Let’s say it’s the 22nd December, and we fly to New York in five days – you know, just the holiday I’ve been excitedly banging on about for months. Well, in my true last minute fashion, I decide it’s probably time to organise the ESTA visas that allow me and my boyfriend into the USA.
Me: Can I have your passport?
Him: I’ll just go and get it.
5 minutes later…
Him: So, I can’t find it.
Me: It will be somewhere in the house, try the cupboard or your wardrobe.
24 hours later…
Him: Yep, still can’t find it.
Mad panic set in, the ringing of friends, ransacking the house, numerous phone calls to all the passport offices around the country and the receiving of the general response ‘not a chance’ over and over again. Believe it or not, 2 days before Christmas was not the ideal time to realise you’d lost your passport. Who knew? Oh wait, only EVERYONE.
Yes there were tears, and panic, and sadness, and guilt, but regardless of the gut wrenching thought that we might not be going on our holiday of a lifetime after all, I remained surprisingly calm. After all, how could I possibly be angry at a person that was already SO UNBELIEVABLY ANGRY at themselves?
Luckily (as I wasn’t actually confident how much longer my calm would last) the Liverpool passport office was able to slot him in for an appointment on Christmas Eve, though with no guarantee he would come away with a new passport that day. But, thankfully, as if by a Christmas miracle, the office staff were completely calm, took his documents and reassured him a new passport would be ready for him in 4 hours’ time – My 1st thought : Just enough time for some extra Christmas purchases for his super supportive girlfriend! My second thought: YESSSSSS!! We’re going to New York!
When waiting to hear the good news, I googled frantically in search of some hope or reassurance from someone that may have had the same experience and a positive story to restore my excitement towards our fast approaching holiday, but I really didn’t find an awful lot at all, particularly nothing recent, and definitely nothing reassuring. Apparently the rest of the world is a little more organised than us!
So, in the unlikely case that YOU find yourself in the tricky predicament of a lost passport just days before your flight, here’s a little advice, and hopefully some reassurance:
- Book an appointment with any of the UK passport offices as soon as possible. Of course try the closest one to you first, but be prepared to travel further afield.
- Collect a new passport form from the post office, fill it out and take it with you. Make sure all details are absolutely correct with no date errors or spelling mistakes as this will waste time at the office.
- Have your photographs taken and countersigned, and add them to your form.
- Take as much proof as you can of who you are – birth certificate, driving licence, recent payslips, utility bills.
- Try and remain as calm as you can – no-one responds well to a shouter.
- And, if all else fails, just turn up to whichever passport office you can, cry – a lot, and hope to god they take pity on your poor disorganised soul.
I’m pleased to tell you that we did make it to NEW YORK NEW YORK in the end, and that the big apple held a fair few fantastic stories of its own! I can’t wait to tell you all about them!
Are you a last minute person or would this sort of disorganisation drive you crazy?