Schoolies Abroad: Five Legal Tips What To Do When Trouble Hits
Fun loving school leavers are becoming more adventurous when it comes to celebrating Schoolies, with the Department of Foreign Affairs advising that Bali, Fiji, Thailand and Vanuatu have become popular overseas Schoolies destinations. Whilst most teenagers will return home unharmed, what are schoolies’ rights when their overseas adventure goes seriously wrong?
Stacks travel law specialist Victoria Gallanders offers five tips on what to do when trouble hits when you are overseas:
1. Report the incident. It’s best to get some sort of official record of what happened. Depending on the situation, report the incident to the local police, hotel manager, travel representative, airline etc and ask for a copy of the incident report.
2. Take lots of photographs of the place where it happened and any equipment or vehicles involved.
3. Try and get names and contact details of all the people involved, especially anybody who you think was to blame for what happened and witnesses.
4. If you have to see a doctor after a mishap make sure you tell the doctor how it happened. Get a copy of the medical report so that your doctors back in Australia can provide continuity of care.
5. Seek legal advice when you return home – you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and expenses even after you return home.
Ms Gallanders says these tips apply to any traveller, but schoolies are especially vulnerable due to their inexperience and, yes, risk taking activities such as motorbikes, jet skis, or bungy jumping.
Whilst most schoolies will return home without incident, if disaster strikes overseas it is important to seek legal advice soon after returning to Australia. Your rights will mostly be determined by the law of the country where the incident happened, which often include short time limits to take action. A specialist travel lawyer will be able to advise you about your rights and whether you can seek compensation for what happened.