Ok, so the worst of the worst has happened and you’ve lost your bank card or had it stolen. I’m going to assume here that you’ve done the obvious, retraced your steps and thoroughly searched everywhere for it. You’ve asked house cleaning checked all last locations, banks and police stations. Now your card is gone and you have no other cards with you. Panicking will not help, take deep breaths and get logical. Follow the steps below and you should be able to survive.

Step 1 – Once you have called your bank and cancelled your card, there really is no going back even if you do find it again. So, providing you still have the details, get onto PayPal and stock it up with credit from your account ASAP swell as some Skype credit (you’re going to need to make some phone call). This will save you a lot of hassle. Now cancel your card. This is hugely important, if you know it’s gone. Cancel it asap.

Step 2 – You now need money to survive on. If you have a credit card, good stuff, you were smart. If you’ve made the mistake like I have in the past of only having one card with you then you need help. Western Union will allow relatives, friends and loved ones to send you money to a local WU agent. You can then pop along with your ID and collect the fund. There are other services like this too.

Step 3 – Providing you been a social traveller and made a friend or two, you can use this trust to PayPal them some money and they take out cash to give to you. This actually works out quite well but make sure to reimburse them for the ATM fee they incur for you. Now if you have no PayPal credit and you’ve already cancelled your card, you can’t transfer so easy so you’ll need to register PayPal as a payee on your account, make a transfer to them noted with your PayPal account name and it should land into your PayPal account in a day or two. Any hassle, call your bank on Skype calls. You’ll need some Skype credit to do this but it’s cheaper than using your mobile and running up a huge bill.

Step 4 – Go into survival mode. Spend literally nothing. If you only have a handful of change, you need to start eating bread/rice, using couch surfing and pinching pennies like your life depended on it until you get money sorted.

Step 5 – Park up. You need to wait for a new card to arrive. Pick a well know Hostel with established address and 24 hour reception. This will give you a great location for getting it delivered. Not all banks will deliver a card outside of the country so they may only send it to your registered address. If you have a tenant renting it while you are away or living with family, get them to send the letter via DHL or FedEx to your location when they receive it. Get them to send you the pin separately. Don’t activate your card until you physically have it in your hand.

Step 6 – Make sure the staff know your letter is coming and to keep it for you. This might also let them let you run up a tab until the card arrives if you are really stuck although this depends entirely on your conversational skill.