Business Travel

Check Out This CIA Operative's 9-Step Hotel Safety Checklist

Check Out This CIA Operative's 9-Step Hotel Safety Checklist
Image credit: Shutterstock

When you spend 10 years checking in and out of hotels in the not-so-safest parts of the world, bed bugs are the least of your problems. 

Drew Dwyer, a veteran of the Marines and a former CIA operative, knows this better than most. Here Dwyer shares his hotel check-in safety checklist that is smart to follow whether your next business trip is taking you to Dallas or Damascus. Get his full list of travel safety tips at

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. The first or second (European) floors allow access for most third world country emergency vehicles.

Related: The Secret Business of Training Navy Seals

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.

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.

Edition: November 2016

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now