Dropped off at the airport around 3am, my journey was about to begin. I hadn’t slept entirely well the night before due to many factors really- nerves, had I packed enough?, ideas of what may lay ahead, but most of all fear that I wouldn’t be allowed in the Country to begin with…
Let me explain: all the online posts I had read pertaining to traveling to Costa Rica stated that you had to have proof of leaving the Country prior to entering. In other words a bus ticket or a return plane ticket showing that you were going to be leaving within 90 days of arrival. I had no such proof. I had only purchased a one-way ticket there.
What I had later learned is that many airlines- Spirit, Air Mexico, etc will not allow you to purchase a one-way ticket online. Or if they do, once you arrive at the airport you get slapped with the happy news that you have to pony up some more money for a return ticket… kinda sneaky if you ask me, but the good news or best advice rather if you find yourself in that scenario is to simply buy a refundable ticket and cancel it after printing your proof of a return flight.
One example of the kind of trouble one may run into without a return ticket from CR was of a couple who flew in to Miami (as part of the journey to CR) then were denied bording access to the plane to CR because they didn’t have a return flight! They ended up having to get back to the ticket sales desk, only to find one airline open, purchase a ticket, haul back through security and get on the plane in the nick of time!
Though I was nervous about not having a return flight, I said to myself that if I wasn’t meant to go to Costa Rica, then I would have complications getting in. If not, well then that was just one more sign that I was supposed to go.
The flight was quite pleasant as I slept for most of the time. I traveled on US Air and made one of the best last minute travel purchases while on a flight: a sleep pack that included a little blanket, air pillow, eye mask and ear plugs all condensed in the size of… well frankly this little 10″ netbook I’m currently working on:) It has come in handy time and time again!
My most nerve-wracking moment was when I arrived at the San Jose airport (which btw folks isn’t actually located in San Jose, but rather Alajuela- but I will speak more about that later). Would I get past Immegration with only a one-way ticket??? Indeed I did:)