‘Paranoid Travel Hacks’ Go Viral Amid Spike In Hotel Thefts & Hidden Cameras

Following the news that hotel thefts & spying are on the rise, a new breed of travel hack has subsequently gone viral.

‘Paranoid Travel Hacks’ Go Viral Amid Spike In Hotel Thefts & Hidden Cameras

Image: DMARGE/Instagram

Travel hacks are one of the industry’s best developments in recent memory. From hacks that will help you get a free lunchbeat ‘recline rage’, or ensure you can sit next to your pals using Mia Khalifa’s dirty trick, all of them are interesting but some are more successful than others.

However, following the news that holiday rentals with hidden cameras are on the rise — compounded by the fact that hotel thefts seem to be on a non-stop increase too — you might be unsurprised to hear that a new breed of travel hack has subsequently gone viral. We’re coining it, the ‘paranoid travel hack’.

Expemplified by the above video shared by influencer Natalia Berestovskaia, these travel hacks cover a whole range of tricks all designed to keep unwanted spies or thieves out of your hotel room or — should they somehow gain entry — keep them a long way away from your personal possessions.

The one that really caught our eye is the one that made our headline: Berestovskaia stuffs a diaper with her passport, cash, and jewellery in order to hide it from thieves who, one would assume, would spend so much time checking the hotel safe or rummaging through dopp kitts that they’d fail to suspect this strangest of items.

Others are a little more self-explanatory, however, including the placement of a band-aid across the peephole of your hotel door to avoid unwanted peeking and the balancing of a coin on the door handle so, should anyone be fiddling with your door during the night, the coin will fall and you’ll hear them enter.

Strangely, the one “hack” that really confused commenters was Berestovskaia’s decision to switch the dirdtion of her toilet roll. Whether this has a hitherto unexplained security benefit or — as we suspect — was simply added in as engagement bait continues to spark debate amongst her followers.

Spies On The Rise

These paranoid hacks all follow the news that, while holiday rentals might seem like quick, easy, and cost-effective holiday win, there may be hiding a surveillance secret that could add an eery edge to your next scheduled getaway…Here’s an exert from an article we wrote last year:

A recent study conducted by home security experts Vivint sheds light on the many possible security concerns surrounding vacation rentals. The study surveyed over 406 hosts and 602 guests and, in the process, uncovered some startling data that highlights the potential invasion of holidaymaker privacy and the real cost of unexpected property damages.

One of the most unsettling revelations from the study is that one in ten rental hosts admitted to having hidden cameras or microphones in their properties, totally unbeknownst to their guests. For travellers, this poses a significant breach of privacy, with 86% of surveyed guests quite rightly considering it to constitute a massive violation of their personal space. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that such surveillance is enough to deter nearly three-quarters (76%) of guests from staying in a vacation rental.

The Barker family went viral in 2019 after having a little fun with a hidden camera they found, as reported by CNN. Image: CNN

Furthermore, the study unveiled the grim reality of damages inflicted on rental properties by guests. 40% of hosts have encountered damages caused by guests, with 23% of hosts suspecting that the damage was intentional. On average, these damages amounted to $553 USD per home, presenting a significant financial burden for hosts. In response to these concerns, one in three rental hosts now screen prospective renters via their social media profiles, hoping to identify potentially problematic guests before they book in.

The study also explored rental hosts’ perspectives on guest behaviour. Unsurprisingly, families were ranked as the best guests, while groups of young people were regarded as the least desirable. To safeguard their properties against troublesome youngsters, hosts are investing significantly in alarm systems, regular property inspections, and smart locks with motion-activated lights. However, such measures come at considerable cost, with hosts spending an average of $1,427 USD on property security.

Do you think this paranoia is justified? or have we all lost our heads thanks to the influence of fear-mongering, engagement-baiting social media antics? Let us know what you think.