What you need to know if you're thinking of travelling overseas for Leavers.

Each year, more Aussie school leavers go overseas to celebrate the end of their studies. If you're one of them, this may be your first trip overseas, or your first with just your friends. When you leave Australia, you leave behind the support systems, emergency services and medical facilities we all take for granted at home.

The best Leavers trips are the ones that are well planned. Ultimately, your personal safety is your responsibility. Register your travel with Smartraveller and read and subscribe to the travel advice for the country you plan to visit. 

It’s always important to get comprehensive travel and health insurance which covers you for the whole time you are away and for all the amazing activities you plan to undertake (e.g. adventure sports, driving etc.). We hope that nothing goes wrong, but if it does and you don’t have appropriate travel insurance, you or your family back home will be personally responsible for your costs.

Even though Bali is on Australia’s doorstep, it’s important to remember that it’s still a part of another country, with different laws and expectations. Before you travel, make sure you research the local laws of Indonesia as they apply to you, even if they seem harsh by Australian standards. Indonesia, like many countries in our region, have tough penalties for people arrested with drugs, including life imprisonment or death.

Find out the legal drinking age in the location you’re visiting – it may not be 18 and may vary depending on the type of drink. Know your limits and look after your mates. Being drunk increases your risk of being injured, robbed or assaulted. Poisoning from alcoholic drinks contaminated with harmful substances, such as methanol, can occur in Bali. If you choose to drink, drink only at reputable licensed premises and avoid home-made alcoholic drinks.

Lastly, if something serious happens and you don’t know how to handle it, don’t feel bad asking for help. Local authorities, such as tourist police, should be your first point of contact, together with friends and family. The Australian Government will do what it can to help, however, there are legal and practical limits to what consular officers can do for Australians overseas. 

Remember that careful planning before you leave is essential to help you choose a destination where you’ll feel safe and comfortable, and be prepared for any issues you might face, whilst also having a great time. For more information and helpful tips visit the Smartraveller Leavers page

Following Smartraveller on Twitter and Facebook is another easy way to stay up to date while you’re travelling. You can also download the free Smartraveller app.