DUBAI: If you are in dire need of a break but dread airport queues and holiday hassle, you could be about to find the solution in the unlikeliest of places.
Last week, WikiLeaks exposed the CIA Engineering Development Group’s instructional documentation which advises spies on the protocol to follow while traveling abroad.
The tips and tricks are useful for any wary voyager so read on for the top five secrets on how to travel like an intelligence agent.
1. Alert your credit card company
Your bank will monitor account activity for suspicious behavior and could block any transactions you attempt to make abroad.
As the leaked document suggests: “Be sure to call your credit card company and notify them of your travel to Germany.”
2. Don’t leave valuables lying around your hotel room
The leaked documents warn: “Do not leave anything electronic or sensitive unattended in your hotel room.”
For the average holiday goer, this includes passports, jewelry and any valuable items which hotel staff could pilfer.
3. Be calm in the airport security line
Travelers who are most likely to be pulled aside for additional screening usually exhibit “shaking or trembling hands, rapid breathing for no apparent reason, cold sweats, pulsating carotid arteries, a flushed face, and avoidance of eye contact,” the leaked documents say.
If you get pulled aside, try not to use phrases like “to be honest” and “swear to God,” the CIA cautioned in another document leaked in 2014.
4. Research local cultures and customs
Don’t be surprised if you plan a busy Sunday morning in a sleepy European town, only to find shops and cafes are closed. The leaked documents warn of travel to Germany: “If you arrive on a Sunday morning... expect to find most businesses (grocery stores especially) are closed. Some restaurants may be open.”
5. Spend leftover cash buying duty free
The document includes a confidence-boosting note to agents: “Buy something in Duty Free, because you’re awesome and you deserve it!”