The thief in the middle of the night

If you have been following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, then you will probably know about my family’s recent adventure in France (and if not, why aren’t you following me?)

I loved our holiday in France, it was sunny, there was an outdoor pool, we scrambled up mountains and Fidget charged back down them. We ate ice cream every day.

We also had our passports, my handbag and purse and The Mr’s wallet stolen.

From our apartment, while we slept.

I remember waking up in the night thinking I had heard someone in the apartment, and even got up to check on the boys…but never thought to check that nothing else had gone.

In the morning The Mr wanted to go to the bakery and couldnt find our money…and then it hit us: I had heard someone and they had robbed us.

We had to deal with the police, our banks, the insurance company and then the British consulate. We had to spend a lot of extra money to get new emergency passports and a night in a hotel in Paris…and we still need to actually replace our passports…

It was hard because with no ID how do you prove who you are? The french bank wouldn’t allow access to our emergency money transfer from the UK as we had no ID…thank goodness for the travel rep who sponsored us. We also had to use Facebook to prove that our children were ours, and had aged correctly from their old passport photos to get the emergency ID so we could get home. It was also tricky working out what exactly to do, other than tell the police and cancel our cards.

So, here are my top tips:

  1. Have copies of all your passports
  2. Have spare passport photos
  3. Note down all details of any other ID (drivers license etc) and items like store cards to be able to cancel them easily. It’s tricky cancelling a nectar card without the nectar card number.
  4. Check where your nearest consulate is (for us it was Paris, six hours from where we were staying); for a list of locations please check here: British Consulates
  5. Find out how to report the theft with the local police – you will need the crime number for your insurance
  6. Have your insurance contact details with you – report the theft with the crime number ASAP
  7. Understand what to do about reporting your passport as lost or stolen Reporting your passport stolen when abroad or what to do if you have Lost or stolen UK passport 
  8. If you are aboard you will need Emergency Travel Documents and they cost money (approx £100 per document)
  9. Have a Western Union account set up before you go in case you need to transfer money and your bank can not send an emergency card to you
  10. Once you have done this, don’t let it ruin your holiday

Lesson learnt in our family as well…we got things sorted ASAP, enjoyed the next 10 days and then made the most of being in Paris. We had a morning appointment to apply for the emergency passports, and they were ready by 4pm that day, and we had to be back in the UK by midnight (which was good as we were booked to travel home that night). We made the most of seeing the city with an open bus tour and crepes in the park,  so even if the worst happens, you can still make the best of a bad situation.

Happy Travels!

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