Age Restrictions suck. Period. Perhaps the best thing for me personally about turning 18 two years ago was the fact that I could apply for a credit card (and not surprisingly, I got immediate Denial). At present, I am trying to plan a weekend trip to Florida and haven’t booked the flights yet (I figured I could do a MR and stay there for two nights instead of coming right back). However there is a bigger issue – apparently I’m not old enough to book most major hotels in the United States.
Say what? Yep, you must be 21 years or older to book most hotels. I’ve booked hotels before in the U.S. but that was mostly through Expedia and somehow I’ve never noticed the age requirement yet there was no problem of me checking into the hotel. Now I am trying to book using points, this is where it gets interesting… long story short, Starwood, Hyatt, IHG, etc., won’t let me book most of the hotels since I’m under 21. Yes, I informed them I have elite status with each programme, but that didn’t work. I love Starwood Hotels and therefore I usually stay with them primarily (yes.. when I am travelling with someone 21+), and I really wanted to redeem my Starpoints for two nights in Florida since they have some awesome hotels there… but they won’t let me. I’ve only found one hotel that has an 18+ policy from Starwood but it isn’t the nicest and definitely not where I would stay.
Hyatt, on the other hand, has way more 18+ hotels but the thing is, is that most of them are in the low categories and that sucks. I presume the higher-end hotels have a 21+ policy because of alcohol in the room’s mini-bar? That is honestly the only thing I could think of (maybe the fact that young people my age also make a ton of noise?) (not that I fall into that category at all). I mean seriously, I like America and all but some of the policies the country has are ridiculous – this being one of them (and also the fact that you can go to war and die yet you can’t drink). I do realise it isn’t always the country at fault but the company, but I think in this case it is obvious.
I also looked at some IHG hotels but I don’t think I’d ever stay with them unless Starwood or Hyatt is 100% not available since IHG doesn’t have the nicest hotels in the world. BUT… from my quick searches I’ve noticed more 18+ hotels than Hyatt. So the question is what do I do? Should I stay at a lower category hotel just so that I can stay there or…?
I really do want to visit some places in Florida instead of just flying there and back on a mileage run but it is getting to the point where I am only able to book hotels that are either far away from the cities or that aren’t nice at all. I’m caught in this dilemma. On the other hand, it would only be two nights and therefore shouldn’t matter.. it isn’t like I would spend the whole day in the hotel… but I do want to use my all of my hotel elite status benefits that I have (mainly through credit cards).
So the bottom line is that I just despise age restrictions. I mean I really don’t get them. The universal age restrictions should all be lifted after one turns 18, that is the legal age where you can act on your own and do what you want… yet in some, *ahem*, countries you can’t drink or worse – can’t book a hotel!
I’m so glad flying doesn’t have restrictions (I mean I’ve been flying alone since I was 12 or so and never had issues).
Oh, and don’t even get me started on rental cars…