As a seasoned traveler, I've encountered a myriad of questions and concerns regarding hostel stays, particularly about age restrictions. Whether you're a young adventurer under 18, a family looking for a comfortable stay, or a mature traveler curious about upper age limits, understanding these policies is crucial.
This guide aims to demystify hostel age policies, sharing insights from our extensive hostel database at Hostelz.com.
And may I just add: The youngest Solo-Traveler I ever met in a hostel was 17 years old. The oldest was 74. This range perfectly illustrates that hostels are a melting pot of ages and experiences, enriching the travel adventure for everyone involved.
Do Hostels Have Age Limits?
Yes, some hostels do set age limits. This means they might not accept guests under 18 or those over a certain age, like 35 years old. Though 35 is just a common example, not a rule for all.
When it comes to age limits, hostels can be different. Some might have rules about being too young or too old to stay, but plenty don’t worry about age at all. It’s a good idea to check these rules before you book to make sure the hostel fits what you need.
It is important to know: Some age limits exist by law (e.g. no under 18 year old in dorms), and others are just added by choice (e.g. to set the expectation straight of guests).
If I would need to take a guess, I would say 95% of all hostels do not have any restrictions on age - other than the ones applied by law.
Read more about first-time staying in a hostel this guide.
Youth Hostels and Age Misconceptions
"Youth Hostels" isn't just a term for places for young travelers. Even though they started out aimed at young people on the move, now they're open to everyone, no matter their age. So, don't let the name fool you – these hostels aren't just for the youth.
They're for any traveler looking for a good place to stay, offering a mix of experiences for both the young and the young at heart. Here is a detailed guide on the 10 different types of hostels out there.
Hostels Under 18?
Traveling as a minor presents unique challenges, with many hostels implementing policies for safety and legal reasons. It's common for hostels to require minors to be accompanied by an adult or restrict them to private rooms.
Before you book, it's essential to check the hostel's policy.
At Hostelz.com, we make this step easier by providing detailed descriptions, and filters to apply, as well as contact information for hostels worldwide. This allows you to verify any age restrictions and make informed decisions about where to stay.
Here on Hostelz.com you can filter for age restrictions at hostels, ensuring you find a suitable and welcoming place to stay, regardless of your age.
The Upper Age Limit: Hostels for 35+?
The concept of an upper age limit in hostels often surprises many travelers. While some hostels set age limits to maintain a specific vibe, many others welcome travelers of all ages, valuing the diversity they bring.
I have personally experienced this in a hostel in Pai, Thailand, where despite the advertised age limit, the atmosphere was inclusive, and the staff was welcoming to all. This experience underscores the importance of communication and sometimes, the flexibility of hostel policies regarding age.
Hostels for Families with Children
Families traveling with children will find many hostels accommodating, with specific policies in place to ensure the safety and comfort of younger guests. It's always advisable to check directly with the hostel for their policies on accommodating families.
Here on Hostelz.com you can easily filter for family-rooms and family-friendly hostels. We have special pages as well such as:
- Family Hostels in London
- Family Hostels in Paris
- Family Hostels in Barcelona
- Family Hostels in Amsterdam
Here are some basic tips for families to spot family-friendly hostels:
1. Use the filter on Hostelz
You can simply apply the filter for "family hostels" on any city.
2. Keep an eye on the Photos
Do the photos show party? It's a no-go.
Do the photos show kids and kids-friendly amenities? Here you go!
3. Read the Reviews
Past guests often share their experiences in reviews. Look for mentions of families, the hostel’s atmosphere, and any facilities for children. Positive feedback from other families can be a good indicator of a hostel's suitability for your own. You can filter the reviews here on Hostelz.com for keywords such as "family", "kids", and anything related.
4. Check for Private Rooms
Family-friendly hostels usually offer private room options. This can give your family space and privacy, making for a more comfortable stay.
Tips for Navigating Age Restrictions
1. Do Your Research: Use Hostelz.com to find hostels that fit your age and preferences. Our listings include age policy information, helping you avoid any surprises.
2. Contact Hostels Directly: If you're unsure about a policy or don't see age-related information listed, reach out directly. Hostel staff are usually happy to clarify their rules.
3. Consider Your Travel Style: If you're under 18 or over the typical age limit, think about what you want from your hostel experience. Are you looking for a quiet retreat, a chance to meet fellow travelers, or a family-friendly environment? Knowing this can guide your search.
4. Look Beyond the Label: The term "youth hostel" doesn't automatically mean older travelers aren't welcome. It's often more about the hostel's atmosphere than a strict age policy.
Hostels are still an awesome option for couples, too. I wrote a special article about hostels for couples here.
Why Some Hostels Impose Age Limits? Two Reasons
Age limits in hostels mainly come down to two things:
- the vibe they want to create
- the law, and
First, they might be aiming for a certain vibe, like a fun and youthful atmosphere, which could lead them to set a maximum age limit. It's about keeping the energy and experiences in line with what young travelers are looking for.
What the hostel offers can influence age limits too. Hostels with bars or that host nightly parties might not be the best fit for younger travelers or those looking for a quiet stay.
In my own experience, this age limit is usually very visible on their listings on Hostelz.com, Hostelworld, and Booking.com. It is also worth to mention, that most likely they accept as well people over the age limit. I've been told several times this age restrictions is mainly to set the expectations of their customer straight.
Second, there are the legal aspects. Laws in different places might dictate who can stay in hostels, especially when it comes to younger guests. This is important for ensuring everyone's safety and making sure the hostel operates within the law. For example, if a hostel has a bar, they need to follow laws about serving alcohol, which usually means only allowing guests above a certain age.
Additionally, even when children and teens under 18 are allowed to stay in a hostel, they are most often not permitted to stay in shared accommodation like dormitories. This rule helps ensure the safety and comfort of all guests, aligning with both legal requirements and hostel policies.
So, age restrictions help make sure guests find a place that matches what they're looking for, whether that's a quiet night's sleep or a social night out.
Examples of Hostels with Age Restrictions
Just to give you an idea, here are some hostels with upper age limits:
- Cantagua Hostel and SOM Hostel in Valencia
- Nolo Hub in Pai, Thailand
- Slumber Hostels - Party Hostel Chain
Conclusion: Hostel Experience at Any Age
At Hostelz.com, we believe that exploration and adventure have no age limit.
Whether you're planning your first solo trip as a teenager or embracing the wanderlust of retirement, there's a hostel out there for you. Our mission is to connect you with accommodations that welcome you, regardless of your age, and ensure a memorable travel experience.
Remember, the world of hostels is as diverse as its guests. With the right approach and a bit of research, you can find the perfect place to stay, one that matches your age, interests, and travel dreams. So, pack your bags, and let's embark on this journey together — because the adventure doesn't stop at any age.
Ready to find your next hostel adventure? Start searching on Hostelz.com now and discover the perfect place to stay, no matter your age.
- Are there hostels without any age restrictions? Yes, many hostels welcome guests of all ages. You can use filters on Hostelz.com to find accommodations that fit your age group.
- Can families with children stay in hostels? Absolutely! Many hostels are family-friendly and offer private rooms to accommodate families comfortably.
- What should I do if I'm over the usual age limit for a hostel? Check the hostel's policy or reach out directly. Many are flexible about their age restrictions.
Featured image by Viajero Hostel in Santa Marta
More photos by Los Patios in Medellin, Colombia
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