It’s easier to rest when you feel safe.

While the vast majority of hotels and vacation rentals are safe, occasionally a story will surface about a guest discovering they’ve been secretly filmed by hidden cameras. Fortunately, a recent viral video shows people how to spot possible recording devices.

The video was uploaded to TikTok by Marcus Hutchins, using the screen name Malwaretech. Since last week, it has garnered more than 15 million views.

The advice is actually quite simple.


The first step, according to the video, is to check around the room for any devices that have been placed in areas where it could possibly record something. In the video, the example used is a smoke detector placed directly over the bed. An alarm clock could also be pointed at the bed.

The next step involves physically checking the devices for cameras. In the video, several objects in the room have been fitted with tiny spy cameras to show off how small these items can be. At one point, the footage reveals that a hidden camera has been placed in a USB outlet brick.


Cameras can be detected by simply shining a light on the device. A camera lens will reflect blue, for example, when placed directly under a flashlight. A light can also be used to reveal cameras hidden behind mirrored edges (such as the front of an alarm clock or even a possible double-sided mirror).


Another way someone staying in a room can find hidden cameras is to look for IR sensors on devices, which may show that a camera with night vision is in the device. Guests can also purchase RF (radio frequency) detecting devices to pick up any signals that devices may be broadcasting. 

Summer travel was the big bounce-back story for 2021, with Covid-weary American travelers spending $6 billion on domestic flights in June alone, swapping screen time for downtime.

The delta variant of the coronavirus rapidly changed all that.

Domestic online flight bookings in July fell to $5.26 billion, a 13 percent decline from the previous month and 16 percent below 2019 levels, according to data from Adobe’s Digital Economy Index.

And August numbers are falling even faster: In just the first three weeks of the month, August 1-21, $2.9 billion was spent online for domestic flights. That’s 33 percent below the same period in 2019.

The numbers show that “U.S. consumers are taking the Delta variant seriously and once again shifting their travel plans,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “At the current rate, we expect spend in the month of August to be significantly under July.”

Reports from other parts of the travel industry tell the same story.

American Airlines said last week that August revenue was coming in lower than expected because Covid cases were driving down bookings, the company’s chief revenue officer told a Raymond James investor conference. Other airlines, including Southwest, Frontier, and Spirit, have issued similar warnings.

A recent survey of 1,000 American travelers by Longwoods International market research company showed that almost two-thirds of travelers surveyed said they are changing their trip plans because of the coronavirus, up from 43 percent two months ago.

Leo MacLeod and his wife, Lisa LaManna, who plan to hike the Camino de Santiago pilgrim route in Spain, told NBC News they are altering their vacation plans due to Covid.

“We were going to stop in Paris on the way over, but because France has such stringent Covid-19 restrictions and we’re worried about crossing borders with the delta variant raging, we decided to skip France and go straight to Spain,” MacLeod said.

In addition to travelers changing plans, Longwoods found that 36 percent of American travelers surveyed said they have postponed travel to either later this year, or early next year, because of the delta variant. That is up 24 percent from just one month ago.

“The summer travel boom is at risk of stalling out as we move into fall,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International.

Fueling the drop-off is news that Hawaii’s governor is asking visitors not to travel to the state, and more cities are bring back their mask mandates and requiring proof of Covid vaccinations to enter dining and entertainment venues.

“The late-summer drop-off in new flight bookings is happening sooner and sharper right now than it had pre-pandemic,” Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, told NBC.

But Keyes say there is a silver lining. “This softening in new travel purchases is driving airlines to put their thumb on the scale and spur new bookings by slashing airfares to entice travel bargain hunters,” he said. “Airlines are also offering free flexibility to basic economy ticket holders for the

If you’re worried about the latest rise in COVID-19 cases, or the possibility of yet another surge, then you’re probably thinking about canceling your next vacation. And you might be wondering: How do the professionals call the whole thing off?

It turns out travel advisers have learned a new set of skills during the pandemic, at least when it comes to canceling a trip. And it’s not just how they cancel but when. Along the way, they’ve also picked up some insights into how to ensure a trip is cancelable in the first place.

► International travel restrictions:  What to do before your next trip

Stay off the phone

Here’s one trick the pros learned after COVID-19: Never call to cancel a trip. If you tried, then you already know what happens. A cheerful voice announces that the next available representative will assist you … in six hours. I’ve even heard from travelers who had to wait up to half a day to talk to someone

Travel professionals say it’s better to cancel online or by email. It’s fast and you’ll receive a confirmation by email, which is essential to ensure that the cancellation has been processed. Otherwise, I hope you’re patient.

► ‘Current hold time is eight hours and 31 minutes’:  Travelers face frustrating waits to reach airlines

Read the terms and conditions

“The best way to cancel an already booked trip is to check the terms and conditions and read the fine print for penalties,” says Matthew Kondrup, president of Matty K Travel Group, a travel agency in Wantagh, New York.

He says while many companies are accommodating when a traveler has to cancel a trip because they have COVID-19 or another illness, they’re less understanding when your reason for canceling is because you’re nervous about traveling. You’ll find out about your rights to cancel in the fine print of your purchased policy.

Know your rights

If you cancel planned travel, you normally have to pay some kind of penalty. But if the company cancels your trip, you may be entitled to a full – and fast – refund. A lot of people don’t know this and accept a credit when an airline or cruise line cancels.

“Most Americans aren’t aware that they can usually get a refund when an airline cancels,” says Kunal Sawhney, CEO of the Kalkine Group. Your rights to a refund are spelled out in the airline’s contract of carriage or the cruise line’s ticket contract. It’s definitely worth reading before you try to cancel.

► Canceling or postponing a flight due to COVID-19 delta variant?  What to know about airline ticket policies

How to get a refund instead of a credit:   You’re entitled to one if your flight was canceled

Review the COVID-19 loopholes

Many companies have made special allowances for COVID-19-related cancellations. The terms are often prominently displayed on their websites, so you can’t miss them. Just in case you do, they’re also

Michele Liedtke has been prepping since February for her first vacation in two years, when she and her best friend from eighth grade booked a Maui vacation package.

Liedtke, a veterans’ home nurse, bought new luggage, swimsuits, outfits and gear for a boat tripshe booked to Molokini, the crescent-shaped crater popular with snorkelers.

She also joined a Maui Facebook group forCOVID-19 travel tips, and even changed the background on her phone to a photo of tropical fish.

On Wednesday, sheleft the group andswapped out the aquatic photo.

The weeklong Hawaii trip, due to begin the day after Labor Day, is off. Liedtke canceled the vacation two days after Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a plea for tourists to avoid travel to the state through October due to a surge in COVID-19 cases straining the state’s already limited hospital capacity. She was able to cancel her Costco vacation package but was charged a $400 cancellation fee. 

“I can’t even look at look at pictures of Hawaii right now,” she said. “I can’t even think about it.”

Liedtke, who is fully vaccinatedagainst COVID-19, said she felt “morally obligated” to cancel the vacation. But she also feared hostility from residents if she and her friend were to visit now. 

As a nurse in a facility with a surge in COVID-19 cases, she’s no stranger to how to protect against COVID-10.

“I take care of COVID people all the time,” she said. “I teach people how to use PPE correctly. There’s no way I’m taking COVID to that island. ‘But there’s no way that they’re going to know that by looking at me.”

Hawaii ticket holders are being confronted with travel calculus in the wake of the governor’s request and a proposal by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino that tourists who do come voluntarily limit their activities to their resort.

Hawaii governor announcement: What it means for tourists

The math is complicated by several factors: Hawaii has not changed its already strict entry requirements and is not banning tourists or shutting down as it did earlier in the pandemic; the strict refund policies of airlines, hotels, vacation rentals, car rentals and activities, especially for last-minute cancellations; and views on COVID-19 risks and the governor’s previous statements that most cases are tied to residents not visitors.

USA TODAY interviewed several travelers about their Hawaii plans. Some rushed to cancel trips, including babymoons, weddings and long-awaited vacations. Others plan to go unless the state implements a formal shutdown or severe restrictions like closed beaches or resort bubbles. Others still remain frustratingly on the fence.

Boston couple going ahead with Hawaii plans: ‘We’re not going to lose the money we invested in it’

Leslie Reitz and her boyfriend have tickets to fly from Boston to Maui on Thursday, a vacation they booked in May. The 20-somethings prefer international travel, but opted for Hawaii this year because Europe’s reopening was in flux, and Hawaii offers a mix of relaxation and adventure.

When she

adventures by disney disneyland

Credit: Adventures by Disney

Disney just dropped some magical news for The Happiest Place on Earth! You can officially start booking 2022 Disneyland vacations now. Here’s what you need to know if you want to travel to Disney anytime next year!

Remember: We always recommend booking a Disneyland vacation package with an Authorized Disney Vacaiton Planner at Academy Travel. Click here to book! 

Credit: Disney

The latest update in Disney travel news is a very exciting one! As of today, Disneyland Resort — the Disney Parks and Resorts in Anaheim, California, and the original Disney vacation destination — vacation packages can be booked for arrivals from January 1 through December 31, 2022.

The best part? You can book a Disneyland vacation package far in advance whether you are staying on property at a Disney-owned and operated hotel (Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa) or off-property at a Disney-recommended partner hotel, AKA a Good Neighbor Hotel. While the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort offer amazing perks, there are many Good Neighbor Hotels that are much mroe affordable (and are a short walk from the Parks).

Disneyland Ticket
Credit: ITM Krysten S.

Remember that at this time, a valid theme park reservation as well as valid theme park admission (a theme park ticket, or, as soon as they launch on Wednesday, August 25, a Magic Key Pass, the new Annual Pass) are required in order to enter Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park. Keep this in mind when booking!

Main Street USA at disneyland
Credit: Inside the Magic

If you want to eliminate all of your worries when planning, we highly recommend booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, an ultimate Disney expert who can plan every aspect of your trip to The Happiest Place on Earth.

With all of the operational changes that have occurred at the Disney Parks and Resorts — including at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, which reopened on April 30, 2021 — in the past year, it is comforting to know you have a Disney travel agent on your side who can navigate it all for you. Click here to book a trip!

Avengers campus at night disney California adventure
Credit: Inside the Magic

Do you have any plans to visit Disneyland, the original Maigc Kingdom, in 2022? Or are you planning to visit sooner so you can experience the magic of Halloween Time this fall or the beauty of the holiday season in late 2021? Share your dream vacation plans with us in the comments!

“People who have a foreign passport or visa to enter the US are voting with their feet, with more people flying than usual in August,” said Ziontours Jerusalem CEO Mark Feldman.

“People that would have otherwise gone to Italy or London are going to the United States,” Feldman said. “Planes to the States are much, much fuller than they usually are this summer. People do not want to risk Europe. And airline ticket prices are very cheap because of the fact that there are no tourists. It’s actually cheaper for a family of four to go to the United States for 10 days than to go to Greece, because ticket prices are so low,” he said.

That is a different reality than was expected two months ago, when Israeli hotels were filling up faster than usual because people didn’t want to deal with the inconveniences of flying during the pandemic. But the surge in demand means hotels are now completely booked for August, and prices for rooms that remain are sky-high.

Meanwhile, European countries are increasing travel restrictions again due to concerns about the fast-spreading Delta variant. The UK is requiring travelers from certain countries to self-quarantine for ten days regardless of their vaccination status, and there are fears that Israel could be added to that list soon. Other countries are closing their borders to visitors from certain “red” countries. And Israel has its own list of countries that citizens are barred from visiting without special permission, including Spain, South Africa, India, and others.

“Two months ago, Greece and Cyprus had delegations here, and their hotels were sending marketing teams here, because vacationing there is always cheaper than staying at Israeli hotels,” Feldman said. “But now, that has completely changed. It ended when we said that kids who weren’t vaccinated had to quarantine for 14 days, and even lowering that to seven days didn’t change that. It’s not worth going abroad for a five-day package when the kids have to quarantine for seven days afterward.”

That makes a trip to the US, where there are no mandatory quarantine requirements, the only viable vacation option for many, including those who had ruled out the idea of traveling just a few months earlier.

Israel has asked that people refrain from all unnecessary travel this summer to help keep the coronavirus variants out. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that last week as a request, not an order, that the airport should be closed completely to non-essential travel. Voices within the Health Ministry have already come out in favor of this initiative.

“Saying things like that is truly irresponsible,” Feldman said. “It’s causing real panic among people. There’s no reason to close the airport. There should be more consideration about enforcing the quarantine. If experts are saying that the test before the plane and the test when you land

(CNN) — Ryan Carlson was in the middle of a backpacking trip in New Zealand when he got the email: North Korea was opening its borders to American tourists.

It was September 2005. Carlson, 25, worked in finance as an independent futures trader in Chicago, a job that afforded him a lot of flexibility for travel.

The email, from Beijing-based company Koryo Tours, confirmed trips for US residents would be offered again for the next four weekends only.

Carlson abandoned his New Zealand adventure, flew back to Chicago, organized his visa, then hopped on a plane to Beijing to meet the Koryo Tours group.

Meanwhile, 30-year-old Shauna Cheng was flicking through an English-language magazine published in Beijing when she happened upon an advert for Koryo Tours’ North Korea journeys.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Cheng had temporarily moved to China for work, keen to experience life in Beijing and learn Mandarin along the way.

A trip to North Korea seemed like an unusual and intriguing travel opportunity.

“Why not?” Cheng thought, and booked a place on the trip.

A plane to Pyongyang

Ryan-and-Shauna-Chance-Encounters (12)

Cheng and Carlson visited North Korea on an organized tour in 2005. They returned in 2008, when they took this photo.

Courtesy Ryan Carlson and Shauna Cheng Carlson

On October 8, 2005, the American tourists gathered in Beijing, made their introductions and boarded a plane to Pyongyang, buzzing with energy and anticipation.

“There was a lot of excitement. We’re taking off on this adventure. We don’t know what it’s going to be and it’s nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Carlson recalls.

Cheng and Carlson sat next to each other on the bus from Pyongyang airport to the hotel.

“Ryan seemed like a nice guy with good energy,” recalls Cheng.

The two chatted a bit about Singapore — Cheng’s parents were from there and Carlson had recently visited — but most of the conversation was about what might await them in North Korea.

“I’m not like some smooth operator,” says Carlson. “It was just kind of sharing that excitement together — and it wasn’t just between us, it was just the whole entire group was really happy.”

Cheng and Carlson were the two youngest among the American travelers.

“Everyone had a unique story,” says Carlson of the group, among whom he recalls a Soviet dissident who was interested in seeing another communist country.

The focus of the trip was watching the Arirang Mass Games, described by Koryo Tours on its website as a spectacle of “100,000 dancers, gymnasts and musicians working in perfect synchronization.”

Carlson calls the event “absolutely breathtaking.”

For Cheng, the highlight was seeing the north side of the border at Panmunjom, which divides North and South Korea.

“It was so interesting how the spaces between buildings had South Korean soldiers standing in between and also I could see the American military advisers in the building watching us through their binoculars,” she recalls.

Tourism in North Korea is strictly controlled by the government

Travel across the United States is booming. But it’s also busting wallets. 

Hotel rooms are returning to pre-pandemic pricing, up 36% on average. Gas is averaging $3.14 a gallon — the highest it’s been since 2014. In some cities, it’s over $5 a gallon. The cost of rental cars is up 86%. Airfares have also increased. 

“You have airfares going up at the rate of about 10% a week,” said CBS News senior travel adviser Peter Greenberg. “There’s some coach airfares in this country now that are actually more expensive than business class fares going to Europe.”

Greenberg said travelers are also dealing with overbooked and canceled flights. 

Jade Towery, who runs her own Airbnb, said her bookings are finally resurging. “I hear that from my guests, ‘Yeah, it was hard to find places. There’s not enough out there,'” Towery said. 

A lack of accommodations isn’t the only problem. Many hotels are short-staffed. Juan Bravo, who is in charge of revenue at the W Hollywood, said the entire industry is struggling to hire back employees who were laid off during the pandemic. 

“We’re running hotels at 100% speed with 60 or 70% of the staff,” Bravo said. “We saw a lot of people in the industry start exploring alternate career paths.” 

Bravo said travelers also shouldn’t expect deals on hotel rooms. “They should have taken advantage last year,” he said. 

“It’s a perfect storm of bad planning, staff shortages and pent up demand roaring back earlier than anybody thought,” Greenberg said. “You put those three things together, this summer is nuts.” 

Travel can do wonders for the soul. It can also do a number on your body.

The very word originates from “travail,” or “painful or laborious effort,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Painful, indeed, as stress, jet lag, cramped airplane seats, new foods and exhaustion all conspire to test your physical limits.

Almost 48 million Americans are expected to travel during the 2021 Fourth of July holiday period — from Thursday through Monday — the second most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend since AAA began tracking the numbers. This represents a near return to pre-pandemic levels and an increase of almost 40% compared to 2020, the organization said.

Here are common symptoms you may experience while traveling this summer and tips to stay healthy during your journey:

1. Vacation constipation

You may notice your bathroom habits change quite a bit once you hit the road. When a regular routine suddenly becomes anything but, it can cause discomfort and concern.

“Many people experience constipation when they travel,” said NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.

There are several possible reasons why.

Eating habits: You may be eating less fiber and drinking less water, all of which contributes to travel constipation, Azar noted. Try to stay well hydrated and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Disruption of your daily routine: Maybe you’re waking up later or skipping a favorite workout. Try to re-establish your everyday rhythm, she advised. If you’re used to having a bowel movement in the morning, try and recreate the setting for that to happen with a similar meal or exercise routine you would normally have at home.


Jet lag: When zipping through time zones turns night into morning and morning into night, it will take a few days to get your system back on track.

“Safe toilet syndrome:” Psychology plays a role, too. Your body has to relax to go to the bathroom, but that’s hard when you’re in a new, unfamiliar environment, causing irregularity when you’re away from home, Dr. Mehmet Oz told Then, there’s “shy bowel” syndrome, or the fear of going to the bathroom when other people are nearby. Public restrooms on planes, in airports and hotels may cause some travelers to “hold it in,” further disrupting their routine.

2. Menstrual cycle changes

Many women find a trip abroad will delay or shorten their period, or even cause them to skip a cycle, so don’t be surprised if the timing is a little unusual.

The menstrual cycle is controlled by the coordinated secretion of different hormones, which can be affected by changes in your circadian rhythm, or your internal body clock, Azar said. Jet lag really messes with your body, including the reproductive system.

“In other words, a shift in your body clock can cause a change in reproductive hormones that affect ovulation and menstruation,” she noted.

“Keep this in mind when you travel if you are NOT planning a pregnancy!”

3. Swollen

By DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Airlines and holiday providers on Friday expressed frustration with the U.K.’s plans to ease travel restrictions, saying uncertainty about how and when the new rules will be implemented make it difficult for people to book summer vacations.

The government on Thursday expanded its “green list” of safe travel destinations, allowing people to visit without having to self-isolate for 10 days after returning to Britain. However, all but one of the new additions were also placed on a watchlist, meaning the quarantine requirement may be re-imposed at short notice.

Transportation authorities also said they intend to relax travel restrictions by allowing fully vaccinated travelers to visit higher-risk destinations, including the U.S. and most of the European Union, without having to self-isolate. They expect to implement this change “later in the summer.”

“The U.K. has already fallen behind the EU’s reopening, and a continued overly cautious approach will further impact economic recovery and the 500,000 U.K. jobs that are at stake,” said Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, which offers mainly long-haul flights to destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Barbados.

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Airlines and hospitality companies have pressured the government to ease travel restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 following the U.K.’s successful vaccination program. The pandemic has devastated Britain’s travel industry, with the number of people flying through London’s Heathrow Airport, the nation’s busiest, plunging 73% last year.

The government has created a traffic light system to manage the reopening of air travel. Destinations with low levels of COVID-19 and high levels of vaccination are placed on the “green list,” which allows pleasure trips and doesn’t require self-isolation on return to Britain. Only essential travel is permitted to “amber list” countries, but travelers must self-isolate for 10 days when they return home. The government has banned most travel to destinations on the “red list,” and anyone arriving from one of these countries faces a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel at their own expense.

The lists are updated every three weeks.

The Department for Transport said Thursday night that the expansion of the green list and plans to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers were the result of the successful vaccination program. Almost 61% of U.K. adults are fully vaccinated, and 83% have received at least one dose.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said caution was still required.

“It won’t be quite like it was in 2019 and the old days, but we are moving in a positive direction,” Shapps told Sky News.

Public health authorities are concerned about the possibility that travelers may spread potentially more dangerous variants of COVID-19 to the U.K. from countries with low vaccination rates. The delta variant, first identified in India, has already become the dominant version of the virus in Britain.

Regardless of U.K. policy, officials in the European Union are considering imposing a quarantine on British travelers because of their concerns about the delta