Travel Tips The CIA Gives To Their Spies

Travel Like A Spy

You’ll find 101 ways to travel from dozens of guides online. We at Boss Hunting have actually done the odd article or so ourselves. So how do you discern the bona fide from the bust? The information that matters with the information that’s malarkey? Well who better to ask than people who do it for a living, for threat of capture… or worse? Among the archives upon archives of “other” things, Wikileaks released a document detailing travel tips from the CIA to their operatives a while back. And there are definitely one or two you can apply to your next trip and travel like a spy.

6 Travel Tips For Spies

Before you go:

“…Talk [about your planned] timeline. Consider [holidays], current Base activities, USG shutdowns, world events, etc… Have your Point-of-Contact information on your person… Have a travel credit card. You will need the PIN to get a cash advance… If you are using a personal credit card, be sure to call your credit card company and notify them of your travel…”

Repeat after me: planning is key to travel like a spy. Map out your “timeline”, so to speak, and get your bearings down pat. What’s going on where you’re going? Is it going to be busy? How does this affect your travel time? How does this affect your schedule? Additionally, work out your finances ahead of time. Know your conversion rate. And organise logistics with your bank, so as not to have your assets frozen overseas with no means of fixing it in a timely fashion.

During the flight:

“… Flying Lufthansa: Booze is free so enjoy (within reason)! Flying United: My condolences, but at least you are earning a United leg towards a status increase. If you have an overnight flight (most likely), try and get some sleep. It will help you adjust faster to the time difference. (6-7 hours ahead!)…

‘Nuff said really. In terms of airlines, we also personally recommend Qatar.

When you arrive:

“… Breeze through [Customs] because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport… [ATM and a Travellex machine]… not the same thing… Check in, drop off your bags, shower (you probably need one). Do not leave anything electronic or sensitive unattended in your hotel room. (Paranoid, yes, but better safe then sorry.)…

Don’t dilly dally at customs. Get in, get out. Know how to access your money, where, and when. Freshen up before you head out. And as always, do not leave anything valuable unattended unless you know for certain that there is zero chance of them being taken.

During your stay:

“… Meet everyone… Talk to them and find out about what they do. Build that network. If you have never been overseas before (for work or at all), let folks know. Have a free weekend? Ask for advice on day trips and places to visit…”

Mix and mingle. You never know when that bartender you chat up will shout you around of shots or two, or even keep serving just for you past last call (speaking from experience). You never know just what you’ll find from the people you meet, so shoot your shot. Take the road less travelled, as Robert Frost once said.

Setting expectations:

“… Be flexible… Respect that while efforts can be made to involve you in social activities, it may not always be possible…”

Pretty self-explanatory. To live a life on the go, you must be ready to up and go at a second’s notice.

Before you leave:

“… Buy something in Duty Free, because you’re awesome and you deserve it! Might I recommend a travellers’ edition single malt whisky?) Leave with as few Euros in your pocket as possible…”

You are hoping to travel like a spy but it’s a vacation. Treat yourself! But do so within reason so you don’t have to work double time to recoup for the trip just travelled and such. And of course, you can never go wrong with a single malt whiskey.