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A Cautionary Tale on Lost Passports and Packing EARLY

We're preparing for a trip, leaving tomorrow, I started packing last week. I made sure I had my passport and other essentials packed just so I wouldn't forget them in the last minute rush to get things done.
My husband started packing yesterday... And his passport is no where to be found! We stayed up most of the night tearing our house apart, searching our car, going to the office and checking there, interrogating the passport.

I'm in panic mode, but I called my mother who offered the sage advice that only a medical professional can: Did anyone die? No? Well then the worst case scenario is very disappointing and painful but not devastating. You'll survive.

So DH hoped on a flight to Denver this morning to go to our nearest regional passport office to get an emergency passport replacement. The crazy thing is, the round trip tickets and rental car were cheaper than those expedited passport businesses!

Moral of the story: always keep your passport in the same place, and start packing in advance of your trip so that if you need to suddenly replace a lost passport, get a refill on a prescription, or just need to buy basic travel essentials you'll have plenty of time and warning to do so.

And if anyone else finds themselves in the same situation as we did, here is the link to the official US Government website where you can figure out what to do if your passport is lost or stolen at home or abroad:
Happy travels all, I hope your packing isn't as stressful as mine as been!

Posted by
7209 posts

Definitely know the location of your passport! But as far as packing I always do it the night before.

Posted by
5144 posts

I can just picture the panic you must have been in! I hope the rest of your trip is memorable for more enjoyable things.

Besides our safety deposit box at the bank, we have a fireproof lock box at home where we keep our passports, along with other important papers.

Posted by
2036 posts

I hope everything works out for you. Thanks for posting. We’ve been thinking about just renewing our passports rather early, to just get it done. Now we shall. Safe travels when they begin!

Posted by
14290 posts

Claire! Thanks SO much for posting! Fingers crossed Denver is able to sort your husband out and all will be well. Let us know.

And yes, I'm a "chronic early packer" as well, lol! I also mark things off my checklist as I pack them so I'll not forget, lol!

Your post does remind me that I need to go ahead and get my passport renewed. It expires next spring so might as well go ahead and do it now.

Posted by
2252 posts

Claire, thank you for this "tale". I would be embarrassed to tell you how many times I check and double check and triple check exactly where my passport is before a trip. And of course, I always keep it in the same place....unless I have moved it.......😉

Posted by
11368 posts

I keep the passports in a lock box and only remove them right before leaving. One time we stopped to say goodbye to family en route to airport. Then the passports were in an inside zipped pocket in my purse. Well, a toddler grandchild went in the purse and removed the passports! Luckily I checked for them before leaving for the airport and found where he had hidden them. Panic time. Good luck getting the new passport.
I never pack early and don’t see why that has to do with checking on passports.

Posted by
3250 posts

A friend left hers on her computer scanner, and didn't remember until she'd paid a very expensive taxi to get to the airport, and was at the check in desk.
Two more taxi rides later...……..

Posted by
32273 posts


Although I'm not planning a trip at the moment, your post prompted me to check that my Passport was in its usual location. Thankfully it was there. I took the opportunity to also check the expiry date, and there's lots of time left before expiry. Time to start planning a trip!

Posted by
96 posts

An update: I heard from DH 20 minutes ago, and he has a new passport!!!
He had an 8AM appointment, did all the paperwork on the flight on the way there, and now we're ready for our trip!

He just has to kill a day wandering around and taking power naps, as his return flight is around 10 tonight.

I told him I was glad we found a way to work it out without cancelling any flights, but I wish he were here to help me finish cleaning up the house. (I'm mostly kidding)

He says he can think of 100 better ways to avoid doing dishes. Lol.

Thanks for all your supportive comments! Sometimes in times of stress hearing some sympathy and encouragement is just the thing to get you through!

Posted by
2352 posts

hey hey claire89
great attitude and great husband,
take the good and the bad, you two will have a fabulous and fun trip, enjoy

Posted by
521 posts

So glad it all worked out! Now you can relax and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
503 posts

Claire, so glad it all worked out and you can continue on with your trip. I recently saw a thing on FB that said something like, "there is no other worse feeling in the world than not finding your passport where you thought you left it" I guess you can attest to that! I'm curious, since the passport is lost, did the passport office officially cancel his old passport number so that it could not be used if it had been stolen?

Posted by
10370 posts

Whew. Glad you had a one-day wiggle room.

Now be sure the passport number is updated with your airline and most importantly with Global Entry, if you have it.

Posted by
122 posts

When we are not traveling, I keep our passports in what I call our travel drawer. It only includes things like the passports, different European plugs, money belts etc. I start a box a couple of weeks before the trip and add things to it that I don’t want to forget to bring. Passports get added right away. And no one touches the box except me until we pack.

Posted by
4012 posts

Now be sure the passport number is updated with your airline and most
importantly with Global Entry, if you have it.

This is very important Claire. The airline you are flying must have the new passport number with your husband’s ticket information or he may not be able to board the aircraft.

If you have global entry, you may not be able to use it this time when you arrive home or get on the TSA pre-check line when you leave the US but at least if the airline has the new passport information, that is what really counts.

Posted by
1221 posts

Happy and safe travels!

We live in a hurricane-prone region and when they're not in active use, the passports live in the 'bug out box' that contains important documents like that, birth certificates, marriage licenses, home and auto insurance binders, etc. and can easily be thrown in the trunk if we have to evacuate for a storm.

Posted by
347 posts

please post when you find the original passport. I am too curious.

Posted by
142 posts

Glad to hear he has a new passport. I always keep mine in the same place but I remember a few months ago I dreamed I lost it and in my dream I started looking for it around my house and didn't found it LOL. When I woke up I looked for it and it was at it usual place.

Posted by
199 posts

After living through an earthquake and a major fire we finally put our passports in a fireproof box along with other important documents. I like the RS booklet they send with the check boxes of what to do when to do it. One is to write down your passport number and the date of expiration, months before the trip begins. The last time we signed up for a RS trip we found out my husband's passport was set to expire before 6 months, in time to get a renewal. We start packing at least a week before the trip too.

Posted by
2765 posts

What a tale. I admit I’m paranoid. I’m on the subway on my way to the airport. This post made me immediately verify (for at least the 10th time) I had my passport with me.