Step 1: Cancel your credit cards
Step 2: Retrace your steps
Step 3: Visit the nearest police station
At the police station, you will have to fill up a form, leave some contact info and they will then give you a crime investigation report. Flyavel team recommends you take a picture of this report. Unless this is your last day at your destination, do not visit your local embassy just yet. Occasionally wallets get found by street cleaners or by honest citizens overnight or early in the morning and they will likely report such lost property to the police straight away. If your ID, drivers license or some credit cards are inside, the police will contact you. The chances of something like this happening aren't great, but it does happen sometimes.
Step 4: Visit the embassy & get cash
- when can I visit the embassy?
- what do I need to bring with me? (the crime investigation report will definitely be needed)
- how much money will it cost me?
Yes, you read the last part right. You might need to pay the embassy if you need the single-use emergency ID (and it sometimes costs even more than the regular ID). The amounts and payment methods will certainly differ based on your country of origin and the embassy itself, but sometimes they even require the payment to be done in cash in local currency (they will not even accept your home currency). We at Flyavel cannot understand the logic behind this (if somebody stole your wallet with all your documents they also likely stole all your credit cards and cash) and think this is a really disgusting way to earn money by capitalising on someone's misfortune. But alas, it is what it is. You will also likely need a document-quality photo of yourself (sometimes you can purchase these at photo booths in post offices - you will again need some cash for this).
If you're travelling alone and have no cash on you, then you are in a bit of a pickle. Maybe you can have your relatives send you some emergency cash using services like Western Union or Moneygram, but they will usually require proof of identity (ie. your ID, drivers license, passport).. which is a problem, considering your documents got stolen. In this case, we suggest contacting the nearest Western Union or Moneygram outpost, explaining the situation and asking them for advice. If you have a scan of your ID or passport on your email and can show the scan to the employee over there, then this could solve your issue.
Another option is an online wallet with virtual credit cards (like Revolut) - as long as you are already verified and can get deposits, your friends will be able to send you money which you will have access to via the virtual credit card. You can then visit a local convenience store or a pharmacy or maybe even a bar - whatever is nearest, politely explain your situation to the employee working there and ask them if you could give them the credit card number (as it's a virtual credit card) and if they could charge you more and give you the difference back in cash (especially in the US, "withdrawing" money at a store by means of cash-back is pretty common - if your checkout amount is $5 and you need $20, you can ask for a $20 cash-back and they will charge your credit card $25 and give you $20 in cash).
Once you provide all the details (and pay for it), the embassy will then issue the single-use ID (which is basically just a piece of paper with your photo on it, nothing fancy) straight away and it will suffice for your flight back home. You may need to answer some questions about it at the airport (depending on the country you're visiting), but that's it.
Step 5: Insurance
Step 6: Other documents
Step 7: Be better prepared next time
- Always have some cash in local currency hidden on you (in a secret compartment in your backpack, in a hidden wallet, in your phone case, etc.) - 50 Euro, Dollars or Pounds (or local equivalent) will suffice. That way, you won't be stuck without food and beverage and without a ride home
- Always have an extra credit or debit card with you (it should have enough money to last until you get back home and you should safely store that card at your accommodation)
- Always have a scan of your ID and passport on your email
- Always have a printed version of all the e-tickets, boarding passes, etc., in case your phone gets stolen
- Don't cary all your cash with you (only take what you need for the day, + 20% extra just in case). That way, if the worst happens, you still have some cash safely stored at your accommodation.
And above all, keep an eye on your belongings at all times.