It's that time when year 12 students celebrate the end of their schooling years by heading somewhere tropical and letting their hair down with their mates.
If your child is heading overseas to celebrate, we have advice to ensure their schoolies is memorable for the right reasons.
Learn about their destination
Before they go, ensure they're informed about where they're going. Encourage them to:
- read the travel advice for their destination. Common schoolies locations are Indonesia, Thailand, Fiji and Cambodia
- subscribe to travel advice updates
- learn about the local culture and laws of their destination.
Remind them that they're visitors to someone else's home while they're overseas. It's important to be respectful of the local culture and laws while they're there.
Make sure they have travel insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance is a must. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure their policy covers all planned activities. You may need to purchase extra cover if they're planning any adventure activities or using scooters to get around.
Talk to them about partying safely
What's schoolies without partying? Just make sure you equip your child with the knowledge to party safely. Talk to them about:
- sticking with their mates. It's important to look out for each other so someone is always around if things go wrong. Help them come up with a back-up plan if they get separated.
- drinking safely. Make sure they know the signs of spiking and methanol poisoning, how to prevent them and what to do if they see them.
- water safety. Swimming and alcohol don't mix. Especially swimming in the ocean.
- safety around heights. Risky stunts look impressive on video, but no amount of social media clout is worth falling from a balcony ledge.
It's essential you and your child understand that many travel insurance policies won't allow claims if even a small amount of alcohol is involved.
Help them pack the essentials
Put together a travel binder with:
- a copy of their passport
- printouts of any e-tickets for flights and accommodation, including accommodation locations
- a list of emergency contacts back home and in their destination, including the nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate
- copies of prescriptions for any medication they're taking.
Digital bookings and contact lists are great until the device they're on gets broken, lost or stolen. Having hardcopy backups removes some of the stress if something happens to their phone.
See our checklist of the basics for more advice on how to prepare for a trip overseas.
Red Frogs are there to help
If your child is heading to schoolies in Bali or Fiji, tell them to look out for the Red Frogs volunteers. Our friends at Red Frogs support schoolies with a positive peer presence during festivities. They're there to keep schoolies safe for everyone and help if things go wrong. They may even provide some home-cooked pancakes the morning after a big night!