Never be pick-pocketed again
He ran out of the metro just as the doors closed, recounted my friend as we sat underneath the sun enjoying a cold beer I remember thinking ‘some poor fool just got robbed’ and then I looked down at my open purse and realized that I was that poor fool. Petty theft is a pretty common phenomenon when backpacking in any country. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard stories of people who have been robbed in various cities across the city. After being mugged, I started to conceal my important papers (VISA, passport etc.) in secret locations so as to make it harder to steal, like credit cards stuffed into my bra. I even went as far as buying expensive jackets with secret pockets to stash my valuables.
I’ve literally tried it all! Fanny packs were too bulky and easily noticeable while neck wallets became heavy and uncomfortable when stuffed with too much stuff. I found putting items in my bra awkward as I had to reach inside every time I wanted to pull out money (and coins? Forget it!). I started my own research before embarking on my latest trip to South America and voila! I uncovered The Clever Travel Companion, which solved all my problems.
Picture taken from The Clever Travel Companion website
The Clever Travel Companion has integrated safety features in the travelers clothes themselves, adding securely zippered pockets that fit passport, cash and credit cards with ease into t-shirts, tank tops, underwear and long johns. The added zipper makes it impossible for pick-pockets to get to your valuables and keeps everything in place in every situation, whether you are skiing, snowboarding, river rafting, horseback riding or just traveling off the beaten path. Furthermore, unlike money belts, fanny packs and/or neck wallets you’ll never accidentally misplace your items again (Prices start at $24.90.)
I sat down to talk with the founder of The Clever Travel Companion, Johanna, and ask her a couple of question about her amazing company and how everyone can become pickpocket proof.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Sweden but live in upstate NY. I love to travel as does my husband We travel as much as we can. We actually met in Russia, and have together visited all continents bar Australia. We have one 3 year old son and he has so far been to Mexico, Sweden and France with us, and all over the US! I was originally a journalist and I have done a lot or travel writing but I am now focusing on the Clever Travel Companion as it is taking up more and more time, which of course is good!
2. What inspired you to start your line?
Being pickpocketed! I have always been very careful yet managed to get pickpocketed a couple of times and once I just lost my wallet. Loosing drivers licence, money, credit cards is a huge inconvenience and just very annoying. Who wants to spend time replacing everything on vacation? I have tried money bets, neck pouches etc but I found them bulky and cumbersome, and worst of all, easy to misplace. As I often travel budget and to remote places; inter railing, taking inexpensive ferries and planes etc, safety is much more of a concern.I finally had enough of constantly worrying about either loosing, misplacing stuff or getting pick pocketed so I designed my own travel safety gear that is simply inaccessible to thieves and impossible to misplace! And it minimizes the ened fro extra stuff, since everyone needs clothes on their trips anyways!
3. Why are these underwear/undershirts superior than for example a fanny pack under your shirt, hiding money in your bra/shoes or having a pack that hangs around your neck? Why choose the Clever Travel Companion? What makes you different than anything else out there?
– Impossible to get pickpocketed. No thief will know where your stuff is hidden.
– Impossible to misplace (a fanny pack, or money belt is easily forgotten in a hotel room or in a restaurant bathroom, but no one misplaces underwear, right?!)
– Comfortable. Have you tried money belts? They itch, and get sweaty. And fanny packs, well they scream ‘tourist’! As for Neck packs, well they are super easy to steal for good pick pockets; they simply cut them off and let them drop.
– The Clever Travel Companion has styles for everyone: underwear or tops, whatever is more comfortable for you. We have all sizes, many colors and different materials and I promise you not one single customer has had a single thing stolen from one of our secret pockets!
4. What does the future hold for your line?
We will be adding some additional colors and styles. Hopefully these will be ready in March. We have had some customers ask for V-neck tees specifically so that will be one of the new designs.
Petro, Jordan (photo from Atlas Tours)
5. Where are your pieces sold?
Clever Travel Companion website, Amazon US, Amazon UK and soon in several travel retailers all over the US!
6. As an avid traveler, what would be the one place that you’ve visited that you would recommend every traveler visit?
Petra, Jordan. It was the most magical, beautiful, awe inspiring place ever! In fact I fell in love with all of Jordan. On top of Petra there are all the mythical and biblical places, archaeological sites, the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, and of course the food; Hummus, Baba ganush, the bread, the vegetables…. I will definitely go back!