The Clever Travel Companion Updates

Ex Special Forces Soldier gives advice on how to avoid pickpockets and stay safe during terrorist attacks October 25 2017, 0 Comments

In the below video and ex SAS member gives advice to a tvnz correspondent on the best ways to avoid pickpockets and stay safe during a terrorist attack. He's got some great tips and advice to share! 


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  Ms Ashani, who had withdrawn the cash to pay for Diwali gifts for her family, said she believes she had been tailed by the thief after withdrawing the money from a nearby Nationwide bank.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.

DON'T BE A VICTIM!

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!


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.