Polly Nightingale

Who hasn’t experienced that sinking feeling when you realise you have no idea where you’ve put your passport? That ‘safe place’ you were so proud of at the time has long since slipped your memory and with mere days till you’re due to travel, this could be nasty.

Apparently this is all too common. Last year tens of thousands of us lost or had passports stolen last year and had to be issued with emergency travel documents, a costly and time-consuming procedure. This has led the FCO to launch a new campaign to urge us all to value our passport and be aware of its location at all times. Have a read. There are some great ‘reasons’ for people needing new passports! https://www.gov.uk/government/news/passports-where-do-you-keep-yours


Seriously though, It’s not a bad idea to check your passport’s whereabouts and make sure it’s safe. You’ll be glad to know that ‘passport’ is at the very top of the packing list in the booking pack we give you when you book with Tribes, so there’s no excuse for not taking yours!


Of course the other potential pitfall is to forget to take your passport with you. But surely no-one’s that forgetful or disorganised? I only did it once. And in a total over-reaction these days when I’m on my way to the airport I check my bag about once every 5 minutes to make sure it’ there. A bit over the top, I admit, but better safe than sorry.

Tickets, too, can pose a problem, though with the advent of e-tickets this isn’t the headache it once was. And then there’s missing a flight. I’ve done that too, but only twice. Once was due to bad traffic, and even though I’d allowed plenty of time, it wasn’t enough. A few phone calls rearranged the flight plans, but a flight to La Palma in the Canaries ended up needing 2 stopovers, one an overnighter, so the whole journey door-to-door took almost as long as a flight to Australia! The other instance was a pure oversight and I missed my flight by a week, but, well, these things happen (especially to a backpacker) and it all worked out OK in the end.

Despite all these possible pitfalls, we continue to make travel plans. It’s a tribute to how much we love our holidays, and for most of us it’s reassuring to have one lined up to look forward to. My next one is about 7 weeks away. I’d better check that safe place to make sure I’ve got my passport….