Is a Travel Itinerary the Same as a Ticket?

When you book a flight, you probably want a super smooth way to organize your trip the way you like. As you’re waiting for a visa application, you wonder if you should buy a complete airline ticket or obtain a flight itinerary. But is a travel itinerary the same as a ticket?

A travel itinerary isn’t the same as a ticket since it’s not a document. An actual ticket is what you need to get a boarding pass, while an itinerary only shows your journey’s route and flight details. An itinerary is usually free, so with it, you can avoid losing money during visa applications.

The rest of this article will talk about the travel Itinerary and how it differs from a ticket. I’ll also explain why you don’t need an actual flight ticket (unless you will for sure be flying) and how you can avoid risking your money.

When Do You Need a Travel Itinerary?

You need a travel itinerary for a visa application since you don’t need to buy an actual ticket, and it’s most likely the cheapest way to go. You’ll get charged some money, and a few airline companies might do this without charging you anything for booking until you buy the actual ticket.

A flight itinerary is a valid proof of flight name, reservation number, arrival, and departure date. Every time you apply for a Schengen visa, you need this valid proof. It ensures you stay up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes and then return home.

If you plan a flight itinerary instead of a ticket, you don’t risk your money for a visa denial.

What Is a Travel Itinerary?

A travel itinerary is a report that provides the route of a journey and travel dates. Unlike a ticket, it’s not a document allowing you to take transport. It’s an outline based on which your transportation is determined.

There are usually three types of itineraries, such as:

  • One-way: A straight flight from your origin to your destination.
  • Return or round trip: It’s a two-way flight from origin to destination and from the destination to your origin.
  • Open-jaw: It’s a return flight where the destination and origin aren’t the same. For instance, you depart from London to Chicago, but the return flight is from New York to London.

Other terms for the itinerary you might be more familiar with include:

  • Travel plan
  • Travel guidebook
  • Excursion

Although its details are similar to a flight ticket, you’ll still need to check in and get a ticket to receive your boarding pass.

Travel itinerary is an old method of flight booking. Unlike online booking, you visit a travel agency and get the flight itinerary. You can use it for your visa application, and once you receive visa confirmation, you can purchase a valid flight ticket.

How To Get a Travel Itinerary

You can go to the airline website and find your travel itinerary under your trip. Many airlines and travel agencies have a section called “my trips” or “travel management,” where you can click on and find your itinerary.

Getting a travel itinerary without paying the total price helps you apply for a visa and saves a lot of money. It’s possible to get one in multiple ways:

  • You can purchase a refundable ticket and cancel it in case your visa is denied. Some airlines offer it at a higher price and some charge a fee to cancel your ticket.
  • Local travel agents can hold a flight reservation for up to 7 days. You can use this option if visa approval doesn’t take long.
  • You can get a visa reservation and submit your flight. You don’t have to make full payment first, but some airlines may charge you a fee and don’t return it in case of cancellation.

Besides, a travel itinerary is a way to manage your journey and add extra options to it. You’ll choose all your flight details, including timetables, destinations, or your favorite seat and meal. Different websites and applications can help you in this manner.

How a Ticket Differs From a Travel Itinerary

A ticket is an electronic record issued by a travel agency or airline and provides the final details about the flight timetable, passenger data, place of departure, and destination, while the itinerary offers a definite plan.

You should use your itinerary before deciding to book a flight. So you can now see that a travel itinerary and ticket complete each other. The itinerary is issued electronically rather than the old paper tickets, and it’s simply your travel plan.

A key difference to remember is that it generally includes the destinations you want to visit at specified times. It also specifies the means of transportation between destinations.

Whenever you book a flight, you receive the receipt and itinerary afterward. You don’t need to print the itinerary as proof since all details are recorded. At the airport, you hand in your passport for scanning to retrieve your booking and get your boarding pass.

Tourist’s Itinerary

You, as a tourist, expect organized plans, including the purpose of the tour, transportation, and destinations. A tourist itinerary is a reference to follow during a journey, and you follow it from the time you book your flight until the end of your trip.

Like the travel itinerary that maintains flight details in grand style, tourist itineraries include travel events. These events guide you on where to visit at specified times and how to transport between various destinations.


A travel itinerary isn’t the same as a ticket, but it can organize the travel details such as flight timetable or seat number, and can temporarily act as valid proof for visa application. A flight itinerary isn’t a ticket, and if you receive a visa denial, you don’t lose money.

Meanwhile, a ticket is a document issued by airlines that hold the passenger data, including seat number, identification number, place of departure, and destination. It’s a recognition that allows you to fly from one place to another.

Before you book a flight, ensure you have planned your travel itinerary.


Recent Posts