A “gap year” between high school and university is a pretty common experience throughout the world, and for a lot of people lucky enough to arrange it, it may be the best time of their life to travel. However, many high school graduates are 18 or 19, and around the world, that can make certain travel experiences a hassle.
Even with extensive planning and research before your departure, traveling as an 18-year-old may come with some surprises. Did you know that many hotels around the world require that you are at least 21 years old to register and check in? It’s also common for rental car companies to require that you’re at least 21 (and sometimes 25) to rent a car – but travelers can get around that by using public transport or ride-share services.
It can be a little bit harder to plan a vacation if you can’t find hotels that let you check in at 18. Not only do unique hotels with just a single location often require that someone 21 years old or older is present during check-in, but many large national hotel chains have a minimum age for check-in, too.
For instance, Hampton Inn & Suites has a minimum check-in age requirement of 21 for all of their locations. Not all hope is lost, though: Hyatt Hotel have some locations that allow 18-year-olds to register, and most chains leave it up to their property managers to set that age.
Youth hostels across Europe and in the United States exist to help with this dilemma, but hostel travel isn’t for everyone, and there are ways to travel the world as a young adult. Although it might take an extra phone call, there’s no need to put your vacation plans on hold before you reach the age of 21.
Reasons Some Hotels Don’t Allow 18-Year-Olds to Check In
The minimum age requirement for checking into a hotel room is usually 21.Some factors that can influence a hotel chain’s decision to restrict the age of its guests include the following:
Some hotels offer amenities designed for the 21-and-up crowd. For example, many Las Vegas hotels require that guests are 21 when they check in because the legal age for gambling is 21.
Some hotel owners associate 18-year-olds with reckless and raucous behavior, so they place limits on who can check into their hotels. Some hotel chains assume that you’ll act more responsibly when you’re a bit older.
One of the biggest problems faced by restaurants and anywhere that sells alcohol…