Initially, family vacations with young children typically involved driving to a beach, pitching a tent, and enjoying the water. However, as the children grew older, families began to seek more upscale travel experiences and discovered the convenience of hotels.
Unlike at home, where kids were not allowed in the pool after 8pm, hotels allowed them to stay up as late as they desired. This was just the beginning of a larger trend.
Although most American families spend at least one night in a hotel each year, things have evolved over time. The minimum age requirement for hotel stays varies depending on the location and country, prompting the question: what is the minimum age for renting a hotel room?
While most lodging providers require guests to be at least 18 years old, this age requirement is being modified in many countries.
How old do you have to be to get a hotel room?
The United States has the most stringent laws regarding minors staying in hotels. Anyone under 18 years old is required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, unless they are married. In contrast, other countries such as Japan and Mexico only apply this rule to children under the age of 12.
The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is even more flexible in its policies. Young individuals can stay in a hotel alone starting from the age of 16, or they can travel with an adult who is not a family member or spouse.
Why Is There a Minimum Age to Check-In into a Hotel?
There are several reasons why hotels may have a minimum age requirement for check-in, which typically ranges from 18 to 21 years old. Here are a few potential reasons:
- Legal Liability: Hotels have a legal responsibility to protect their guests and their property. If a minor were to cause damage to the hotel or to another guest’s property, the hotel may be held liable for any resulting costs or damages.
- Safety: Hotels may have safety concerns related to minors staying alone in a hotel room. For example, minors may be more vulnerable to accidents or injuries, or may be at risk of being targeted by criminals or other predatory individuals.
- Age Restrictions on Room Service and Amenities: Some hotels may have age restrictions on room service, spa services, or access to certain amenities like pools or fitness centers. These restrictions are typically in place to ensure the safety of guests and to comply with local regulations.
- Age Restrictions on Booking: Some hotels may have age restrictions on booking a room, even if the guest is accompanied by an adult. This may be due to concerns about fraud or other legal or regulatory requirements.
It’s worth noting that the minimum age requirement can vary by hotel and by location, so it’s always a good idea to check with the specific hotel you’re interested in staying at to confirm their policy.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Check into a Hotel?
As a child, one of the most exciting ideas for an adventure is checking into a hotel. It makes you feel grown-up and special, and it’s all thanks to the registration desk. However, hotels are not as lenient as they used to be, especially when it comes to the minimum age requirement for check-in.
Hotels are required to follow various regulations, and some may even ask for identification during check-in. Even if they don’t, they may request a credit card or another form of identification with your name on it.
Most hotels and resorts in the United States have policies regarding the minimum age requirement for checking into a room, but some websites have different policies. Many hotels have different requirements for adult-only rooms and family rooms, and only a few may ask for identification as proof of age during check-in.
The age of consent for minors varies depending on the state where they plan to stay. It’s essential to check the list of states that have specific laws regarding the minimum age requirement for staying in a hotel without an adult before traveling.
Booking a Hotel Versus Checking In
Booking a hotel and checking in are two different steps in the process of staying at a hotel.
Booking a hotel is the process of making a reservation in advance of your stay. This usually involves selecting the dates of your stay, the type of room you want, and providing payment information to secure your reservation. You can usually book a hotel online, over the phone, or through a travel agent.
Checking in is the process of arriving at the hotel and completing the necessary paperwork to officially begin your stay. While booking a hotel is typically done in advance of your stay, checking in usually happens on the day of your arrival.
Once you have checked in, you will receive a room key or key card that will give you access to your room and the hotel’s amenities.
What Do You Need When Checking into a Hotel?
When checking into a hotel, you typically need to provide the following items and information:
- Identification: You will usually need to provide a valid government-issued ID, such as a passport, driver’s license, or state ID. This is to confirm your identity and ensure that you are the person who made the reservation.
- Payment Information: You will typically need to provide a valid credit card, which will be authorized for incidentals and any charges that may occur during your stay. Some hotels may also accept cash or debit cards, but it’s always best to check with the specific hotel you plan to stay at to confirm their accepted forms of payment.
- Reservation Details: You may be asked to provide proof of your reservation, such as a printed or digital copy of your confirmation email or reservation number.
- Contact Information: You may be asked to provide your contact information, such as your phone number and email address, to ensure that the hotel can contact you if necessary.
- Vehicle Information: If you plan to park a vehicle on the hotel’s property, you may be asked to provide the make, model, and license plate number of your vehicle.
It’s always a good idea to check with the specific hotel you plan to stay at to confirm their check-in requirements and any additional information they may need. By providing the necessary items and information, you can ensure a smooth check-in process and a comfortable stay at your hotel.
The 18 Versus 21 Age Requirement to Check into a Hotel
For a long time, the hotel industry has set a minimum age requirement of 21 for checking into a hotel, citing safety concerns and a desire to safeguard underage customers from any possible negative consequences of staying in a hotel.
However, many individuals have challenged this age requirement over the years, arguing that several 18-year-olds can make their own choices and looking after themselves without supervision.
Hotel guests may feel confused and uncomfortable when asked to provide their age during check-in because most hotels have an age limit for checking in. While hotels cater to people of all ages, hotel staff often aim to restrict the number of children checking in.
Although this is not a legal obligation, it is a widely accepted practice among hotel staff and can be leveraged to the advantage of the traveler.