Travel Tip: How to Spot Hidden Cameras in Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Alisha Starr
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

About 60% of people are worried about hidden cameras when they go on vacation. This worry is understandable, considering the smallest hidden camera was found inside of the head of a Phillips screw.

Thankfully, most hidden cameras are more obvious than that. A quick Google search will show you common hidden cameras, from light bulbs to phone chargers.

Don't let your vacation be riddled with fear and unease. Instead, keep reading to learn a few tips for doing a quick sweep of the room at the beginning of your trip to set your mind at ease.

Do a Physical Inspection

The most straightforward way to search for hidden cameras is by visually inspecting the property or room.

For convenience, most hidden cameras are connected to a cord to provide continuous power. They might be an object or hidden in something you wouldn't look at.

If anything looks suspicious, start there. If you don't know where to begin, use this brief list of common places people hide cameras:

  • Wall clocks
  • Alarm clocks
  • Smoke detectors
  • Phone chargers
  • Power outlets
  • Standing lamps
  • Mirrors
  • DVD players
  • Picture frames
  • Potted plants

While this list can't cover every possible place a camera could be hidden, most people aren't too creative with their placement. So this is a great list to breeze through if you want peace of mind throughout your stay.

Inspect With the Lights Off

Some cameras are designed to work in the dark, so they don't miss out on any footage. Most of these cameras have a light that switches on in the dark for night vision mode.

The lights are often green or red and might be flashing.

To spot them, turn off all the lights and close blinds or drapes to make it as dark as possible in the room. Next, walk around and look for any obvious lights shining through the darkness.

They should be easy to spot if they're there, so you won't need to spend too much time searching.

Use a Hidden Camera Sensor

Products exist to help detect hidden cameras since this is a common fear for people.

You can purchase one of them and avoid completing the two steps listed above until you're sure you have something to look for. Most of the time, all you need to do is switch the device on in a room, and it will tell you if a camera is present.

Things to Remember

Dealing with breaches of your privacy is never something you want to worry about. But it's important to remember that in some cases, cameras are okay to have. If they're disclosed by the property owner and in an area that doesn't interfere with your personal privacy, they might be used to prevent break-ins or other outside issues.

Be sure to carefully read through the fine print before you book a property so you know what you're signing up for.

Another thing to remember is that property owners don't always place hidden cameras. A party could come through and put them in without the owner being aware. While this circumstance is rare, it's important to note. It's crucial to notify the owner or manager of the property that you found cameras before destroying them so they're aware of the situation.

If they didn't place them, they could comb through the rest of the property and prevent other people from falling victim to this problem.

If you're staying in an Airbnb, aside from contacting the host, it's vital to get in contact with support as well. Their policies might allow them to ban the host and get relevant authorities involved in an investigation to see what led to these circumstances.

Finally, one last thing to note is depending on several factors; you might be able to file a lawsuit.

The Bottom Line

As technology advances, the potential for hidden cameras in hotel rooms and other accommodations increases. But, no matter the reasons for using them, if a camera isn't disclosed, you need to take action.

Be sure to use the tips found here to search for hidden cameras on your next trip. You deserve peace of mind when you stay in a new place; knowing you aren't being watched can help grant that.

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I deliver content with a focus on positivity and making the best use of the area around you. You can expect me to highlight local restaurants, events, hiking trails, recipes, and trending stories on the internet you might find interesting. No negative news here!

Rochester, NY

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