How Old Do I Have to Be to Rent a Hotel Room?

By Emily Zemler

A guide to booking accommodations at any age

How Old Do I Have to Be to Rent a Hotel Room?

One of the best parts of traveling is settling into a great hotel room. Whether you're booked into a luxury property or a funky boutique spot, being able to check into your hotel of choice is a huge perk. But there are some age restrictions when it comes to booking hotel rooms. Here is everything you need to know about the age restrictions on hotels in the U.S. and other countries.

Q: What is the legal age to rent a hotel room?

A: In the majority of the United States, travelers must be at least 18 years old to rent a hotel room. However, states allow hotels to create their own internal age policies, so it's possible that a particular hotel might not allow those under 21, or even 25, years old to rent a room. Hyatt, for instance, requires its guests to be 21 to reserve a room. It is ultimately up to the hotel whether to allow an underage guest to book, and some may allow it with notarized permission from a parent or guardian. Contact the hotel directly to find out if exceptions can be made and what is required.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the legal age requirement?

A: Youth hostels cater to a young crowd, so their age requirements may be less strict than regular hotels. YHA hostels, for example, allows guests over 16 to book and stay without an adult. It is also possible to rent an Airbnb when 18, which can help in destinations where hotels ask for travelers to be 21 and up.

Q: What about outside the U.S.?

A: Age requirements vary significantly in other countries. For example, Canada considers 18 the legal age at which a traveler may rent a hotel room, however hoteliers are cautioned not to discriminate based on age so may make exceptions for those 15 and over. Some hotel chains, like Premier Inn or Holiday Inn, allow guests in the U.K. and Ireland to book rooms as long as they are over 16. Check the policy of the specific hotel and country before booking, and research the differing policies of hotel chains.

Q: Are there any other considerations?

A: Often hotels ask for a major credit card in order to reserve a room. That isn't always something minors, or even those under 21, have, so be sure to contact the property in advance to ensure you have the correct payment method. There are often exceptions made, like allowing a parent to pay for the hotel room with a credit card. Be sure you fill out any necessary paperwork so there are no problems at the front desk.