Proof of Onward Travel and How To Get Around It

posted in: Travel Tips | 2

Every experienced traveller who has booked a one-way ticket before has probably come across the problem that some countries require proof of onward travel plans when you enter the country. This proof can either be a return ticket or a ticket to the next destination you are planning on travelling to after the country you are about to enter. Countries have this restriction as to make sure travelers will leave the country when they run out of money and not engage in illicit employment. Whereas not all countries have this policy in place there’s also a difference in how strict countries are in applying these customs. However, as you might not know where you will be heading after the country you are about to enter and want to keep things flexible there are following things you can do:

1) Fake an Airline e-ticket

Personally, I’d go with this option and fake an e-ticket. It’s usually the airline at check-in who makes a fuss about this policy rather than the customs at the country you’re about to enter. Easiest way to fake an e-ticket is to look up the details of a future flight leaving the country you are about to enter within the time-frame you are allowed to stay. Then take an old booking confirmation e‑mail, forward the e-mail to yourself and put in the new details you’ve just looked up. Alternatively you can copy paste the confirmation into a Word Document and save it as a .pdf or make use of your Photoshop skills.

2) Book a Cheap or Refundable Flight

If you don’t feel well faking an e-ticket you can always book a cheap flight you are not going to use. You’ll be surprised how cheap flights can be! Use the Skyscanner Inspire Map to find a cheap flight or lookout for promotions from cheap airlines in your region such as AirAsia.com.

In theory, booking a fully refundable flight is the best option to get around the proof of onward travel. In practice, however, it’s usually quite a hassle and there are usually fees linked to refunding your flight.

3) Rent an Airline Ticket

Rent an airline ticket? Yes, you can actually rent an airline ticket! Basically it’s the same as booking a fully refundable airline ticket just without the hassle. Flyonward.com for example takes care of providing you with proof of onward travel by purchasing refundable tickets for you and automatically cancelling your ticket purchase after a maximum of 48 hours. Prices are 9.99$ for a valid ticket for 24 hours or 16.99$ for the 48 hours option. Also there is a fee of 1.99$ if you want your ticket to be booked and delivered at a specific date and time in the future. Great concept of which not too many people know about!

Conclusion

Personally I’d go with option 1) Fake an Airline e-ticket as when prove of onward travel is required showing them your proof is usually enough as they only take a quick glimpse at it. Worst case would be that after cross-checking your booking reference they realize you’re not on the flight. In that case you still can (or will have to) relate to 2) Book a Cheap or Refundable Flight or 3) Rent an Airline Ticket at the airport. Hope this helps! Don’t worry too much as in the end things works out just fine!

2 Responses

  1. Great idea! I booked an actual flight and am now restricted as to when I leave Thailand and I now want to have more time 🙁

    • roughtravel

      There’s always the option of “missing” your flight ;). My initial plan was to travel Southeast Asia for 3 months. Ended up ditching my return flight and stayed for a total of 6 months. One of the best decisions I’ve made so far! Check on how much a one-way would cost you?!

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