What To Know About The Age Requirement When Booking A Hotel Room In The US

When it comes to traveling, your age informs nearly everything you can and cannot do. This is true for renting a car, flying on a plane, or accessing specific establishments. For lodgings, hotels in the U.S. require guests to be at least 18 years old to check into a room independently. Though it is the norm, this policy differs from hotel to hotel. Marriot, for example, imposes an 18-and-over rule, except for its adults-only resort, which demands guests to be 21 and over. Similarly, most Las Vegas hotels do not permit guests under 21 to check in. 

On the other hand, Airbnb allows anyone over 18 to book listings and host properties. However, if you're under 25 and have less than three positive reviews on your account, you may not be permitted to book and stay at listings near your residence.

The minimum age requirement policy was not implemented because of hotel minibars, although that could be a factor. The main reason is that only individuals aged 18 and above can enter a legal agreement, and checking into a hotel room is essentially a contract with the establishment. At the heart of this arrangement, hotels must ensure safe and comfortable stays for guests, and guests are tasked with paying for their rooms and following hotel policies.

Everything else you should know

Technically speaking, anyone with a valid credit card can book a hotel online, regardless of age. But it all comes down to whether or not they will be permitted to check in unaccompanied. While a teenager can successfully book a hotel room, they may not be able to check in as hotels typically don't want to be responsible for what happens to them during their stay. The establishment could make an exception if they have a letter of consent from a guardian, but it ultimately has the final say, so it's best to call ahead.

Keep in mind, though, that age requirement policies extend beyond the hospitality industry. When you reach your destination, you might want to rent a car. Some car rental companies, like Enterprise, do not allow drivers under 21 to lease a vehicle. If you are over 21 but under 25, you'll usually be asked to pay a "young driver" fee on top of the rental charge as you're considered an inexperienced driver.