The Clever Travel Companion Updates

How to stay safe as a solo female traveller October 14 2017, 0 Comments

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

You might be a spontaneous traveller, but when going solo, you should book at least your first night of accommodation before arrival. One tip when choosing a hotel is opting for a centrally located one.

This way, you will not stand out as much, and you will also have a chance to mingle with other travellers. Also, try to time your trip in such a way that you arrive in the morning.

Some female travellers also recommend packing a doorstop that will keep doors from being opened.


TRUST YOUR INTUITION

Women have often been lauded for their ability to read body language and pick up social cues. Use this intuition to your advantage, and learn to trust your gut.

If you are caught in an uncomfortable situation, pack your bags and hit the road. Just ensure that you have alternate accommodation in mind.


DON'T LET PICKPOCKETS PICK ON YOU

Besides staying vigilant, it is also a good idea to spread your valuables into different compartments of your bag.

That way, if you do fall victim to a pickpocket, your important documents are all spread out, so you won't lose everything in one go.

You can also consider making copies of your credit cards and passport and saving it to Google Docs or Dropbox.

When you are sitting down, loop the strap of your bag around your leg to prevent someone from running away with it. When walking in crowded areas, wear your backpack in front to avoid pickpockets from cutting into your belongings. Alternatively, pick up a slash-free and anti-theft bag from brands such as Pacsafe.


WHEN IN ROME...

While you might want to get all dolled up for your vacation, you do not want to draw unwanted attention to yourself. When travelling alone, try to conform to cultural norms and dress modestly in countries where it is expected. In some countries, you might want to wear a wedding ring even if you are single.


HAVE A TIPPLE, BUT DON'T GET TOO TIPSY

Even though you are on holiday, you should be very wary before getting too "wasted" when you are travelling by yourself. Know your limits before you party.

If a stranger asks you to go out for drinks, politely decline the offer and say that you have other plans. Remember, you should not feel guilty or bad when saying no if it means feeling safe.


MAKE YOUR MARK

Inform a loved one of your flights and itineraries. A photo upload and check-in at a new location is also a good way to keep your family and friends posted about your whereabouts.

That said, be careful not to overshare. Refrain from telling strangers where you are staying and only post about hotels on social media after you have left.

Even if you are travelling on a budget, international phone plans are worth spending money on. Carry a few international phone cards if you do not want to commit to a whole phone plan.


WHEN HAILING A CAB

Before you head out, grab the business card or jot down the name, address and phone number of your accommodation. It will come in handy if you get lost or are unable to communicate with the driver.

Another thing you should take note of is the taxi number or the licence plate, just in case.

To avoid getting overcharged, ask the hotel front desk for an estimate of how much it will cost to get to your destination.

Alternatively, Google Maps has a feature that will provide you with a rough estimate.

When possible, agree on the fare beforehand and have the exact change with you to prevent getting ripped off.

If you have baggage with you, keep your stuff in the back seat and not in the trunk. That way, you can jump out of the cab if anything goes wrong.


What do you do if your luggage is lost, delayed or damaged? October 02 2017, 0 Comments

If your luggage is delayed, goes missing or gets damaged on a flight, what sort of compensation are you entitled to? The Montreal Convention makes airlines responsible for the bags they allow you to check in, although their liability is limited to only around $1,500 per passenger.

Act immediately 

Airlines are more likely to accept responsibility for missing or damaged luggage if you report the problem straightaway. Before leaving the luggage reclaim hall, go to the airline desk.

Fill out a form

you’ll be given a copy of the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) that’s used by airline staff to record the details. While this isn’t a legal requirement, and there maybe a reason why it’s not possible to get one (an unmanned desk at a small airport, for example) you’re still entitled to claim. But without a PIR, the process is likely to be more of an uphill battle.

If the bag is damaged

If you want to claim compensation, write to the airline within seven days of receiving your luggage, enclosing a copy of the PIR.

If the bag is missing

As well as personal and flight details, you’ll need to give an accurate description of a missing bag, recording any distinguishing features. A good tip (for the highly organised) is to keep a photo of your luggage on your phone in case you ever need to make this sort of report. Photographic evidence can also help if you are reporting damaged luggage. 

Observe the deadlines

Write to the airline, enclosing the a copy of the PIR, within seven days of the flight. If your luggage turns up a day or two late, it’s up to the airline to make arrangements for getting it to you as efficiently as possible.

Monitor progress

where luggage doesn’t show up, you should be able to monitor it through the tracing procedure, either by contacting baggage services at the airport, the airline’s central department or by logging into an online baggage-tracing page with a reference number. This reference will relate to the luggage receipt usually attached to your passport or boarding card at check-in or bag-drop, so you’ll need to keep it to hand. If there’s no sign of it after three weeks, the bag will be declared lost.

Check the rules

If your bag has gone missing on the outward flight and you find you’re on holiday with no possessions, airlines are obliged to cover costs of “essential items”. However, this definition can be a sticking point when it comes to compensation. Depending on the attitude of the airline, it may argue that “essential items” are classified as toiletries, underwear or laundry costs rather than a brand new outfit. In most cases the airline will track down your bag quickly and return it to you within a couple of days.

Make a claim

Ask the airline what its policy is and keep receipts for anything you buy. A potential complication is when your bag has been transferred to another one or two airlines within a single journey. In this case it makes sense to claim from the last one flown, as it’s this airline which usually handles the claim.

Compensation usually comes in the form of an upfront cash payment, a fixed daily budget or remittance once your claim and receipts have been submitted. A claim for a delayed bag must be sent to the airline’s customer relations department within 21 days of handing your luggage to the airline. Depending on various factors such as how complicated your claim is, and the time of year, it may take as long as a couple of months to process.

To claim compensation for missing bag, you must write to the airline within seven days of the luggage being declared lost.

Check your insurance policy

However, you’re likely to find the airline tries to pass the buck by suggesting you take the issue of compensation up with your travel insurer. Depending on your policy, you may get a higher level of cover this way. Be sure to check your insurer’s excess charge and small print first - some policies provide minimal or no cover for luggage while in the care of an airline.

This article originally appeared in the telegraph.co.uk


Most helpful Travel Gadgets September 27 2017, 0 Comments

Clever Travel Gadgets

Naturally, many of us enjoy travelling except for all the inconvenience that can easily add up to weigh us down. Some try to go as light as possible while others carry all kinds of stuff just to make sure they don't be lacking anything.

Whether you're travelling for pleasure or leisure, it's possible to eliminate all those pet peeves that make you uncomfortable without jeopardizing the real thing.

By selecting the right gadgets and equipment, you can make your journey a whole lot easier and less stressful. Who knows; it could make the difference between having an exciting travel experience and a frustrating one.

So besides your mobile phone, here are seven of the most common helpful travel gadgets you must never leave behind. Even if you forget other things, make sure you have these ones on your packing list.


USB Flash Drive

This is very important especially when going on business trips. Certain emergencies can easily pop up where you may need to share a document or your passport with someone. Even if you don't have hard copies with you, you can always print them from your flash drive.

You will find USB flash drives more useful if your holiday will involve a lot of paperwork. Instead of stuffing your luggage with a lot of papers, you can just save the documents you need on your flash and print them later when you get to your destination.


Phone and Car Charger

Packing a portable rechargeable USB phone charger (or power bank) and a car charger can make your holiday a whole lot easier. There is no better feeling than that of knowing you can boost your phone whenever the battery goes low, even while you are in the coffee shop.

An auto charger can help you accomplish a lot of things especially when travelling on the road. You can charge your stuffs, play music for the kids while driving, or map your route with your own device.


Tablet

Carrying tablets along may appear unnecessary considering the fact you also have your smartphone with you. However, having one makes it possible to travel without your favourite newspapers and magazines. Instead of buying one newspaper upon another, you can download everything you need on your tablet. You can also play your favourite casino or slots. Start by checking out this gday casino review online.


Worldwide Adapter

An adapter can come in handy in a lot of situations.

Instead of buying a new adapter every time you travel to a new place, you can get yourself an all-in-one worldwide adapter and save yourself a lot of money.


External hard drive

It’s always good to be prepared for the worse especially when going on a big business trip. Backing up your files and photos in a hard drive can be really helpful. Who knows, you laptop may get damaged by water or something else. Don't worry; it happens to most of us. Though we don't pray for such things to happen, it's always good to be prepared.

You may also consider creating a backup on Google drive if you have a strong WIFI connection.


Headphones

Although every item on this list is essential, some are more important than others. A good example is the headphones.

You should never think of getting on the road, water, railway, or on air without packing one. It will shield you from all the noise coming from both people nearby and the plane.

Mobile Wi-Fi

Carrying your own mobile Wi-Fi can save you a lot of money while travelling.

Instead of paying for expensive hotel connection charges, you can pack you own Wi-Fi device so that both you and your kids can use the internet from several devices.