Wherever you travel this year, we urge you to be safe and be prepared. Even if you are not travelling on one of our holidays. That’s why fitscape has become a partner of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in its Know Before You Go campaign. We and the FCO advise that before you travel abroad you should do the following:
1. Ensure you have taken out comprehensive travel insurance.
2. Learn about medical requirements at least six weeks before you travel.
3. Understand local laws and customs in the country or countries you plan to visit.
4. Learn about your destination on the travel advice section of the FCO website
5. Understand what British consular staff can and can’t do for travellers. See FCO faq
6. Make a copy of your passport and store it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen abroad you must first go to a local police station and complete a written report. You need to take this along with two passport-size photos to the nearest British consulate or embassy – these are listed at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
In theory, you won’t get a new passport unless you have a police report. In practice, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office acknowledges that not all police forces will agree to issue a report for a lost passport. It says “you need to demonstrate that you have at least tried to report the theft”.
A new passport cannot be issued immediately. Staff will first need to run a check on your identity with the UK passport office, and you will need to complete a LS01 form to cancel your old passport. Once this process is complete, the FCO staff will issue you with a machine-readable Emergency Passport which will be valid for less than a year. Before you are given this, you will need to pay a fee in the local currency.
Clearly, it’s a good idea to take great care of your passport and to keep a safe record of its details!
Finally, if you are in a country without a British consulate, you should either contact the consulate of another EU country or a British consulate in a neighbouring country.
Find the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk/travel