The Clever Travel Companion Updates

The Clever Travel Guide to Keeping Your Valuables Safe June 11 2015, 0 Comments

Some simple tips for keeping your valuables safe. 

Don't be a victim of pickpockets

  • Keep purses secure and carry wallets in a pocket
  • Zip up hand and shoulder bags
  • Carry bags in front of you with flaps against your body
  • Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm
  • Don't display jewellery
  • Don't show your money - keep it safely in a pocket out of sight
  • Don't leave valuable items unattended on a train when you visit the toilet or buffet car
  • If you are going to fall asleep do not leave valuables in view, keep them hidden

Protect your phone, tablets and gadgets

  • Install a tracker application on your phone and tablet devices, which could help trace them in the event of a theft.
  • Stay alert and aware of what's going on around you when using your phone in public.
  • Keep a record of the unique reference number (IMEI) on your phone or tablet. To get this on your phone, dial *#06#. For tablets, check your settings or consult your user manual.
  • Always use your phone's security lock or PIN number.
  • Use a UV property marker to write your post code and house number on valuable possessions.

Keep your luggage safe

  • Try to keep luggage close by and in view and check on your bags regularly.
  • Remove valuables from your luggage before placing it in luggage racks or in overhead storage compartments.
  • Don't leave valuable items unattended on a train when you visit the toilet or buffet car.
  • If you are going to sleep on a train, do not leave valuables in view on the table or seat next to you. Keep them hidden.
  • Ensure any bags placed on the on the floor are in front of you so that any movement of the bag will be noticeable.

Of course, the simplest tip of all is zipping your stuff inside a hidden Clever Travel Companion pocket!


Where do we get our pickpocket statistics? June 04 2015, 0 Comments

We’ve talked a lot about the top 10 places worldwide to beware pickpockets before in our blog - the information is from the very helpful list created by the preeminent travel site TripAdvisor. Have you ever wondered how these top 10 lists are created? Usually they are backed by statistics and other numerical data from government and non-governmental organizations. However, we found out that TripAdvisor created their top 10 list based on anecdotal tales from travelers and their editors. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with this, per se - stories about getting pickpocketed give us lots of great information, especially when we learn their tricks and can start to spot them.

But I wanted to get down to the nitty-gritty. I wanted to look at the actual crime statistics for these cities and find out if this top 10 list really is valid.

Well, guess what. Apparently it isn’t that easy. Most cities across the world don’t keep statistics on just pickpockets. They do (usually) keep crime statistics on theft which includes pickpockets, muggings, and purse snatchings and excludes burglary, robbery, home invasion, and vehicle theft. However, many cities, and even some countries, do not practice transparent government in this area. You just can’t find the information, and they aren’t willing to give it out freely. You can generally find overall crime rates for a city, but not specific stats for a given type of crime, like theft. Countries keep better statistics than their cities do, and the public can view this information more easily.

That’s why you will notice in our blog that a lot of our lists and fact sheets include rankings of countries. We do include city data when it is available, and we are interested in top 10 lists created from gathering large amounts of anecdotal information like TripAdvisor’s list of the worst places for pickpockets in the world. We think it’s important for travelers to know the numbers, when we can get them. And, when they aren’t available, listen to your fellow travelers. If thousands of people are saying they’ve experienced problems with pickpockets in Barcelona, then it’s time to listen!

Top 10 Places Worldwide to Beware Pickpockets

  1. Barcelona, Spain

  2. Rome, Italy

  3. Prague, Czech Republic

  4. Madrid, Spain

  5. Paris, France

  6. Florence, Italy

  7. Buenos Aires, Argentina

  8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

  9. Athens, Greece

  10. Hanoi, Vietnam

 

Two pickpockets working together in Barcelona, Spain using a strange technique to surprise and confuse their victim.

 

 


Pickpockets force the Eiffel tower to close May 27 2015, 0 Comments

The Eiffel tower closed Friday, as staffers walked off the job to protest the increase in pickpocket incidents in the area. The Louvre closed in 2013 due to a similar pickpocket related protest. Is pickpocket incidence that bad? And where are you most vulnerable?

There are around 400,00 incidents of pickpocketing reported every day across the world. Popular tourist spots like Barcelona, New York and Paris are magnets for pickpockets. 33% of all travel insurance claims are for lost or stolen passports.

Prime targets are tourist attractions, train stations, and busy streets. 

The Clever Travel Companion reduces the fear of pickpocketing for travellers.  Our clothing line of  t-shirts, tanks and underwear feature hidden, zippered pockets. To the casual observer, it’s impossible to tell where you're hiding your valuables. Allowing you to travel with a higher sense of safety and peace of mind.

Money can be replaced, so can credit cards and passports. But, having to spend time on vacation doing just that is not fun. It’s time-consuming, it’s expensive, and it’s a drag. So rather safe than sorry; zip up your valuables and enjoy your travels!

The Clever Travel Companion Guide to Avoiding Pickpockets

  • Don't carry things in your back pocket.
  • Don't keep your purse hanging on your back.
  • Don’t hang your jacket or bag on the back of a chair.
  • Don’t let strangers 'help' you unasked. Whenever strangers approach you  be aware. Diversion is the best way for a pickpocket to  work their magic. They often work in pairs or groups, so be wary. Just walk away.
  • Don't keep all your valuables in one place. If there is a safe in your hotel room, use it. Always keep one credit card in a safe place so if you do get pick pocketed you will have a backup.
  • Keep your valuables in a safe and in the secret, zipped pockets of your Clever Travel Companion travel clothing. Keep some cash and one credit card in a regular pocket or wallet for everyday purchases. We don’t want you exposing your secret stash every time you pay for a bus ticket or ice cream or the likes.
  • Use your secret pockets when doing sports or going on an adventure. Rather than placing your valuables to the side when bungy jumping or rafting, zip them in and they're safe. When jogging or off to the gym, keep your hotel key zipped in a secret pocket.