Airbnb hidden cameras might just be the biggest fear for trips away. You can always catch the next one, if your flight gets cancelled. Traffic on the road clears up sooner or later. Credit cards can be replaced if you lose your wallet.
However, being spied on by Airbnb hidden cameras is such a profound violation of privacy that it can absolutely destroy a family vacation or work trip.
Horror stories are becoming increasingly common. The latest one (opens in new tab) involves a peep hole in a locked cabinet next to a bed, which was discovered by a family on vacation – but only after the Airbnb hidden camera had already recorded a family member sleeping in front of it. So, how do you stop this happening to you?
Well, obviously there's the manual approach. You can inspect walls, ceilings, surfaces and furniture to make sure that there are no obvious peep holes. Then you can examine the miscellanea that's dotted around the venue, from ornaments on shelves to items on window sills to anything connected to an electrical outlet, such as an alarm clock or even a phone charger, in case they are cameras in disguise.
This approach, however, is much harder and more fallible. Looking in every nook and cranny, checking every single item on a shelf, even going as far as examining screw holes and fire alarms – it can be a task that never ends, and you never know if you've simply missed something that is still there, spying on you.
A much better approach is a detector that can sniff out Airbnb hidden cameras. You might feel paranoid at first, buying what is at the end of the day an anti-surveillance device. However, for total piece of mind, there really is no better option.
The best hidden camera detectors (opens in new tab) employ a variety of means to track down spy cameras as well as listening devices and GPS trackers, such as laser detection lights, unexpected radio frequency signals, magnetometers and infrared light illuminators.
While you might think that this kind of tech is the preserve of the CIA or even Q branch, it's widely available and very affordable – our bug sweeper of choice is the K68 Signal Detector, which is just $70 / £70 / AU$140 and can be bought at Amazon.
You're not being paranoid – Airbnb hidden cameras are real, and they're a problem that only appears to be getting worse. It's a sad state of affairs, but if you're a traveller than arming yourself with a device like this is the best way to protect your privacy.