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

By: Alexander Backus
Updated: January 11, 2024

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

You need to be at least 18 years old to rent a hotel room in Iowa. But different establishments can set their own policies, with some requiring you to be 21 or older to rent a room.

Alternatives to Hotels for 18-Year-Olds

Hotels aren't the only game in town anymore, and there are various accommodations you can pursue instead. Some offer a much more exciting experience than the hotel room.

Youth Hostels

Youth hostels may be an ideal alternative if you need help finding a good hotel. 

These establishments are geared toward a younger crowd, and you're likely to see other people your age staying there. They also tend to be more cost-effective.

The downsides are that privacy is typically lacking, as are amenities, and you won't find as many staff on hand. 


Airbnbs will usually rent to someone who is 18 years old. These can offer affordability and a range of different options in terms of amenities.

But, like with hotels, it's always best to check with the host before finalizing your booking.


Campervans offer the unique opportunity to rent an RV or camper and choose your location to park overnight.

You'll need to have a valid driver's license. It's also possible that for insurance purposes, the company you're renting from will want you to be 21 or older, so reach out at booking to find out for sure.


I understand that you probably have a few more questions that I might not have covered, so I've rounded up some of the more common ones:

Will I need an I.D. to check in as an 18-year-old?

Yes, you will need an I.D. to check into your hotel. A state-issued I.D. or driver's license should suffice. You'll at least want something with your birthday on it.

Will I need a credit card to check-in as an 18-year-old?

You should expect to need a credit or debit card to check-in. Most establishments will require this as a form of payment and as added protection in case of damage to your room.

Is it legal for an 18-year-old to check into a hotel in Iowa?

It is technically legal for an 18-year-old to check into a hotel in Iowa.

However, some hotels will have a policy that states guests must be 21+ to check-in. 

Why do some hotels in Iowa have an age requirement of 21?

For most hotels, this comes down to an issue of liability. Some hotels have a minibar or bar on the premises and don't want to run the risk of underage drinking.

Other establishments may assume that younger guests are less responsible and mature, so they want to be cautious.