Schoolies hotspot no one expected
BACK in the day, when Schoolies kids went away with their mates, the most they could hope for was the Gold Coast, Airlie Beach, Lorne or Byron Bay.
Then international Schoolies trips became the rage, and freshly graduated teenagers were heading off - some on their first trip out of the country - to South East Asian spots like Bali and Thailand.
But this year's batch of Year 12 graduates are blowing them all out of the water.
Europe has surprisingly become a popular destination where teenagers are heading for Schoolies in 2017, says finder.com.au.
According to finder.com.au's analysis of international travel insurance quotes purchased by 17- and 18-year-olds for November to January, a significant 27 per cent of them will be partying in Europe.
South East Asia is the next most popular destination, with 24 per cent of school leavers headed there, followed by the South Pacific region at 11 per cent.
So sorry, Gold Coast - it looks like your status as Schoolies mecca is long gone.
But when finder.com.au breaks down the data to individual countries, Indonesia - presumably because of Bali - is to be the top destination for Schoolies this year.
Next is the United States, followed by Australia, Japan, the UK, France, Thailand, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand.
Just five per cent of school leavers seeking travel insurance intend to stay in Australia for the traditional - and infamous - end-of-school celebrations.
But wherever they're headed, finder.com.au is warning Schoolies kids that alcohol use may mean any travel insurance claims will not be covered.
"It's important to make sure you have travel insurance policy in place for your schoolies before you head overseas," finder.com.au's money expert Bessie Hassan said.
"Schoolies should also be aware that almost all travel insurance providers will not cover anyone who is hospitalised as the result of an alcohol-related injury."
Schoolies are also urged to be wary of drink spiking, especially in places such as Bali, where many Australians have become seriously ill or died as a result of tampered alcohol.
Schoolies in Queensland kick off their celebrations tomorrow, November 18, followed by NSW and Victoria on November 25.