Can you Book a Hotel at 18

Traveling is a liberating experience, especially for young adults eager to explore the world. A common query that often arises among these enthusiastic travelers is about age restrictions when it comes to hotel bookings. While the image of getting your keys to a hotel room and enjoying a stay in a new city is enticing, the reality can sometimes be more complex.

Planning a trip and wondering if, can you Book a Hotel at 18? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, you can check into a hotel at 18. 

For many young travelers, stepping out into the world alone or with friends represents freedom, maturity, and the commencement of their adult journey. However, finding out one might be too young to book a hotel room can quickly put a damper on travel plans. This makes understanding age-related hotel booking restrictions crucial for this age group. Not only does it help in planning, but it also ensures that young adventurers are not left stranded in unfamiliar places.

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Legal Age of Majority

Explanation of the Age of Majority:

The “age of majority” is a legally recognized age at which an individual is considered an adult, capable of taking on responsibilities and rights. At this age, a person is no longer considered a minor and can enter into legal contracts, vote, and more, without parental consent. One might assume that reaching this age would automatically grant them the right to book a hotel room. However, the reality isn’t always so straightforward.

How it Varies from one Country or State to Another:

The age of majority isn’t universal. In many countries, like the United States, Canada, and the UK, the age of majority is 18. However, within countries, especially federations like the U.S., individual states may have different laws regarding specific rights and responsibilities for young adults. For instance, while 18-year-olds can vote in all U.S. states, they might not be able to purchase alcohol until 21.

Similarly, a hotel in one state might welcome 18-year-olds, while another in a neighboring state might have a policy set at 21. This divergence is even more pronounced internationally. In some countries, the age of majority might be set at 19, 20, or even 21. This variation can create a patchwork of policies for young travelers to navigate, making prior research an essential component of travel planning.

Read More: How to Optimize Hotel Operations

General Policies of Major Hotel Chains

Hotels that Allow 18-year-olds to Book:

Many major hotel chains understand the needs of young travelers and allow 18-year-olds to book rooms. For instance, establishments like Holiday Inn, Best Western, and Marriott, in several locations, might permit those 18 and up to reserve rooms. However, it’s worth noting that the policies can differ based on the individual hotel or its location even within the same chain.

Hotels that Require Guests to be Older, Typically 21 or 25:

Conversely, there are several renowned chains and luxury hotels that impose a stricter age limit. Hotels like Hilton and Hyatt may often set the minimum age requirement at 21. Moreover, certain upscale resorts or locations in prime nightlife areas might set their age bar even higher at 25. The reasons for such restrictions often revolve around maintaining a particular ambiance, reducing potential liabilities, or past experiences with younger guests.

Importance of Checking Specific Hotel Policies Before Booking:

Given the variability in age restrictions, it’s of paramount importance for young travelers to check the specific policies of a hotel before making any reservations. Many a trip has been marred by unexpected check-in denials due to age. Reading the fine print, or making a quick call to the hotel, can save a lot of hassle.

Reasons Behind Age Restrictions

Reasons Behind Age Restrictions

Security Concerns:

Hotels are always eager to ensure the safety and security of their guests and property. Younger guests, especially large groups, are sometimes perceived as more likely to engage in unruly behavior, potentially disturbing other guests or even risking property damage.

Financial Responsibility and Potential Damages:

Young adults might not yet have a stable financial footing. Hotels sometimes fear potential payment issues or the inability of these guests to cover incidental costs or damages, leading to stricter age policies.

Past Experiences with Younger Guests:

A few bad apples can spoil the bunch. Some hotels might have implemented stricter age policies due to negative past experiences with younger guests, such as disturbances, unpaid bills, or property damage.

Read Also: What Time is Check-in at Hotels

Tips for Young Travelers Aged 18

  • Contacting hotels in advance to confirm their policies: One of the simplest yet most effective strategies is to directly call and confirm a hotel’s age policy before booking. This ensures there are no surprises upon arrival.
  • Considering alternative accommodations (e.g., hostels, Airbnb): If mainstream hotels don’t align with age requirements, young travelers can explore options like hostels, which are often more accommodating and budget-friendly. Platforms like Airbnb might also offer suitable alternatives, although it’s vital to check host policies there as well.
  • Being prepared with necessary identification and documentation: Always travel with valid identification. For international travelers, this means a valid passport. Some hotels might also ask for additional identification or proof of age.
  • Understanding potential additional requirements (e.g., credit card in own name): Hotels often require a credit card for potential incidental charges. It’s beneficial for young travelers to have a card in their name. Understanding the deposit or hold amount, which can be higher for younger guests, is equally crucial.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Facing Rejection Based on Age:

Challenge: Nothing dampens the excitement of a trip like being turned away from a hotel due to age restrictions, especially after a long day of travel.

Solution: Always have a backup plan. Research nearby hotels or accommodations that have known, lenient age policies. Mobile apps and platforms dedicated to last-minute bookings can also be a lifesaver in these scenarios.

Dealing with Higher Deposits or Hold Amounts:

Challenge: Young travelers might be surprised by the hefty deposit amounts or holds placed on their cards, which can restrict their spending capacity during their stay.

Solution: Research and enquire about deposits before booking. Ensure you have sufficient credit or funds to cover these amounts. Some hotels might also accept cash deposits, but always check their policies in advance.

Recommendations on Handling Situations Professionally and Maturely:

When confronted with unexpected challenges or policies, it’s essential to remain calm and composed. A mature response can sometimes sway hotel staff to assist or offer solutions. Avoid confrontational behavior; instead, ask for clarifications politely and express any concerns in a non-aggressive manner. Remember, hotel staff are more likely to help those who approach them with respect.

Also Read: How Old do you Have to be to Get a Hotel Room

International Considerations

Variations in Hotel Booking Age Restrictions by Country:

Different countries have their own set of rules when it comes to hotel bookings. For instance, some European countries might have a lower age threshold, while Asian countries could be stricter. Always incorporate this research when planning international trips.

Cultural Expectations and Norms:

Beyond just age restrictions, it’s crucial to understand and respect the cultural norms of the destination. In some cultures, unmarried couples might face challenges when booking a room together, or there might be dress codes that one needs to adhere to.

Traveling Internationally and Considerations Regarding Age:

Age isn’t just a factor for hotel bookings. When traveling internationally, consider age restrictions for car rentals, alcohol consumption, entry to certain venues, and more. Always be prepared to showcase appropriate identification when required.


Can You Book a Hotel at 18? Traveling, while enlightening and exhilarating, requires thorough preparation to avoid unforeseen hurdles. Researching in advance, especially regarding age restrictions and cultural norms, ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Young travelers possess the spirit of adventure and the zeal to explore. However, the key to unlocking the best experiences lies in being well-informed and prepared. Embrace the journey, arm yourself with knowledge, and the world will open its doors to you. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) centered around the topic “Can you Book a Hotel at 18”:

Can You Book a Hotel at 18 years old?

Yes, in many places, you can legally book a hotel room at 18 since that’s the age of majority in many countries. However, individual hotel policies may vary, and some might require guests to be older.

Why do some hotels have a minimum age requirement for booking?

Hotels might set age restrictions based on a variety of reasons, such as concerns over potential damages to the room, noise disturbances, or legal liabilities.

Are there hotel chains known to accept 18-year-olds for room bookings?

Yes, several hotel chains often accept 18-year-olds for room bookings. However, it’s essential to call the specific hotel location to verify their policy.

What types of identification will I need to provide when checking in?

Typically, hotels require a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Some hotels might also ask for a credit card for incidentals.

Are there additional fees or deposits for younger guests?

Some hotels may require a higher security deposit from younger guests to cover potential damages. It’s advisable to check with the hotel beforehand to understand any extra charges.

Can I book a hotel room for someone else who is 18?

Yes, but the hotel might require you to complete a third-party authorization form, and the 18-year-old will still need to present a valid ID upon check-in.

Are international hotels likely to have different age requirements?

Yes, international hotels might have different age requirements based on local laws and cultural norms. Always research specific countries and their hotel policies when traveling abroad.

Are there any alternative accommodations available for 18-year-olds?

Yes, many hostels, motels, and short-term rental platforms, such as Airbnb, may have different age policies and could be suitable for younger travelers.

What should I do if I’m denied check-in due to my age after booking?

It’s crucial to verify the hotel’s age policy before booking. However, if you face this situation, explain your situation to the hotel staff, ask for a refund or reschedule, and seek alternative accommodations.

How can I find hotels that accept 18-year-old bookings in a specific city?

The best approach is to call hotels directly or check their FAQs online. Some travel booking platforms might also allow you to filter accommodations based on age requirements.