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9 Travel Safety Tips from a Former CIA Agent

Condé Nast Traveler logo Condé Nast Traveler 4/29/2016 Katherine LaGrave

1 Bed Guest Room © Multimedia tour provided by Leonardo 1 Bed Guest Room Drew Dwyer, a Marine Corps veteran and former decade-long CIA operative, has traveled far and wide both domestically and internationally, and has participated in covert operations across five continents. (We would tell you more, but...you know.) 

Having stayed in hundreds of hotels, Dwyer shared his hotel safety check-in tips on SOFREP.com, which we've distilled below. Needless to say, bed bugs were the least of his concerns.

Do Not Disturb © Multimedia tour provided by Leonardo Do Not Disturb 1. Acquire or make a copy of the fire escape plan on the back of your door. Most of these just slide out.

2. Do not stay on the ground or the top floor. The ground floor is readily accessible to intruders and the top floor does not allow any room to maneuver.

3. Keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, even when you are not there.

4. Always assume the room is bugged. Keep the radio or TV turned on with the volume on low at all times—even when you are not in the room.

5. Keep the drapes/blinds pulled at all times, even when unoccupied.

6. Keep a light on in the room when unoccupied.

1 King Accessible Room © Multimedia tour provided by Leonardo 1 King Accessible Room 7. Keep a small “bug-out bag” packed with must-have items (money, ID, passport, etc.) in the event of an emergency departure.

8. Carry a motion alarm that can be placed over the doorknob. They are about $20 and can be found in most electronics stores.

9. Keep a flashlight next to the bed and within arm’s reach.

Irrespective of this list, it pays to note that hotels are becoming safer by the minute. And while we won't be adhering to all of these tips anytime soon, there is something to be said for minimizing your risk as a traveler—and these suggestions can certainly help do that. Sometimes, after all, it pays to be James Bond.

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