Jot Lynas Unleashed Travel Interview
Unleashed Travel specialises in overseas group travel packages for school graduates looking for the ultimate travel experience in a responsible environment. Unleashed Travel offers Grad Trips to Fiji, Bali, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Vanuatu and Europe. Each trip is supervised by Unleashed Travel Crew, who are on call 24/7 and First Aid certified, with a crew-to-student ratio of 1:7 inclusive of security and The Red Frogs. Since Unleashed Travel was founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs Jot Lynas and Steve Pirie, it has sold 10,000 holiday packages through retail travel agents and direct to the public. Unleashed Travel has twice been acknowledged in BRW's 'Fast Starting Businesses".
Interview with Jot Lynas
Question: How is Unleashed Travel different to other -schoolies' companies?
Jot Lynas: Unleashed Travel, Australia's leading provider of overseas travel packages for Australian school leavers, is one of the few travel groups responding to students' change in preferences – and is the first to remove the term -Schoolies' altogether, replacing it with -Grad Trips'.
Question: Why is Unleashed Travel the best way to celebrate the end of high school?
Jot Lynas: Our focus is on creating trips that balance cultural experiences and quality time with friends that the teens will remember forever – we are passionate about creating the trip of a lifetime that students will talk about for years to come. Our packages offer everything that students are looking for with their end of school celebrations – beaches, parties, cultural immersion and new experiences with their friends.
Question: What originally inspired your idea for Unleashed Travel?
Jot Lynas: We wanted to give students their first ever independent overseas trip to inspire them to live a life full of travel.
Question: How are Unleashed Travel schoolies trips a more responsible environment than Queensland and other hot spots?
Jot Lynas: Each trip is supervised by Unleashed Travel Crew, who are on call 24/7 and First Aid certified, with a crew-to-student ratio of 1:7 inclusive of security and The Red Frogs. The trips are specifically designed for 17-18 years olds, with Unleashed Travel booking entire resorts and cruise liners and therefore controlling who comes on the island or cruise vessel. Unlike the Gold Coast, no toolies are allowed!
Question: Where can schoolies travel to with Unleashed Travel?
Jot Lynas: Grad Trip packages include Fiji, Nepal, Cambodia, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Vanuatu and Europe, with a focus on fun and sun, and options for cultural exchanges, alcohol-free travel and volunteering.
Question: What's the most popular location for the 2014 schoolies and why?
Jot Lynas: Fiji is the most popular destination in 2014. The first group we ever took was to Fiji, and every year travellers come home and tell their friends in the year below that they have to go to Fiji for schoolies with Unleashed.
Question: Where do you think 2015 schoolies will be heading?
Jot Lynas: An increasing number of students are preferring less of a focus on alcohol and more on recreational and meaningful activities such as water sports, cruises, and volunteer work to help local cultures. Students are increasingly interested in getting out of their comfort zones and venturing further afield to experience different destinations, so we expect island destinations to grow from strength to strength. Between 2012 and 2014, sales of Unleashed Travel's packages to Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vanuatu grew by 30 per cent, with this trend expected to grow stronger for Schoolies in 2015 and beyond.
Question: How have you seen the schoolies travel interests change over the years?
Jot Lynas: Today's Schoolies' preferences have evolved from the out-on-the-streets pub crawls to a more luxurious, exclusive celebration shared with only the close friends of their school years. Graduating students have become more discerning and expect higher quality travel experiences. Grad Trips convey this change in preferences – and while there is still a focus on partying and social experiences, there is also an emphasis on cultural and new experiences.
Question: Can you provide your top tips for how schoolies can deal with peer pressure?
Jot Lynas: Always have your best friend as your wingman/women with you that has the same views and outlook. If you're travelling by yourself, find people on the trip that are interested in the same things as you and spend your time with them.
Have a full itinerary of activities and events so you can use these as a reason to not do things you don't want to - a jam-packed schedule leaves no time to be pressured into things you're not entirely comfortable with. Also, you can use these early morning starts as an excuse to head home rather than stay out and drink, if this is what you're getting pressured to do.
Interview by Brooke Hunter