The Clever Travel Companion Updates

How To Budget For Your Next Big Trip December 11 2017, 0 Comments

72% of millennials value experience
 over material possessions. Business thought leaders coined the term “experience economy” to capture this value system. If you’re someone who spends more on experiences than possessions, you’re probably more interested in budgeting for your next trip abroad than for a house or car. Here’s how you can budget for your next big trip.

Brush Up Your Organizational Skills

Steph Jagger, who traveled around the globe and skied more than 4 million vertical feet, has some insight into what it takes to plan a dream-come-true trip. These kinds of trips take significant organizational effort. If you don’t organize first, you’ll end up pouring money down the drain at some point or another along your journey.

How are your organizational skills? It’s time to take them to the next level. Steph Jagger, who managed to save 31,000 dollars and take a year off from work to pursue her dream, planned her trip down to the nitty-gritty details -- even the weight of her toothbrush. Take a page out of Jagger’s book and channel all of your excitement for your trip into organizing.

As you organize, aim at creating a stable itinerary for your trip, as well as nailing down the most expensive items. Then estimate the amount you will need for the things you can’t plan for accurately. Tack on money for unexpected costs and emergency situations. Next, divide the total by the number of months you have until your big trip. This is how much you need to save each month.

If the number seems unattainable, reconsider your costs. Research ways to cut travel costs, and work with your budget until you reach a number that is realistic.

Work Hard Beforehand

Consider taking on a second job while you save for your trip. Not only will you be able to put aside extra cash, but you will also be using up a chunk of your leisure time, which can create even more savings. One travel expert at the “Travel Latina” puts it this way, “(A side job is) also a great way to keep yourself from having the time to go shopping or to go out drinking with friends”.

A Word On Debt

When you work hard beforehand and accumulate a portion of the money you will need for your trip, you will be less likely to slide down the slippery slope of credit card debt. If you do need to put some of your trip expenses on credit cards, commit to a plan that will allow you to pay off the cards responsibly. 

Look for cards that have a deferred interest plan, which will give you a window of time for paying off the debt before interest rates kick in. Create an automated deduction from your weekly or monthly income, which you can comfortably put towards car payments once you return from your trip.

Now that you know how to budget for your next big trip, let the dreaming begin! Researchers have found that the mere act of planning out a trip increases happiness. Enjoy planning your trip, down to the minute detail. Figure out how much you need to set aside each month. If you can’t save up enough beforehand, use credit cards wisely.

How to avoid a pickpocket November 17 2017, 0 Comments

The below video comes from a Chinese public service announcement to help members of the public identify and avoid pickpockets. As China has grown and more and more of the population join the ranks of the middle class, cities become more cramped, valuables become more available and more popular, as a result a number of cities have suffered from increased numbers of pickpockets and related crimes. 

The video is a great resource for any safety conscious travelers, especially those who might be considering China as a destination! It also demonstrates the number of ingenious and well developed methods pickpockets will use not only to get their hands on your valuables but to do so without ever being seen. That said, none of the victims in the below vid had access to Clever Travel Companion clothing, so they're already at a disadvantage! 


Going to exotic Asia? November 06 2015, 0 Comments

The Asian continent boasts exquisite cuisine, some of the best beaches and dive spots, and the most modern architecture in the world. The big cities are bustling with people, and rural areas can find you miles from the nearest neighbor. Asia is a place of extremes - the tallest mountains, the politest cultures, the spiciest foods. How can you not be entranced by the call of Asia?

But just like every other tourist destination, Asian countries have their fair share of pickpockets. Before you jet off to Japan, Vietnam, Korea, or any other Asian country don’t forget to buy your Clever Travel Companion clothes with hidden, zippered pockets. These hidden pockets are designed to be sturdy and not obvious to others. They are so comfortable to wear and give you peace of mind while traveling.

A quick note before we get into the crime statistics. China does not keep statistics on theft - what few crime statistics the Chinese government do keep (like homicide rates) are very suspect. Many renowned organizations, including the United Nations, have noted that Chinese crime statistics are not reliable and appear to be much higher than actually reported. The crime statistics reported by the Chinese government are simply misleading. For this reason, we do not include China in our ranking, though it is very likely that they should be on this list. Hong Kong, on the other hand, does keep crime statistics, including theft. You can bet that if tiny Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) is on the list, China probably should be on there too. We’ve even been seeing reports of Chinese pickpockets using chopsticks to take from pockets and purses. So, we know they are out there.

Top 10 Asian Countries for Pickpocket Activity (thefts per year)

  1. Japan - 541,008

  2. Bangladesh - 330,312

  3. Republic of Korea - 290,055

  4. Kazakhstan - 178,426

  5. India - 109,839

  6. Thailand - 61,663

  7. Philippines - 43,606

  8. Malaysia - 37,128

  9. Hong Kong - 33,664

  10. Indonesia - 25,036

A pickpocket in China caught on surveillance camera using chopsticks to take a cell phone from an unsuspecting person