It appears that you’re planning to get a room at a hotel for some reason.
You have the money ready but there’s one thing that you’re worried about.
You don’t know if you can check in at a hotel while under 18 years of age.
So, what’s the deal then?
Unfortunately, if you’re under 18, it’s impossible for you to check into a hotel legally without being accompanied by a person (guardian) over the age limit. Even if you do check in with a companion over the age limit, your companion will have to stay with you for the entire duration of your stay.
Why Do Most Hotels Require You to Be Over 18 to Check-In?
You see, check-in is akin to signing a contract. And, hotels in most parts of the developed world aren’t allowed to enter into a contract with a minor.
This situation puts the hotels at risk of not recovering their money if a minor leaves the premises without paying his or her due.
Reporting to the authorities would instead get them into hot water and have them pay hefty fines.
Additionally, every hotel has an inherent “duty of care” obligation which requires them to be responsible for the well-being of their guests, irrespective of their age.
In other words—if something happens to a guest, the hotel will be held accountable.
Now imagine a scenario where something serious happens to an underage guest.
With an underage guest involved, the hotel would be susceptible to receiving more flak and scrutiny, considerably more so in comparison to a matter concerning a guest well over the age limit.
There’s also another reason hotels are strict with documentation during check-ins. The thing is—most hotel rooms tend to have minibars. By imposing age restrictions, the hotels put themselves at lower risk of having underage visitors drink alcohol from the minibar.
There are some cases where hotels even require guests to be 21 and over to check-in.
How to Check Into a Hotel Under 18?
As I stated earlier, you can only check into a hotel under 18 if you’re accompanied by a person over the age limit. Plus, your companion will have to stay with you for the entire duration of your stay.
However, I will say this— there’s a slim chance you can negotiate your way into a hotel despite being underage. But, for that to happen, you will have to be an expert negotiator.
There’s also a possibility that some hotels might go with the idea of a parent or legal guardian putting their name on the reservation in lieu of their minor. Again, the odds of a hotel agreeing to this idea are slim.
Of course, you may also be allowed to check in by showing a forged government ID card or passport. But this is an extremely risky way of going about things as you can end up paying a fine of up to $1000 or more.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Check Into a Hotel on Your Own?
You have to be at least 18 years old to check into most hotels around the world as the minimum drinking age is commonly 18 years in most countries.
However, there are cases where hotels require you to be at least 21 to check-in. Hotels in party destinations such as Miami Beach and Las Vegas usually impose this rule to protect themselves from any responsibility while the guests party in the city.
There are even hotels in places such as Key West, a U.S island city in the state of Florida, that require you to be at least 25 years old to check in.
Will You Be Able to Check-in if You Book a Hotel Online?
Booking a hotel online these days is as easy as a walk in the park. You only need a valid credit card in your name to book a hotel online. Plus, there isn’t a need for you to mention or reveal your age in online booking forms.
However, when you eventually reach the hotel to check-in, you will need to show proof of your age.
If you are unable to prove your identity and age then, you will most likely be denied a room. Additionally, you’re unlikely to get a refund on your stay.
As you can tell, the minimum age requirement rules for hotels around the world usually vary according to the cities. While some enforce a rule of 18 years to check in, there are others that require you to be at least 21 years old, or sometimes even 25.
So, it’s always a good idea to check the rules and regulations of the hotels before finalizing your stay.
As for the possibility of getting a hotel if you are under 18, your chances are slim, if not completely non-existent. You won’t be allowed to check into a hotel legally without being accompanied by a person (guardian) over the age limit.