A former CIA and FBI agent shares her secrets for safe travel – including which hotel rooms to book.
Tracy Walder, 44, has worked as an FBI special agent and CIA officer. In both jobs, she learned to take special precautions while deployed, especially abroad.
Before she sets off on a trip, Walder researches her destination for terrorist threats and sets up an app that will inform her contacts of her location in the event of an emergency.
The Dallas criminal justice professor makes sure to include an Apple Air tag in her luggage and has her 8-year-old daughter also wear a bracelet with the tracking device.
When planning her trip, she never books private rentals, which she says are “extremely dangerous and risky.”
“You really trust someone you don’t know to stay in their home.” Walder told SWNS.
“You really don’t know who writes these reviews.”
After choosing a hotel, Walder asks to stay overnight in a room between the third and sixth floors.
She explained that these rooms are located low enough to the ground floor for emergency access, but far enough away from intruders entering the ground floor.
“When it comes to floor height, there are two things – first, stepping on it. “Typically, if someone wants to do damage, they will take the easiest route they can, which is the first floor because that is the most accessible,” Walder said.
“If you’re too high up on the 20th or 21st floor when you get out, it’s going to be really difficult for you to get out quickly.”
Once she’s in her room, Walder always makes sure to lock and lock the door and install a door stop for “extra security.”
“My husband Ben, 44, teases me about it and although it’s unlikely anyone will break in, the reality is that hotel staff have a key card to get into your room,” she said.
Walder revealed that she incorporated these safety measures into her travel routine after feeling unsafe due to a secret work trip abroad.
“Of course I can’t be very specific as it’s still secret, but generally I assume I’m in another country spying on them – so I have to assume that maybe the other country knows who I am “I am and may be trying to harm me,” she teased.
“One time they refused to take me away from the first floor when I was at work, so I started putting towels under the door.”
Walder also makes sure to share the travel plan with her family so people know her whereabouts and can find her if needed.
“My hope was to give people all sorts of security controls and encourage them to use things they can control or already have — without having to buy anything,” Walder said of her tips.