A Clever Travel Companion is one who doesn’t fall victim to the swift hand of the pickpocket it seems. It’s also the clever name for the pickpocket proof travel underwear with secret and secure pockets, designed by seasoned traveller Johanna Denize, that we’re giving away this month.
The Swedish-born American resident had been pick-pocketed one two many times for her liking, and it was after one theft, she tells us, on the Trans-Siberian Railway, that left Johanna stranded in the middle of nowhere without money, that she decided to take things into her own hands and design the perfect thief-proof travel clothes.
I’ve never – touch wood – had anything more than a cotton singlet stolen while travelling. It was in a casa particular in Cuba many years ago and I probably would have given the thing to the woman had she asked. I wasn’t too happy that my host stole from me, but I was sympathetic to her circumstances and it wasn’t of much value. Have I jinxed us now?! But there are times when we travel that I worry about more valuable things.
We’re sensible when we travel and we do take precautions. After all these years on the road you naturally become street-wise. We’re also picky about where we stay and if we can’t be and we doubt the security of the accommodation, we’ll use the in-room safe or hide things in our locked luggage. We haven’t worn money belts since our first backpacking trip around Mexico some 20 years ago.
Back then we only tucked the silly things into our pants and strung them around our necks because we were inexperienced overseas travellers and the guidebooks said to. After that first trip, we never felt the need to wear money belts. They were uncomfortable and they quickly became damp from our perspiration, causing our passports and notes to get wet. I think we abandoned them a week or two into that two-month trip.
Over the years we learnt that the best thing to do is to simply dress as you normally would at home, so you don’t stand out as much. But still, there have been many occasions when I’ve wished I could have had some secret pockets to tuck some cash, a credit card or passport into. Mainly going out at night, to bars, pubs and clubs, when I’ve not wanted to carry a handbag or purse, and we knew we’d be walking a dark alley or two.
There are lots of things wrong with the design of ‘travel clothes’, as comfy as they can sometimes to be. I rarely wear them, except when we’re going hiking or travelling in extreme conditions – I love my UV-protected shirt and couldn’t live without my thermals – but the biggest problem is their lack of small, interior, zipped pockets where some cards and cash could be secreted away. How hard could they be to insert? I would always pay extra for a hidden pocket or three.
And this is why I was so excited when Johanna contacted us to tell us about her terrific travelling underwear with their secret pockets, offered to send us samples to try, and suggested we give some away to our readers.
We did try them – they arrived in Sydney a little under a week after she placed the order – and we’re still wearing them, and we love them. I’ve been wearing mine (a cute black tank-top and hipsters), even when I haven’t needed to hide anything in the pockets. Tomorrow we’ve got a long travelling day, a border crossing, and we’ll be taking several types of transport, so while I’ll need my passport handy, I will stash some cash away.
You can choose between cool cotton t-shirts, tank-tops, long-johns, fitted underwear for him and hipster briefs for her, in grey, black, white, and stripes. The sizes are what I’d call ‘global’, which means that while they’re produced in the USA they’re not those gigantic sizes you often get in the States. I’d recommend getting fitted sizes as this is underwear after all, so you’ll want to wear them under things.
The prices are also reasonable for the USA – or even Australia, the UK and Europe – starting at around $23 a piece. They’re available online at Johanna’s site www.clevertravelcompanion.com and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, however, you can go in the running to win some right here. All you have to do is tell us why you want a Clever Travel Companion. Details below. Good luck! And if you win some, let us know how you like them.
So, how do you win your own Clever Travel Companion?
* Tell us in no more than one paragraph: why you want a Clever Travel Companion.
* Leave your answer in the Comments below.
* The best answer will be selected by Clever Travel Companion owner-designer Johanna Denize, who will post the winning answer on her blog.
* The winner gets to choose his/her own Clever Travel Companion product(s) to the value of US$50 or can put US$50 toward purchases on the Clever Travel Companion site.
* The prize includes shipping to you anywhere in the world.
* The giveaway ends Sunday 21 October and winners will be announced soon after.
GRANTOURISMO GIVEAWAYS UPDATE
* 1000 Places To See Before You Die Giveaway – we recently announced the 3 winners of the latest edition of this aspirational travel tome. Brandon, Sara and Laurie – congrats! You can expect an email from the book’s publicist over the next few days.
* Win Free Postcard Printing – we have extended this giveaway after UPrinting alerted us to the fact our link wasn’t working. It worked for a few days, then something went wrong; these things occasionally happen but it’s all fixed now, so you have until 30 September to enter this one to win the chance to get 100 of your own postcards printed for free!
Clever Travel Companion Giveaway is closed – Coco was the winner!