The Clever Travel Companion Updates

The Ultimate Guide To Keeping Your Money Safe Abroad August 29 2018, 1 Comment

There are countless factors and possibilities to be considered when planning spending and money security for your vacations. The below infographic put together by the UK's Sainsbury's bank is an awesome resource for breaking down each consideration and making sure you and your money stay safe whilst abroad. What it doesn't consider though is Clever Travel Companion's pickpocket proof clothing, which ALWAYS reduces the risk of pickpocketing, loss and theft of cash or other valuables by a cool 100%. Check it out!

Keeping money safe abroad

 


How do you find a doctor when travelling? March 11 2018, 0 Comments


When it comes to traveling, the old saying "you do not prepare to fail, only fail to prepare" certainly has a lot of relevance and none more so than when it comes to medical treatment.

We can purchase all the insurance premiums salesmen will want to throw at us, get all the vaccines and stock up on all the mosquito sprays, vertigo tablets and sun creams but when it actually comes down to it and something goes wrong - potentially seriously wrong, in a foreign country, how many of us would immediately know what to do? Do you know, for instance, how to say Hospital in German? Or Ambulance in French? Do you know the emergency services telephone number in Thailand? Would you immediately know how to find a doctor whilst overseas if you needed to? 

How do you find a doctor overseas? 

1. Check with your insurance company

It seems quite obvious but many people purchase insurance as a "must have" and don't think about ever actually needing to use it and, afterall, they are there to help you out in sticky situations. That's what we pay them for. All of them should have hotlines ready for you to call in the event of an emergency and offer the most up to date information possible to help you out in your specific situation. It also helps when it comes to paying for care, a lot of insurance companies have conditions to be met if they are going to cover your costs, so save their number and start with a call to them. 

2. Online reviews and information

It's always a good idea once you arrive in country to take a quick browse online and find out what other travelers have done or read the local information pages to find out what to do if something goes wrong - also to find the best possible health service in the area! Sites like Healthgrades can be super useful in helping understand the availability of care on offer. 

3. Ask a Local 

Of course in the event of an emergency your instincts are likely to take over and you'll ask just about anyone around you for assistance so it seems quite an obvious thing to consider but it is worth stating that local knowledge is second to none. It's probably a better idea to ask staff at nearby establishments as there is a better chance that their English will be of a higher standard. 

4. Apps and Services

There are a bunch of services and even apps now available to help with finding English speaking doctors overseas. The International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) both have tons of advice and a directory of known English speaking doctors throughout the world on their super resourceful websites. Also now available is the Doctor in Your Pocket app which helps you find local, house call and virtual doctors to assist you should anything go wrong. 

So now you know how to manage a medical situation if you find yourself in one overseas, the best medicine is of course preparation and taking care of oneself! Not finding yourself in a medical emergency is better than knowing what to do if you do. 

Do you have any more tips and advice on what to do should you need a doctor overseas? Let us know in the comments below. 

P.S. Hospital in German is  Krankenhaus, Ambulance in French is Ambulance and the emergency services line in Thailand is 1169! 



10 Travel Tips Exclusively for Retirees March 03 2018, 0 Comments


1. Travel During the Week

Since you're retired, you'll be able to travel during the week, which often is less expensive than on the weekend. According to USA Today, the cheapest days for domestic flights generally are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. For flights to Europe, weekdays also tend to be more affordable than weekends.


2. Travel During the Offseason

With total control over your schedule, you'll be able to travel when it is cheapest to reach a particular destination, rather than whenever it fits into your office schedule. This means you can save a significant amount by traveling during the off-season, such as heading to desert destinations during the summer and mountain towns during the spring and fall. Check with discount travel sites such as Hotels.com, Priceline and Expedia in your search for lower rates on hotels and airfare.


3. Make the Drive

Since you aren't pressed for time anymore, consider driving to your destination rather than flying. Even with gas (and maybe hotel) costs, driving can be less expensive than flying. Rather than driving your own car, consider renting a car for long-distance travel over a short period of time, an approach that, in the long run, could be cheaper than driving the 10-year-old family vehicle. With the right attitude, you might even find a scenic summer road trip even more enjoyable.


4. Bunk With Friends or Family
You might have that cousin in Cleveland whom you haven't seen in years. Consider asking them to host you for a night, or more. "Leisure in Retirement: Beyond the Bucket List," a study done by Merrill Lynch, said when assessing what is important to them, 34 percent of retirees said that was making family connections, with 23 percent of them looking to boost friendship and social connections. A trip to visit could do just that. You will get more than cheap travel out of this experience.


5. Take Longer Trips

You likely had a limited number of vacation days when you worked in an office, but now that you're retired, you can take one long journey instead of multiple shorter trips, saving money on back-and-forth airfare. For example, rather than taking separate trips to Italy, Greece and Spain, you could combine these countries into one trip, establishing a base and then traveling to the other destinations via low-cost air carriers or train.


6. House-Sitting

House-sitting can be an excellent way to find a free place to stay. Many people simply want someone to watch their pet, water their plants and bring in the mail, and with a lifetime of work under your belt, you'll have a plethora of demonstrated responsibility to show off to potential hosts. To help decide whether house-sitting is for you, check out websites such as TrustedHousesitters.com.


7. Take Advantage of Senior Specials

AARP deals exist for many elements of travel, including train fare, car rentals, hotels, flights and entire vacation packages. Take advantage of these retirement discounts to save a significant amount on every step of your journey. Outside of AARP, many hotels, resorts, restaurants and tour operators offer special discounts for older travelers, but those businesses might not automatically let you know about the deals — especially if you seem willing to pay full price.


8. Find Underground Spots

With more free time on your hands, make it your mission to learn about under-the-radar destinations that might be cheaper to travel to than expensive mainstays such as Paris, London or Rome. As a bonus, you likely will have a more authentic experience at a destination that doesn't cater heavily to tourists.


9. Travel With Another Retiree

If you can find other retirees with flexible schedules, you can drive down the cost of your trip by sharing housing. Remember how your sister said she always to travel to Las Vegas with you? Invite her to go and by doubling up in a hotel room, you can slash your bill in half.


10. Cook Your Meals

It's amazing what you can do with a small hotel refrigerator, some corner stores and a little creativity. You don't have to eat every meal in restaurants. Instead, go local and pick up a loaf of fresh bakery bread, some fruit and cheeses and sliced meat from a local deli. Many of the shops will have utensils and condiment packets, too. This approach should allow you to save a significant amount on your food bill — and think of the nice shopkeepers you'll meet along the way.