There is nothing worse than losing your passport whilst you are on holiday. You feel like you are stranded and can’t get back home, like it’s going to be super expensive and your holiday is ruined! Well keep calm, because after reading this article you will know exactly what to do and how to sort out this dreaded situation!

Nothing can quite ruin a holiday like losing your passport! All of a sudden you feel totally trapped and like you will never get home. You have all these questions buzzing in your head, what do you do when you lose your passport?! Don’t worry! It is easier to solve than you may think. Take a look at this article and you will know exactly what to do about a lost passport!

What To Do About a Lost Passport Abroad

General Information for UK Citizens & FAQ | What to Do About A Lost Passport | What To Do If You Lose A Passport In Specific Destinations

It is quite simple really. If you are a British national with a lost, stolen or expired passport then all you need to do is get an emergency travel document.

Beautiful traveller girl

General Information for British Nationals:

So you are probably full of questions and don’t know the process for if your passport of lost, stolen or expired. But fear not, it is actually simpler than you would think and I am going to cover everything as simply as possible.


Can you travel when your passport is about to expire?

Generally your passport must be valid for at least 6 months before the end of your trip. In general, it is safer and easier to just renew your passport before you go away to avoid any problems. It is also worth checking for the specific country what their requirements are with passports and visas.

How long does it take to replace a passport?

If you are doing a simple renewal of your passport because it has or will expire, then it will take about 3 weeks. Make sure you fill out the application correctly because this can delay the process if there are any errors.

Where do I renew my passport? 

Further details and to access the application for a new passport can be done on

How much is a new passport? 

In the case that you are renewing a passport because of its expiry date the costs are as follows:

Type of Passport
Adult (Age 16+) Standard 32-page passport £72.50
Adult (Age 16+) Jumbo 48-page passport £85.50
Child (under 16 years) passport £46
Passport for people born on/ before 2/09/1929 FREE

Travel Documents on Laptop Keyboard

What do I do if my passport is expired, damaged or stolen?

If your passport has expired or been damaged whilst you were on holiday, then you need to get an emergency travel document to allow you to fly home.

File a police report

Stolen passports need to be reported to the local police. For insurance purposes, it’s best to do this as soon as possible, and at least within 24 hours. Note: keep any crime report details and reference numbers for your application form. You will need to show the police report when you apply for your passport. Cancel your lost passport before applying for your emergency travel document on You may cancel it yourself, or have a friend or family member do it for you if you can’t get Internet access. This is to protect your identity and to stop others from using your passport. 

Take a passport picture

When you go to the embassy, bring a passport photo of yourself. You can either have packed some just in case from home, or find the nearest photo booth and take new ones. This will generally make the whole process of getting a new passport/ emergency travel document quicker.

Apply for an emergency travel document

Now to get the process rolling. You will need to find out where your nearest Embassy/ High Commission/ Consulate is on gov.ukHere, you will apply for an emergency passport/ emergency travel document.

Here is how to apply:

  • You must apply in person.
  • Make an appointment through
    • Bring with you:
      A completed application form.
      A recent photo of yourself.
      Proof of your travel plans (booking confirmation)
      A police report if your passport has been stolen


Do I have to pay?  

Unfortunately, you will have to pay a fee of around £95 for this document. Find the prices here.

What does an emergency travel document do? 

So you are probably wondering how this magical piece of paper is enough to replace your lost passport, right? Well here’s some information on what the document actually is…

  • You can leave your holiday destination and return to the UK/ country you are residing in.
  • You can travel via a maximum of 5 different countries.
  • The emergency travel document is only valid for a specific journey at a certain time.
  • Doesn’t automatically grant you entry to a country if you need a visa (check with the country’s Embassy/ Consulate)
  • You can only travel to the countries stated on the application.

Travel Document shutterstock_221669455

What to do if you lose your passport in specific locations?

If you find yourself in the situation where you have a lost passport abroad, the steps to get home are usually the same. It mainly involves you contacting the UK Consulate or Embassy in the relevant country. Report a lost passport to them, and request an emergency travel document. Don’t forget to cancel your lost passport!

What if I lose my passport in Spain?

Contact the British Embassy in Spain immediately. The embassy is in Madrid and you can find details on how to contact them on

What if I lose my passport in the US?

Contact the British Embassy in the United States immediately and inform them about your lost passport. The embassy is located in Washington DC and you can contact them, or find your nearest Consulate, on

What if I lose my passport in Australia?

If you are living in Australia and have lost your passport, be sure to contact the British High Commission Canberra immediately. The consulate is located in Canberra and you can contact them, as well as find other consulates in Australia, on

Happy girl handing over passport in airport

So, it’s all rather straight forward, right? Apart from the downside of the price, the whole process should be quick and simple, so there is no need to panic about your lost passport!

I hope this article has helped… Let us know any crazy stories you’ve had on holiday from losing things – it happens to the best of us!

And now you have one less thing to worry about, how about booking a holiday? ;) Check out my latest deals!

Happy holidays! -your Holidayguru :D

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