Date published: 18 December 2015
Whether it’s crashing the festivities of schoolies week through the month of November or simply unleashing the full force of the inner bogan whilst abroad, the verdict is clear; there’s nothing cool about being a tool! So what can be done to dispel the myth of the badly behaved Aussie abroad?
Toolie or Foolie?
The origin of the term ‘toolie’ refers to the unwelcome trend of gate crashing adults on the schoolies party circuit. Although the end of school celebrations known as schoolies has had its share of negative press, ‘toolies’ are often at the forefront of the trouble. Old enough to buy alcohol and gain entry to clubs, toolies utilise their age-status to prey on school leavers and younger girls partying for the first time. Each year toolies dominate the headlines with tales of arrests, drug charges and good order offences.
Whether it’s Down Under or abroad, toolies of all ages can strike anywhere. Crass, loutish behaviour, whilst barely tolerable at home, can have dire consequences when taken abroad. Nothing says ‘total tool’ like a shirtless, drunk Aussie chanting “oi,oi,oi” on foreign turf. And when it comes to our neighbouring island of Bali, bad bogan behaviour truly shines. Violence, abusive language and a general disrespect for the local laws and culture has arguably led to the demise of the tranquil island.
Hoping to better represent us Aussies next time you head abroad? The following 5 steps brought to you by comparetravelinsurance.com.au are a few ways to keep bogan behaviour at bay!
Have an open mind
Paid thousands of dollars for a flight to London only to spend your time drinking in a pub identical to one back at home? One could say that’s money poorly spent. Instead, aim to experience adventures unique to your destination. Embrace history and take in customs, sites and rituals that you could never enjoy back at home. At the very least, you’ll get some decent bang for your buck!
Get an etiquette education
If you think you’ve got a good idea of what proper etiquette entails, think again. What you may consider polite at home may be a downright faux pas just across the globe. For instance, a warm hug or firm handshake can be construed as downright inappropriate in certain Asian and Middle Eastern regions. Acquainting yourself with unique worldwide customs will prevent any embarrassing blunders and can also be your passport to new experiences and friendships.
Safely does it
Contemplating a dive off your hotel balcony into the pool? Planning to hop onto a moped in Bali after one too many Bintangs? Some may call you fearless, others may use more colourful profanities. Whether it’s an ill-advised swimming pool prank or a reckless ride in a foreign country, declaring yourself invincible is not just toolie behaviour, it’s also downright dangerous. Even supervised activities like bungy jumping can carry risks. Before leaping off into the abyss, check, do you have travel insurance? And if so, would you be covered for adventure sports?
As well, travellers need to be aware that travel insurance exclusions will apply to higher-risk activities. It really does pay to read the fine print and check which activities are not covered. It may be helpful to take the list of all policy exclusions along with you… just in case.
Respect the relics
Exploring an ancient Turkish mosque? Perhaps now’s not the time for selfie. Fancy swiping a souvenir from an ancient ruin? Also not ok. It might make for a great shot, but a quick snap beside a religious artefact or inappropriate behaviour at a historical site could land you in the hot seat. Check with a local guard before you say “cheese” and use common sense. Remember, if it seems illegal then it probably is.
Too many displays of bad bogan behaviour can be pinned down to an excess of booze. It may be typical of the Aussie larrikin nature, but hurling into a gutter can take the charm out of the most picturesque setting. And in some regions, being drunk in public can get you into serious trouble. Whilst a tasty tipple or two is all part of the pleasure of travel, knowing when to stop can mean the difference between a pleasant buzz versus a night with the fuzz. It’s also worth knowing that if you fall down some steps after a few beers too many and injure yourself (or your pride), you’re not covered by travel insurance. Insurers do not pay claims if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Letting loose or showing the world some ‘bogan pride’ on holiday is one thing. On the other hand a blatant disrespect for your surroundings can really put the ‘tool’ in tourist. Whether you’re vacationing on the gold coast or across the globe, a little restraint can go a very long way.