The Clever Travel Companion Updates
The Eiffel Tower... Pickpocket heaven? July 13 2017, 0 Comments
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the sites that is probably on every single person's bucket list, at least every single avid traveler's. It's an engineering marvel and an iconic tower, representing France and known by all around the world. Something people perhaps don't quite know however is the plague of pickpockets that have used The Eiffel Tower as their area of operations for years now. They're very aware of the amount of valuable tourists that flock to the modern marvel at all times of the year, they're aware of their valuables and they're aware of how to dispossess them of such valuables, in fact they have made a very wealthy living out of it, with some reports suggesting they earn around $4000 USD per DAY off of stolen goods.
Security forces have had exceptional difficulty in trying to control the situation and even CLOSED the tourist attraction to the public back in 2015 as the situation spiraled out of control and staff staged a walkout due to abuse from the pickpocket gangs. These organized gangs use sophisticated techniques to ensure their bounty continues, like dressing up as tourists themselves and buying tickets to enter the attraction, rather than waiting on the outside. They also employ tactics like taking selfies or asking tourists to take part in fake petitions and ever targeting the public transport routes on the way to the attraction. It's not just pickpocketing that is the problem too, violent crime has become a worrying symptom of these gangs having been able to operate for so long. After all, their thievery is worth hundreds of thousands of Euros per year, which is then sent out of the country, often to the gangs home countries of Romania or Bulgaria.
75% of visitors to the Eiffel Tower are foreign tourists, that's a staggering 7 million people per year, which makes it the most visited, paid monument in the world and its growing year on year. This recent TripAdvisor review comes from someone who suggests the problem of pickpockets is not abating, despite additional security measures and several big arrests.
Naturally we would never suggest that you don't visit one of the worlds most famous monuments due to some silly thieves, you absolutely must include it in your bucket list of things to do. But be wary of course, try to outsmart the pickpockets rather than the other way around. Be on your guard, if you're approached by someone you don't know, keep your hands on your valuables - or even better, pick up some Clever Travel Companion gear. Outsmarting the rabble of pickpockets was precisely what it was designed for!
How to stay safe on your honeymoon May 18 2017, 0 Comments
There’s no doubt that your honeymoon should be a happy, care-free holiday – your first with your new wife or husband and a chance to start planning the rest of your lives together.
However, it’s very easy to lose your sense of awareness at a time of such great joy. You’ll no doubt be focused on all those once-in-a-lifetime rituals that newlyweds must share together; but it’s important that you don’t lose sight of the fact that dangers can lurk around every corner – even on your honeymoon!
With that in mind, here are five ways to keep each other safe on honeymoon overseas:
1. Use credit cards to pay for as much as you can
If you own a credit card it’s a very good idea to utilize this on your travels. Firstly, it sure beats the risk of carrying cash around with you even if done so safely and secondly, you tend to get greater protection with credit card purchases. By all means carry around enough cash to pay for tips, but a credit card with minimal or zero travel fees certainly keeps your honeymoon spending money safer.
2. Create duplicate photocopies of your passports
It’s fine not to carry around your actual passport when you’re out on honeymoon
excursions. Some countries require you to carry your passport at all times, but a photocopy duplicate will suffice, allowing you to keep your genuine passport stored away safely in your room’s safe.
3. Avail yourselves of the nearest embassy
It can certainly pay to take note of the closest embassy to your holiday accommodation in the event you do lose your passport on your honeymoon. Unfortunately, a drivers’ license just won’t cut the mustard in most foreign countries, so it’s vital that you guard your passport carefully and have the address of your closest embassy to hand as a Plan B.
4. Wear clothing appropriate to your activity and environment
Fortunately, there is clothing available that’s capable of keeping your valuables safe, no matter where you go and whatever you do on your honeymoon. Our cotton boxer briefs and underpants have secret pockets, as do our brand new unisex hoodies that offer style and practicality in one neat package.
5. Research your accommodation well in advance
The last thing you want is to roll up at your honeymoon destination with sense of doom and regret, arriving in a potentially dangerous part of town. Your honeymoon is (hopefully!) a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you shouldn’t want to take anything to chance. Subsequently we highly recommend that you research your potential accommodation thoroughly in advance of any bookings. Sites like TripAdvisor will provide genuine feedback from previous guests to paint a true picture of what it’s like to stay there.
6. Share your itinerary
It’s also a good idea to let your family or close friends know where you’re actually going. A run-down of your itinerary, including flights, accommodation and any excursions you’ve booked will enable loved ones to get in contact if necessary.
You can never be too careful on your holidays and your honeymoon is one trip you shouldn’t take lightly. Protect yourselves and take sensible precautions and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy every minute away together!
How To Travel With Adventure And Safety In Mind May 09 2017, 0 Comments
In many ways, travel is about letting go of fears and expectations while experiencing the world as if for the first time. Often you are immersed in unfamiliar environments and cultures. There is a sense of naivety and almost childlike rediscovery of the senses. You are experiencing the unknown.
Yet, it's important to know that you will be safe on your journey. This is a concern for any traveler in the right mind. A responsible and well-informed attitude will go a long way, as will some preparation. The key is to be able to mix a sense of adventure with a sense of caution.
The first step is to research your destination and understand just a little about the culture and situation of the country. Is there anything that you need to watch out for? Whether it be the midday sun or pickpockets in the central station, make a note of it.
Many people are surprised to find out that the country that they are traveling to is statistically just as safe as their home country. There are exceptions, of course, and this is why it is important to do a little research, but in a lot of cases it is mostly petty offenses like theft that are an issue for visitors.
Before you set off, you can also make further preparations by making sure you are well equipped to protect your belongings. Inside zip pockets are always a good idea, and cash and valuables should be kept safely on your person. Many travelers prefer to carry their passport with them. The other option is to have it locked up at your hotel. Check out this best backpack for travel article from Live Live Wild, they've compared some awesome backpacks that make it hard for thieves to steal from.
Take extra precautions by photocopying your passport and taking a few copies with you stored in various places around your bag and on your person. This will make it much easier to get a replacement if the unfortunate should happen. It can also be comforting to let someone close to you know your general itinerary.
You might be wondering by this stage where the adventure comes into it? Well, with a little preparation and planning, you are going to be in a much better position to let yourself go a bit when you are actually traveling. You don't want to turn down valuable life experience out of fear of getting mugged; you just want to lessen your chances that it will ever happen and be ready to deal with it if a sticky situation did arise.
When you do embark on your journey, exercise the same level of awareness and common sense (if not more) that you use back home. If you see a dark alleyway that makes you feel vulnerable, don't walk down it! If a person give you the creeps, don't carry on waltzing with them.
Of course, you cannot live in fear, neither in your everyday life or during your travels. The trick is to be able to distinguish between a hazardous situation and a fun one. I have been asked to locals’ houses for dinner and have accepted their invitation. No harm has come of it, but my alarm bells are ever ringing if I sense that I must politely decline.
It's like this: everything is situational. If you're invited to a casino game at a legitimate establishment in France, home of the roulette wheel, then the chances are you are in for a pretty safe night of fun. If you're invited to a backstreet game of poker in downtown Rio at 1am, then probably jump in the nearest taxi. Use your best judgement, just as in life.
Travel is an awesome way to explore new cultures, get to know yourself better, and meet fascinating people from all over the world. It's all about the adventure and with preparation and a strong mental attitude you can have a safe journey that you will remember forever.