A lost passport can be a disaster if you have an international trip on the horizon. Imagine…you’re leaving in a few days, and you’re taking a final inventory to make sure everything is in order for your trip. You open the drawer that you usually keep your passport in, just to double-check…and it’s not there! Where did it go?

It’s probably in your house, waiting to be found. If you’re searching for a lost passport, try using Professor Solomon’s 12 Principles for Finding Lost Objects. These are really just common-sense suggestions to help you calm down and methodically search, but when it’s your passport that’s missing, it’s all too easy to throw common sense right out the window!

Here are Dr. Solomon’s 12 Principles:

  1. Don’t look for it-at least, not right away. Take some time to calm down first.
  2. It’s not lost, you are! Your passport is probably right where you left it. You just need to determine where that would be.
  3. To get into a mental state more conducive to finding the lost passport, remember the three C’s: comfort, confidence, and calmness.
  4. It’s probably where it’s supposed to be, so check that drawer again.
  5. If it’s not where it’s supposed to be, try to remember when you last had it. Was it while you were booking your flight? Did you decide to put it someplace even “safer” and then forget moving it? Check the area where you last remember having your passport.
  6. You’re looking right at it…you’re just too upset to see it. Unless you were able to achieve and maintain the state of Zen-Like clarity called for in Principle Three, you could be looking directly at your lost passport and not even realize it’s there.  Take a deep breath, calm down, and look again.
  7. Your passport could be camouflaged by papers, books, etc. Look under anything that might be hiding it.
  8. Your passport doesn’t have legs. It can’t move itself, so you must have moved it…concentrate, and try to remember what you did with it.
  9. Don’t wander around aimlessly in circles. Check every place you think your lost passport could conceivably be only once. However, check each location thoroughly.
  10. Check in the immediate vicinity (an 18 square inch radius) of wherever you last had your passport or wherever you think it might be. It could have moved underneath or behind another object.
  11. Think back to the last time you had your passport in hand. Where did you go? What were you doing?  Retrace your steps in case you set it down somewhere out of the way.
  12. Unless you live alone, ask your spouse, your kids and anyone else you live with if they’ve seen your lost passport. For example, your spouse might have decided to round up the family’s passports and put them into one “safe” location without telling you.

If you still haven’t found your passport, don’t panic! A lost passport doesn’t have to derail your trip. By using a passport expediting service like RushMyPassport.com, you can get a new passport to within 24 hours, if necessary. For more information, see our entry onreplacing a lost passport.