The Clever Travel Companion Updates

Textbook Pickpocket Manoeuvre Leaves Grandmother $2650 Out of Pocket October 21 2017, 0 Comments

The video below captures the moment two professional pickpockets carried out their grubby work on an unsuspecting victim, in this case a 69 year old grandmother whom the pickpockets had identified at a local bank and subsequently pursued after she'd made a substantial withdrawal.


Kantaben Ashani, 69, a retired cleaner, was buying radishes in Kingsbury, North London when the thief reached into her bag to lift envelope of cash.  Ms Ashani, who had withdrawn the cash to pay for Diwali gifts for her family, said she believes she had been tailed by the thief after withdrawing the money from a nearby Nationwide bank. 

She discovered the theft moments later when attempting to pay for her groceries at the till.    'I saw the women but thought they were just shopping. I started crying at the till, I couldn't stop talking and crying. It's the first time I've carried this much money,' said Ms Ashani, according to the Evening Standard.  'I get flashbacks every time I go to the shop. I'm praying to God that they don't do that to anyone else.'

The theft was caught on camera by local resident Suryakant Jadva and quickly shared on Twitter. Ms Ashani added that she would struggle to give presents to her loved ones for Diwali, the festival of light which started on Thursday.  'One of our rituals is that we give money to our grandchildren — it's like Christmas, lots of presents. Now the money's gone Diwali will be a bit of a financial strain.'  The Metropolitan police confirmed it was investigating.


Pickpockets are unfortunately not going away. There will always be people out there with unpleasant intentions and a disregard for other people, whether they turn that into a profession or not, they still exist. We hear about stories like the above everyday and although this particular crime was committed in the victims local area, tourists and non-locals are the #1 victims around the world. The probability of being targeted as a holidaymaker soars in comparison to locals. 

Having said that, nobody on vacation wants to spend their trip scared or worried. The Clever Travel Companion offers solutions! Solutions like our pickpocket proof scarf and ladies pickpocket proof leggings!

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.

    Bus Pickpocket Caught In Action August 29 2017, 0 Comments

    If you're a fan of Clever Travel Companion, you'll be more than aware of the methods pickpockets use to get their grubby paws on victims valuables, even if you're new to this site, you probably have some idea of how they go about their business but how many of us can say we've actually spotted them in action? Well the below CCTV footage from China captures a perfect example of a slippery, albeit clumsy thief in action - as did the bus driver... 


    As you can see from the video, the thief identifies his victim and his target early, realizing that she has multiple open bags, is rushing for a bus and will at some point become vulnerable. The one thing he didn't count on was the bus driver spotting him. However, consider the bus driver not being there, it is clear the victim has no idea what has happened despite realizing she and the thief have come into contact. She's probably more concerned about getting on the right bus and paying for a ticket - the pickpocket on the other hand probably plans to pretend he has boarding the wrong bus by mistake and will make a quick getaway once the victim is safely aboard, doors are closed and the bus is driving away, as is common with public transport robbery methods.

    Watching the video it becomes easy to see how pickpocketing is still a major crime and people are still not only getting away with it but making a darn good living out of doing so! Check out the gang who made over 1million Euros targeting Disneyland families. In the above China case, the victim was lucky she had a helping hand and her thief was clumsy but let's be honest, it's probably not the first time he's done it and it wont be the last. I'm sure there are many women boarding buses and reaching for their phones that are no longer there thanks to this guy and many more pickpockets. The scary thing is, how many of us can relate to being in this situation? Panicking about getting on the right bus or train or plane even, focusing on getting a ticket bought and paid for whilst everyone is bustling to do the same? Is it worth losing your phone, passport, cash, cards or something more valuable over? No way. 

    So how do we prevent the above happening? Well if you're on this website, you'll know that we advocate Clever Travel Companion's 100% pickpocket proof gear for this. Just imagine if the victim in the video had put her phone in one of CTC's Leggings secret pockets? The thief would have had no chance.   

    But that's not all you can do. Make sure you don't have open bags and look like you're in a hurry, stay very aware of your surroundings and who might be watching you or approaching you.