Getting Organised Checklist
Want to have the best schoolies ever? A bit of planning now will save you heaps of trouble later. 90% of ex-schoolies say they would’ve liked more info about schoolies 6-12 months before they left school.
So what are you waiting for? You can use our checklist to help you get started.
Who will you go with?
Imagine living with your group of friends for a week. The people you’re with for schoolies will have a big impact on your experience - for better or worse.
Here are some things to think about:
- It helps to travel with people you trust and feel safe with
- A larger group brings down the cost per person
- Each person should have enough money to pay their share
- If a group member drops out closer to the schoolies break be aware that you may need to cover their share of expenses
- Under 18s can't drink or go to bars or nightclubs (if you’re overage make sure you have ID - like a driver’s licence or proof of age card - organise this early)
- People have different ideas about what's fun: what you do for schoolies is your choice
Our Health & Relationships section has more info on this.
What will you do?
The most popular way to spend schoolies is kicking back at the beach. The Gold Coast and Byron Bay are the interstate hotspots, while in Victoria places like Lorne, Torquay and Phillip Island are where it's at. So how do you decide where to go?
- How much money do you and your friends have to spend?
- How long are you planning to stay?
- What type of experience do you want (e.g. do you want to spend schoolies in a popular place with lots of people? Or somewhere less crowded?)
- Is everyone in your group over 18? Will there be things for under 18s to do?
- Will there be any free events or free transport?
Doing a bit of research on possible destinations will help you decide where to go for schoolies. For info about Victorian schoolies destinations, check out our sections on the following shires:
- Surf Coast (Lorne, Torquay)
- Mornington Peninsula (Portsea, Sorrento, Dromana)
- Bass Coast (Philip Island)
When will you go?
Sounds like a no-brainer, huh? But you'll need to time your schoolies trip so you don't miss any extra requirements for tertiary course entry. Lots of universities and TAFEs set interviews, auditions or entrance tests around this time of year.
And don't make plans to leave before your last exam! You can check last year's timetable to get an idea of the dates. You should speak to a teacher or career counsellor if you have any concerns about exam dates or tertiary course entrance requirements.
Some extra requirements and enrolment steps can be completed by someone else instead of you (this person is called a 'proxy'), but you should check out what can and can't be done by proxy when working out when you'll go.
Where will you stay?
Finding a place to stay is the big one - it'll cost you to get it, but you don't want to be without it! Schoolies accommodation gets booked out fast so get onto this as soon as you can.
Don't just turn up if you haven't got anywhere to stay. Sleeping in your car or on the beach is illegal and you risk being fined.
Places you can stay include:
- Hotels, motels or resorts
- Units or houses
- Campsites or caravan parks
Things to think about when booking your accommodation include:
- Cost of rent and bond (if one applies)
- Location (how close it is to the centre of town/the beach/public transport?)
- If you can store and prepare your own meals (you can in a unit or house but not in a hotel)
See our Accommodation section for more info.
How will you get there (and back)?
Depending on where you're headed the trip to schoolies could mean boarding a plane, catching a bus or finding a space in your mate's car. Planning the journey will help to make sure it is an enjoyable experience. Make sure you know how you're getting home too!
Here are some things to think about when planning your travels:
- Booking a flight - get in early for cheap airfares and travel insurance
- Catching public transport - book well in advance and make sure you have a concession card if travelling on a concession ticket
- Driving - don't forget to have the car serviced and spend some time planning the route you'll take
Check out our Travel & Transport section for more info.
Can you afford it?
Want to spend big on schoolies but stay out of debt? You just have to make a budget and stick to it. If you've ever lived on a budget before you'll know it's not as easy as it sounds! There are lots of things you'll have to pay for on schoolies, including:
- Accommodation - rent and bond
- Transport - to and from your schoolies destination as well as getting around while you're there
- Food - groceries for meals you make and eating out or takeaway
- Activities - sightseeing, surfboard hire etc.
- Extras - little things (e.g. sunscreen) or emergency travel and medical expenses
Our Money section has more info on how to skimp and save.
Is that it?
If you've got questions about schoolies it's a good idea to talk to someone who's been there and done that. Relatives or friends who've been on schoolies will have heaps to share about their experiences.
Don't forget to talk to your parents and family and keep them up to date on your schoolies plans. They're less likely to freak out if they can see that you’ve thought things through and have got yourself organised.
You'll find some useful info in our About Schoolies section, including:
- Stories from people about their schoolies trips
- Advice from the experts about their jobs keeping schoolies safe
- Information for parents
Remember, planning ahead makes everything easier and means you have a much more relaxing time. Have a great holiday!