Your passport is one of the most important documents you will ever own, as it is a golden ticket which will grant you entry to amazing locations and experiences all over the world. However, many traveller fail to realise the true importance of their passport until they realise it is gone.
According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, lost or stolen passports cost Brits £5,000,000 per year, with around 80 emergency travel documents issued to Brits around the world every single day! Emergency cases of damaged or expired passports have also increased by 300%!
To help combat this new wave of passport mistreating tourists, the FCO have launched a new campaign called ‘Enjoy your Holiday’, which aims to educate travellers on the importance of keeping their passports safe, and the potential implications for their bank balances and trips if they don’t.
The main campaign messages include;
• Look after your passport carefully and understands it’s value – after all how will you get home without it? Remember that a damaged passport cannot be used for travel.
• Don’t assume that your passport will be safer with you, keep it locked in a safe and keep a photocopy in a different location, just in case.
• In certain countries your passport will need to be valid for at least another 6 months for you to be allowed entry to the country, double check entry requirements in advance of your trip.
• If you lose your passport on holiday, you will not be able to get a replacement. Instead you will have to get an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) and then replace your passport once back in the UK – a costly exercise.
• Obtaining an ETD can take several days depending on where you are. You may need to obtain a police report, get passport photos, and of course get to and from your nearest British Consulate or Embassy. You may also have to replace any visas you need for your journey too.
• Always invest in quality travel insurance which includes cover for lost or stolen travel documents.
The FCO have also created a short video, which includes interviews with travellers who have lost their passports, and explains the true impact this disaster can have on your trip.
For more advice from the FCO, visit their website
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