Visas and border crossings forum

How do you handle proof of departure for an unstructured trip with loose itinerary

  • adaminasia

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd July, 2013
    Posts: 20

    Hi,

    I am traveling to Southeast Asia for 3 months. I have only booked an arrival flight (Singapore) and departure flight (Bangkok), and plan to see Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I am hoping to keep my itinerary somewhat flexible so I can stay longer in places I enjoy and move on from places that I don't enjoy as much.

    I have been reading about Visas and understand countries ask for proof of departure - either the airline that you are flying in on, or else at the border when crossing into a new country. It seems like they don't always ask, but do sometimes so I want to be prepared. How do people handle this? Should I just book flights now, and then worse case scenario can pay a change fee? What happens if I am traveling overland, how do I prove that I am going to do so? Buy a train/bus/ferry ticket in advance? I would rather not do any of this and keep my itinerary very flexible, but also do not want to be refused entry upon arrival.


    This is all new to me, appreciate any advice or thoughts you can provide!

    Adam

    #1 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 11:25

  • Advertisement

  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 540
    Places visited:
    At least 42

    I don't think most countries ask. For example at any of the border crossings or customs desks I was at they asked how long I was going to be in the country and where I was going but never asked for proof of onward travel.

    My airline company never asked either although I have heard of the odd airline doing so. A person that I talked to who got caught in such a situation found a ticket he could purchase then later easily refund for only a small fee. I find it ridiculous that an airline takes this responsibility as imo it is none of their business but it does happen on occasion.

    I wouldn't worry about it if I were you just know you might have to purchase some sort of proof if the odd moron working a desk decides they want to give you grief.

    #2 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 15:28

  • adaminasia

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd July, 2013
    Posts: 20

    Thanks Geer1, appreciate your response. How would you purchase a flight in that situation if you were standing at the customs desk? From a smart phone? I just wouldn't want to be forced to book a ticket back to the country I was coming from.

    Anyone else have any other thoughts on this topic?

    #3 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 18:56

  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 540
    Places visited:
    At least 42

    I very highly doubt you would get rejected at customs or border unless you are a known terrorist or something like that lol. These countries have tons of travellers that leave overland and travel with a loose itinerary and they also want the tourism income so it is very unlikely they will turn you away. I haven't actually heard of this happening to anyone although I have heard of airlines creating a fuss.

    Just tell them the truth on how you plan on leaving the country(overland to such and such for example) and you won't have any issues at customs or the border.

    #4 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 20:48

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    I'm with Greer. I know it's hard for people to get their heads around coming from the Lands of Rules. But SEA is a get along kind of place. Smile, be friendly to the officials, say your sorry if confronted with a mistake and that you didn't know, and as Greer says, just tell the truth. They are looking for an excuse to cut you some slack if you are nice and respectful to them. Rules here are made to be bent and broken, just don't hurt anyone and don't be obnoxious about it.

    In all the border crossings I have made here officials have never done anything other than stamp my passport. Never asked nothing about nothing. They don't care. They want your visa fee and they want to get to the next guy. A quick passport scan to make sure you're not a known psycho and on your way.

    #5 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 22:57

  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 540
    Places visited:
    At least 42

    Off topic but MADMAC my login is Geer1 not Greer(not sure where you got the other r from). I figured you would notice eventually but it has been a while so figured I might as well mention it lol.

    #6 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 23:20

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    Now I see it. Got it.

    #7 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 23:33

  • HanMillie

    Joined Travelfish
    5th August, 2013
    Posts: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 6

    I've read on a few forums that the Airlines have rejected passengers due to them not having a return ticket within 30 days, rather than it being anything to do with Thai customs. I don't want the hassle of sorting out getting a refund when I get to SEA so I'm going to risk it and just bring with me a print out of my itinerary, proof of funds and a winning smile. Hopefully I won't have any problems!

    #8 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 04:37

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    IT does happen on the western end. Best to sort that out prior to departure with the ticket agent.

    #9 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 11:48

  • adaminasia

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd July, 2013
    Posts: 20

    Thanks for your comments! Following up...

    What do you mean by "sort that out prior to departure with the ticket agent." My first flight over will be from the USA to Singapore. Are you saying that I should book a flight out from Singapore? Will a train/bus/ferry suffice?

    Also, can you address what is meant by "proof of funds"? Should I print out a copy of my bank statement? Take out and display a bunch of cash? Show them my ATM card?

    Adam

    #10 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 13:32

  • Advertisement

  • HanMillie

    Joined Travelfish
    5th August, 2013
    Posts: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 6

    I figure proof of funds is a print out of what's in my accounts that I'll have access to when I'm away. I've heard that booking onward overland travel won't suffice, that they want you to have an onward flight booked. But maybe someone that has done this all before can clarify. As I'll be travelling from Sri Lanka I'm hoping they won't be so strict on "the rules".

    #11 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 14:33

  • travellings-
    arah

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 660
    Total reviews: 11
    Places visited:
    At least 87

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    The only time I was asked was when flying from Sabah to Singapore so I'd suggest you do check this out with the airline you are flying to Singapore with in advance. You may need to book a cheap flight out. We managed to talk them round, but it took a while and was no means guaranteed.

    #12 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 20:38

  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 540
    Places visited:
    At least 42

    I highly doubt they will ask you for proof of funds unless you look like a hobo.

    Pretty sure what MADMAC meant was to contact the airline you are flying with and get them to confirm whether or not you need proof of onward travel. If they say you do not make sure you get it in writing somehow.

    #13 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 21:39

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    Yes, I should have been more specific. Contact the airline. My mother had this problem. She went to check in and the lady said "Oh, your return flight is 33 days latter - they won't let you in country."

    My mother said "Oh, I am going to go to Laos while there to get 15 more days."

    "Well we had better make sure you have a fake ticket showing an earlier return date just in case."

    I thought that was funny. Of course Thai immigration never asked for a return ticket and didn't care.

    #14 Posted: 14/8/2013 - 23:58

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
6 months in SEA. Writer seeking loose Itinerary advice. ... By moss_1184 on 25 Jun 2013 0 1110 25 Jun 2013