Having someone in the room that is 21 somewhat shifts the burden of creating an underage drinking shelter from the hotel to the "adult" renting the room. I'm not saying it totally releases them of liability, but it's a lot easier to peg the purchase and distribution of the alcohol on the 21-year old if there's one there.
A little tid bit for those who are under 25 needing to rent a car you might want to check with Enterprise Rental. http://www.enterprise.com/car_rental/home.do They will sometimes rent to under 25 but usually my experience with that is only if your car is in the shop.
Most rental companies will rent under 25, with a surcharge. Like an idiot back in '98 I didn't renew my license and had to have Steph drive in Portland. She was at the time 23, and we paid an extra $10/day or something.
When I did the California rounds last summer, I rented from Enterprise at 21 and I believe the surcharge was a lot more than $10. $20 or $25 is sticking in my mind, but I really can't remember for sure. It turned out that even staying in Hampton Inns (for the free breakfast) the entire way, the car rental was well over 50% of my trip cost (season passes and complimentary air for volunteering for the *bump* - actually a good cheap travel tip itself!!)
Is there a general website to check on age limits at hotels, or do you just have to check individual websites? I ask this because I'm planning a long weekend trip this summer with a friend of mine who's 19 (I'm 18) and if we book with Hotwire or Priceline, there's really no way to know what chain you're going to end up with.
Taking a voluntary bump on an overbooked flight can be a good idea, BUT that free trip voucher usually comes with a lot of restrictions.
A better thing to ask for is to see if they're willing to give you a cash voucher instead. The typical amount is $200. It's not a free round trip, but you also won't be limited in what dates and flights you can use it on. As a bonus, if you're a miles credit whore like I am, a flight booked with the cash voucher will earn you miles, one booked with a "free flight" voucher will not... *** Edited 4/5/2004 6:51:57 PM UTC by GregLeg***
Which "bump" ticket did you get Greg? Mine was restriction free, I could have even used it for a 3 day stay without a Saturday night (One of the trips I had planned for the ticket involved that timeframe, and I had confirmed that with US Airways) although, like you I'm a points and miles person, and was mad I didn't get extras for it! =)
Or waltz into the hotel at 2am and tell them in a calm but obviously irritated voice you will hold them personally responsible for your car repair and hospital bills because they told you to go back out onto the roads when you're dead tired just cause you can't consume an alcoholic beverage in this country ...
Of course, I only tried that once and I was by myself, but it worked great!
My friend and I must have done something wrong then, Impulse-Ive, because that didn't work for us!
We only came across one man working at one of the hotels who was truly sympathetic. He called his managers and everything to see if he could let us get a room, but they wouldn't let him. I still wish that I had got this mans name, because even though he couldn't do anything for us, he tried. I would have liked to filled out a compliment card for him. I was just too tired to care at that point.
If you're under 25 and want to rent a car, like others have said, most will wax you with what I like to call a "baby tax" of something along the lines of 25 bucks/day. Now, it was my experience that Hertz, Avis, and Budget will NOT rent to under 25's except in New York where, by law, they *have* to. Alamo and Thrify will rent to under 25's but they are at the higher end of the fees ($30+/day). Enterprise, I've found to be the most 21-24 friendly (under 21 and you're short!).
The thing about Enterprise, though, is not *all* the locations charge a baby tax. Most of the airport locations do (notable exception in my experience was Cleveland, which was baby tax-free, but that was several years ago). But a good tip is to try and use a site that is "local", say in a neighborhood. They may drop the baby-tax as an effort to attract more business. Enterprise always claims "We'll pick you up", so call their bluff!
For hotels, you could always try a "no-tell motel". I'm sure 'moosh has an extensive listing for most cities. :)
I don't think Moosh is a good source for "those" motels....try someone with less taste...;)
FWIW, the WORST motel I have *ever* stayed at, was in Tampa, only a mile or two from the park. "Chickenheads" (Dave Chappelle reference included free of charge) were jumping in and out of cars who weren't even pulling into the parking lot. Two "gentlemen" (term loosely applied) were pretty vocal in discussing their respective *holdings* in terms of beer, hoochies, crack, and cash....lesson learned, LOL....;)
Motel rule #106: Even "chain motels" vary WIDELY....check out the neighborhood...;)