Do You Need a Return Ticket When You Fly To Bali Indonesia

When I fly anywhere in Asia, I almost always fly using a one way ticket, because I never know how long I will stay.  Sometimes I will stay a week, while other times it will be a couple of months.

Having never been to Indonesia before, I had no idea if I could enter the country using a one way ticket.  So I did what everyone does, I went straight to google to see what the blogs and websites have to say.

And of course, I got mixed feedback.  But mostly I got “scare tactics” from professional websites and travel agencies saying you always need a return ticket.

So I did what I always do.  I booked a one way ticket, and a day before my flight to Bali, I went to United.com and reserved another one way ticket from Bali to the United States.  When they requested payment for the return ticket, I selected “pay at the airport”.  Bam, my ticket was held for 72 hours.

I printscreened the confirmation page, did 5 minutes of basic photo editing to make it look like a fully paid ticket, and printed it.

Two days later I arrived at the Bali airport (DPS).   Waited 20 minutes in the immigration line, and then received my 30 day visa with no questions asked.

The immigration officer simply took my passport, immigration card, and said welcome to Bali.  No questions about why I came, how long I’ll be staying or anything like that.

So for me, a United States citizen, no proof of a return ticket was needed.

(Although I will note, if for some reason my fake return ticket didn’t work.  I would have just bought a refundable one way ticket to Singapore through AirAsia.  I did have a backup plan.)

A week later my friend who is a Thai citizen came to Bali on a one way ticket.  And once again, no questions were asked about a return ticket.

This was in 2014.  Since then, I’ve had friends and family come to Bali on holiday.  And once again, no one was asked to show proof of a return ticket.

Is a return ticket required when you fly to Bali? 

Although Indonesia immigration requirements says one is required, it really isn’t.  (But I do recommend that you have a fake return ticket just in case.  Unless you are a super shady character, a printed copy of any kind of a “return ticket” will be more than enough for 99.9% of situations.)

For me personally, I won’t even bother creating the “fake return ticket anymore.”

Hope this helps.

Enjoy paradise!

:)

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  1. Marcella 49 years ago

    I have been travelling southeast Asia for the past 4 months always booking 1 way tickets as I never know how long I will stay. On March 19, 2017 I was flying with Air Asia from Saigon to Bali. They would not allow me on my flight until I could provide proof of departure. Despite I had a ticket from Bangkok returning home to Canada 3rd week in April suggesting I had no intentions of staying, that was not sufficient. They offered to sell me a ticket on the spot that was 5x the cost of booking on-line. Fortunately I arrived at the airport early giving me time to leave the lineup and book a ticket on line. Overall I guess it depends on the airline and the staff working the check in desk. To avoid the stress, book a flight out within the 30 day period.