How old do you have to be to book a hotel room? The guide you need

  • Jun 24, 2024
How old do you have to be to book a hotel room? The guide you need

Booking a hotel room entails a straightforward procedure – you search for a hotel, check on the availability of rooms, make a booking, and arrive to check-in. However, if you are a young person, you might have some questions, for instance, is there an age limit to the booking of a room? According to some factors, the answer is the following one.

Currently, there are no statute laws in the United States that prescribe the right age for booking a hotel room. The check-in policies differ significantly depending on the hotel chosen when it comes to allowing unaccompanied minors below a certain age. Nonetheless, most hotels have the policy that guests have to be of at least 18 to 21 years of age while traveling alone.

This paper aims to determine what the law has to say about check-in age requirement that most hotels have put in place.

The Fire Safety Act of 1990 is a federal law that applies to hotels and motels and aims to ensure that they establish fire safe environment. Nevertheless, this law does not specify any minimum age limits of tenants in relation to room rentals. However, it is confined to features hotels should incorporate in the premises excluding the fire safety features.

As it has been seen, individual states also do not offer statutory rules governing the check-in age of guests. A few states placing some limitations on the types of products that can be sold (alcohol and marijuana) or car rentals for under 18 or 21 years of age. However, states have not established laws and legal requirements that define minimum ages for renting out hotel rooms.

However, the idea of check-in thresholds does not apply to legal age. Hotels are individual commercial enterprises who determine their own terms with regards to the age of the consumers they serve. All do have policies regarding the number of rooms that can be rented to persons below eighteen years of age who are not accompanied by adults.

A minimum age check-in policy refers to the physical carding policies that hotels usually set to prevent underage individuals from accessing their premises.

A majority of hotels worldwide have age restrictions and allow individuals who are 18 years and above to be served singly. A few of them permit check-in at a tender age but with specific conditions. And as for the 3-4 star hotels focusing on the business audience, some of them even have 21+ age restrictions for their guests. Here are typical hotel check-in policies:Here are typical hotel check-in policies:

- Companies such as Motel 6, Super 8, and Travelodge have policies that let guests under 18 years check in provided that a person who is at least 18 years is present.

- There are generally guest policies at mid-range chains including Best Western, Hyatt Place, and Holiday Inn Express where guests are allowed to check in if they are 18 years and above but depending on the location some chains allow guests who are 17 years of age and above to check in if accompanied by a guardian.

- Hilton, Marriott and Sheraton chain luxury hotels for example permit guests to check in single only if they are 18 years of age or older and in some cases 21 year of age or older.

- Many brands like Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, St Regis require guests to be of minimum check-in age of 21+.

Therefore, standard hotels oriented to the leisure guests accept the 18+ check-in. But many standard business and luxury hotels that have different clientèle and attracts the older generation may set their age limit at 21.

Hotel rooms are designed to be used by guests and because children lack the capacity to engage in activities appropriate to adulthood, it is important that hotels have a minimum age requirement that guests have to meet before they can book a room.

Motel are interested in accommodating as many guest as they can. However, they also have to mitigate risks, which are also crucial in business as a certain amount of risk has to be taken to achieve success. Letting very young guests check in alone can raise safety issues like:Letting very young guests check in alone can raise safety issues like:

- Minors drinking – It is just understandable that hotels do not want to facilitate underage consumption of alcohol in hotel rooms.

- Noisy activities – Certain guests are most probably going to disturb other guests with their loud music and noises at night.

- Damages – Some young travellers and tourists are reckless and end up breaking or damaging room fixtures or even vandalizing the room.

- Responsibility – In case of such misfortunate events, hotels do not wish to take legal responsibility in cases where guests are below the legal age.

- Security – While accommodating guests, hotel has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of guests and minimize risks.

To address these concerns, most of the hotels agree to provide reasonable check in age limit ranging from 18 to 21 years. These policies are designed that allows the accommodations to be as accessible as possible while maintaining good guest conduct.

In some hotels, you may be allowed to check in with a letter of consent from the parents, provided that you are below 18 years.

Many hotels that have a policy that they do not allow guests under 18 years of age to check-in do allow these guests to check-in, especially if they are 16 or 17 years old, but with a condition that they must provide proof that they are being accompanied by their parents. For instance, Hilton’s general rule is:For instance, Hilton’s general rule is:

“It is required that any person that checks into the hotel should be 18 years or above but the hotel may allow persons who are 16 or 17 years provided the guests check in with a parent or legal guardian.”

So if you’re 16 or 17, some hotels will allow check-in if your parent or guardian:So if you’re 16 or 17, some hotels will allow check-in if your parent or guardian:

- Ensures to get written consent from patient then calls the hotel ahead
- This is done by ensuring that the guest produces a valid photo ID when checking you in.
- Here, it willing to accept liability for your charges and damages

However, the cases of exclusion are very limited and can hardly be considered universal. It may be surprising to know that most hotels will not allow a child to be checked in even with their parents’ permission when it comes to the minimum age. It is important to note that even when a client makes a call in advance, they may not necessarily be approved.

Ever Thought of Booking and Not Check-In?

Check in policies determine the age of the guest at which they arrive at the hotel to complete the registration in person. However, how did the necessity of an initial room booking get started?

As mentioned earlier, most of the hotels do permit free online or phone bookings for anyone with a valid credit card irrespective of his / her age. You probably might be able to book a room online at any of these ages.

The minimum age rules come into play only later at the time of in-person check-in or booking service. This enables the underaged individuals to also be able to compare different available service providers and make bookings of rooms in advance with their 18+ parent or guardian to check-in later.

So here are some quick pointers to make sure you get to book rooms under 18:

That being said, there are ways on how young travelers can secure hotel accommodations even if most of the major chains do not permit guests under 18 to check-in alone. Potential approaches include:

- Convince your parents to book it in their name and card even if you are the one who will be using the room. So long like you are above the check-in age for example 18 then the hotel will give you your room key in any case.

- Book third-party through sites like Expedia where it is possible to make a reservation without the necessity to provide personal information and credit card belong to a minor during the checkout process. Once again, just like before, there are then specific requirements for standard check-in protocols that you must meet.

- It is also useful to look at other types of accommodation such as Airbnb, VRBO, hostels, and camps because they can have more relaxed age restrictions compared to hotels. For instance, check-in at Hostelling International locations is only possible if the client is at least 16 years of age.

- Contact individual hotels in different regions, especially inns for smaller accommodations and see if they would make an exception for young individuals or if a parent or guardian would be willing to sign for them.

The Choice Is Yours

Most hotels adhere to standardized procedures that come with brand guidelines that establish age limits on check-ins that can be alone, for example, 18+ or 21+. This is as it ensures business aspects are well catered for as well as practical safety and liability measures are put in place. However, if you are younger, you will not get a problem as there are still many booking possibilities through the parents or third parties as well as the various types of accommodation.

It is up to the hotels to decide which check-in age policy suits them best as there is no conclusive answer to this problem. Thus, it can be calculated that while choosing a place for rest, it is enough to read the rules of each property and then decide whether you got the necessary opportunity and options there. Safe travels!