By the time we reach 18, we are sure that we’ll have access to all the fun things we missed as children. But the world is cruel. It doesn’t let people of our age enjoy the way we like. This scenario applies to the travel industry especially.
If you have been making plans to go on a trip with your younger brother, friend, or cousin as soon as you turn 18, then you still have a lot of ifs and buts ahead. You’ll have to manage these aspects before thinking about enjoying them.
So, let’s get back to our question, i.e., can a 16-year-old stay with an 18-year-old in a hotel? Seriously, it depends. You can and you cannot, depending upon the hotel policies, state laws, and the perception of the hotel manager.
This article covers:
- Legal age of entering into a contract
- Status of a 16-year-old
- Can a 16-year-old stay with an 18-year-old?
18 is a legal age to enter into a contract, but…
By law, 18 years is the legal age to get into any contract. Renting a hotel room or other services falls under the category of contract. Besides, you can get your credit cards at this age to pay all the hotel bills and rents.
But there is a catch; most hotels have a minibar in the hotel rooms. To avail of these services, you have to be at least 21 years of age. But as soon as you get into the room, the authorities cannot enforce the limits or restrictions. So, to make things simpler for the management and the guests, an 18-year-old is often not given access to the room.
Besides, there are other reasons that the hotel management might not usually reveal. Guests of 18 years are often found creating more fuss around in the hotel, disturbing the other guests. Besides, they are noisy and get into trouble often. So, the hotel management considers these gusts require extra effort and thus tend to avoid them.
What’s more, some states in the US forbid people to book a room if they are under 21.
Status of a 16-year-old
In legal terms, 16 years old kid is a minor. Such a kid can travel with a guardian or family member. There can be certain instances where the kid could be traveling without a parent, but still, the consent from parents is given, and a legal guardian is appointed.
On their own, a 16-year-old cannot book a room or check-in alone in the hotel.
So, can an 18-year-old stay in a hotel with a 16-year-old?
As the status of an 18-year-old is legal, they might have a chance to get a room. But a 16-year-old cannot get a room alone. When it comes to staying together, there are different scenarios that you must be well aware of.
Do you want to stay in a hotel or room together?
If an 18-year-old intends to stay with a 16-year-old in a hotel, the administration will treat things differently. If the 16-year-old has permission from parents or guardians to stay with the 18-year-old, the administration will have no issues.
But without permission, checking in together will not be possible as it can be considered a case of human trafficking, and no hotel will want to get into such a case for no reason.
In a scenario where an 18-year-old wants to check in the same hotel room as a 16-year-old, this situation can be even more complex than staying in a hotel together. In this case, the hotel might see things from a different angle.
They might consider the two individuals like kids, not letting their permit in the hotel together.
They might regard the older one as abusing the younger one. It could be in any form, including monetary and behavioral compulsion. In such a case, the parents of the minor can even sue the hotel management.
Noisy rooms and parties are the other problems the hotel management foresees seeing two teenagers living together.
Besides, both children might need consent from their parents if they want to live together in the same hotel room during a trip.
What if both individuals are family members?
Well, if this is the case, you have made things a lot simpler for the hotel management, and they’ll probably let you rent the room. There are fewer chances of abuse or other problems if you are with your family.
You might argue that the age of both individuals is not mature enough to travel alone at long distances. But that depends on family permissions, and their personal brought up. As far as renting the room is concerned, it would be easier compared to the case when both individuals are teens and are not relatives.
What if you are on a school trip?
Another situation when you can expect to get a hotel room together with a 16-year-old is when you are on a school/college trip. Not all individuals of a class opting to go on a school trip are of the same age. So, there is a possibility that one of the roommates is 16 years old while the other is 18 years old.
Your school or college will have already arranged for the booking in such a situation. So, you will not have to worry about it. Besides, the school will have consent from your parents about your stay in a hotel, and the school management will also be the guardian in such a condition. So, when all this is sorted out, you won’t have to worry about the hotel management’s attitude and permission issues.
Things to note if you want to try getting a room as an 18-year old while having a 16-year-old with you
If it is urgent and you have to stay in a hotel with a 16-year-old, you can take care of the following things. These tips do not guarantee a rented room but can make things easier, increasing the prospects of your success:
- Do not get to the counter together. If you rent the same room with a 16-year-old, do not take the kid with you to the counter. Seeing two young teens, the hotel management wouldn’t approve the room anyway, even if they would give it to you otherwise. Besides, it will create suspicion about the age of an 18-year-old, too. So, it does not seem reasonable.
- It is better to take written consent from the parents of the 16-year-old that they are allowing their kid to stay with you. It will be necessary if you are not a legal guardian.
- If you have permission from your parents, you can ask them to book a room for you. It would make things a bit easy, and you might not have to feel alien when checking by yourself in such a situation.
- Another thing you must take care of in this regard is your overall demeanor. If you are dressed casually and even look a lot younger (less than 18 years old). You can easily get a rejection from the hotel management.
- Always keep another plan ready because your situation is tricky, and you might not make it through. So without backup plans, you’ll be in real trouble.
There are few chances that you can make it through in such a situation. Hotels usually do not let a 16-year-old stay with an 18-year-old in the same room or even as accompanied guests in different rooms. Even 18-year-old individuals might not get a guaranteed room solely for themselves. So, keep the alternatives ready if you don’t find a room when traveling.