When you’re 18 you can vote and serve in the military but many hotels still have policies that will deny you a hotel room. This has led many young adults to try to figure out ways to get around these 21+ check in ages. We discuss why these policies exist and what you can do to get a hotel room anyway.
Why 21+ check-in ages?
Hotels are fundamentally businesses and are focused on their bottom line. Excluding young people may mean lower insurance rates, less probability of property damage, and the avoidance of a “party” atmosphere. Many hotels also have minibars containing alcohol and with a drinking age of 21 it’s easier to exclude anyone under 21 for renting a room.
Hotel operators are also subject to many of the same prejudices about young people and this can cause these policies even when it doesn’t make business sense. While the vast majority of young people will cause no problems for a hotel, hoteliers may still carry negative views of 18-20 year olds leading to these exclusionary policies.
Do hotels check ID?
They certainly can and are well known to do so. If you are younger than their check-in policy they are almost certain to refuse your stay after checking your ID. There may be anecdotal reports from some hotels that IDs are not checked but relying on this is a highly risky strategy. Hotel policies can change and whether an ID is checked can depend on who happens to be working the check-in counter that day.
For all of these reasons we do not recommend on booking in hope that an ID will not be checked.
How to rent a room if you’re under 21
Fortunately there are plenty of hotels across the U.S. and Canada that allow 18 year olds to check-in. These hotels range from five-star resorts to motels for those on a budget. To get started, just click below.