Useful and varied tips for travelers to save money and travel more often and for longer
Is it forbidden to travel without a return ticket?
Well no, it’s not forbidden. However, it is becoming more and more common for airlines to ask you for one. In fact what they want is proof of leaving the country. So they need either the assurance that you will return to your country of origin, or a continuation ticket that will prove your departure to another country after your stay
This process is simply aimed at reducing the number of illegal immigrants. Or rather the number of travelers who do not return to their country of origin at the end of their visa and therefore who are illegal. However, there is no evidence that you are going to take that flight home, but that is enough for them. On the other hand, a bus or boat ticket is apparently not a valid argument. Go figure out why … In short, this is therefore a problem for long-haul travelers who want flexibility during their trip as well as the freedom to stay or leave a country when they want to. Within the framework of legality of course
What are the risks of not having a return ticket?
If you don’t have a return plane ticket, you might not be able to board! It can happen to you, it has happened to many travelers. Here’s what to do to avoid this hassle
If you are asked for a return ticket and you do not have one, you will be denied access to the plane. You will then be forced to buy one at the time and therefore pay a high price! But that is if you get caught at the departure airport …
In fact, customs on arrival may also ask you for the precious sesame. True, it is rare, but it is possible. In this case, the sanction can go as far as expulsion from the territory. Yes, we send you home on the first plane
The return ticket: when does the question arise?
The question arises particularly for a long trip or a round the world trip. Indeed, in this type of trip, you will pass through several neighboring countries. And therefore, you will not have a return ticket. At most, you will have a bus ticket to the neighboring country. And again, if you have it. Usually this is not the case.
Same problem if you go for a WHV. For the airline, you are leaving with a 90-day tourist visa, so they will ask you for a return ticket. In Latin America, many countries require a return ticket. This is the case, for example, in Colombia and Central America and is often a problem for many travelers, especially those crossing Central America
Having already crossed Central America, in fact, no customs officer asked me for my return ticket. If you are arriving at a land border, it is more flexible. At worst, he’ll ask you for a bus ticket. In reality, this is rare. However, if you arrive by plane, that’s another matter. You will probably need your return ticket
Thus, for a Paris – Guatemala, the airline company may prevent you from boarding if you do not have your return ticket. It is nonsense. Sometimes we see psychodramas
Imagine: you’re going to embark on a great trip and when you arrive to check in, the agent tells you that you cannot get on board because you don’t have a return ticket. Some countries require you to be in possession of a return ticket when entering the territory
Airlines should apply these principles, but the problem is that for some airlines there is a lack of information and skills. So the agent will tell you that no, there is no need for a return ticket, but yes. In addition, an embassy may tell you that a bus ticket is sufficient when the airline will ask you for a plane ticket …
It must be said that it suits them at the business level. In addition, be aware that if you are prohibited from entering when you arrive, the company will take care of your repatriation. She also risks a fine. Also, she tends to be stricter. In short, the thing is quite random. Some airlines will ask you for a return ticket upon boarding, while other airlines will not. I even wonder if it’s not the customer’s head.
It also depends on the country of embarkation. In France, I was never asked for my return ticket during check-in. On the other hand, it is systematic when boarding from a Latin American country. Go figure why … This is a mess and it is quite annoying, because in the end, you risk paying for these inconsistencies.
Another subtlety. Say you go to Guatemala and then go to Mexico to catch your flight back to France. Well, even with a return ticket from Mexico, it may not pass. I know it sounds stupid, but what do you want, it’s human being. Many countries in Latin America are in this situation
Another example: the United States. A return ticket from a neighboring country will not work
What should I do if I am going to a country that requires a return ticket?
So there are several solutions for this:
first of all well you don’t take a return ticket and you try your luck. Be polite and nice to the hostess. If she asks if you have a return ticket, say yes of course. If she asks you to show it, tell her, “ah damn, it’s in my checked suitcase,” looking sorry. With a little luck, it will pass, if it is having a good day …
If that doesn’t pass, it will be the stress of buying a plane ticket at the airport. Also, arrive at the airport early and full on your laptop or smartphone
One solution is to buy a cheap ticket that leaves the country. Disadvantage: it will have to be used or it will probably have to be canceled. Or change the date, with a fee
One solution is to buy a bus ticket on the Internet. The advantage: it’s a solution that’s cheaper than flying and it works well in Latin America
Finally, the last solution, alas, is System D and cheating. You present a ticket tampered with with Photoshop. It’s risky and it’s not necessarily very easy to do
Traveling without a return ticket: The saving solution!
The solution to getting a return ticket: renting a plane ticket!
If you want to travel without a return ticket, one tip is to use sites that offer airline tickets as proof of return. It really means “renting” a plane ticket for a few hours or days. It is the most economical, the easiest and fastest, and the most zen solution
The Oneward site specializes in this service: For only 12 euros, you have a return ticket within an hour! In fact, all you have to do is fill out an online form and you will receive your PDF ticket in your mailbox. You will have a real PNR number (your passenger file code), so in the event of a company or customs check, everything is OK!
Two other tips for boarding without a return plane ticket
1. For those traveling to Latin America, Copa Airlines offers the possibility of reserving a ticket for 24 hours on their site before paying for it. You book a plane ticket on the Copa website. You will receive this reservation on your e-mail and there you will only have to erase the mention “reservation” with Photoshop or other software. There you have your plane ticket! It may be possible for other companies as well.
2. Another option: modify an e-ticket that you already have. In general, this is not possible. But imagine I have a post whose text can be edited when I upload it. Really, everything is editable. I just have to send it back to my address with the modified data. Very practical because the airlines only check that you are in possession of the ticket.
Okay, I’m not telling you to do that, it’s just for the record! So before you go: Check with the embassy. If this tells you yes, a return ticket from the neighboring country or a return bus ticket is sufficient, ask for confirmation in writing. This may be enough for the hesitation of a hostess!