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Travel Hack: How to get around the Onward Ticket Rule

I took a trip to a country that required proof of onward travel. I planned to extend my Visa during my stay, but the country wanted to see proof of onward travel within my original visa dates.  I didn’t want to have to waste money on an expensive airline ticket I wouldn’t use.  That’s when I learned about onward ticket rentals.

An onward ticket rental allows you to hold on to a real airline ticket during booking and then have it refunded.  You only pay the rental price, not the full ticket price.

Why countries require onward travel

Many countries like Thailand require proof of onward travel. These countries have had previous issues processing the large volume of people overstaying their visa.  While charging fines for overstaying a Visa can be a valuable source of income for these countries, processing large quantities of violations impacts the flow of people in and out of the country.  This can easily offset the benefits of overstay fines.

To encourage people to adhere to their visa dates, these countries now require people to invest in an onward ticket to prove they plan to leave the country.

Unfortunately this makes perfectly legal events like extending a visa unnecessarily more expensive.  That’s why onward ticket rental has become so popular.

Reasons to get an onward ticket

  • You plan to extend your visa before leaving the country.
  • You don’t have set plans on which port you plan to exit the country from.
  • You’re entering the country through an airport but don’t plan to leave through an airport.

What is onward ticket rental

Onward ticket rental is a popular service companies run to help travelers get around onward ticket rules in some countries.  A business purchases an airline ticket on your behalf and then cancels it on your behalf after a set date.  During that time the ticket is active, you can show it to any airline or port of entry to show you have an onward ticket.

This ticket is just like any other airline ticket.  There are no indications the ticket is a rental on the itinerary or otherwise.

Who to trust

I have personally had a great experience with Bestonwardticket.com. They do a great job with fast turn around service.

On one trip, I had forgotten to rent an onward ticket the day of my flight.  While boarding my flight, I purchased a rental from Best Onward and my ticket was in my email before I landed.  I have used best Onward many times now and have never had an issue.

I can’t vouch for any other onward ticket rental companies.  I have heard some nightmares about other onward ticket rental companies and did a lot of research before my flight.

You can trust Best Onward Ticket to take care of you.

(There are no affiliate links on this page.  Just my honest opinions 🙂 )

How it works

The way it works is to simply go to Best Onward Ticket and fill out the form on the home page.

  1. Make sure when you fill out the form to select an airport in the country you are arriving at.  For the desired date of onward flight, it needs to be a day less than what your visa allows.  Remember most visas start day 1 as the day you arrive so a 30 day visa is more like 29 days.
  2. I wouldn’t worry about choosing your destination country unless you have a special need to.  You will need to use the option “receive my ticket at a later date” if you are not purchasing your rental the day you are flying out.
  3. After payment you will receive a confirmation by email and will either receive your booking within a half hour, or the date you requested depending on what option you selected.  Your ticket will arrive as an email through the airline Best Onward Travel booked with.  It will look like any other airline ticket you’ve purchased before.
  4. Your ticket will expire in the background after 48 hours but you do have the option to extend it a few days if needed by emailing the company.

Note:

I like to memorize the departure airport, arrival airport, the airline, and the departure date as a rule of thumb.  I have never had a border agent or airline quiz me on these but I like to be prepared in case it ever happens.

Is it legal

Yes.  Onward ticket rental is legal.  It is no different than if you had purchased the ticket through an agent and refunded it at a later date on your own accord.

What isn’t legal is overstaying your visa.  If you overstay your visa, you will face heavy fines or possible jail time depending on how long you’ve violated your visa and what country’s visa you violated.

Do not try to forge your own ticket!  Fake tickets are also legal and can’t be looked up in public booking systems.  An onward ticket rental is a real ticket with real codes that can be looked up.

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