Every now and again I’ll highlight tools, people, products, that have made a significant impact to my travels. There may be others available but these have been the most useful to me personally. Today, I will focus on a couple of tools related to flights.
The first is Skyscanner, which is a global travel search engine. I have used it nearly exclusively to search flights. I like it because it provides great features and flexibility in various search scenarios. For example:
- I can specify only a country in the origin or departure and it will list the airports without me having to know them
- I can give it a departure airport and search ‘everywhere’ as my destination to see what comes up and check my options from there
- It has the ‘standard’ searches such as one-way, round-trip, but the multicity is one of the most convenient I’ve seen
- I can search a specific date or an entire month to compare pricing
Given my flexibility in travel dates and destinations the features Skyscanner offers are invaluable as a search tool.
I can’t reiterate enough the importance of having maximum flexibility to your time and destinations when you are travelling like a nomad; however some countries require you to show proof of onward travel, which can be restrictive to your travel goals.
You’ll find that some airlines and immigration officers will ask you to show proof of an onward ticket. Immigration officers want proof that you will be departing their country.
Airlines want to see this proof when checking in; if you land and immigration turns you back around, it becomes the airlines responsibility to fly you out if you didn’t have proof of onward travel. They want to avoid this.
On this trip so far, I’ve had both airlines and immigration officers ask me for proof in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.
I had heard of ticket rental services who, for a fee, would book an onward flight for you; typically valid for 24-28 hours. I tried to contact one such company who provided these services before I booked my Mynamar flights, unfortunately, I never heard back.
Some weeks later, I received an email from a company called Best Onward Ticket offering a ticket rental service. I filed it for future reference and what a wise decision that became. When I was ready to book my next destination, I reviewed the Best Onward Ticket website. It seemed simple enough but I had some questions.
The response from Best Onward Ticket was quick, professional and addressed all my questions. I can’t emphasize how important this experience was. Sadly, even in this day and age, some service companies are not just too slow to respond, but can also make it difficult to communicate by email or alternative means other than then telephone.
I subsequently booked through them, and received my ticket and proof of onward travel within an hour.
There are other ways of getting around showing proof of onward travel, like buying refundable tickets. For small fee, however, I find the service Best Onward Ticket offers takes the hassle, time and cost away from having to do the work myself. It also frees me up to have the flexibility of one-way travel that I require on my current journey.
I am hooked and have now used them several times.
Kudos to the great service that Best Onward Ticket have provided so far. I am grateful to have this type of service available, it makes a world of difference.
Have you used Skyscanner or Best Onward Ticket? What is your experience?
What other air tools have you found useful ?