Can You Book A Hotel At 18? Everything You Need To Know

Want to plan a weekend getaway or road trip with friends now that you’re 18, but not sure if you can book a hotel on your own? This comprehensive guide has all the details on hotel policies, tips for booking, and alternative accommodation ideas to make your trip a success.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: In most cases, yes, you can book a hotel room at 18 in the United States as long as you have a valid ID and credit card. Hotels typically don’t have strict age requirements, but some have minimum age limits of 21.

Read on for helpful booking tips and full guidelines on hotel age policies.

Typical Hotel Age Requirements

Most hotels allow 18 year olds

Good news for young travelers! Most hotels do allow 18 year olds to book a room. This means that if you’re planning a trip and you’re 18 or older, you can easily book a hotel without any issues. Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Some have a 21+ age policy

While the majority of hotels have no problem with 18 year olds booking a room, there are some that have a minimum age requirement of 21. This is usually due to the hotel’s policy or local regulations. It’s always a good idea to check the hotel’s age policy before making a reservation, just to be on the safe side.

You don’t want any surprises when you arrive at your destination!

Factors like group size and location matter

Keep in mind that hotel age requirements can vary depending on factors such as group size and location. Some hotels may have stricter policies for groups of young adults, while others may be more lenient.

Additionally, certain destinations or resorts may have specific age restrictions due to local regulations or the nature of the establishment. It’s always a good idea to research and plan ahead to ensure a seamless booking experience.

Booking Tips For 18-Year-Olds

Booking a hotel at 18 can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to be aware of certain tips and guidelines to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

Have valid photo ID ready

When booking a hotel at 18, it is crucial to have a valid photo ID ready. Most hotels require guests to provide identification during check-in to verify their age and identity. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver’s license, passport, or government-issued identification card.

Make sure to have this documentation readily available to avoid any complications during the check-in process.

Use your own credit or debit card

Using your own credit or debit card is essential when booking a hotel at 18. Many hotels have policies in place that require the person making the reservation to be the cardholder. This ensures that the individual responsible for the payment is present and accountable.

If you don’t have your own card, consider asking a parent or guardian to make the reservation on your behalf.

Book direct for best rates and policies

Booking directly through the hotel’s website or calling their reservation line can often provide you with the best rates and policies. Third-party booking platforms may have age restrictions or additional fees for guests under 21.

By booking directly, you can also inquire about any specific requirements or restrictions for guests under the age of 21, ensuring a seamless booking process.

Call ahead if unsure of age rules

If you’re unsure about the age rules or policies of a particular hotel, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and clarify. The hotel staff will be able to provide you with accurate information regarding age restrictions, any additional requirements, or potential fees.

This way, you can avoid any surprises or disappointments upon arrival.

Remember, each hotel may have its own policies regarding minimum check-in age, so it’s essential to do your research and be prepared. By following these booking tips, you can confidently book a hotel at 18 and enjoy your stay without any complications.

Alternative Accommodation Options For Under 21

If you’re under 21 and looking to book a hotel, you may find that some establishments have age restrictions. However, there are several alternative accommodation options available that can cater to your needs. Here are a few options to consider:

Stay at an Airbnb

Airbnb is a popular platform that allows individuals to rent out their homes, apartments, or spare rooms to travelers. This can be a great option for those under 21, as many hosts do not have strict age requirements.

With Airbnb, you can find a wide range of accommodations, from private rooms to entire homes, often at a more affordable price than traditional hotels. Just make sure to read the host’s rules and policies before booking.

Look for hostels

Hostels are another excellent option for travelers under 21. They provide budget-friendly accommodation options and often cater to a younger crowd, making them a popular choice for backpackers and solo travelers.

Hostels typically offer dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities, but some also have private rooms available. They create a social atmosphere where you can meet fellow travelers and exchange stories and tips.

Websites like Hostelworld and Booking.com can help you find and book hostels in your desired destination.

Consider boutique hotels or B&Bs

While many larger hotels have age restrictions, boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) often have more flexible policies. These smaller establishments may be more willing to accommodate younger guests, especially if you provide a valid ID and a credit card for payment.

Boutique hotels and B&Bs offer a more personalized experience and can be a charming alternative to traditional hotels. Websites like TripAdvisor and Expedia can help you find and compare different boutique hotels and B&Bs in your chosen location.

Travel with someone 21+

If you’re under 21 and really want to stay at a traditional hotel, one option is to travel with someone who is 21 or older. Many hotels have age restrictions for individual bookings but may allow guests under 21 if accompanied by an adult.

This way, you can still enjoy the amenities and convenience of a hotel while adhering to their policies. Just make sure to check with the hotel beforehand to confirm their specific requirements.

Remember, each accommodation option may have its own policies and restrictions, so it’s essential to do your research and plan accordingly. By exploring these alternative options, you can still find comfortable and affordable accommodations even if you’re under 21.

Top Destinations For 18-Year-Old Travelers

New York City

New York City is a vibrant and exciting destination for 18-year-old travelers. With its iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park, there is never a dull moment in the city that never sleeps.

The city offers a wide range of activities and attractions, from world-class museums to Broadway shows, shopping on Fifth Avenue, and exploring the trendy neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Whether you’re interested in art, music, fashion, or food, New York City has something for everyone.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is another top destination for 18-year-old travelers. Known for its glamorous Hollywood scene, beautiful beaches, and year-round sunshine, LA offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure.

Take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit the famous Universal Studios, explore the trendy neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, or relax on the sandy shores of Venice Beach. With its diverse culture, vibrant nightlife, and stunning natural landscapes, Los Angeles is a city that will leave you wanting more.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world, making it an ideal destination for 18-year-olds looking for a memorable experience. From world-class casinos and luxurious resorts to extravagant shows and nightclubs, Las Vegas offers non-stop entertainment.

Take a walk down the famous Las Vegas Strip, catch a show by a world-renowned performer, or try your luck at the blackjack tables. With its 24/7 excitement and larger-than-life atmosphere, Las Vegas is sure to provide an unforgettable trip.


Miami is a popular destination for 18-year-old travelers seeking sun, sand, and a vibrant party scene. Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and Latin American influence, Miami offers a unique blend of cultures.

Explore the trendy art district of Wynwood, soak up the sun in South Beach, or dance the night away in one of Miami’s famous nightclubs. With its warm weather, beautiful people, and energetic atmosphere, Miami is the perfect destination for a fun and unforgettable trip.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a city that combines natural beauty with a rich cultural scene, making it a great destination for 18-year-olds. Explore the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, visit the historic Alcatraz Island, or take a ride on one of the city’s famous cable cars.

San Francisco is also known for its thriving tech industry, beautiful parks, and diverse food scene. Whether you’re interested in art, technology, or outdoor adventures, San Francisco has something to offer.


Turning 18 opens up a world of travel possibilities, including booking hotel rooms across the country. While most hotels welcome 18-year-old guests, it’s always smart to review age policies and call ahead if you have any doubts.

With a valid ID, credit card, and sense of adventure, you can start planning unforgettable trips with friends as a young adult traveler.

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