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Australia’s first-ever Schoolies trip to Japan is launching

March 23, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

High-school graduates will able to cross Japan off their holiday bucket list sooner rather than later, with the launch of the nation’s first Japan Schoolies holiday offered by a specialist Australian school-leaver travel company.

Named Japan Grad Trip, the holiday package is launching this ticket season alongside six other overseas packages by Unleashed Travel, Australia’s leading provider of overseas holidays for school leavers. The nine-night trip provides teens with the chance to take in Tokyo’s bustling culture, ski on some of Hakuba’s best slopes and take sushi-making classes.

Autumn is Schoolies ‘click frenzy’ season, where a flurry of online buying by Year 11s for their end-of-school trip takes place over a two-week period. Each ticket season, Unleashed Travel sells 85 per cent of its travel packages by end of month. This year will be no different, with Japan launching alongside Grad Trips to Fiji, Vanuatu, Europe and a choice of three volunteering trips to Cambodia and Fiji.

The launch of Japan as a destination reflects the growing demand among students for overseas travel. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade statistics released last year show the number of Aussies travelling overseas increased by five per cent over 2015-2016.[1] Among school-leavers, Unleashed Travel has seen a 20 per cent increase in sales of overseas trips throughout 2016-17.

“The biggest growth in our bookings has come from Queensland and NSW students – Queensland bookings alone have increased 60 per cent between 2015 and 2016,” says Unleashed Travel CEO Jot Lynas.

“The biggest demand has been for our Fiji Grad trips which offer active experiences. Our Vanuatu and Europe Grad Trips have attracted a 95 per cent and 30 per cent increase in bookings respectively. Around 32 per cent of school-leavers who choose to go on one of our trips say they want to ‘do more’ for their end of school celebration.”

The Japan grad trip is the first of its kind in Australia, offering school-leavers a culturally enriching and adrenalin-filled alternative to the traditional beach holiday on the Gold Coast or Byron Bay.

Jot says, “As more School-leavers see the benefits of overseas travel, they are willing to take up the costs themselves. They understand a grad trip is a once in a lifetime experience and it’s important to make it count.”

A recent Unleashed Travel survey reveals 43 per cent of students pay for their own trip in full, 26 per cent split the cost with their parents, and 18 per cent allow their parents to pay in trip while they come up with the spending money.

Unleashed Travel’s top 5 tips for planning an overseas grad trip:

  1. Be aware of local customs. Read up on your destination country’s etiquette, traditions and history before embarking on your trip. Pay particular attention to any dress requirements (e.g. removing shoes before entering temples). This will save you from any embarrassing mishaps and help enrich your experience once you arrive at your destination. To help children and their parents prepare for an overseas trip, Unleashed Travel hosts a number of information nights and webinars detailing all the crucial information travellers should be aware of. Be sure to keep an eye on its website for upcoming dates.
  2. Learn a few words of the local language. Whether it’s a simple “hello” in Italian or “thank you” in Japanese, knowing some fundamental phrases in the local language can help you feel more in immersed in a country’s culture. Check out some language apps and online videos.
  3. Pack an adapter. It’s always a good idea to stay connected while you’re away, and an adapter and charger are a must for any overseas trip. If you’re travelling to Europe, Japan or Cambodia, you’ll need a non-Australian adapter. This will enable you to keep your phone, laptop and camera charged and ready to go.
  4. Update your passport. You need to allow at least three weeks for a new passport to be processed, so make sure yours is valid well ahead of time and keep in mind that passports need to have six months’ validity on them from the date of return. Keep your travel itinerary, airline tickets and booking documents in the same, secure place.
  5. Spending money. Make sure you budget for spending money as early as possible, keeping in mind conversion rates. If you don’t want to carry a lot of cash with you on your trip, arrange a pre-paid travel money card from your local bank or post office. 

Unleashed Travel’s 2018 school-leaver packages:

Trip Price Details 2018 trip dates  
Japan Ski


Starting at$3199 Enjoy the best of Japan’s snow season and culture with 7 nights in the ski area of Hakuba and 2 nights in the bright city lights of Tokyo. 13th December to 22nd December
Vanuatu Adventure (Hideaway Island)


Starting at$1499 Immerse yourself in the ultimate adventure getaway, with 6 nights on Hideaway Island. Activities on offer include scuba diving, jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking and zip lining. Week 1: 20th November to 26th November

Week 2: 26th November to 2nd December

Fiji Grad Trip (Mana Island Resort)


Starting at $2,499 Completely unwind with 6 nights on Mana Island, Fiji’s hidden paradise. Offering lazy beach days, reef snorkeling, nightly themed parties and spa treatments, this trip is the perfect way to relax. Week 1: 21st November to 27th November

Week 2: 27th November to 3rd December

Week 3: 3rd December to 9th December

Fiji Grad Trip

(Plantation Island Resort)


Starting at $2,499 Soak up Fiji’s white sandy beaches and relaxed island lifestyle with 6 nights on Plantation Island. Week 1: 18th November to 24th November

Week 2: 24th November to 30th November

Week 3: 30th November to 6th December

Europe Grad Trip


Starting at $3,299 Experience a complete cultural immersion with a 22-day trip through 10 European countries including France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Tour 1: 20th November to 11th Dec

Tour 2: 22nd November to 13 Dec

Fiji Youth Development


Starting at $2,299 Encounter Fiji’s natural beauty while making a difference to the lives of local children on this 8 day trip. 29th November to 6th December


Project Cambodia Grad Trip


Starting at $3399 This 15 night package allows you to take in Cambodia’s thriving local culture while helping some of Siem Reap’s most important centres for children. Week 1: 20th November to 5thDecember

Week 2: 24th November to 9thDecember

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