Hotels in California That Allow 18-Year-Olds to Check-In

By: Alexander Backus
Updated: March 28, 2023

California is home to several big cities and popular tourist attractions. Whether you’re a visitor from across the country or a CA resident seeking a place to stay, finding a hotel here should be easy. But what if you’re under 21? 

Fortunately, there are several great California hotels with 18+ check-ins. So no matter where you are in the Golden State, you’ll likely have a few options to pick from.

Hotels in California with 18+ Check-In

1. Los Angeles

How Old Do You Have To Be to Rent a Hotel Room in California?

To rent a hotel room in California, you must be at least 18 years old. This age limit allows the hotels to hold guests accountable for any potential damage or theft. 

However, hotels that accept 18-year-olds are somewhat uncommon. Most hotel contracts require you to be 21 or older to check-in. 

Alternatives to Hotels for 18-Year-Olds 

If any of these hotels don’t work for you, don’t worry—there are plenty of good alternatives to hotels for 18-year-olds. 

Youth Hostels

Youth hostels are popular places for travelers under 21 looking for somewhere to stay. The age requirements at these overnight rooms may vary, but all of them will allow 18-year-olds to check-in. They are typically cheaper than hotels, so they can save you a little bit of money, too. 


Another great alternative to hotels is Airbnb. This service connects you with people who rent their places out to guests. Like youth hostels, Airbnbs are generally cheaper than hotels, though they don’t have as many amenities. 


In some cases, a campervan can make a suitable hotel alternative. The cost of renting one will vary, but they are typically cheaper than a hotel. Campervans are ideal for people looking to stay on the move while in California. 


If there are any questions I haven’t answered, keep reading—your answer might be here. 

Do I need to bring my ID when checking into hotels as an 18-year-old? 

Yes, all hotels will require an ID when you check in to ensure you are at least 18 years old. Valid forms of ID include: 

  • State ID 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Student ID 
  • Military ID 
  • Passport 

Always make sure your ID is up to date when checking into a hotel. 

Do I need a credit card to check into a hotel as an 18-year-old? 

Yes, most hotels will require that you pay with a credit card when you check into a hotel. Using a credit card allows the hotel to charge you in case there is any theft or damage to your room. 

Is it legal for 18-year-olds to check into hotels in California? 

Yes, it is entirely legal to rent a hotel in California at the age of 18. No state or federal laws indicate you must be 21 to check in to a hotel. 

Why do most hotels in California require you to be 21 to check-in? 

The reason so many hotels require you to be 21 is that they often offer alcohol in their minibars. If these hotels allow anyone under 21 to check in alone, they may receive a fine for providing alcohol to minors.