The Clever Travel Companion Updates

Communication Tips for Travellers September 27 2017, 0 Comments

Communicating with other people while you are travelling is an essential part of your journey. It helps you get by when you’re lost or need help in finding your hotel, and simply adds new impressions and valuable experiences. However, meeting new people when you travel, either other fellow travelers, or locals at your travel destination, may not always be easy. Even if you are not too shy and have no problem starting a conversation, there is always a language or cultural barrier that you need to overcome.

Here are a few tips on how to successfully communicate with local people on any topic.

Top Tips on Communication While Travelling

  • Learn a few phrases of the local language. Some basic things like “Hello”, “Thank you” and “Goodbye” will sure be enough, but you may try and go beyond that. You’ll be surprised how far a few phrases will get you. People will be more open to you and will be more likely to engage in a conversation, because you show interest in their culture. It is also a fun way to entertain people, since most likely your pronunciation will be far from perfect at the beginning

  • Read about DOs and DON’Ts in that country. It may particularly useful if you travel to a country whose dominant religion or culture differ significantly from yours. If you live in the USA and travel to Saudi Arabia, reading about local customs and traditions is a must. What is normal Arabs or Hindu people in everyday conversation and behavior may not be ok for you, and vice versa. Read about cultural differences in communication and Grandcraps co uk before going on any trip.

  • Use gadgets to communicate. You can download a few apps that will ease your communication with locals. Some apps provide you with useful phrases while on a trip, while others help you translate unknown words from photos. Apart from instant translation, you can also use your gadget to draw something you need people to give you. While talking to others about yourself, your job or your family, use your gadgets to show them photos or your social network profile. An iPhone can surprisingly be a conversation booster.

  • Use gesture language. Gestures are as effective as words, or sometimes even better. However, gesture language also requires research and some discreteness. For instance, in some cultures, like Russia, pointing finger may be rude. Learn the basic “no-no” gestures and don’t let the absence of verbal vocabulary stop you from having a conversation.

  • Draw pictures. Having a notebook or a sketchbook with you could ease your communication, because you will always have a visual tool at hand. And it is not just useful for drawing a toilet sign in case of urgency. Using drawing while communicating with people of other cultures promotes connection and understanding, and can create a variety of funny situations you will remember for the rest of your life.

  • Yes, talking to locals while travelling may require you to step out of your comfort zone. But it is worth it. The thrill of being understood and liked in another part of the world can hardly be compared to any other travel experience, and you will appreciate the memories you’ll ultimately get.

    Safety Tips for Young Solo Travelers August 31 2017, 0 Comments

    This article originally appeared in the Independent SA.

    As the popular saying goes: "In the School of Life, travel is the best teacher". 

    Some of the world's more seasoned travelers have also said that the best way to challenge yourself and see the world while you're at it; travel solo. While all of this sounds great on paper, practically, it may not work out this way. 

    The world can be a very dangerous place, especially if you're in another country, know no one there, cannot speak the language and find yourself in an emergency, this can be a harrowing experience. This is why every traveler must take the necessary precautions and prepare properly. 

    Youth oriented travel agency "Contiki" specialises in curating experiences across various parts of the world. According to Kelly Jackson, general manager for Contiki, a lot goes into ensuring that the trips are safe even for young people that come alone, but want the experience. 

    "The safety of our guests is always comes first. Being part of The Travel Corporation family of brands, and being a family-owned business, means that we operate with a ‘family first’ mentality. Just as you would go above and beyond for your nearest and dearest, doing anything to ensure their safety and happiness, that’s how we feel about our travellers.

    "Sometimes incidents that occur that cannot be planned for. In 2016, the Calais ferry strikes meant that hundreds of Contiki travellers were unable to get either to Paris, or back to London. Yet whilst other companies left their travellers stranded, we don’t work like that" Jackson said. 

    For young solo travellers, Jackson had the following tips: 

    • Always let your friends or family know your trip plans. At Contiki we provide our travellers with a duplicate list of hotels for this reason. Parents and friends can contact the hotels at any time to stay in touch.
    • There are Pickpockets everywhere. Pick pocketing and theft happen in every country around the world so just be sensible about this. People are naturally security conscious so don’t let this habit lapse when you’re travelling. Keep locks on your luggage and don’t carry too much cash on you (or your passport) when you’re out sightseeing.
    • Know how to contact local authorities in case of an emergency, and have the means at your disposal to contact them. Get yourself a local SIM card and stay in touch.


    Jessica Clarke  brand manager of Busabout, an alternative travel company said it is important to keep alert when traveling. 

    “Never let your usual sensibilities desert you. Keep your guard up in public places, be aware of pick pockets, know how to contact the Embassy, let family have a copy of your itinerary and be contactable – even if it’s only on Facebook,” Clarke said. 

    Here's to your next solo trip. And always remember: SAFETY FIRST. 

    Top Pickpocket Locations? The London Underground! July 17 2017, 0 Comments

    The London Undergound: for tourists, a must try experience widely featured as part of London and the U.K's unique culture. For Londoners, a love hate relationship. They love the convenience of being able to cheaply hop on and off regular trains spanning the entire breadth of the city yet hate the hustle and bustle, the cramped platforms and even more cramped trains and for some platforms, then there's the pickpockets.... 

    UK insurance company Row has compiled a report outlining three of London's underground and over ground train platforms as the absolute worst for pickpockets and theft in the whole of the UK. More specifically, gadget theft.

    The firm said that no less than 85 per cent of UK gadget pickpocket claims this year have cited Bank station as the location for the stolen item, followed by Victoria and Kings Cross.

    The insurance company also reported Bangkok, Sydney and Barcelona as the top international locations for claims of stolen gadgets such as phones, cameras and tablets.

    The firm has compiled a list of must-dos to avoid being pickpocketed, including carrying devices in zipped bags when not in use, keeping said bag in front of your body, taking cheaper devices on travels, and limiting the use of gadgets in busy places.

    The company also – unsurprisingly – advises travelers to get their devices insured, citing deals from as little as 10p per month to cover the new Nokia 3310.

    So keep your eyes on your valuables Clever Traveler's! One thing this insurance company wont be directing their claimants and customers to do is protect themselves from being pickpocketed in the first place rather than relying on a dubious insurance claim to return your lost goods. We're in the business of prevention! Pick up some Clever Travel Companion pickpocket proof gear today and make sure you don't fall victim!