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Britons Spending Millions Replacing Lost Passports

Jun 20, 2008
Britons may be wasting as much as 389 million pounds replacing lost or stolen passports while on holiday, financial services firm Halifax has suggested.

According to the company, the average consumer who mislays their passport while overseas spends an additional three days awaiting replacement documents in order to get back home. In total, this amounts 1.7 million days of delays experienced by Britons annually because passports have not been kept safe.

Losing important items and missing return flights home could have a considerable impact on finances. For those looking for an effective way to meet the costs of replacement documents and tickets back to Britain, taking out a low rate loan may prove an effective way to repay the unexpected outlay.

Indeed, losing passports and delaying return flights is estimated to cost the average Briton around 131 pounds. Furthermore, the group reports this also has a knock-on effect for employees in terms of having to take additional leave for which they may not be paid. In order to minimise the likelihood of such events, Halifax urges consumers to take particular care of their passports while on holiday, especially when visiting busy tourist attractions. Such destinations account for 15 per cent of all passports or lost or stolen, according to the group. It also reports that frustratingly, a further 12 per cent of people lose their passport at the airport, usually immediately after arriving or prior to departure.

An additional 11 per cent of travel documents were said to have been misplaced or stolen from hotel rooms, something which the firm can be prevented by ensuring that passports are well hidden or placed in a security safe in the hotel if one is available. Making sure documents are well protected while outside was also said to be important, with ten per cent of tourists stating they had their passport physically taken from them on the street.

Paul Birkhead, representative for Halifax Travel Insurance, commented: "Losing your passport abroad is a guaranteed nightmare and we always advise taking several photocopies of the back page with you, just in case something happens to it. This can help to speed the process up and avoid delays on the return leg of your trip, which is not only costly, but can cause serious hassle - especially if you're due back at work. Of course if you have a decent travel insurance policy then it is likely that much of the expense will be covered by your insurer."

In order to reduce the likelihood of having travel papers stolen and speeding up replacement procedures if they are, the group suggested that photocopies should be made of the back page and additional photographic identification should be taken. Local police and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office also need to be informed of loss or theft at the earliest possible opportunity, the group concluded.

Taking out a personal loan may also be of interest to those looking to fund the additional expense upon their return to Britain. Doing so may also prove an effective course of action for those who have been caught out by a lack of home insurance cover upon their return home. A piece of research published this year by Nationwide warned consumers to be aware of the increased risk of burglary arising during holiday periods.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for All About Loans. Our visitors are offered advice and information all about loans, they can also apply online for UK tenant loans and cheap loans for any purpose, including self certification loans for the self employed.
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