Schoolies is underway once again, with thousands of overexcited high school graduates travelling to party spots around Australia and abroad. The official Schoolies celebrations commenced last week, but numbers are due to vastly increase in the coming fortnight, with weeks two and three of the annual event expected to see large numbers of revellers from NSW and Victoria descend upon the numerous party zones.
But with Schoolies already having made headlines across the nation in the last week, it’s little wonder parents are feeling a little anxious. A study carried out by 1Cover Travel Insurance revealed that nearly a quarter of Aussie parents (23%) rate Schoolies as the most stressful aspect of their teenager’s time at high school, even more stressful than worrying about the cost of school. Parents’ biggest concerns were access to drugs (29%) and potential violence (19%), followed by binge drinking (13%) and unsafe sex (6%).
Schoolies is an exciting time for young people, and for many of them it’s the first time they’ll be experiencing unsupervised travel. However, when you combine this newfound freedom with other factors such as peer pressure and excessive alcohol you often get teenagers making foolish choices and acting carelessly.
“With Schoolies season upon us, we’re urging all Schoolies revellers to have fun but be safe,” Richard Warburton, 1Cover’s Chief Operating Officer, said. “If heading overseas for your Schoolies celebrations, be sure to read up on the local laws and customs, and familiarise yourself with common dangers, such as scams and other risks. We’ve seen a 200 per cent increase in drink spiking incidents in the last 12 months, particularly in Bali, so it’s important to always keep your wits about you.
“The recent Jamie Murphy case highlights the importance of understanding the local culture and customs of the country you are visiting. Bali is renowned for having a zero tolerance to drugs. In addition to this, there are some corrupt elements of the Police Force that may bribe and potentially even look to plant evidence of drugs on tourists.”
As well as being mindful of the laws and customs, Warburton also urges parents to speak to their teenager about taking out travel insurance. “Parents aren’t there to protect their child during Schoolies. Travel insurance provides an element of security and reassurance that assistance is available if it’s needed. If something goes wrong, expert support is on hand and ready to help.”
Travel insurance for domestic holidays covers people for things such as lost or broken valuables, stolen items, as well as coverage for unexpected delays or cancellations. If heading overseas, travel insurance is even more important because it covers any medical treatment you may need.
“Medical costs overseas can be very expensive, and travel insurance can save people tens of thousands of dollars,” Warburton explained. “Schoolies is a time of celebration, but it’s also a time when things can, and do, go wrong. And that’s exactly why travel insurance is so important.”