The Clever Travel Companion Updates

The Ultimate Guide To Keeping Your Money Safe Abroad August 29 2018, 1 Comment

There are countless factors and possibilities to be considered when planning spending and money security for your vacations. The below infographic put together by the UK's Sainsbury's bank is an awesome resource for breaking down each consideration and making sure you and your money stay safe whilst abroad. What it doesn't consider though is Clever Travel Companion's pickpocket proof clothing, which ALWAYS reduces the risk of pickpocketing, loss and theft of cash or other valuables by a cool 100%. Check it out!

Keeping money safe abroad

 


How safe are hostels? April 15 2018, 0 Comments



How safe are hostels really? I'm sure you'll have that one friend who travelled to every country you've ever heard of and more who will swear by the safety and comfort of hostels, but really, how safe are they? 

This is a pretty popular question even among the most seasoned of travelers and the truth is, hostel safety and comfort can differ quite dramatically from place to place or hostel to hostel. For example, some of the Clever Travel Companion team members offered up their experiences and found that whilst in the deepest rural Thailand they found a hostel on beach with a jacuzzi, rooftop bar and bedside lockers for the grand price of $14 per night, in the centre of Sydney they found themselves in a $500 per week, 18 bed dorm with a single power outlet. 

That said, safety and comfort tips will often run more or less the same. Here's some golden rules you should definitely live by if you're staying in Hostels.

1. Research a good one

Naturally the first thing you should do when considering a hostel is check out the place itself, select a good hostel with a reputation for safety and not the opposite. A really great resource for investigating whether a hostel is right for you is Hostelling International. Take a look on their site and you'll certainly rest easier. 

2. Use the lockers

Don't feel like a geek or a loser by using the provided lockers. They're there for a reason and if you lose your passport or cash by not using them, you'll feel like even more of a chump. Contact a hostel beforehand and ask about the lockers, do they provide them? Do they cost extra? How safe are they? Where are they located in relation to your bed? 

3. Use the lockers, but don't put all your trust in them 

Ever heard the saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket"? It applies here. If people are up to no good, if the lockers aren't as secure as you'd hoped and just because its safer, keep your most valuable items on you at all times, even when sleeping. Clever Travel Companion clothing is designed precisely for this purpose, you can use the secret pockets to keep your cell phone, passport and cash on your person at all times and when showering or washing, a potential thief would never think to look in your t-shirt. The clothes are made from a soft yet durable cotton so sleeping in them is very comfortable and they'll last a long time. Think about it, sleeping with your passport in a secret pocket in a tank top under your pyjamas? I'd rather it be there than in a locker. 

4. Ask the staff for security advice

In most hostels the staff are also travelers but even if they're not, they're the guys who know what goes on in their place of work, they'll be the guys to speak to if you have any concerns or need advice on staying secure. 



5. Copy your passport and email it to you

Really you should do this before you leave the house on any trip, the second you leave your country it is vital that you have your passport at all times. If you lose it, the next best thing is a digital copy. In hostels however its probably a little more important you make sure you have a copy, with so many people coming and going through a single place, things are bound to go missing. With a digital copy you can show the staff and confirm with certainty its yours if they've found it. 

6. Drink responsibly

You probably don't need telling with regards to drinking, you know your limits. That said, it's easy to forget when traveling that the same rules do apply. You probably will not have been in a situation like a hostel before; drinking with new people in a new place where you'll all be spending the night. Some people in the hostel may not even be guests, they could be strangers so watch where your alcohol is coming from, if possible only ever get your drinks yourself and keep your limits at the forefront of your mind.  

7. If in doubt, travel in a group

You're certain to make friends whilst traveling or staying in a hostel, if any of your new found friends are heading in the same direction, don't be afraid to change your plans slightly so you can stick together. A solo traveler can make an easy target but a group is likely to be avoided by any potential criminals. 



Video shows just how easy it is to be pickpocketed this Christmas December 11 2017, 0 Comments

The above video highlights just how easy it is to become the victim of pickpocketing - especially as the high streets, shopping centres and malls get busier in the festive period.

The clip, released by Nationwide building society, a UK Bank, aims to warn people to be more vigilant as they go about their festive shopping this year.

The social experiment was performed by expert pickpocket and entertainer Lee Thompson.

Lee, who advises the police on street theft techniques, said: “Unfortunately pickpocketing is very common, especially in areas where crowds gather and people are distracted.

"A good pickpocket understands human psychology and knows people can only direct their attention to one or two things at a time."

There were 442,000 "theft from persons" offences in the year ending June 2015 in England and Wales alone.

Nationwide polled just over 2,000 street theft victims and found that mobile phone theft accounted for 15% of all incidents with the average value of each loss totalling £221 (approx $300).

Apple's iPhones tops the thieves' wish list, followed by other brands, such as Samsung.

The survey also found trouser and coat pockets are the most common place to steal from, accounting for 34% of incidents.

Bags worn over the shoulder or on the back accounted for 26% of incidents while theft from a bag on the floor or table came in at 18%.

Two thirds of victims (66%) were with someone else or a group; a third (32%) were on their own.

Just 19% of culprits were caught, with four in ten victims (40%) not going to the police because they either didn’t think the thief would be caught (25%) or couldn’t be bothered to report it (9%).

According to those surveyed, London was the most common place for pickpockets to operate with Manchester coming in second, Birmingham third, Glasgow fourth and Leeds fifth.

Dan King, Nationwide’s Head of the Current Accounts, said: “Christmas and sales events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday are a perfect opportunity for criminals to fill their festive wishlist.

"At this time of year people tend to carry more cash on them, making it really easy and lucrative for pickpockets to operate.

"Mobile phone thefts make up a large percentage of all property stolen on the streets and it's not just the phone itself that is valuable, but also the personal data it contains."

Lee's Top Tips to Avoid Pickpockets

Be vigilant - if you suspect someone is following you, stop what you are doing and walk in a different direction.

Don't look like a tourist - pickpockets love tourists because they often carry lumps of cash and are not paying attention.

Travel light - leave any unnecessary valuables in your hotel room or at home.

Don't wear clothes that make you stand out - High end clothes, expensive jewellery or watches make you a walking advertisement for a pickpocket. The Clever Travel Companion range is perfect for this with it's plain aesthetic and secure zipper pockets. 

Don't advertise - if you have to travel with your valuables, keep them out of sight as much as possible.

Cash machines - use well-lit cash machines at a reputable building society or bank.

Secure your backpack - rucksacks are an easy target for pickpockets. Make sure they are securely fastened and secure valuables in your front pockets or a money belt. Keep your bags in sight at all times.