A tricky endeavour at best. The first question is, why do you WANT a hotel room anyway?

  • Questionable activities (sex, drugs, Cinemax).
  • More comfortable beds (vibrating if neccessary).
  • Too much money on your hands.
  • Just to get a little peace and quiet.
Well, we'll assume that you have a good reason. After all, you were determined enough to find this writeup. What to do? Read on.

Step One - The Community

Is this illegal where you come from? Most states, provinces, and countries don't have laws specifically regulating any minimum age required to get a hotel room. On the other hand, most hotels, for insurance purposes, require somebody who is legally responsible to sign for the room, in case of trouble.

So, be prepared. Is there a mandatory ID check in your area?

Step Two - The Location

Assuming that it can be done at all, you want to find a lodging establishment that doesn't really care about the age of its patrons. This implies seedy, or at the very least cheap. The problem? The seediest and cheapest hotels are no place for 16-year-olds to be hanging out. Find something indeterminate. Recommendations:

  • Motels in general
  • Comfort Inn
  • Small, fenced-off places that still seem somewhat reputable
Step Three - The Image

Walk with confidence. "I do this all the time." (Don't SAY it, just think it.) Act as though nothing is strange. Dress respectably. Be polite. Even if it's against the rules, if you're nice and the clerk doesn't really care: you're In Like Flynn.

It's a good idea to drive. Many roadside hotels take down your license plate as proof of identity, which is great since it says nothing about you. Just be careful not to damage anything. Pay in cash.

TheBooBooKitty says Never pay in cash. I AM a hotel manager. Paying in cash is a sure fire way to get your ID checked and photocopied. If you don't have a Visa, then don't even bother.

Take it from him, then. Maybe you should get a credit card.

Don't show up midday; check-in is usually at 1:00, so endeavor to be late. Obviously you can't stay all night, so make sure you've paid before you leave; you won't be there in the morning.

Alternate Methods

These tend to be crazier, Ferris Bueller-type ideas, so try them at your own risk.

  • Call up and make a reservation, then show up just to pick up the key and say something like "I was supposed to give you this the money." It's unlikely that you'll be checked up on.
  • Just slip the clerk a $20. What's the harm?
  • In the main office, check which rooms have keys visible behind the counter. Remember the room numbers. Pick the room in the worst spot (assuming the prices are uniform), and climb in through the window / pick the lock with a credit card. It's unlikely to be used unless there's a run on the place.
  • More words of wisdom from TheBooBooKitty: After getting a room, mess it up a bit, go down to the office, and say it's dirty. They'll give you another room and then not use that one for the remainder of the night. Keep them both.
  • Even more: Rent the room on Priceline.com, and then just show up to collect it.

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