Benefits of using an onward ticket

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Skip the queues

Faced with the choice between queuing and not queuing, most of us will go for the latter. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that as a species, humans aren’t built to queue.

The frustration of queuing can be especially acute at airports: it’s just one more hurdle before you can get on your way (or get back home), and it’s on top of all the other things you have to contend with: security lines, delayed flights, lost luggage…

In fact, we’d guess that probably the only thing worse than standing in line is standing in line without a clear reason why.

So here’s some good news: if you book an onward ticket online, you’ll either skip or drastically shorten your wait at immigration and check-in/bag-drop lines. You see, onward tickets are supposed to be used by someone who is visiting another country temporarily—and that means they’re likely to leave town again pretty soon.

An onward ticket exempts you from having to comply with many of the standard immigration requirements for entering a country (such as producing proof of enough funds), because it shows that you’re planning on leaving again shortly rather than overstaying your welcome. The authorities like this because it leads them to believe that you won’t become an illegal immigrant or try anything else untoward while in their fair city/country/territory/outpost. And when plenty of other travellers are waiting behind you in line for the same treatment…well, let’s just say those border control folks have an incentive to smile upon whoever can make their job easier.

Skip the questions

Perhaps the greatest benefit of an onward ticket is saving time. In some cases, especially when traveling from or to countries like the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand where they are paranoid that everyone is trying to stay forever (we’re not all looking for a way out), you will be made to answer a lot of questions about your travel plans. Having an onward ticket will make it much less likely that you will have to go through one of those lengthy interrogations with someone who has no sense of humor and is trying really hard not to fall asleep at their desk in front of you.

And inversely, if you don’t have such a ticket and are deemed suspiciously footloose by border police, they may become so obsessed with your ability to leave the country on time that they decide forgo allowing you in at all and put you back onto your flight home – just because they can.

Avoid unwelcome surprises

If you’re headed to a country that invites tourists or expats to stay for a fixed period of time, you may have already heard about the need to show proof of onward travel when entering the country. But what happens if you don’t have such proof?

Some countries are more lax than others in enforcing this requirement, but unfortunately, some will surprise you with a fine or even deportation if they find out that you haven’t made any plans to leave the country after your visa expires. Know more about here.

The good news is that it’s easy enough to fix this problem by purchasing an onward ticket.

When you’re travelling, it’s always good to have plans, even if you’re not sure about them.

If you look at the world as your oyster, it’s good to have a plan in place for an emergency pearl situation. You don’t have to use it—but it’s nice to have a back-up ticket up your sleeve if plans change. And if life goes according to plan, you can just forget about ever buying that one-way ticket and book a roundtrip instead!

Having an onward ticket is great in case:

  • You’re going on a long trip. If you’re planning on traveling around the globe indefinitely, having an onward ticket can make getting visas easier, as well as making travel arrangements more convenient. It’ll make you look more organized and put together when in reality all you want is some peace of mind! Plus it’ll save time on purchasing another flight later down the line.