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Safer Travels Compliments of the CIA: 8 Tips and 7 Unique Items To Pack

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

CIA agents are confident and experienced travellers who are well prepared for any nefarious obstacles that inevitably come their way. The average Jane and Joe traveller is rightly concerned they may face terrorism or any criminal act, whether on a trip overseas or in their own country. Former CIA agent Jason Hanson, in his new book, Survive Like A Spy, provides a wealth of life saving skills and insights, written for the average non-spy man or woman. The following are a sampling of CIA approved tips specifically for travel.

Three Vital Tips

Build relationships: CIA agents are trained to always be friendly with locals, whether they may be hotel or restaurant workers or sellers at a local market. Agents are always great tippers and have a sociable and approachable demeanor. Jason Hanson writes about a restaurant incident while on assignment in Paris:

“My buddy and I were full after we finished our entrees, so we asked for the check and were planning to leave. One of the busboys came over after we asked for the check. He seemed nervous, and he actually told us to stay put, and suggested we have some desert. I protested at first, but there was something about the way he was talking to us that made me think we should just stay. We ended up having desert and another drink. On my way out I discreetly asked the busboy, ‘Why did you want us to stay?’ His English wasn’t great, but I got the gist of what he was saying. ‘This area is popular for muggers. They pay some of us to let them know when Americans are leaving the restaurant. I didn’t want you to get mugged.’ I thanked him, grateful that I had listened – and glad once again that I have been kind to a person who had the ability to keep me out of harms’ way.”

Support the local economy: “This means frequent the same places locals use. Don’t stay at a hotel that’s full of Americans, and don’t eat at touristy restaurants. The truth is, generally speaking, terrorists are less likely to blow up their own people.”

Go deep into their culture: Along with being warm and outgoing with the locals, know who your hosts are. “Research customs before you travel. Do people shake hands or is touching considered inappropriate? Is looking people in the eye important or offensive? Your efforts will always be appreciated – and they might just keep you safe.”

5 More Tips……

7 Necessary Items To Pack

A P100 Mask: “In the event of a chemical attack, this mask can actually filter out much of the harmful chemicals, as well as ash, dust, and other toxins that will be floating around in the air. These masks can be found for under $10. I recommend getting the ones that have an air vent. If you are running, not having a vent may encumber your breathing and make it harder for you to get away. Have a mask for each member of your family.”   

Safety Goggles: During a major catastrophe, “the smoke and dust are so thick that people are forced to close their eyes while making their escape. Keeping a simple pair of safety goggles handy will enable you to keep your eyes open, making it easier for you to escape to safety.”

A Rigger’s Belt, Paracord (About 20 Feet) and a Carabiner: “A rigger’s belt looks much like an ordinary belt. The only difference is it can hold five thousand pounds. You could use this belt and your paracord to lower your family members to safety in the event of a fire or explosion. Paracord can also be used to tie your children’s hands to yours, connecting them to you should you have to escape.”

Cheap, Brightly Colored Rain Ponchos: “Not only will these be handy if it’s pouring rain while you’re traveling, but a bright yellow or bright orange rain poncho can be an excellent way to keep track of your family in an emergency. You can all identify each other by the bright color, making it easier to stick together or locate one another if you are separated.”

A Swiss Army Pocket Knife:  A good quality knife only costs around $30 and has multiple tools that can be indispensable in an emergency. For a list of all possible tools see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Army_knife.

Antibiotics: Bring a basic supply with you in case an emergency situation separates you temporarily from infection-fighting medicine. 

A Flashlight: Very basic but most people don’t think to pack one for their vacation. “If the lights go out during a fire, or while you’re in a crowded train station, you’ll be able to see where you are going and where the exits are located. This can mean the difference between life and death.” 

Primary Source

Jason Hanson, Survive Like A Spy: Real CIA Operatives Reveal How They Stay Safe In A Dangerous World And How You Can Too, Tarcher / Perigee, 2018

More safety info at Jason Hanson’s web site: https://spyescapeandevasion.com/

Bonus Feature:

AllTheRooms 10 Best Cities to Visit in 2019
Here at AllTheRooms we’re obsessed with travel, and so using our unique data, we’ve taken a look at the hottest cities to visit in 2019. In past years, European cities have been some of the most popular destinations, but it seems that the world is opening up for 2019, with Europe barely making an appearance. From mystical bazaar markets in Istanbul, Turkey, through to futuristic architecture in Seoul, South Korea, here are the best cities to visit in 2019. 

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Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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