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Hotel Check In for Guests Under 21 Years of Age

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Can my 20 year old grandson check into a hotel in New York City?

Many hotels have policies that prohibit people under 21 years of age from booking a room and checking in, and, in some states, this is mandated by law. But the real question is whether or not these rules exist and/ or are enforced in the hotel you are planning on booking for your grandson and his girlfriend. From experience — I’ve stayed in dozens of hotels in the USA prior to the age of 21 — I can tell you that even if hotels do have these age restrictions very few actually abide by them or actually care enough to bother checking the ages of their guests. This, combined with the fact that it will be your credit card on file, I would not imagine you being given too much trouble. Even still, I highly recommend calling the hotel and clearing it with them before making the reservation.

If it seems difficult to get a hotel room for your grandson, just book him a private room in a youth hostel — there are plenty in NYC. There would be no problem with age here, and he may even find the place better suited for a younger clientele. This would also be a vastly cheaper option.

Complete question about hotel check in age

My grandson, who is almost 20, and his girlfriend, who is 18, will be traveling to Ireland this August and will be staying there for almost a year to go to school. Before they leave from JFK airport in New York, they want to spend a few days exploring New York City. I want to buy a reservation for them for a couple of nights in Manhattan, but I have just been told by someone that the hotels may not accept their reservation because neither of them is over 21. Is this true? How can I get around this? Their great uncle (my brother) lives in the city. Could he intercede on their behalf? They are good, well-behaved kids and plan on marrying eventually.

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Filed under: Accommodation, Travel Help, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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