Minimum age to get a hotel room?

Can a hotel or motel decline to give someone a room based on age? I don’t mean a minor traveling with family - I mean a minor traveling alone. Are there any chains with a policy that covers this?

Minors should not travel alone. Ever.

A lot of places will not make reservations for persons under the age of 21. I don’t know if any will make them for someone under 18. Walk-up policies may or may not be different, but I’d think the minor in question would have some problems. You might be able to make the reservations in your name for her to use.

Why do you say that, Bosda? I’ll agree that small children shouldn’t be travelling alone, but older teens?

When I was 17 and away from home at my first year of university, I was driving home for a visit one weekend. Due to some sudden bad weather and car trouble, I had to pull over halfway home and spend the night at a motel. They gave me a room no questions asked, and I continued home safely the next morning. How else would I have gotten home, Bosda?

Sorry, clicked submit too soon. To answer the OP, the motel I referred to was a Howard Johnson, and they didn’t ask my age (though I did have to show a piece of ID and a credit card). Doing a quick search, I saw that some places seem to have rules forbidding minors to be alone in a motel/hotel room and others simply have restrictions (such as an unaccompanied minor can’t order room service).

Yes Elret, and similarly those like myself, who began college at 16.

My girlfriend and I had rented hotel rooms before either of our 18th birthdays (and I may have been as young as 15, she a little bit older). Of course, I’ve probably looked a bit older than I really am since my mid-teens anyway (which is a good thing, since I always went to school with people a couple of years my senior).

For the OP, I’m sure there are places that will deny service to minors, but obviously not all will. I would think as long as a person could drive (or have a license or other identification), it shouldn’t be a problem. In other words, if you’re old enough to travel you should be able to get a place to stay.

For travelling, going to concerts, etc., of course :smiley:

A teenage girl, travelling alone, has the words “Easy Victim” written all over her. Plainly visible to every pimp, punk & pusher on the planet.

Every year, thousands of girls are forcebly “inducted” into lives of prostitution. Addicts & assholes look for inexperienced victims–& girls are smaller, & less likely to have unarmed combat training.

Not to even mention cults.

Boys are marginally better off.

If a teen must travel, go in groups.

I think hotels all have different policies, but I know some will turn you down if you are not 18, or even 21. Some friends of mine and I went south for Spring Break and the hotel we wanted to stay at was reluctant to even give a group of college age kids a room at all! (We were all over 21). When we told them 2 in the group were married, for some reason that made it ok.

I have stayed at Holiday Inns and other hotels without ever being asked for I.D. when I was over 18, but we did have a credit card.

I think some hotels might refuse to give a room to a 16 year old.

When I was in my very-early 20s, but I used to travel a lot alone and I never had a problem getting a room. Of course, I also had a credit card, so I suppose that helped.

I know a couple of 17 y/o about-to-be high school graduates. As they drive to their universities, do they face problems of not getting rooms? Sounds like that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue.

Also thinking longer term - when our daughter is 18, she’ll be going to college in Florida and we’ll be living in Maryland. If she decides to drive to visit us and if she breaks the drive into 2 days, will she be denied a room because she’s under 21? Sounds as if she shouldn’t have a problem.

As for being an “easy victim” - just how often does that become an issue at a Holiday Inn along an interstate? All the miles I’ve traveled and all the nights I’ve spent on the road, there’s just been one place that I found out, just a bit too late, was a really bad choice. But I kept my door locked, didn’t venture out that night, and all was well.

I forgot to add that you might have better luck with calling ahead and making a reservation on her behalf, and explaining she will be staying alone. I don’t think a hotel would mind so much if they knew someone would be responsible for her. If it’s a matter of her going someplace and she isn’t sure where she’ll end up staying until she gets there, I would call big chains she would be likely to find and ask them their policy. They might need someone over 18 to claim responsibility in case something happens (I can imagine a lawsuit if they gave a minor a room and something happened to them).

Bosda, it might not be the most ideal situation for a minor to travel alone, but kids go away to school or to visit friends or family and it happens sometimes. I agree precautions should be taken and it’s better to go with a friend, but I think the instances you describe are extreme and can usually be avoided with some basic precautions. I don’t think it means minors should never ever travel alone.

One thing to keep in mind: if the bellboy offers you a refund of $3, ask yourself how much he’s actually kept for himself.

A lot of places have a minimum age of 21. Some have a minimum of 18. Motel 6, for example, lists the minimum age for renting a room in each individual hotel’s description online. When I had to rent a room at a Motel 6 earlier this year, (minimum 18) they just took my credit card, no questions asked. For an almost-adult or barely-adult unexpectedly needing a room for a night on a trip, I think the best way to handle it is to just show up with a credit card and hope no one cares.

Bosda, before you write another response on your side of the issue, would you mind answering how your response was an answer to a General Question?


I actually looked into this very question, once. I’m in the service, and I had two incidents where guys reporting aboard from bootcamp were denied motel/hotel rooms on account of their age - 18. Although seperate incidents, the stories are identical. They were driving to their first unit from home after some post bootcamp leave. Deciding to pull over for the night, they were denied rooms due to age, and had to keep driving until someone let them in. Somewhat dangerous in some situations, so I looked into it a bit, seeing as how the members were travelling under military orders. Best that I could find out, motels and such reserve the right to make their own policies, and it’s best to call ahead if travelling, just to be sure.

Eighteen is the minimum age, at Hiltons, Hamptons, and Ramadas - the three I’ve worked for.
Signing for a room is a legal contract, after all - the guest is liable for damage to a room, for example.
In practice, I’m not too concerned about checking for age, except on Prom nights - I don’t need angry parents after me, and prom night partiers tend to be too loud and destructive anyway.

Expanding a bit more - occasionally, a parent will prepay or authorize a minor to use their credit card (in writing). In that case, the minor can stay, but the guardian assumes liability for payment and problems.

galen ubal is right on about this, in theory. In practice, you will find enforcement of this spotty at best. That is because, most times, if a credit card gets approved, you’re in.

The best advice give is to call ahead and make sure. I assure you that all major chains have a policy on renting to those under the legal age of consent, be that 18, 19, or 21.

Some states legislate the age issue, others don’t, in which case corp. policy takes precedence.

Some of my classmates in high school rented out hotel rooms for prom night, to serve as a nearby pre-prom preparation place and a venue for the post-prom parties. I recall some of them complaining that they’d had trouble getting rooms at certain hotels because they were all under 18.

This was in Hawaii, so I couldn’t tell you which of the fifty bajillion hotels they tried.

:confused: :confused:

Enhance, please?