Travel writers are professional travelers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes like the rest of us. Seth Kugel, the new Frugal Traveler columnist for the New York Times, saw his new gig get off to a rough start due to one of the most common travel mishaps: a lost passport.

He described his ordeal in yesterday’s New York Times:

Yep, last week, as I prepared for my grand debut in the frugal spotlight, I realized my passport had disappeared from my São Paulo apartment. Of course, I looked everywhere – desk drawers, jacket pockets, under cushions, and eventually, methodically, in every square inch of every room, including inside my running shoes and (twice) in the shower. It was gone.

Think, Seth, think. When was the last time you had it? Passing through customs at São Paulo’s Guarulhos airport after a recent sleepless overnight flight … searching desperately for a restroom … putting it down on top of the paper towel dispenser … nooooooo!

Oops! Luckily for Mr. Kugel, someone had actually turned his lost passport in at the airport’s lost and found. Kind of restores your faith in humanity, doesn’t it?

Losing your passport right before a trip can be a blow to your self-esteem, but it shouldn’t be.  If it can happen to the Frugal Traveler, it can happen to anyone.

If you lose your passport overseas as Mr. Kugel did, you will need to apply for a replacement at the nearest American embassy or consulate. If you’re still in the States, you have a few different options for replacing your lost passport, depending on how quickly you need it.

The first option is to apply at a post office or other passport acceptance facility (see How to Replace a Lost Passport for details).  If you choose regular processing, you should have your new passport in your hands in about 6 weeks. If you pay an additional $60 plus overnight delivery fees, you’ll have it in about 3 weeks.

If you need it sooner than that, you have two options: use a private passport expediting company like, or make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office. Using an expediting company is well worth the extra cost for most people, as there is no need to make an appointment or wait around at the passport office.

Let us help you replace your lost passport quickly and easily, today!