In many hotels all over the world, you will have problems checking in and even booking a room if you are under 21. The problem is that many hotels are entertainment hotels and they offer casinos, minibars in the rooms, free alcohol for guests, etc. And you have to be 21 or over to check in such a hotel and to stay there without any adults.
Today, we are going to tell you if you can legally or illegally get around this limitation and actually stay in a hotel if you are under 21. We’ll look at all possible situations and will tell you what can happen if you try to trick a hotel. We will keep it in the frames of law, so we will not reveal any bad secrets you can use. But we don’t recommend using any illegal schemes because they may lead to problems on your side.
Here’s what we will discuss today:
- Which hotels have the 21 check-in age limitation?
- Can you book a hotel room if you are under 21?
- How can you get into the hotel room if you are under 21 but the hotel has limitations?
- What can happen if hotel staff knows you are tricking them?
Let’s get started!
Why are many hotels limit their guests’ age?
Hotels tend to be more flexible now because they have a lot of competitors on the market. If you can’t stay in a hotel, you will just rent out an apartment in the same city and will enjoy your stay. So, today the rules of any hotel are not as strict as they were a couple of years ago.
But still, many hotels will not allow you to book a room and check in until you are 21 or older. Why is that? Why not 18? Because in many states you can’t do some things until you are 21. For example, drinking alcohol or gambling. That’s why hotels need to limit the age of their guests to stay legal.
Here are some factors why it’s important:
- hotels in entertainment places like Las Vegas need to control this because young people shouldn’t be allowed to gamble;
- some hotels will offer access to alcohol and this will be illegal if they allow people under 21 to stay without their parents or other adult relatives;
- in many states, it’s illegal to rent out rooms to people under 21 and the hotels that still do this may be just closed or fined;
- people under 21 are still considered to be minors in some states and can’t sign contracts, so they physically can’t rent a room in a hotel;
- if the hotels can’t control their guests’ access to gambling and alcohol, they are considered to be adult-only hotels with no exceptions.
These are common rules and factors why you can’t stay in some hotels. Mainly, hotels in New York City and in Las Vegas will not allow people under 21 in any case. And there are some hotel networks in other places that don’t allow people under 21 or limit their access to some sections of the hotel. But of course, there can be some exceptions.
We don’t think that it’s fair that people under 21 are not allowed to book a room in some hotels and even in some cities and states. So, today we’ll give you some ideas on how you can get around this restriction legally and with no possible problems. Also, we’ll tell you what happens if you decide to trick a hotel and get around the restrictions in an unfair way.
Why will you need to get around these restrictions?
We can think of many situations when a person needs to stay in a hotel when he or she is still under 21. For example, going to some city to take exams or to study in a special course. Or just visiting someone in a certain city that has this age limitation in hotels. It can also be an urgent flight to a certain place that you haven’t been planning and you just don’t know about the restrictions.
We know some people who successfully booked a room in a hotel and then they arrived at the hotel and the receptionist told them that the hotel had age restrictions. This situation is mind-blowing because the hotel should have warned you before. If you are in such a situation, you can just have problems in an unknown city. So, let’s find out how you can get over these restrictions.
1. Ask your parents to help you
The first option is to ask your parents to help you. They can just write a letter to the hotel asking to accommodate you even though you are under 18. Of course, it would be a very nice idea to call the hotel before and to ask them to prepare the room. For example, they can empty the minibar in order to follow the rules of your stay.
Booking should also be completed with one of your parent’s credit card. You will need to show a picture of the front side of the credit card in the reception, in some cases. Also, the letter to a hotel should be with you when you try to check in. This will help you get into the room and enjoy your stay legally and with no problems.
Actually, this is the only way we recommend. Nearly all hotels (but the Las Vegas ones) are used to these cases and they will be glad to offer you the services that you are eligible to get.
2. An adult person with you
You can ask any adult person to book a room for you. This person will not be required to stay with you. Just ask him or her to book a room, check in with you, and get into the room. After that, this person may go home and you will stay in a hotel.
This method should be considered half-legal. But we are living in a democratic world, so everything that is not forbidden is allowed. Some hotel rules will not allow this, but hotel rules are not laws.
3. Pre-paid hotels booked by your adult relative
You may ask your adult relative (it may be a brother, an aunt, a father-in-law, whatever) to book a hotel for you using his or her credit card. But the booking should be pre-paid. It means that you will have already paid for the room when you arrive at the hotel.
In most cases, they will let you check in. But some hotels will still ask you whether your relative is going to stay with you. What you need to do is to ask that relative to call a hotel one day before your arrival and explain the situation to them. Usually, it works. If it won’t work, they will make a refund.
4. Find an alternative way to book a room
If nothing works, you may try to find a special way to book a room. For example, you can use an application to find a shared flat in the city you want to go to. Or you can find a student hostel that allows people aged 16 and more to stay there.
Maybe, you will find a relative or a friend in the city you are visiting and they will offer you to rent out a room or even to live for free in their house. Just think of what alternative you can get. Sometimes, it appears to be even better than booking a hotel room.
What can happen if you trick a hotel?
We’ve told you about legal and half-legal ways to stay in a hotel when you are under 21. None of these ways can lead to big problems with your stay. But we know some cases when people tried to trick the hotel and forge some documents or use stolen credit cards.
If you use any illegal way to stay in a hotel, you will have a lot of problems. Here’s what can happen:
- you can be kicked off the hotel at any time when they know about the situation;
- your credit card can be blocked for tricking the hotel;
- they may call the police and you will spend some days there instead of sleeping in a hotel;
- your parents or any adult relatives will have to come and get you out;
- they may refuse to give you the key when you are already there, at the reception desk.
Hotels don’t want problems. And if they agree to have a person under 21 in one of their rooms, they basically risk a lot. They risk getting problems with the police if you do something wrong and are being suspected. And they risk not getting any money for your stay and for damages you can make in the room.
So, better think of some legal ways you can get around the hotel restrictions. What’s more, we’ve given you some good ideas to try.