Applying for a visa can be a real hassle. Depending on the passport you hold or the type of visa you require, you may have to do this more than you like.
Many visa applications require proof of travel, usually in the form of flight bookings/reservations. There are a few ways of doing this…
- Booking a fully refundable flight (then cancelling it later)
- Getting a travel agent to make an itinerary for you
- Use an online reservation service
1. Booking a fully refundable flight
This is the worst and most painful way to get a flight itinerary. I know because I’ve done it. Depending on where you are travelling to you can often end up risking hundreds of dollars on a visa that you might not get. You can also loose on transaction costs, and currency charges.
Unless you buy refundable tickets (and cancel them) with an airline regularly, I’d highly recommend avoiding this option.
2. Getting a travel agent to make an itinerary for you
If you have a good relationship with a travel agent, or plan to book with a travel agent once you have the visa, then you could ask them to help you out. However, if you have no intention of using a travel agent to book your tickets, and are just asking them to make you a flight reservation/itinerary for free then
However, if you have no intention of using a travel agent to book your flights, and are just asking them to make you a flight reservation/itinerary for free so you can get the visa. Then any switched on travel agent will tell you where to go.
If you aren’t genuine about using their services, then don’t waste their time.
3. Use an online reservation service
Depending on your passport, applying for a visa can be a one-off novel thing, or it can be a painful part of every trip. For countries where the latter is more common, online reservation websites help provide reservations that can be used when applying for visas.
These are the best two service that I have found:
1. Turkish Airlines
Depending on the route, Turkish Airlines will allow you to make a reservation for a flight and pay later. If you don’t pay for the flight by a certain time period then the reservation lapses.
To find this option simply start a booking as usual on turkishairlines.com. At the payment options step, if reservations are available it will look like this:
Once you’ve made a reservation you’ll receive an email with your flight itinerary like you would for a normal flight booking, minus the receipt.
There are likely other airlines that do this too. If you know of some let us know in the comments 🙂
GoMoSafer.com is an online flight search based out of Qatar. It works like any other flight aggregator like Kayak or skyscanner, but some flights will have the option to make a reservation, like the Turkish Airlines example above.
The reservation option isn’t always available, as it depends on the route and airline. So it can pay to try a few different routes to get the destination that you want.
GoMoSafer will also send you an email with the reservation that you can print out and share with others.
TIP: Make sure you change the pricing to US dollars before doing your search. This will make your reservation in a more common currency.
Hopefully, that gave you a few options next time you need to provide an itinerary for a visa or other application. If you have other methods of doing this let us know in the comments below 🙂