The Clever Travel Companion Updates
Rio 2016 Olympics - Here's how to stay safe and enjoy them! June 11 2016, 0 Comments
The Rio 2016 Olympics are fast approaching and many have already arranged their travel plans to enjoy the games but as with all international events, precaution must be exercised by travelers. Brazil, Rio and the Olympic committee have come under criticism for allowing the games to be held in a country known for its government corruption, slums and poverty, high levels of crime and in certain areas, failing infrastructure. It has been pointed out that while the games will bring prosperity to many in the region, they are likely to endanger visitors, causing them to be targeted by those that would use the opportunity for criminal intent and that the influx of visitors would cause local authorities to become over-stretched and therefore, ineffective.
The London 2012 Olympic Games
During the Olympic games in London in 2012, cases of pickpockets rose by 20% to 1,700 per day. It was reported that gangs from Europe and South America descended on the city in the lead up to and during the games for the sole purpose of robbing unsuspecting spectators. London is a safe city on a relatively isolated island, with low levels of crime and pickpocketing and is part of a safe and prosperous region in Europe.
Brazil on the other hand shares its borders with many countries that share the same problems and, as mentioned, suffers from high levels of crime and is ranked 15th in the world for homicide rate. Besides this, the most common crimes reported in Brazil are robberies, carjackings and in-particular pickpocketing for which, the rates soar during festivals and events such as carnaval, it is also widely accepted that visitors are not only "fair game" but directly targeted by criminals. There are also currently protests in Rio over a brutal gang rape that was filmed and posted on social media emphasizing the city's continued struggle with violent crime and its apparent acceptance of the criminal culture that's strong in Rio today.
Being a travel safety company we do try to stress the importance of taking care whilst on your travels, especially with world renowned events such as the Olympics coming up. It's easy to get excited about visiting new places and neglect your own safety so we simply try to remind everyone and make it easier for travelers to keep safe! Not least through our range of Pick-Pocket proof clothing, that said, most travelers will have a great time and not run into trouble but by following our tips, you can make 100% sure you wont! You can find more tips on how to stay safe whilst traveling here and learn to spot the most common scams that are set up to rip off tourists here.
Happy New Year and what to look forward to in 2016!! December 30 2015, 0 Comments
Hello and Happy New Year Clever Travel Companion fans!
We're here to wish you a very happy new year for 2016 and we hope you will find yourself somewhere new and exciting, somewhere you've never been before and that it changes your life for the better! There's plenty to be excited about for 2016, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for one, NASA also plans to land on Jupiter so expect it to appear on a few travel guides for 2017 along with a new space lightyears membership card from Virgin.. The more likely out of atmosphere destination will be the Russian "Space Hotel" that's due to launch. However, of course even more exciting than that will be Clever Travel Companion's new products! I hear space is terrible these days for pickpocketing, and we have a number of new products in development to add to the range so watch this space! (no pun intended, pickpocket proof space suits?? Ideas anyone?). On a serious note, 2015 has been a great year for us at CTC and 2016 looks to be even more exciting!
The team has been all over the globe this year, from The Philippines to Sweden and the US, Bali and Thailand, Mexico, India, Australia and Russia and even Dubai, the UAE and Bahrain thrown in for good measure. Its been a great year but of course we don't plan on stopping there. Below are our top picks for 2016, some we will be visiting, others we plan too. Take a look -
1. Kotor, Montenegro
When people think of Montenegro, their first thoughts probably jump to the former socialist republic of Yugoslavia and the not so pleasant history surrounding the region, which might put some potential travelers off - BIG mistake. Montenegro is one of the most beautiful, less traveled countries in Europe and Kotor, a city hemmed in by dramatic, tall mountains and perched on a fjord-like bay is one of the best places to visit. Often dubbed the "mini-Dubrovnik", it's a progressive, beautifully scenic city, where many come to sample the regions delicious cheeses, coffee and bakeries. Unlike its Croatian comparison however, Kotor is yet to be graced by the hordes of Cruise Liner tourists and remains a somewhat undiscovered gem that we feel should make it onto our 2016 list.
2. Palau, Western Pacific
The republic of Palau, located to the west of The Philippines and around 1000kms from Manila is a picture perfect group of 250 small islands, with only 8 of those inhabited. Palau is the image that appears in your mind when someone mentions "island paradise" and unfortunately no picture truly does it justice (it would take a decent size memory card just to get a shot of each island). The entire regions marine life is a protected sanctuary meaning that it has some of the most thriving wildlife in the world and has been referred to as an "underwater Serengeti". The continued discovery of new species and ancient human civilizations has led Palau to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it certainly makes our list of places to discover for 2016.
Greenland may seem like a slightly odd entry as many may find it to be "a lump of ice miles from anything" and in some respects, they may be right. However, in a world where every person has there entire life and social relationships accessible 24/7 from their pocket, Greenland becomes a bit of an enigma, a rarity if you will. With the lowest population density in the world and network coverage so minimal sat phones are the norm, it's a place to detach from the world and experience the REAL world. In Greenland you will find Glaciers the size of cities, you can sail alongside whales in their natural habitat, watch the northern lights brighten up the midnight sky or even take a husky sled through the snow. If you really want to "get away from it all", then seriously, try Greenland out. I know I will be.
4. Punta del Este, Uruguay
Situated on the Southeast Atlantic coast of Uruguay, Punta del Este is popular with tourists and expats alike due to its glamorous edge that also boasts a thriving nightlife and entertainment scene and beaches to rival Cancun or the Caribbean. Often called the St. Tropez of South America, its known for its glamour but if that's not your thing you could always take an adventure horseback through the surrounding plains with a legitimate cowboy. People love what Punta Del Este and Uruguay has to offer and we would encourage you to certainly check it out.
5. Khao Lak, Thailand
You're probably thinking "Oh no, more Thailand" and you'd be right, it seems it has been done to death and being a favourite for backpackers, isn't particularly anything new nowadays and unfortunately, a lot of areas in Thailand have become "tourist destinations". Having said that however, there is a reason it is a favourite with travelers. It boasts an exceptionally unique culture and landscape with some of the most breathtaking and also "WTF" sights you will ever come across. If you can find a place where original Thailand is still alive, you've found a life changing experience. This time around, I'm recommending Khao Lak - situated on the lower Andaman coast of Thailand it is a region known to travelers and tourists but rarely traversed meaning you will find places to stay, comforts and guides etc.. but you will also be left to your own devices for the majority of your stay. There are magnificent national parks, beautiful beaches and undiscovered natural ares to explore by boat or on foot. If you're going to visit Thailand, don't leave until you've been somewhere like Khao Lak, then make your judgements based on what the tourists don't see.
Well there you have it! Our guide to Clever Travel in 2016, we'll be visiting as many of these as possible and hope you will do the same. More guides will be coming up in future so please watch this space. We'd also love to hear your stories! If you've been anywhere you can recommend or if you've tried out your CTC wear anywhere, we'd be delighted to hear from you! Just shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org as she's the daydreamer who wants to read about travel tips!
Thanks for reading!