Have you ever dreamed of booking a one-way ticket abroad and never looking back? The thought of an indefinite adventure may seem thrilling, but in reality you're likely to run into trouble. Aside from the possibility of running out of funds or ending up stranded without a place to stay, you might not even get past the gate without a return flight. Certain countries won't grant entrance to travelers without proof of return or onward travel to control illegal immigration.
Many airlines serve as the first line of defense for this policy and will not even allow you on board without return-ticket confirmation. A traveler who makes this mistake is either forced to cancel their trip before it's even started or to purchase a return flight on the spot. The positive side is that you don't necessarily have to buy a ticket home if your plan is to hop from country to country. You should be fine as long as you can provide proof that you won't be overstaying your welcome. Each country also has its own travel requirements, so be sure to do your research beforehand.
This protocol may not be enforced every time you travel, but do yourself a favor and always have a backup plan. It's also recommended to have your hotel confirmations and transportation information on hand to avoid any trouble.
Here are countries that will deny you entry without proof that you won't be staying forever:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Although other countries don't necessarily state proof of onward travel in their immigration laws, many enforce this protocol anyway. A good rule of thumb is to just assume that you'll always need a return ticket.