✈ 4N: round-trip ticket vs. open jaw ticket

One of the major components of your travel is going to be… well… your travel. I mean the actual travel (commute) portion of it.

In brief:

  • a round-trip ticket is a traditional style air ticket in which the destination airport (for your to and from home) for both arrival and departure is the same (example: flying from Toronto to London, and London to Toronto)
  • an open jaw ticket is a style of air ticket in which you arrive at a particular destination airport from your home, and when it’s time to go back home, your return airport is a different one than the one at which you arrived (example, flying from Toronto to London, and Rome to Toronto)

Both these options are explained in more detail below, and things to keep in mind when booking each of these…

A lot of my blog readers are from Canada and the US, so let’s say the trip is being planned to Europe. Getting from home to Europe is the first step, then there are numerous steps within your trip based on your choice of destination(s) (see my post on How to Choose Multiple Destinations here), and getting home is the last step.

If you’re travelling from Canada to Europe, the two main legs of the journey are getting to Europe and getting back from Europe. What kind of ticket do you get?

No, it’s not a riddle, but it sure sets up like one!

There are two types of travel tickets/itineraries for you to consider: a standard ticket, or an open jaw ticket.

Round-trip Ticket

The most common thing would be to fly from home to a destination airport, and fly back home from the same destination airport. This is the most common type of ticket that travellers go for, regardless of your number or location of destinations. Flying to and from the same destination airport is known as a round-trip ticket, or more simply as a standard ticket.

Example of when you should get a round-trip ticket:

Let’s say you’re travelling from Toronto, Canada. You’re going to Europe. You’ve decided to visit 3 major cities/countries whilst there:

  1. London, England
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Brussels, Belgium

Your flight path looks a bit like this:

4N "Foreign" an exclusive travel blog series about travel by Anushree Joshi
Round trip flight path. Image via anushreejoshi.wordpress.com

This is best to use when your travel is regionally limited, as per my recommendation on my post about Choosing Multiple Countries for your Trip. It ensures that you’re not wasting too much time travelling (preparing for your last leg of travel, back to home).

The other kind of ticket you can get is called an open-jaw ticket.

Open jaw Ticket

So as explained above, this “open jaw” is one where the arrival airport at the start of your trip is different than your departure airport at the end of your trip.

Why would this be the case? Because you don’t want to waste time, especially at the last leg of your trip, commuting back to the airport from which you have to go home, if your trip itinerary is more widespread than usual. This is for those of you who DIDN’T take my advice on selecting regionally-limited destinations on a multi-destination trip but instead chose a nevertheless fun and geographically-vast trip path.

Example of when you should get an open jaw ticket:

Let’s say you’re travelling from Toronto, Canada. You’re going to Europe. You’ve decided to visit 5 major cities/countries whilst there:

  1. London, England
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Switzerland
  4. Monaco
  5. Rome, Italy

Your flight path looks a bit like this:

4N "Foreign" an exclusive travel blog series about travel by Anushree Joshi
Open jaw flight path. Image via anushreejoshi.wordpress.com

Flight #1 is you coming in to London, England from your home airport in Toronto, and flight #6 is you flying out from Rome, Italy to your home airport. This “open jaw” would give you flexibility because of the hours you’d save commuting from your last trip destination (Rome, Italy) back to London, England, to catch your Toronto flight to home.

I’m sure you’ll be thankful for those extra 6 hours in Italy 😉

I hope that helps explain the types of flight paths that can save you money, time, and stress in planning your next vacation.

Comment below with questions you would like answered in upcoming posts, and I will do my best to research and answer them as soon as possible!

Yours Truly, AJ

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4N "Foreign" an exclusive travel blog series about travel by Anushree Joshi
4N “Foreign” an exclusive travel blog series about travel by Anushree Joshi.

4N (alternative scripture for the word “foreign”) is an exclusive travel blog series by Anushree Joshi. She is a travel fanatic and aspiring world traveller. Check out her adventures, tips, and travel series articles on her blog at anushreejoshi.wordpress.com. Read the introductory post here, and click here to see all 4N series articles.

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