Your child wants to go overseas for schoolies?
Travelling overseas for schoolies week can be a great way for your child to celebrate the end of school. It's really important to remember that travelling overseas can also be risky. Make sure your child understands that there are bigger risks to take into account when travelling overseas for Schoolies week and while our Health system and Emergency response teams may get criticised they are often a thousand times better than what you may find overseas.
Here are our tips for sending your child overseas for Schoolies:
1. Pick A Hassle Free Destination
Before your child chooses where to go, check out smartraveller.gov.au - the Australian Government's travel advice site. You'll find useful information on the safety and security situations in over 160 countries (and it's updated all the time so you can be sure you're getting the latest advice). You can also subscribe online and get automatic updates straight to your inbox.
2. Take Out Travel Insurance
No matter how prepared you are there are always things that can go wrong when travelling overseas. To deal with this before it happens, make sure your child has comprehensive travel insurance to save them from the additional costs (and problems) they might run into on their trip. Make sure the travel insurance covers your child for any activities they plan to participate in and is valid for the entire trip.
If your child intends on hiring cars, motorcycles, jet skis or any other motorised vehicle, make sure you talk to the travel insurer to check if it is covered by the insurance policy and seek advice on any restrictions that may apply (such as insurance cover if your child doesn't wear a helmet or are not licensed to ride a motorcycle in Australia).
Check smartraveller.gov.au for advice on making sure you're covered.
3. Register Your Childs Travel Plans
Once you have locked in your child's travel plans, register their details at smartraveller.gov.au. It’s quick, free and Smartraveller will know where your child is and how to contact you if something goes wrong, like a natural disaster or family emergency. You can even register a group- visit smartraveller.gov.au for more details.
4. Make Copies Of Your Childs Travel Documents
It’s also smart to make copies of your childs passport details, insurance policy, visas and credit card numbers. Pack one copy in a separate place to the originals and leave a copy with someone at home. Losing important documents in a foreign country can be an ordeal. Having access to copies of your childs documents will assist in getting replacements and make your childs life much easier should something go wrong.
5. Inform your child on the penalties for breaking the law
While your child is in another country, they must obey the laws even if these seem harsh or unfair by Australian standards. Even small quantities of 'soft drugs' can attract jail sentences or heavy fines and your child should'nt expect to be treated differently from the locals just because they're Australian. The Smartraveller website has plenty of information about local laws and customs so your child is not caught out overseas.
6. Inform your child of their alcohol limts
Inform your child that if they are drunk their judgment is affected, and they are more likely to take risks and make dangerous decisions. Encourage them to limit their intake of alcohol so that they remain aware of their surroundings. Encourage them not to leave their friends alone and to keep in regular contact and be aware of where people in their group are.
The strength of alcoholic drinks may differ from Australia and the alcohol content of drinks is not always marked or accurate. There have been cases of poisoning in Indonesia, most notably in Bali and Lombok, from alcoholic drinks adulterated with harmful substances, particularly methanol. Your child should consider the risks when consuming alcoholic beverages in Indonesia, particularly cocktails and drinks made with spirits.
Need more info?
The Australian Government has heaps of information available for Aussies travelling overseas. Before you check in, check out smartraveller.gov.au for this and all the other info you need to enjoy a safe and hassle free trip.
Methanol is a non-drinking type of alcohol used for industrial and automotive purposes and has been found in numerous clubs and bars in Bali. There have been cases of poisoning in Bali from methanol use. Your child should consider the risks involved in consuming alcoholic beverages.