After we went to the US Consulate to get my brother’s temporary passport, we spent the day taking it easy in Vienna: eating, shopping, catching up on lost sleep and visiting St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
Category Archives: family
Losing your passport overseas
Too early in the morning (and with too little sleep), we took the train from Budapest to Vienna. Unfortunately, since we were all passed out (and neglected to lock our luggage together), someone stole my brother’s bag with his passport in it. This put a wrench in the plans, and my brother and I didn’t make it over to Salzburg.
If you lose your passport overseas, here’s a quick explanation of what you need to do (the mobile version of the embassy page was a bit wordy and difficult to understand):
- File a police report
- Make an appointment with the local US Consulate Office (for US Citizen Services)
- Cancel credit cards
- Collect items needed for an emergency (or replacement) passport
- Forms DS11 & DS64
- Passport photos
- Printouts (copies) of existing passport and driver’s license. A picture on your phone won’t cut it
- Money (credit card, local currency or USD will work)
- Anything else the local US Embassy/Consulate may require* The local police pointed us to the US Embassy, which was out of the way. We were redirected to the US Consulate (near the tourist areas), which was already closed by that time. Save some time and figure out the correct location and their hours (the Consultate was only open from 8 AM – 11:30 AM for Citizen Services).
Take a deep breath, and don’t stress too much about it. Don’t let it ruin your trip. I lost some sleep and missed out on some sightseeing due to lack of sleep. After reading stories on the web about passport theft and replacement horror stores, I think international travelers should pack the following:
- Current passport photos (Saves money and time looking for a passport photo place. You can get them for < $10 a stack at Costco. That said, there’s usually a photo place near the US Consulate.)
- An extra $135 (+ local currency) or credit card for emergency use. This process is much more difficult if you don’t have money to pay for the passport or for printouts, passport photos, etc.
- 1-2 copies of the passport’s picture page (as well as a snapshot on the phone/ in email inboxes)
Pest – day 4
After getting some nice rest, we set about on a hike around Gellert Hill. With no specific plan nor map, we visited several scenic areas. We got a bit lost trying to get to the Citadel. Unfortunately, both the monument and Citadel were closed for repairs.
We had a nice Italian dinner at Tony George’s Italiano Etteram with a view of the Basilica and headed over to the Jewish Quarter for a live action puzzle game, the Diamond Heist. They’re very popular in Budapest, and as luck/skill/whatnot would have it, we came close to the record time. Not bad for our first try. (Team Chatty Cathy Cousins with a time of 39:33).
Pest – day 3
After an action packed day, we took an easy day. We shopped, ate and visited St. Stephen’s Basilica.
We woke up early and headed to the Central Market. We spent the next couple of hours eating buying souvenirs. The strawberries from the market were the best we ever had, and we went through 6.5 lbs of strawberries in 2 days.
After taking an midday siesta, we dragged ourselves out to see the Parliament Building, City Park, Heroes Square and the Jewish Quarter.
My flight over to Budapest was filled with delays. I waited on the tarmac for two hours in Houston waiting for weather to pass, and then the flight from London to Budapest had even more delays. Even with the delays, I did get breakfast with my friend Graham during my long layover at Heathrow.
A few hours after we landed, we headed to a “Sparty” at Szechenyi Baths. While the concept is cool (club night at a bath), the boy/girl ratio was a bit off and it was filled with tourists. The next morning, we cross the Chain Bridge to Buda to see the Royal Palace, St Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion.