Schengen Visa Itinerary: Flight Itinerary and Reservations

Last Updated : 30 Oct 2023

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30-Second Summary

Schengen visa applicants need to submit a Schengen visa itinerary with their application.

    The travel itinerary plays an essential role of the itinerary in visa applications.

    It should include flight details (flight numbers, dates, and times), hotel reservations, daily activities, and addresses.

When you plan a trip to the Schengen Area, you'll need to present a few documents to border authorities before you can enter the country. In addition, if you need to apply for a Schengen Visa to visit one of the Schengen Member States, you'll need to submit certain required documents for your visa application to be successful.

From personal experience, I understand that incorrect document submission can result in a rejected Schengen Visa application. The last thing you want is the hassle of appealing or reapplying for your visa.

When planning a trip to the Schengen Zone, Embassy officials typically require a Travel Itinerary presentation.

What Does The Schengen Travel Itinerary Include?

Your Schengen travel itinerary will commonly consist of the following:

    Flight itinerary: A suggested route for your flight.

    Proof of accommodation: The hotel itinerary is where you plan to stay in the Schengen Area.

Both of these documents will help support the reason for your trip to the Schengen Area.

A Schengen visa itinerary can also include other relevant details, such as scheduled tours or activities that you plan to do. These minute details can help support your intended trip to the Schengen Area. However, Embassy officials commonly ask for a complete flight itinerary and proof of accommodation during your visa appointment.

Quick note: During the Schengen Visa application process, you must gather and submit each document separately.

Steps to Create a Schengen Visa Itinerary:

    Plan Your Schengen Visa Itinerary: Start by planning your trip. Decide which countries you'll visit and how long you'll stay in each.

    Book Accommodations: Reserve your accommodations in advance. Make sure you have confirmation emails.

    Arrange Transportation: Plan how you'll travel between countries and within them. Include train, bus, or flight bookings.

    Daily Plans: Outline your daily activities and destinations. Be specific but flexible.

What Can I Provide As Proof Of Accommodation?

During your Schengen Visa application, you can submit the following documents that are considered as proof of accommodation:

    Hotel Reservations Or Hostel Reservations: If you plan to stay at a hotel or hostel, you can provide a document that includes your hotel reservations, address, duration of stay, email details, and a contact number.

    Rental Agreement: If you have rented a place to stay (house, condo, apartment, etc.), you must provide a rental agreement, which includes the details of the land and the place of stay.

    Private Accommodation/Letter From Host In The Schengen Country: If you plan to visit a family member or friend(s) in the Schengen Area, you must submit an invitation letter from said host. The letter must include a copy of the host's ID, address, phone number, personal details, and the duration you plan to stay.

    For Students: Those who plan to stay in a dormitory must present a signed contract between the dormitory and the student. The contract must include all relevant details, such as an address, phone number, and acknowledgement that you'll stay there.

What Is A Flight Itinerary?

A flight itinerary is a detailed document that includes all your travel information. In simpler terms, it's a draft (reserved but not purchased) flight reservation showing your round trip or plans of returning to your home country ('proof of onward travel').

If the term travel itinerary is unfamiliar to you, let me list the most commonly used terms:

    Booked Flight Itinerary

    Flight Itinerary for Visa Application

    Flight Reservation For Schengen visa

    Air Ticket Booking

    Dummy Air Ticket for Visa

    Dummy Ticket

    Flight Confirmation

    Return Ticket

All these terms have one thing in common: a document that indicates you have valid travel plans (flights, cruises, etc.) to the Schengen Area.

Your flight itinerary will include the following information:

    The airports where you'll be departing from and arriving at

    Connecting airports, if there are any

    The dates and times of your planned flight

    Flight numbers

    Airports (IATA codes)

    Your passenger details, such as your name and so on

    Meal preferences (if applicable)

    Your confirmation number

What Is The Difference Between A Flight Itinerary And A Flight Ticket?

Many people get confused between a flight itinerary and a flight ticket. 

    flight itinerary is used as an overview of your planned trip. It mainly indicates your travel dates, flight numbers, and where you plan to travel. 

    flight ticket is a physical pass that allows you to board your flight.

In most cases, Embassies/Consulates will allow you to present a flight itinerary rather than a flight ticket. This is because embassy officials understand that it can be quite costly to purchase a flight ticket before knowing if your visa application is successful. However, some Embassies will require you to present a flight ticket when you collect your new Schengen Visa.

A quick tip: During your Schengen Visa Appointment, ask embassy officials if you must present a flight ticket when you collect your new visa.

Why Is The Flight Itinerary A Required Document?

When you plan to travel to the Schengen Area or apply for a Schengen Visa, you must present a flight itinerary or ticket indicating where you'll be travelling. 

Authorities will want to know what you plan to do in the Schengen States and if you plan to return to your home country after your visit. In most cases, your flight itinerary will help support the purpose of your trip.

The Embassy will ask for a flight itinerary for the following reasons:

To Avoid Overstaying In The Schengen Area

The Schengen Embassies and Consulate's main concern is that foreign nationals might overstay in the Schengen Area. Your flight itinerary will help Embassy officials determine whether you will overstay in the Schengen Area. The best way to prove you won't overstay in the Schengen Area is to present a flight itinerary.

Your flight itinerary will show your departure and arrival times and dates to and from the Schengen Area. It will help assure Embassy or Consular officials that you don't exceed your allowed stay in the Schengen Area.

To Decide The Length Of Your Visa

Depending on the purpose of your trip, authorities will need to decide the length of your Schengen Visa. For example, suppose you plan to travel to Spain for business purposes. In that case, you'll be granted a single entry visa that is valid for the number of days you need to conclude your business in Spain.

Not only does your flight itinerary help prove the purpose of your trip, but it also allows embassy officials to make a more informed decision on the amount of time you're allowed to stay in the Schengen Area

To Check That You're Applying At The Correct Embassy

The Schengen Agreement has specific rules regarding the port of entry. All Schengen countries must obey these rules. If you plan to travel to multiple Schengen Member States, you must apply for your visa at the correct Embassy. Sometimes, it can be unclear where you should apply for your Schengen Visa. A complete flight itinerary can help Embassy officials determine if you're applying at the correct Embassy.

For example, Suppose you plan to travel to Greece for 7 days, France for 10 days, and Portugal for 20 days. In that case, you must apply for your visa at the Portuguese Embassy/Consulate. If you apply at the Greece Embassy, authorities will kindly ask you to reapply at the correct Embassy.

Quick note: Remember that the flight itinerary is not the only document you must submit. In addition, you'll need to present other documents like proof of valid medical insurance, proof of accommodation, bank statements, and other relevant travel documents.

Schengen Visa Travel Itinerary Template

Traveler's Name: [Your Full Name]

Travel Dates: [Start Date] to [End Date]

Main Destination: [Schengen Country]

Day 1 - [Arrival City, Schengen Country]

  • Arrival Flight: [Flight Number]
  • Arrival Time: [Time]
  • Accommodation: [Hotel Name and Address]
  • Activities: [Planned Activities, e.g., Explore City, Visit Landmarks]

Day 2 - [City or Region]

  • Activities: [Activities Planned for the Day]
  • Lunch: [Restaurant Name]
  • Accommodation: [Hotel Name and Address]

Day 3 - [City or Region]

  • Activities: [Activities Planned for the Day]
  • Dinner: [Restaurant Name]
  • Accommodation: [Hotel Name and Address]

Day 4 - [City or Region]

  • Activities: [Activities Planned for the Day]
  • Lunch: [Restaurant Name]
  • Accommodation: [Hotel Name and Address]

Day 5 - [City or Region]

  • Activities: [Activities Planned for the Day]
  • Dinner: [Restaurant Name]
  • Accommodation: [Hotel Name and Address]

Day 6 - [City or Region]

  • Activities: [Activities Planned for the Day]
  • Lunch: [Restaurant Name]
  • Accommodation: [Hotel Name and Address]

Day 7 - [Departure City, Schengen Country]

  • Departure Flight: [Flight Number]
  • Departure Time: [Time]
  • Activities: [Morning Activities Before Departure]
  • Departure from [City]


  1. Please note that this is a sample itinerary and should be customized based on your actual travel plans.
  2. Ensure that your main destination remains the same throughout your itinerary.
  3. Include all relevant flight and accommodation details, including booking references and addresses.
  4. Specify planned activities and dining reservations to demonstrate your genuine travel intentions.
  5. Make sure your itinerary aligns with the duration and validity of your Schengen Visa.

Overview Of The Schengen Visa Itinerary

What Is Proof Of Accommodation Or A Hotel Itinerary?

The primary purpose of your proof of accommodation is to prove to authorities where you'll be staying in the Schengen Area.

In Article 14 (1), the "Visa Code" specifies:

"When applying for a uniform visa, the applicant shall present:

    Documents indicating the purpose of the journey;

    Documents in relation to accommodation, or proof of sufficient means to cover his accommodation."

What Happens If I Don't Submit A Travel Itinerary?

Suppose you do not submit a Schengen visa itinerary alongside your Schengen Visa application form. In that case, there is a very high probability that your Schengen Visa application won't be successful. In short, you probably won't get your visa.

Many applicants fail to understand the importance of the travel itinerary and don't bother to get one. 

If this is you, I recommend getting a travel itinerary as soon as possible. If you don't have the time to get one, reschedule your appointment and ensure you collect all the required documents for your Schengen Visa before attending your appointment.

What Schengen Countries Require A Travel Itinerary?

When applying for your Schengen Visa, one required document is a complete travel itinerary.

Suppose you're planning to visit the Schengen Area. In that case, you'll need to apply for a Schengen Visa to enter the destination country.

The following 27 Counties in Europe form part of the Schengen Zone:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Do US Citizens Need A Travel Itinerary?

US citizens benefit from visa-free travel to many countries, including the 27 Schengen Countries. They don't need to go through the tedious process of applying for a Schengen Visa. 

Instead, US citizens only need to gather documents like their passports and proof of sufficient funds. After that, they can travel to their desired destination. 

However, US citizens will still need to go through the country's border control, where their passports will be stamped for entry. During this process, authorities always have the right to ask a foreign national what the purpose of their trip is, and if they can't present a valid reason, they may risk being sent back to their home country.

So, to avoid any delays or frustrations, I highly recommend that you carry a complete travel itinerary that will help support the purpose of your visit. Furthermore, this will also indicate that you plan to travel back to your home country. 

Do US Green Card Holders Need A Flight Itinerary?

Yes. Unlike US citizens, US Green Card Holders don't enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. If their nationality does not enjoy visa-free travel they will need to apply for a visa.

Meaning they need to apply for a Schengen Visa. One of the required documents for the Schengen Visa is a complete travel itinerary.

Should I Purchase A Flight Itinerary And Hotel Itinerary For My Visa Application?

The recommended answer would be no. It is possible to purchase your travel itinerary before your visa appointment. However, should you do this and your visa application is unsuccessful, you would have wasted a lot of money on a planned trip that couldn't happen.

Embassies/Consulates are aware of this matter. Therefore, they don't require you to submit fully purchased flight tickets or accommodation. During your visa appointment, you can present a reserved travel itinerary to cancel if necessary. Not making an official payment for your travel itinerary is highly recommended. Nonetheless, the option is always yours to make.

How To Get A Travel Itinerary For Free?

The Embassy won't require you to purchase proof of accommodation or an actual flight ticket in most cases. Meaning you can make a reservation instead of a purchase.

Obtaining a Free Travel Itinerary for Schengen Visa

    Online Itinerary Generators: Several online tools and websites can help you generate a free Schengen Visa itinerary. Simply input your travel details, and they'll create one for you.

    Travel Agencies: Some travel agencies offer free itineraries when booking flights or accommodations through them.

    DIY Itinerary: If you prefer to do it yourself, use online templates. Ensure it includes your personal information, flight details, accommodation bookings, and daily plans.

Here's How You Can Get A Travel Itinerary In 4 Different Ways

Get An Itinerary From A Travel Agent (Without Paying) - Book On Expedia

Expedia is a convenient way to plan your next trip to the Schengen Area. It has a large number of vacation packages which you can choose from. 

When you select a package, you'll receive a complete flight itinerary and hotel booking, which you can submit during your Schengen Visa appointment

It's worth mentioning that if you wish to cancel your booking (and get your money back), you can only do this within 24 hours of purchasing the vacation package. 

This can prove to be a problem. Here's why:

When you've finally attended your Schengen Visa appointment, you'll need to wait for feedback from the Embassy. Unfortunately, receiving feedback can take more than 24 hours. Suppose you pay for your package and receive negative feedback after 24 hours. In that case, you'll have spent significantly on a trip that can't happen. Moreover, the amount paid back to you may not always be the full amount. In addition, Expedia will most likely pay your money back in credits, which you can only use through Expedia. Therefore, before using their services, I recommend reading through Expedia's T&Cs.

Book Using Airline Miles And Cancel

Some airlines will allow you to hold a reservation for up to 5 days. However, the purchase must be made using your airline miles.

Once you've made the purchase, you can print out your flight itinerary and present it during your Schengen Visa appointment. Then, if you receive unfavourable feedback, you can cancel your flight. Nonetheless, you'll still need air miles to make such a purchase, and not everyone is fortunate enough to have one.

Purchase A Foolproof Refundable Flight Ticket

Another option is purchasing a refundable flight ticket. This is a foolproof method of getting your flight itinerary. 

However, there is a cost that comes along with this. It isn't free.

First, you'll need to pay for the refundable ticket, which usually costs more than the standard ticket. Secondly, there is ordinarily a cancellation fee of around $100. Moreover, you'll need to wait a few days or weeks to receive your refund.

Reserving a Flight Ticket With A Free Hold Option Ay Airlines And Online Booking Websites

Some airlines and online booking websites offer a free-hold option for 2 days. However, if, for some reason, your feedback takes longer than 2 days, you'll need to pay a certain cancellation fee if you wish to cancel your booked flight.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Schengen Visa Travel Itinerary

Here are common mistakes to avoid when writing a Schengen Visa travel itinerary:

    Inaccurate Information: Ensure all details, including dates, accommodation, and flights, are correct and match your actual plans.

    Overlapping Reservations: Avoid booking multiple accommodations or flights for the same dates, as it may raise suspicions.

    Ignoring the Main Destination: Your main Schengen destination should be clear and consistent throughout the itinerary.

    Incomplete Itinerary: Include daily plans, not just flight and hotel details, to demonstrate a genuine travel agenda.

    Non-Schengen Countries: Don't include non-Schengen countries in your itinerary, as it could lead to complications.

    Last-Minute Changes: Try to avoid making significant changes to your itinerary after visa approval to maintain transparency.


Throughout this post, you've learned everything you need about your travel itinerary for your next Schengen Visa application (even how to get one for free). 

Government Sources

Our information is sourced directly from government authorities, ensuring reliability. We utilize AI to simplify complex concepts for clarity, and our dedicated team rigorously verifies all details for accuracy. Rest assured, the information you discover here is dependable, as we exclusively rely on trusted sources.


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Frequently Asked Questions

No, you cannot change your itinerary after obtaining a Schengen visa. You are expected to follow the itinerary you provided when applying for the visa. Changing your itinerary completely, to the point where the information provided in the visa application is no longer accurate, is not permitted. In the cases of minor changes, be mindful of these key points:

    Ensure it still fits within the visa's duration and validity.

    Keep the main destination the same.

    Stick to Schengen countries.

    It's wise to inform authorities and update accommodation details to avoid issues during your trip.

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