How to Find Hidden Cameras in Your Airbnb and Hotel Rooms

Residential security cameras can deter hooligans from breaking into your house and stealing your belongings. Even though security cameras are not capable of deterring all criminals, they can give you valuable evidence after the crime has been committed – that is their main function after all. But sometimes even law abiding citizens do not want security cameras monitoring them, like when you are staying in an Airbnb for example.

Airbnb’s have seen their fair share of scandals, and if you don’t believe me look up “Airbnb horror stories” in your search browser of choice. You can probably find enough of these tales to occupy your lunch break, I certainly have.

Residential security camera system

There are a lot of unique scenarios in these Airbnb stories, but a recurring problem is Airbnb hosts using cameras to film their guests in their bedrooms without their knowledge and/or consent. Laws concerning being filmed by a hidden camera are different from state to state, but generally speaking it is illegal to record someone if it violates their privacy, but that probably won’t stop people who want to spy on their unsuspecting guests.

Disclaimer, if you are staying at an Airbnb – that is not your home, and that you shouldn’t break anything and everything you want just because you suspect that the homeowner has cameras set up. Assuming that you are staying at an Airbnb and you do not want creeps looking at your naked form, here are a few things that might help you uncover any hidden creep-cams.


  1. Obvious Tells

The world’s got a lot of people in it, and I’m willing to bet that some of the people who want to get off to their unsuspecting guests are not going to be incredibly clever when hiding their cameras. If you see any electrical wires that look out of place, or objects with small holes or openings in them, inspect those first.


Assuming that the homeowner hid a camera not made with the intention of being covert, you may be able to find hidden cameras in your room by turnings all of the lights off and looking for sources of light in your room. For example, you might have a television with a power button light always glowing, and a blinking light source in the room by the bed which is actually a camera recording your every move.


  1. Common Household Objects

Modern covert security cameras can be incredibly small. If for some reason you suspect that your Airbnb host is spying on you, cameras can be in practically anything. Check behind mirrors, in smoke detectors, under furniture cushions, in plants that seem out of place, inside light bulbs, anything that would give the host a good view and looks like it is capable of concealing a small smartphone. water bottles can house security cameras, so inspecting anything and everything is a valid option.
Security camera outside of a home

  1. Counter Surveillance Measures

Besides using the Mark 1 eyeball, there are other ways to find hidden security cameras. Using a RF signal detector should lead you to any concealed cameras in your bedroom or bathroom, but a lot of these devices can be rather expensive so if you are managing your privacy on a budget, you might just want to stick to sight.


Post Camera-Finding

Once again, I am not encouraging anyone to destroy any cameras or property that they find suspicious. If you do find a camera in a hotel room or Airbnb, here are two options on how you can proceed: 1) If you are in a hotel you can talk to management and they might be able to reimburse you and/or remove the camera, and move you to a different room. 2) If you are in an Airbnb you might want to get the police involved after finding a hidden camera in your room. Do not destroy the camera and do not confront the owner and tell them that you have found it as they might become violent.

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