After making plans for a big trip, booking a hotel reservation, then traveling hours to get to your destination, it can be frustrating when you arrive at the hotel counter, and they tell you that you’re too young to check in. How old do you need to be to stay on your own at a hotel?
Some hotels require you to be at least 21 so that they can avoid high insurance rates. They also want to avoid issues like underage drinking and damage to hotel property. Perhaps they want to attract a more mature clientele, so they don’t want younger patrons.
This article will cover some reasons why some hotels require you to be at least 21 and will give you other options to explore if you don’t meet the age requirement.
Reasons Why Hotels Require You To Be at Least 21
Some hotels have a minimum age requirement of 21, while others require you to be at least 18.
You can usually find the minimum age requirement on the hotel’s website, but if you’re still unsure, call the specific hotel as requirements vary from state to state. In some places, the minimum age requirement is as high as 25.
Let’s talk more in detail about these reasons.
Hotels Want To Avoid More Expensive Insurance Rates
Raising the minimum age requirement helps the hotel avoid higher insurance rates. The age requirement helps avoid attracting irresponsible or immature guests, which could lead to accidents and damage to hotel property and more expensive insurance rates.
If you’re traveling alone as a minor and something happens to you during your stay, the hotel could be held responsible.
It’s easier for them to avoid the problem altogether by requiring you to be at least 18.
Hotels Want To Avoid Liability for Serving Alcohol to Minors
Some hotels have a minibar in the hotel room or a bar on the premises. The minimum age requirement of 21 protects the hotel from being liable for any issues related to underage drinking.
If the hotel allows someone under the age of 21 to check in and use the minibar, they could be responsible for serving alcohol to a minor.
Minors Cannot Be Held Responsible for Entering Contracts
According to travel site Skyscanner, checking into a hotel is like signing a contract. If a minor causes damage to their room or doesn’t pay their bill, it would be tough for the hotel to hold them legally accountable.
Hotels Might Want To Attract a More Mature Clientele
Some hotels and resorts have a “no kids” policy. These kinds of hotels might be popular as honeymoon destinations or advertise themselves as quiet, relaxing getaways. Increasing the age requirement ensures that the hotel keeps its promise to deliver a comfortable atmosphere for all guests.
Some hotels also want to avoid attracting immature clientele.
For the most part, a higher minimum age requirement helps the hotel avoid problems like noise disturbances, damage to hotel property, or loud parties.
A higher minimum age requirement is more common in cities that are known for being party destinations. If a hotel also has a casino and bar, it’s unlikely that they would allow underage guests to check in.
What Do You Need To Check Into a Hotel?
You need a legal ID, like a valid driver’s license, when you want to check into a hotel. You should expect that the front desk will look at your age when you check in. You will also need a credit card or debit card in your name at check-in.
Generally, the hotel wants to be sure that you can be held liable for any issues, which is why they require a valid ID and a credit or debit card. It’s rare for a hotel to accept cash because if you check out and leave damage to the room or take something from the minibar, they cannot charge you for damage or extra expenses.
Not Every Hotel Requires You To Be at Least 21
The minimum age requirements differ from state to state, but not all hotels require you to be at least 21. Smaller, boutique hotels and motels, especially if they are not owned by a hotel chain, usually have more lax rules regarding age limits.
As a general rule, the more expensive the hotel, the higher the minimum age requirement. In some places, the requirement is as high as 25.
Airbnb has been growing in popularity in recent years and has a minimum age requirement of 18. It has a non-discrimination policy, so a host cannot set their own age requirements.
As long as you’re at least 18, a host cannot turn you away because of your age.
While hostels aren’t as common in the US as they are in Europe, they usually cater to a younger clientele. Some hostels allow guests to be as young as 16, and are budget-friendly.
They are a popular choice for students who want to travel without breaking the bank.
A hotel chain’s age requirements vary from state to state, so it’s better to directly call the hotel where you plan to stay instead of relying on their website’s information. When you check into your hotel, the last thing you want is to be turned away because you don’t meet the age requirements and didn’t check with the hotel beforehand.
Most hotels will offer an exception to the over-21 rule if you are active military personnel and you have valid identification.
However, this won’t be the case for every hotel, so always check before making a reservation.
Some hotels require you to be at least 21 to avoid issues like underage drinking and damage to hotel property.
Because checking into a hotel is like entering a contract, they want to be sure that you can be held responsible for any damages you might cause. The hotel also wants to avoid higher insurance rates. Some hotels might also want to cater to an older clientele to ensure a relaxing atmosphere.
Always check the hotel’s specific requirements before booking your reservation so that you avoid being turned away because of your age.