Passport that fell from a passenger's bag in an airport.

Passport that fell from a passenger's bag in an airport.

People can lose their passports at any point during travel, but there are familiar places where passports may be lost or stolen.

Likely places you lost your passport


Passports may be misplaced or stolen at security checkpoints, during check-in or boarding, or in other airport areas.

Public transportation

Passports can be lost or stolen while traveling on buses, trains, or other public transportation.


Passports may be misplaced or stolen in hotels, hostels, or vacation rentals.

Tourist attractions

Tourist attractions can be crowded and busy, making them a prime location for pickpockets and thieves to steal passports.

Restaurants and cafes

Passports may be left behind or stolen in restaurants and cafes, especially if they are not stored securely.

Passport that fell from a passenger's bag in an airport.
Passport that fell from a passenger’s bag in an airport.

It’s important always to be vigilant with your passport and keep it secure, such as storing it in a money belt or closed bag, making copies of important documents, and being aware of your surroundings.

Impact of a lost passport

Losing a passport can have serious consequences for a traveler. It can cause delayed or canceled travel plans, financial loss, security concerns, inconvenience, and emotional distress.

Delayed or canceled travel plans

Without a passport, a person may be unable to travel or experience delays and cancellations in their travel plans.

Financial loss

Replacing a lost passport can be expensive, and a person may need to pay additional fees for expedited processing or travel arrangements.

Security concerns

A lost passport can put a person’s identity and personal information at risk, especially if it falls into the wrong hands.


Replacing a lost passport can be time-consuming and inconvenient and may require a person to travel to an embassy or consulate in person.

Emotional distress

Losing a passport can be stressful and upsetting, particularly in a foreign country or during an important trip.

It’s important to take precautions to prevent passport loss and to act quickly if a passport is lost or stolen.

What to do when you lose your passport during travel

If you lose your passport while traveling, immediately replacing it is important. Here are the steps you should follow:

Report the loss

Report the loss to your home country’s nearest embassy or consulate as soon as possible. They will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement passport.

Contact your insurance provider.

If you have travel insurance, contact your provider to see if they can assist with the process of replacing your passport.

Gather necessary documents

You must provide proof of your identity and citizenship to obtain a replacement passport. This may include a birth certificate, driver’s license, or national ID card.

Complete the application form.

Fill out the application form for a replacement passport, which you can typically find on the embassy or consulate’s website.

Pay the passport replacement fee.

Pay the fee for the replacement passport, which will vary depending on your country of citizenship and the type of passport you need.

Provide a recent photo.

You will need to provide a recent passport-style photo to be used in your new passport.

Wait for the replacement.

Replacing a lost passport can take several days to a week, so be prepared to be without your ticket for a short period.

In the meantime, it’s important to secure your identity and prevent any potential fraud. This may include canceling any credit cards or other forms of identification in your possession.

If you find yourself in a foreign country without a passport, the embassy or consulate of your home country will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement. However, keeping a copy of your passport in a safe place is always a good idea, and being cautious when traveling minimizes the risk of losing it.

Best practices while you still have your passport with you

Here are some best practices to follow while you still have your passport with you:

Keep your passport secure

Store your passport in a secure location, such as a hotel safe or money belt, and only carry it when necessary.

Make copies

Make copies of your passport and other important documents, and keep them in a separate location, such as in your email or cloud storage. This will help you get replacements more easily if your passport is lost or stolen.

Keep your passport up-to-date.

Ensure your passport is up-to-date with valid information and has enough time left before it expires.

Be aware of your surroundings.

Be aware of your surroundings and watch your passport in crowded or busy areas.

Know embassy or consulate information.

Keep a record of your embassy or consulate’s contact information if you need to report a lost or stolen passport or need assistance.

Register with your embassy.

Register with your embassy or consulate when traveling to a foreign country, so they can assist if needed.

Acting quickly is crucial if a passport is lost or stolen. Delaying can lead to further complications, such as missed travel plans, financial loss, or identity theft. The first step is to report the loss to the local authorities and your embassy or consulate, so they can assist you in obtaining a new passport.

Follow up on your replacement passport and take extra precautions to prevent further loss or theft. Remember, the sooner you act, the better the chances of resolving the situation with minimal impact on your travel plans and personal life.