Earlier this month, secret CIA documents became public after WikiLeaks released them in the so-called Vault 7 publication. These documents are part of a bigger series called “Year Zero”, promising to unveil classified spy information.
An interesting part of the Vault 7 documents, is a fascinating guide for CIA agents stationed in Germany. Together, with secret codes and operative information, the documents contain very interesting travel tips, which can easily be used by any regular traveler.
Do your homework:
A CIA agent always needs to be prepared and know more about the destination. Researching, gathering information and checking hotels are some of the essential actions any traveler has to consider. Additionally, secret agent or not, the guide advises to “have a travel credit card. You will need the PIN to get a cash in advance. Advance and conversion fees are accountable on your TDY (temporary duty assignment) voucher.”
Spies also likes deals
According to the CIA, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the free-bees. “Flying Lufthansa: Booze is free so enjoy (within reason)!”, the guide says. Also, even supermen need to rest, so: “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!)”
When in Rome….
Every reliable secret agent has to be able to stay cool, confident and even when in foreign territory to suggest that he “owns the place.” Lots of tourists become an easy target of pick-pocketing and money scams because they arrive at a new destination looking or feeling completely lost. So here is what to do when you arrive at a new place, according to the CIA. Or at least if that new place is in Germany. “Get some Euros from a DeutscheBank ATM (not a Travellex machine… not the same thing). (You remembered your credit card w/ its PIN, right?)”. Then, in the hotel: “never leave anything electronic or sensitive unattended in your hotel room. Also, “If you arrive on a Sunday morning… expect to find most businesses (grocery stores especially) are closed. Some restaurants may be open. Gas stations are not recommended for fine dining. If you arrive on a Monday morning… expect that they might not have a room ready for you at your hotel.”
Further in the guide, there is additional secret agent advice including, how not to blow your cover by using the U-Bahn and buying cheaper tickets on public transport, using the free time for getting to know the area, and avoiding to reveal your colleagues’ undercover status. On the way back, the CIA advises to spend all your local money and buy things from the Duty Free (particularly single malt whiskey) if you are flying overseas “because you’re awesome and you deserve it!”.
If WikiLeaks are right and they have more CIA documents to reveal, we could expect some more travel tips coming from the secret agents. Meanwhile, if you feel like you’d like to ace your traveling more, here some more tips from Drew Dwyear, Marine Corps veteran and former CIA-operative:
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Mr. Dwyear is keeping his blog SOFREP for several years and anyone who is curious to learn some of the secrets of this world can find vast military and investigative information and even buy a t-shirt to support war-veterans.