The Clever Travel Companion Updates
Travel Safety Tips August 10 2017, 0 Comments
Everyone is aware of the danger pickpockets and thieves pose and how that danger is especially exacerbated when it comes to tourists and travelers. The consequences are greater for the victim and the theft itself has a higher success rate for the perpetrator. At Clever Travel Companion, our mission is to ensure travelers avoid the common pitfalls of not only theft and travel themselves but also the confusing number of safety options to consider as preparation, so that you can enjoy your adventure hassle free.
We've compiled a comprehensive guide on complete travel safety covering everything from what to look out for, where to expect it, what to do if you do become a victim to how to avoid becoming one altogether.
We're going to look at some of the way pickpockets go about making their living off of innocent victims. In the below video, a reported from Travel + Escape spends a day with some professional pickpockets and learns how they go about making their living.
It is true that some of their methods are rudimentary and relatively basic but as mentioned, these guys make their living this way. Make no mistake, they are absolute professionals in their trade and can earn huge amounts of money, sometimes over $10,000 per day. So you see, it pays to get good at their trade.
Naturally there are a number of ways to protect yourself in such situations and tons of products on the market that claim to be 100% pickpocket proof. We personally believe a simple approach of remaining vigilant and not making an obvious target of yourself is a good start but concealed, secure, zipper pockets in places pickpockets wouldn't expect are a great way to keep the most valuable of valuables out of harms way. We'll look into this more further down.
Whilst pilfering peoples pockets on public transport is the most obvious and probably most basic method of pickpocketing, it can also be the most risky and perhaps least successful, especially for someone not so skilled. Of course, for such great earning potential, this has lead thieves to develop a huge number of different methods for relieving their victims of their hard earned valuables in all situations. Lets take a look at some of the most common below.
The above scams are prevalent worldwide despite being known as common in the regions mentioned, and are likely to target tourists and travelers only whilst they go about their vacation, sight seeing, walking, visiting landmarks etc... They can also take on a number of different forms and can be carried out by anyone. Be vigilant, thieves often operate in gangs and want to appear as non-suspicious as physically possible so don't assume that because your suspect is a child or elderly that they're not out to rob you.
Public transport is a pickpockets playground. As you've seen in the above video, they dream of bustling train platforms and cramped carriages, busy buses and confused tourists. That doesn't mean to say you're safe in a private taxi, tuk tuk or at the airport though, some thieves are precisely the kinds of people you're forced to trust like taxi drivers - and when we say thieves, we don't just mean they'll have your iPhone out of your pocket. They can rob you in other ways, like incredibly over charged taxi fares.
This article on statistics for theft in London stands to prove the above point. The number #1 location by a long way is the London Underground.
You may also find yourself vulnerable to getting ripped off or robbed when simply shopping or using local services. These kinds of scams are more likely to indirectly leave you out of pocket than an actual thief helping himself to your your valuables but nonetheless, they are worthy of being aware of. They're also probably the most likely to catch you.
It probably goes without saying that as a tourist, you're not likely to be targeted by other tourists (although it has happened). Certain groups of up to no good locals can be found in every city in the world and are by no measure a representation of the rest of the city - but they do exist and they will target travelers. Europe's freedom of movement immigration policy has also made it very easy for people from lower income regions to go to popular tourist destinations and target locals and tourists alike so make yourself aware and knowledgeable of what you might expect. Be vigilant and be suspicious of over friendliness. There's no need to be grumpy or rude, but don't make yourself vulnerable either.
Accommodation is another area you might find yourself a victim. It's even been known for hotels booking online or over the phone to not exist at all! There have also been reported incidents of reception providing a room key on request to anyone claiming to be staying there. Be wary of any strange activity and always confirm details of room calls, advertisements, local companies and more with the front desk. Check up independent reviews of not just the hotel itself prior to visiting but also the area. Don't leave valuables lying around in your room and don't always trust safety deposit boxes, make sure you have a back up solution to hiding your personal items.
The RFID Myth Exposed February 22 2017, 0 Comments
So a few weeks back, The Clever Travel Companion posted a blog article on the reason it doesn't offer RFID products or technology. You can read more on our blog, but to summarize, the reasons we don't advocate RFID tech is that simply put, it's an expensive marketing gimmick. A gimmick that requires hysteria in order to gain momentum but by doing so, takes focus away from the real problems.
Sure RFID has it's uses; if you're one of the few with a wireless capable credit card, then you'd better hope you don't run into an incredibly sophisticated hacker who just happens to be in public with his equipment preying on unsuspecting members of the general populous during his time away from say, preventing government cyber attacks or hacking Yahoo or Bitcoin. It's enough of a chance to spend $120 on a new wallet right? Besides, there's skepticism out there that all wallets work and if you are to be "electronically pickpocketed", your bank will protect you and return the funds in most cases. If you are physically pickpocketed, its a very different proposal.
Vicky's Story: Vicky from the UK (pictured above) placed her order of Ladies underwear and 2 pocket tank tops with Clever Travel Companion before her round the world trip in 2016. She'd prepared as much as possible, buying into the RFID hype too. Recently Vicky got in touch with us to let us know how things went: "I knew the chances of an RFID 'hack' would be low but having a few wireless payment cards, I didn't mind spending out for the added protection just to be double sure nothing could happen, so I bought an RFID purse and kept it in my bag as it was pretty bulky. My main cards, my cash, ID and passport stayed in either a pair of my underwear or one of the tanks I had bought. One day, whilst riding a tram in Barcelona I noticed a gentle tug on my bag but when I turned around there was nobody there so I thought nothing of it but when I checked my bag, the whole RFID purse had been stolen. I was absolutely gutted and felt very stupid until I realized that all the important valuables were still very much in my possession and safe and sound - that I can put down to Clever Travel Companion. If it wasn't for the tank I was wearing that day, my whole trip would have come to a very disappointing end"
Vicky's story is just one of the many we hear from our customers. The reason we exist after all is because of this exact scenario - pickpocketing. It's happened to us and it can happen to anyone.The Clever Travel Companion will be creating a new page on site to host the many testimonials we receive and each one will also be used in a blog post and possibly in our Traveler's stories series of newsletters. If you have a travel story or a CTC testimonial that you'd like to tell us, we would love to hear from you! Just send Rory an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll be added to our testimonials page and could also make it into the newsletter.
Circle Scarf January 26 2017, 0 Comments
The Clever Travel Companion's new Chic Circle Scarf!
The Clever Travel Companion is very happy to be adding the new Circle Scarf to its range!
The Circle Travel Scarf is a slightly different, unique approach to Clever Travel Companion's mission; travel safety. The scarf combines both chic fashion, safety and practicality to create the perfect travel garment for every situation. Whether you find yourself shopping in New York City, lunching in Paris, sightseeing in Milan or dodging the rain in London, maybe hitting the slopes in the Alps or trekking the Belize Rainforest or even relaxing on the beaches of Rio, the Clever Travel Companion circle scarf has got you covered both appearance wise and in practicality.
The Scarf is a lightweight, relaxed garment suitable for both hot and cold climates. It comes with two completely invisible, concealed zipper pockets large enough for cash, credit cards, cell phones and passports. The pockets are also supported from the inside to ensure they don't feel heavy or drag the scarf when full, so you can get on with your day worry-free!
So what are you waiting for! You don't need us to tell you to book that city break or beach retreat, but now you can't use "what to wear?" as an excuse! Pick up your travel scarf now. 100% cotton and currently available in either Black and White stripes or solid black. You can find the dimensions on the product page here.