Do Hostels Have Age Limits?

Written by: Chris Richardson

Many travellers worry about age restrictions or age limits when considering hostels for their travel accommodations. Am I too old to stay in a hostel? Can my kids stay in a hostel? Do I want to stay in a hostel with older people?

In this post, we hope to answer all your questions regarding hostel age limits for staying in a hostel to help you decide if a hostel is the right choice for your next trip.

Age Restrictions in Hostels

When it comes to age restrictions in hostels, the majority of hostels don’t have a minimum age limit. However, some do enforce a maximum age limit of up to 40 years old when their primary market is younger travellers. Those that have a bar on the premises may also limit people under 16 or 18 years old due to licence requirements.

Generally speaking, most hostels will welcome guests of all ages and those over the age of 18 years old are free to book accommodation and stay as a solo traveller in a dorm or private room. I’ve stayed in many a hostel and never once heard the front desk staff turn someone away due to their age.

Ultimately, hostels are open to all types of travellers, and it’s important to communicate with the hostel owner or manager before booking so that you can avoid any uncomfortable or unexpected circumstances if you have a concern.

The Average Age Of Hostel Guests

The average age of hostel guests varies from region to region and the type of hostel you book. But by far, the bulk of guests are in the 18 to 34 age bracket.

A party hostel, for instance, tends to attract a younger, more vibrant crowd of travellers. Compared to a family-orientated hostel that does not promote big parties and pushes a more homely stay.

According to the leading hostel booking site Hostelworld, the core age group of hostel travellers is between 18 and 34 years old, which means that there is a wide range of ages staying in hostels. 

Can Guests Under the Age of 18 Stay In A Hostel

Most hostels have an age limit in place, typically prohibiting guests under the age of 18 from staying in dorm rooms. However, private rooms are normally exempt from this restriction, and minors can stay in them if accompanied by an adult or family member. Usually, a permission letter from a legal guardian is also required for unaccompanied minors to stay in hostels. 

Some party hostels may limit people under 16 or 18 from staying there. For those travelling with children, it is important to make sure they are aware of the hostel’s rules and regulations and any age restrictions and policies before booking. 

Is 40 Too Old For Hostels

Absolutely not! Many hostels across the world are open to all ages. Some may even have special discounts for travellers over the age of 50. Hostels are no longer just for the 20-something backpackers of the world. They offer a welcoming atmosphere to more mature guests as well.

Though the average age for guests in hostels is 18-34, it’s not uncommon for travellers of all ages to stay in hostels. Some hostels may mention that guests staying there are usually under the age of 30, but very few impose an upper age limit. 

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference as to whether or not 40 is too old for hostels. For some, 40 may be the perfect age to experience the unique atmosphere and budget-friendly accommodation offered by hostels. Others might prefer a more traditional hotel experience. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual traveller to decide which option is best for them.

Based on my experience, having an older traveller or guest in a hostel can be quite rewarding. In my early travelling days, the older guests often had some great stories to tell and tips that those of you new to staying in a hostel or travelling can learn from. 

Travelling with Children

Travelling with children can be a great way to explore the world, and hostels can offer a great option for families looking for economical accommodation. While there is not one universal age limit for children staying in a hostel, many places will require legal guardians to provide permission for unaccompanied minors under the age of 18.

Furthermore, there may be certain restrictions, such as preventing children from staying in shared dorm rooms. Hostels also commonly require guests 12 and younger to stay in single-sex dorms and be accompanied by a parent. However, with the right research and preparation, travelling with children can be an enjoyable experience for all.

The Truth About Hostel Age Limits

When it comes to hostels, the truth is that age limit restrictions are not as common as some might think. While it is true that some hostels do impose age limits, the majority of them do not. Even those that do impose an age limit tend to be quite lenient and flexible. Especially if travelling in the low season.

This means that regardless of if you’re 21, in your 30s, 40s or somewhere in between, you can still enjoy the unique experience of staying in a hostel without worrying about being turned away. 

In my mind, I’ll never be too old to stay in a hostel. And I think that’s all that matters. If you have the desire to travel in a more social way, then hostels should always be a place to stay.