Travel sees no age restrictions, but hotels do! It is not uncommon for enthusiastic high school groups to plan long trips on their vacation. Setting out to explore the world with your friends might sound like the experience of a lifetime. However, if you are planning this travel with an adult accompanying you, there would not be any hurdles. But then, not all teenagers include adults in their travel plans. While the whole thought about traveling all by yourself or with your friends would sound exciting, you cannot ignore a few practical considerations. Among them, the legal age limit to opt for hotel accommodation is one critical factor.
In any travel, itinerary accommodation occupies a significant chunk of prior planning. Sometimes you would be making a booking in advance, and sometimes you book a stay based on tiny changes in your plan. Whatever be the case, considering the legal age limit for booking a hotel room is very important. If you are not within the permitted age and if no adult is accompanying you, finding a place might be more difficult than you can imagine. Therefore, last-minute booking of hotels might be beyond your scope.
Legal age limit
The legal age limit is the questionable parameter that you have to study. A majority of the hotels in the US and UK have the minimum age requirement of 18 years. From owning a credit card to renting a car, various other aspects required in the travel also fall in line with this age restriction. The actual figure varies from one state to another. In global tourist destinations, the situation could be different. In some places, the legal limit is to allow travelers above 16 years of age. In other regions, there could also be a minimum age requirement of 21.
Validity of the contract
Contract reinforcement would be a problem that some hotels worry about. Contracts that minor signs are not legal. Therefore the hotel might get into a row if a minor signs the accommodation contract and then leaves without paying the charges. In this case, the hotel would not be able to take the matter up to the court as the sign of a minor in the contract would not be valid. To avoid such risks and losses, some hotels frame policies that do not let minors stay in their rooms.
Would the hotel be ready to be liable?
Being responsible for teenagers or young travelers is something that some hotels shy away from. When travelers staying in the hotel get into some trouble in a foreign land, the hotel would also be in focus. This is not something that hotels that are just beginning to strengthen their reputation or the ones that have a high reputation would be ready to handle. Sometimes, purely to avoid risks, hotels frame strict policies on age restrictions even when the legal age limit is not the problem.
Beyond the legal age restrictions and hotel policies, there is one other factor that every hotel takes seriously, its prestigious clientele. Some hotels have a group of loyal clientele that they cannot lose. Some cater to business class travelers alone. In such cases, to strengthen its reputation and avoid troubles, the hotel might increase the age limit for stay.
Do you have other options?
There are some regions where you would find youth hostels. These are solely for young travelers, and there might be options of both dormitories and rooms. Picking such credible hostels for the youth might be a safer choice for young travelers. You can avoid last-minute delays by choosing such valid options.
Look for hotels with exceptions
The use of a credit card for payment is another factor that complicates hotel bookings for minors. Some hotels might allow exceptions where an adult, the parent or guardian can make the booking in advance with their credit card and then let the minor stay. Another possibility is for the minor to carry a letter from the guardian or parent. Whatever be the case, it still would be an excellent choice to talk to the hotel and get a confirmation before actually checking in.
What should a young traveler do?
You might always find some hotels bending the rules and ignoring the legal age limits. However, it is also for the traveler’s safety to stay away from such hotels that do not follow the legislation. You definitely would not want to be part of any commotion while you are traveling. Therefore it is best to find a safer way to handle this situation. Ask around and do some research to see if there are exceptions to the age restriction. No matter what kind of information you find on the internet, do not hesitate to call up the concierge in the hotel to confirm for yourself. Before you proceed with the booking, make sure that you talk to the hotel to avoid any confusion later on. Also, once you book the room, not all hotels might be willing to provide a full refund when they get to know that the traveler is too young to permit the stay. To avoid losing your money and spoiling your trip, look for credible hotels that allow travelers of the said age, and confirm with the hotel before you make a decision.
Remember that in several places, hotels cannot discriminate travelers based on age. It is merely for the safety considerations that the age factor comes into the picture. Even if you have made arrangements and clarified about exceptions, the concierge might ask you to furnish a valid ID proof. Also, the front desk might ask a few questions if required, when a minor travels alone. If you have already informed the hotel management in advance, without taking them by surprise, then the situation would be easier for you to handle. Having said this, the conditions vary from one country to another. Always do your homework to get the accommodation arrangement sorted before you plan your trip.