse like bag across the body that is unable to be cut. All necessary things we must do to keep our personal items safe. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

  9. Good advice, we always take copies but will also now take a photo. Thanks for sharing. #feetdotravel

  10. Thankfully, I’ve never had my passport stolen. I do carry a copy of my passport and email the copy to myself. I hadn’t heard the tip about keeping a passport picture with you. Makes sense!

  11. Great advice, especially the passport photos. Racing around to get them done would just add to the stress.

  12. Good advice. We always keep copies. Passport being stolen sounds like a nightmare. Your poor mum! Locks is something we usually don’t do. Thanks for the tips.

  13. Samantha says:

    Thank you for this great article. It is an eyeopener and will certainly make me take more care in the future.

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