Smartraveller advice to Schoolies and Leavers

Media release

22 October 2013

Schoolies and Leavers planning to travel overseas are urged to consult the Smartraveller website for the right advice on staying safe during this year’s celebrations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today launched its new Smartraveller ‘Schoolies and Leavers’ page, with information and advice about keeping out of harm’s way and alerting young people to potential risks overseas.

The page is aimed at the several thousand Australian school leavers who are expected to travel overseas in November 2013. The most popular destinations for Schoolies and Leavers are expected to be Bali, Thailand, Fiji and Vanuatu, while Cambodia, Laos and Sri Lanka are also emerging destinations for volunteer tourism, or ‘alternative Schoolies’.

While most overseas visits by Schoolies and Leavers are without incident, the new webpage focuses on important issues that young people should consider before and during their trip of a lifetime. For example, it includes specific information on the risks associated with drugs and alcohol, including drink spiking, water and road safety, and sexual assault. There are also general travel tips.

In addition to taking out comprehensive travel insurance, registering their travel plans and subscribing to travel advice on Smartraveller, Schoolies and Leavers are strongly encouraged to take care of their mates and stay in regular contact with family members back home.

It is important that school leavers planning overseas trips understand that there are limits to the consular assistance that embassies and consulates can provide. The laws of other countries will apply and young Australians should take sensible precautions to avoid getting into trouble.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is keen to make sure as many Australians as possible receive up-to-date and accurate travel advice. One new way we’re doing this is through a dedicated consular Twitter account @Smartraveller which provides a convenient way for Australians to receive the latest travel advice while they are on the move. The Twitter account complements the Smartraveller website, the Smartraveller Facebook page, and the Smartraveller iPhone app.

For more information about travel advice for Schoolies and Leavers, or to access our 166 travel advisories, visit the Smartraveller website, follow Smartraveller on Twitter, like Smartraveller on Facebook, or download the Smartraveller iPhone app.