The Clever Travel Companion Updates

The Top European Destinations to Travel Solo November 08 2017, 0 Comments

Although travelling by yourself is not always the most appealing plan, depending on where you’re headed, it might turn out to be a once in a lifetime experience. Given that it’s hard to match your schedule with that of your potential travel companions, sometimes, you might have to take matters into your own hands and go solo, which could be daunting. But if you have done it before, you will agree that there is something both challenging and stimulating about setting out on an adventure by yourself. However, some places are better to visit alone than others, which is why we have compiled some of the best destinations for you, particularly if you’re in Europe. It's always ideal to make sure you bring the best travel gear with you, for safety, comfort and practicality. See more here

At the top of our list is Berlin, the multifaceted German capital. With a vibrant nightlife and infinite culture on, you’ll be entertained here all day and might even end up making friends during your stay, as it is a popular destination for solo travelers. From museums to landmarks and everything in between including parks, record stores, vintage markets, international gastronomy, unbeatable nightclubs and concerts, Berlin is also an affordable and safe city, which are two fundamental elements that make it a great choice if you’re planning a solo trip. No matter how long you stay, you’re likely to enjoy the experience by yourself as you’ll be able to visit the places that interest you the most without having to compromise. It's also a great walking city so make sure you go prepared! See more

Another large capital we must add to our list is London. In spite of being a large city, London is very well connected with trains and underground services, meaning you can stay right outside the center if you want to spend less and still be able to get to the main attractions quite easily. With so many places to visit and an unstoppable entertainment agenda that includes everything from music festivals and jam sessions to mental sports tournaments and horse races, London is open 24/7 and will offer you pretty much anything you’re looking for. Although it is less affordable than Berlin, you will not find it hard to spot a quality, comfortable hostel and an inexpensive, refreshing pint, which is a great choice to end your day, especially by the riverside and accompanied by a good book.

Our third choice is also a capital city that is famous for having friendly and sociable residents as well as great beer, fantastic transportation, delicious food, lovely weather and magnificent museums. Madrid, rated the best city in Europe for living abroad, has become an increasingly popular city in Europe over the years without reaching the extreme levels of tourism that Barcelona is now trying to control, this Spanish city offers a genuine experience to its visitors. Safe and affordable, its accommodation offers have also increased, which complements the fact that it’s a city in which you can find something to do every day of the week, so you’re likely to fall in love with its energy and never feel lonely while being surrounded by welcoming Madrilenians. Between museums, the fantastic Buen Retiro Park and the infinite choices of bars, you’ll be well entertained during your stay and will possibly end up chatting with the locals, which means you might even learn a few words in Spanish to further enrich your travel experience.

There are many other destinations in Europe to visit by yourself that are equally amusing, safe and stimulating like Porto, Copenhagen, Bilbao, Turin, Hamburg and Stockholm. However, if we had to recommend places to travel solo as many times as you want, we would insist on Berlin, London and Madrid as they are all interesting and ever-changing locations that never fail to welcome visitors. And, with their cosmopolitan atmospheres, you’ll feel like you are a part of the cities when you visit them.


The Eiffel Tower... Pickpocket heaven? July 13 2017, 0 Comments

Eiffel Tower Police 

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!