Friday, April 4, 2014

The Lost Passport Saga - and tips if you lose yours!


Updated 6th April 2014

If you visited this post previously and/or followed me on the usual social media channels you will be aware that a week before I was due to depart on holiday I couldn't find my passport. I'm a pretty organised person and even if something isn't in it's usual place I still know where it is because it's in the other usual but not so usual place. In the case of my passport it would always be in the paperwork drawer of my sideboard or the box of papers I keep in my hall cupboard.

On Thursday evening I went to get my chequebook so I could order my currency the next day and whilst in the aforementioned paperwork box I thought I'd dig my passport out and confirm whether my Esta was still in date. The passport wasn't there so I went to the drawer and it wasn't there either.

At this point I still wasn't concerned more frustrated as I knew the passport would be around. As the hours ticked by and I'd gone through various options, rooted through bags etc it still hadn't turned up. I still remained fairly calm and just thought I would have to go through the inconvenience of ordering an emergency replacement in person which would be a complete pain because I still though the passport must be in the flat somewhere and/or taking the time off work would be difficult when I'm so busy before departing on my hols.

On arriving to the office Friday morning I took myself off to a meeting room to phone the passport office and make the necessary appointments thinking I could spend the weekend going through everything calmly, positively thinking that it would be a good opportunity to declutter and reorganise before it turned up.

Unfortunately once I had spoke to the passport office concern set in. Firstly in the case of a lost or stolen passport the quickest you can receive a replacement is one week - and that's from the date of your appointment. The earliest appointment I could make in London was Thursday 10th April, the date I as due to fly!

Colleagues were extremely supportive when I came back and shared this news and no one was aware of the recent changes and convinced something more could be done and one spoke to a more helpful person at the passport office who said that quicker appointments do become available it's just a case of continually calling the office to see if there were any cancellations.

My boss kindly relieved me of work for the day and by lunchtime I was back home and on my hands and knees with torches, looking under sofas and going through drawers. I had spoke with the passport office again and managed to get an appointment in Newport, Wales for Tuesday 8th April and was all ready for spending my birthday in the least ideal way but it meant I was getting quicker at receiving a passport. The person I spoke with on this occasion was extremely helpful. Firstly the initial person I had spoke with had not provided any reference numbers and despite telling me the appointment was on 10th April it was in fact 16th April!

As I said I'm a fairly organised and have recently had declutter sessions when redesigning my bedroom so it was most unlike me to lose something and I was still at this point convinced it was in the house. Whilst it was feasible I had thrown it out I just couldn't accept that as I even go through the flyers etc that come through in the post one by one, magazines are pulled apart before reaching the bin and even paper I've written on is torn in half before disposing so I know that it's to be discarded.

On my last call to the post office I was told to phone after 3pm when they had usually received an influx of callers cancellation appointments and when I'd be most likely to find both a closer and earlier appointment. I was lucky enough to get an appointment for lunchtime Saturday 5th April in London - phew at least the added issue of travelling to Wales was off the cards.

I'd originally rejected mum's offer to help as it was something I needed to do methodically myself but now I knew that I either had to find the passport or accept it was missing and be ready for the appointment the next day so in the spirit of many hands make light work we got to it.

For some reason I had decided to leave my spare room till last as it's been kept tidy recently but we finally got round to it and I pulled out a box of scrapbook papers and papers collected from my trip to Vegas. I handed it to mum whilst I continued in the rooms nooks and crannies when she shouted out 'I've got it' - never have I been more relieved.

As I say I was fairly accepting of the situation. There was no point in getting worked up about it as it couldn't be helped, I felt more inconvenienced that I would have to fill out paperwork, track down a friend to sign my photos etc, what would Ben do whilst I waited for the passport, when would I know to book a new flight to meet up with etc as would passport arrive exactly a week later, or could it turn up sooner (the passport service advised the 7 days is a guarantee and couldn't say whether it would arrive sooner).

Thankfully that panic is over and I will indeed be jetting off on my holidays as planned but it certainly taught me a lesson about the worse case situations if you do lose your passport. I couldn't believe that if someone is careless to forget to renew their passport they can have it replaced in 24 hours but if you are the misfortune of theft prior to your holiday you will have to wait a week. I can't imagine if you have gone through the ordeal of your bag being stolen or similar, are grateful for a holiday being on the cards yet would be further caused upset with the knowledge you can't do anything about it. My advice to you is at least 2-3 weeks before your holiday make sure you have your passport to hand as if it is lost you will have a minimum 1 week period to replace it.

Finally a thank you to so many of your that were so supportive and sending positive thoughts via Twitter etc I'm sure that is what helped me be so calm and my overwhelming positivity that it was definitely in the flat.


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25 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Hope you find it - you don't need stress like that just before a trip :o) Xx

      Makeup by Candlelight

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  2. Oh hun, what a nightmare. We lost hubbies the other year and had to get a replacement one. Convinced he threw the darn thing away. Hope your turns up for you.

    X x

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    1. That was what I was worried about but it would be very unlike me. Luckily I found it x

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  3. Oh no, fingers crossed you find it x

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  4. Fingers crossed across the Atlantic! Check the pockets of any suitcases/bags you took with you the last time you used it; when your hands are full, and you're coming out of the customs/immigration line, sometimes one of those pockets is a quick and easy place to stash it.

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    1. It was with some old Vegas papers from my trip last year!

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  5. eee I hope you find it!! <3

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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  6. Hope you've found it!
    That's the trouble with putting things away in 'a safe place'...so safe you can't find it!
    Z xx

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    1. It had got caught up with papers I'd kept from Vegas and were put in my scrapbooking box!

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  7. Oh goodness I hope it turns up, what a nightmare!

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  8. How stressful, good luck finding it!

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  9. Oh no! That's so stressful :( Hope it turns up!!
    BeyondBlush

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    1. So glad you found it! I'm going on a trip to China at the end of the month, and just had to hand over my passport to their embassy with my travel Visa application. Travelling can be so stressful! Hope you enjoy your trip :)

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    2. Oh it really can! Just need to keep my eyes on the passport for the next couple of days before I leave.

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  10. So glad you found it! Have a wonderful holiday and I hope you have lots of photos to share here...including lovely shopping posts!

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    1. Oh I'm sure there will be plenty of that! x

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  11. So glad that you found it!! How awful if you had to miss your fab holiday!! Can't wait to hear about the trip!
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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