It seems unthinkable for parents to be contemplating Schoolies week already – let alone Schoolies for 2017. But the travel industry knows Schoolies is on the minds of Year 11s Australia-wide, with March and April the months that many Schoolies packages launch and practically sell out.
Last month closed off with an incredible record number for one school leavers travel company: 1400 packages fromUnleashed Travel sold within 13 minutes, and several destinations are now sold out. Off the back of these results Unleashed Travel has just released another package to popular Mana Island in Fiji, which are on sale now.
Unleashed Travel, Australia’s leading provider of overseas travel packages for school leavers, launched its much anticipated packages for 2017 earlier this month to a sales frenzy which has surpassed last year’s impressive results of 90% of packages selling within 15 minutes. One of the most popular destinations, Mana Island in Fiji, goes on sale on 14 April for travel in 2017.
Unleashed Travel has fast gained a reputation for offering meaningful, fun and once-in-a-lifetime school-leaver experiences that are becoming more sought-after than the traditional local escapes. Not only do teens feel more comfortable knowing they have dedicated guides and chaperones with Unleashed Travel, but parents can breathe a sigh of relief too, knowing their children are in safe hands.
Unleashed Travel offers a variety of ultimate graduation trip experiences for school leavers who want more meaningful experiences in exotic locations such as Fiji and Vanuatu, Europe, or even to donate their time on volunteer projects in Cambodia. All packages are escorted by experienced travel staff, medical teams and Australia’s own Schoolies volunteers, the Red Frogs, ensuring a safe, fun and meaningful experience which will create memories for a lifetime.
“Our research shows that school leavers are demanding more than just a hangover for Schoolies, and further that they don’t want a ‘one size fits all’ Schoolies week. The sheer speed in which all of our experiences sell out is testament to that,” says Jot.
In a recent study by HSV (Hospitality Insights), 70 per cent of Millennials stated they expect their travel destinations to offer immersive, interactive, and hands-on experiences. Millennials also expect to gain value by learning while travelling.
A vast majority (78%) of Millennials indicated they prefer to learn something new, such as a language or skill when travelling. They want to break from traditional tours to explore and learn from the communities they visit, from the culture to the food.
They also want to be connected enough to engage in real-time reporting of their trip through their social media networks such as Twitter and Instagram, and will turn to their peers for travel recommendations. They prefer to travel in groups with their friends or fellow millennials.
“We pride ourselves on researching and offering a diverse range of experiences that tick all the boxes for our customers,” says Unleashed Travel CEO Jot Lynas.
“The appeal lies in our ability to offer something different, secure and fun, and we also ensure that our customers’ graduate holiday won’t be destroyed by negative experiences such as ‘Toolies’ or alcohol-infused violence as our holiday resorts are staffed with experienced teams and exclusively available to Unleashed Travel school leavers,” he continues.
Unleashed Travel has researched the Schoolies demographic and identified five cultural influences that shape their holiday preferences:
Cultural Influence 1: Busy, fast-paced and technology-driven lifestyles. Our addiction to busy-ness sees many school leavers not wanting to – or knowing how to – slow down when on holidays, even when on island getaways. Action-packed travel experiences such as Vanuatu island adventure trips that include marine park safaris, climb-able waterfalls and scuba diving are best suited to them.
Cultural Influence 2. Backlash over alcohol-fuelled violence. School leavers are very aware of the potential negative impacts of alcohol and are looking for holidays that reduce their risk or exposure. Private islands with controls on alcohol are the recommended choice for them. In previous years, Unleashed Travel’s alcohol-controlled trips sold out within minutes.
Cultural Influence 3. Higher-income households. With household disposable income and assets increasing, kids likely have more at an earlier age. These students may not be attracted to travelling rough, and may seek luxury holidays with the lot. Luxury island getaways that include 4-star accommodation and pampering might be the best trip for them.
Cultural Influence 3. Been there, done that. Research has found that three-quarters of Millennials prefer to learn something new, such as a language or skill when travelling. Many may have already clocked up several travel experiences before they have finished their schooling. There’s nothing like a 21-day tour of Europe to provide them with a good dose of culture.
Cultural Influence 4. Greater awareness of inequality. Through social media, teenagers are more exposed to, and more sensitive to, inequality on a global scale and this encourages them to do their part in helping those less fortunate in developing countries. Volunteering trips in developing countries align well with their deep values and awareness of global poverty.
Unleashed Travel’s 2017 school-leaver packages
Action and adventure on a private island
|Vanuatu (Hideaway Island)||Starting at $1,399|
Help make a difference to the lives of orphans or get involved in youth development in a life-changing experience
|Cambodia or Fiji||Starting at $2,199|
A 21-day trip through Europe in a complete cultural immersion
|Europe (England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands)||Starting at $3,199|
Completely unwind after graduating with lazy beach days, pool and nightly parties, and spa treatments
|Fiji (Mana Island)||Starting at $2,299|
|LET YOUR HAIR DOWN
Party it up with international DJs and long lazy beach days
|Fiji (Plantation Island)||Starting at $2,349|
Throughout March and April, Unleashed Travel will be responding to the recent cyclone damage that hit Fiji, as part of its ongoing association with the destination.
“Unleashed Travel will be working with Spirit of Sharing to send donations of equipment, clothes and more from our large network of former travellers, to aid Fijians in need after Cyclone Winston.
“We will also be raising money towards this cause. Thousands of students have enjoyed their Grad Trip in Fiji and we will do everything we can to help our friends in Fiji,” concludes Jot.