Here’s Why You Need Travel Plans For Leaving Your Travel Destination

proof of onward travel

Unsplash/Agus Dietrich

One-way flights can be the best deals out there, but there are some destinations where a single ticket won’t cut it. Some countries require you to have proof that you’re leaving the country and not trying to stay forever before they let you in. Here’s what you need to know.

Why do you need a ticket out?

You might not be trying to stay indefinitely in your destination of choice, but that’s what these countries’ immigration authorities are worried about. So you need to have proof that you’ll be on your merry way within the time you’re allowed to legally be there. (For instance, in the European Union’s Schengen Zone, you can stay 90 days without a visa.) It’s called proof of onward travel, and it’s pretty important since some nations won’t even let you get on a plane to your travel destination without it.

What works as proof of onward travel?

proof of onward travel

Unsplash/Wang Xi

The easiest way to show proof of onward travel is with a flight itinerary. If you have a roundtrip flight booked, you’re covered. Just bring your confirmation email or pull it up on your phone. However, if you’re booking one-way flights, you’ll need to show your next one-way flight out.

You can also use train tickets or bus tickets, but not all destinations will accept them. If you’re worried about a specific country, we suggest contacting the local embassy before you go.

Which countries require this?

In countries like Brazil, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, you are required by law to show proof of onward travel before being allowed to board your flight. But even in countries where there isn’t a particular law on the books about proof of onward travel, you’ll probably be expected to detail your future plans to a customs border agent. So be prepared and have a plan, no matter where you’re headed.


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