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"Proof of onward travel" ?

Travel Forums Round the World Travel "Proof of onward travel" ?

1. Posted by lostbunny (Budding Member 22 posts) 7y

hi!

I've been doing some research for my first big RTW trip, and I've seen that some countries require proof of onward travel. I'm planning on buying plane tickets as I go (I'm traveling for a whole year, and I do not want to get a RTW ticket), so has anyone else been in this situation? I wanted the trip to be really laid back, and I travel on as I need to and not feel like my days are numbered in a certain place. Paraguay for example requires proof of onward travel, do I just have to suck it up and buy a ticket to Paraguay for a set amount of time then leave?

Thanks alot :)

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 7y

Practically all countries in the world have a requirement for proof of onward travel, but unless you are of suspicious character rarely do they check. Having said this recently in Macau I had a flight booked for Kuala Lumpur before I planned to fly on back home to Australia. The person at the checkin counter in Macau requested to see I had an onward ticket out of Malaysia before she checked me in. Rarely does this happen though except in the countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, UK where they do check more often than not especially with the packpacker type travellers.

If you have got a large amount i.e. $10,000USD or more to spend then you could at least have proof that you have enough funds to support yourself. If you are travelling on a smallish budget i.e. under $5000USD then you may have trouble convinving some authorities if you are questioned. At least have a plan as to an itinerary when you are in a country. If you get questioned and you go "Um I don't really know what I plan to see or do whilst here. I really just plan to travel around and see the country staying in hostels around the place and leave within the validity period of the visa", this will attract attention and you will probably get denied entry without proof you plan to leave especially if you can't proove you have plenty of available funds. If you have a plan and can say "I plan to stay at ..... backpackers for the first three days and see some of ........... After that I plan to head up to .......... and see ......." etc (filling in the ..... with the applicable words) well you will sound far more like a real tourist who is not going to break the laws and overstay your welcome. It is important to have a bit of a plan when arriving in a new country just incase you get questioned.

3. Posted by lostbunny (Budding Member 22 posts) 7y

thanks alot!

4. Posted by fussy (Inactive 208 posts) 7y

You may still need to do a country by counrty check, I could not get my brazillian visa (australian passport) without proof of a ticket out.

5. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 7y

Quoting fussy

You may still need to do a country by counrty check, I could not get my brazillian visa (australian passport) without proof of a ticket out.

Yes this sometimes does happen when you need to apply for a visa in advance. One thing I have found though is if you have a flight out of a neighbouring country or some travel booked somewhere in a neighbouring country within the usual period for a tourist visa, they don't seem to have problems issuing a visa. With a Russian visa I didn't have any proof and that is meant to be one of the toughest in the world to get. All I had was a flight in to Kiev/Ukraine and out of Helsinki/Finland over the course of about a month and a half. When I showed them this along with my accommodation vouchers, visa invitation etc which are requirements for applying for a Russian Visa they had no problems granting the visa as they could see I planned to travel overland through Russia to Finland within the validity period of the visa. The same sort of thing applied with Vietnam where I had a flight in but not out of the country so I just showed the flight I had booked out of the general region further on in my trip.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Aug-2009, at 02:37 by aharrold45 ]

6. Posted by chrisvasil (Respected Member 102 posts) 7y

The officer in the Greek Embassy told me that as long as I show him the flight itinerary, he would accept it. You can reserve flight on travel website, and most likely they will send you an "e-ticket" without having you to pay anything. This is no different than a real plane ticket. Bringing that to apply for a visa should be suffice. (check openjet's website)

7. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 7y

Quoting chrisvasil

The officer in the Greek Embassy told me that as long as I show him the flight itinerary, he would accept it. You can reserve flight on travel website, and most likely they will send you an "e-ticket" without having you to pay anything. This is no different than a real plane ticket. Bringing that to apply for a visa should be suffice. (check openjet's website)

Only problem with that method would be that unless you reserved it properly i.e. paid using a creditcard at the time of booking, you would not get a reservation number and they could tell it was a fake. Even when you do an E-Ticket online and use a pay in to the airlines bank account option, that will say "Pending" instead of "Confirmed" on the ticket until the money has been confirmed on the airlines bank account so again he/she could see it is a fake.

I think the only times you do have to worry about it are in countries which you need to apply for a visa in advance and places where it is a fairly long flight like 4 or 5 hours because the airlines will as they don't want the risk of flying you all the way back. But a lot of places around the world they intermitantly choose a victim to question and ask to see proof of onward travel. A way to avoid problems would be plan well ahead at least for the departure flight and returning home flight and then just plan one step ahead so for example if you plan to go to Vitname overland to Cambodia after you land in Thailand, buy the Bankok to Hanoi flight before landing in Thalaind and then before you go to Hanoi buy the flight out of Phnom Penh etc. Using this method you just need to be careful that the flight you have purchased back home is able to have the date changed because some of the cheapest flights do not allow date changes and you could end up finding yourself having to pay for a new flight home if you do decide to change the dates which may be a bit on the pricey side.