Hotels You Can Book at 18 – Complete Guide

Updated September 8, 2023
About the Author: Denise Cruz has lived in 4 countries and visited 35+ others. After her second sabbatical, she began sharing travel advice at Wander Her Way.

Sharing is caring:

I’ve traveled a LOT during my younger years so I’m excited to share with you my tips for traveling as a young adult and how to find and book hotels that allow guest as young as 18 to check-in.

Whether you’re planning a solo trip or a Spring Break getaway with your friends, here is everything you need to know about hotels you can book at 18.

Hotels You Can Book at 18: A Guide for Travelers Under 21

Before we get into NYC hotels that allow guests 18+ to check-in, here a few things you need to know about traveling at that age.

Hotel check-in age restrictions in the USA

In case you’re wondering how old do you have to be to get a hotel room in the United States, the answer is: it depends.

At 18, you can legally do a lot a of stuff in the US. You can vote, buy property, get married without your parent’s permission, and even be sued.

But… you can’t consume alcohol. And for hotels, that’s a big problem. (read: liability)

For that reason, most hotels in United States set the minimum age a guest must be to check-in at 21, which is the legal drinking age in the United States. It’s also a lot easier to restrict guests by age than deal with minibars stocked with alcohol in hundreds of hotel rooms!

Who determines the minimum hotel check-in age?

It’s up to the hotel to decide. And there’s no one-size fits all when it comes to their policies—even hotels from the same chain may have different requirements.

While there are hotels that will cater to a party crowd, most hotels in the United States try to discourage underage drinking on their premises. It’s a huge liability.

For example, hotel check-in age restrictions in Miami, Vegas, New Orleans, and New York City can vary from 18 to 25 or 26 in some cases.

So the only way of knowing, is by checking the policy of each individual hotel. Lucky for you, I’ve traveled extensively when I was under 21 and have compiled this huge list of hotels that allow guests as young as 18 to check-in.

Hotels with 18+ Check-In in the United States

Here’s my selection of the best hotels with 18+ check-in in each of the most popular and best areas to stay in New York.

⚠️ Attention: While I do my best to keep this list updated, hotel policies may change. Some hotels may also have special rules for guest in the ages of 18 to 25. So double-check with the property before you book!

List of US Hotels for Travelers Under 21

Hotels in the US that allow check-in if you’re between 18 and 21 years old by state:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Alternatives to Hotels for 18-Year Olds

As a young traveler, it’s always good to have a backup plan. So in case you can’t find a hotel you like or they changed their minimum check-in age before you had a chance to book, here are some other places you can stay if you’re between 18 and 21 years old.


Youth hostels cater to young travelers so they’re the most obvious alternative to staying in a hotel as an 18-year old. As an added benefit, hostels are also cheaper, specially if you’re traveling solo.

If you’re worried about sacrificing your privacy and comfort by staying at a hostel, don’t. While hostels are known for having dorm-style rooms, modern hostels can be quite hip and modern.

For example, check out HI New York City Hostel and the Generator Miami.

Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and Plum Guide have a ton of homes and apartments that you can rent for your New York trip. The minimum age required to book on those platforms is 18.

However, double check the listing before you book to be sure since owners can set a different minimum age for their property.

Group Travel

Companies like G Adventures and Contiki are great options for young travelers to explore the world with a group. They have tours specifically designed for 18 to thirty-something year olds with activities and accommodations to match.

I traveled across Europe with Contiki after my college graduation and highly recommend it if you’re 18 to early 20s.

While G Adventures is strictly for 18-35, they offer some tours for 18-39 years and some without age restrictions.

You can read about my experience with G Adventures.


Most cruise lines require passengers under 21 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 21, or even 25. They also have drinking restrictions for cruises that originate in the United States.

Virgin Voyages is probably the most flexible cruise line when it comes to 18- to 20-year-olds.

Virgin is adults-only and allows 18+ passengers to sail unaccompanied. Even on cruises from the US, Virgin sailors as young as 18 can drink alcohol on board once the ship is in international waters.

Book a Virgin Voyages cruise or reach out and let me book it for you.

What You Need to Know About 18+ Check-In

It’s exciting to travel on your own but to keep you out of trouble, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re staying at hotel that allows 18 year olds.

  • Do not assume 18+ check-in means “party hotel”.
  • Hotels usually require an ID a credit card for incidentals to check-in.
  • Be respectful of other guests.
  • Hotels can kick you out for misconduct.
  • Some hotels may require permission from your parents

🛎 Want to get exclusive perks with your hotel? I can help. Contact me.

FAQs: 18+ Hotel Check-Ins

Because it can be a big liability to host guests under the legal drinking age and who may not be mature enough to be on their own. Assuming that risk, may also mean higher insurance rates for the hotel.

Yes, it is legal. However, hotels can set their own minimum age requirement and they may refuse to let an 18-year old check-in if their policy does not allow it.

Hotels require a credit card for incidentals. That’s in case there’s damage in the room or you consume something from the minibar, you give them permission to charge that credit card when you check-in.

For reasons of safety and security, most hotels do require all guests, regardless of age, to present a valid photo ID at check-in.

While some hotels may accept a student ID as form of identification, you should not take any chances. But don’t take any chances. Bring a government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport to check-in.

Denise, travel blogger at Wander Her Way

About Denise Cruz

Denise is a marketing executive who escaped corporate to travel the world… twice. A Brazilian native living in the U.S., she’s lived in 4 countries and visited 35+ others. After side-hustling her way to financial independence, she curates solo destination guides, slow travel tips, and travel blogging advice on Wander Her Way. When she’s not on the road, you can find her in Miami with her dog Finnegan.