Airbnb says a 13 year old is an Adult

I am appalled to see that Airbnb has expanded the definition of “Adult” when making a reservation request and listing guests to individuals that are 13 years old! In the United States:

"A “juvenile” is a person who has not attained his eighteenth birthday, and “juvenile delinquency” is the violation of a law of the United States committed by a person prior to his eighteenth birthday which would have been a crime if committed by an adult.Jan 16, 2020

  1. “Juvenile” Defined | JM | Department of Justice"

Under the new Airbnb definition Host rules such as ‘children must be accompanied by an adult’ or ‘children must be supervised by an adult at all times’ mean that a 13 year old could be supervising/accompanying younger children.

The Airbnb ‘definition’ is not safe nor is it reasonable.

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What age is an adult ticket to the movies? Here it is 12.

Teens are in a hellish netherland: They are “adults” when those in charge want to give them responsibilities. They are “children” when adults want to keep them from doing something. The teen plays the same game, adults when they want a privilege, kids when they want to shirk.

Regardless of what one thinks of Airbnb policy, a definition used for the criminal justice system would be irrelevant.

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I list my kids, 12 and 14 as adults when I travel. It’s not like they need a crib…

And gasp, yes I leave them alone from time to time.



Don’t 13 year olds baby sit?/ Oh, that’s so old school. Now, parents won’t hire a baby sitter unless they are 18 and have a PhD.

Does this mean that a 13 year old can use there own id, DL and Visa to book??


I didn’t think this was a new thing - for quite a while the Airbnb definition of a child is aged between 2 and 12, isn’t it?

Kids thirteen and over need a bed just as much as adults do, they need as many showers, require just as many sheets and pillowcases, use the same amount of loo paper and shampoo and soap, use the same number of towels, etc. etc. so therefore they are people requiring the same basic amenities as someone who is 23 or 33 or 93.

I guess it’s not the same in the US but thirteen year olds in some parts of the world are pretty mature. There are still countries in the world where people of 13, 14 and 15 can marry.


Isn’t Arkansas one of those places?


You got me thinking so I went to Wikipedia.

With parental consent and judicial approval, a person can marry under the age of eighteen but no lower than the age of 12 for females and 14 for males as it is the legislated minimum in this state.

That’s in Massachusetts. Blimey.

Mind you, anyone who has gone back to before the First World War in their family history will have come across couples marrying at that age. But didn’t Elvis Presley marry someone who was fourteen? And that other bloke who was prosecuted for transporting an underage girl over state lines but she was his wife? I need to look that up…

Jerry Lee Lewis! Married a 13 year old.

You are thinking of Jerry Lee Lewis? Married a 13 year old.

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You do realize that Airlines consider a 2-year-old an adult, right?

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@farmhost I’m not really sure what your concern is here. A 13 year old can’t book a place, and the booker has to be one of the guests, otherwise it would be an unacceptable third-party booking.

My girls were babysitting by the time they were 13. They had part time jobs at 14. Guests leaving a 13 year old at the house while they go shopping, or something, really doesn’t seem like an issue to me.

A 13 year old being considered an adult for booking purposes just means they don’t fall under the “No children” booking rule many hosts have. Which is reasonable- a 13 year old really isn’t a child.


I said the same thing, but somebody brought up a year or two ago that this might not be the case when leaving a 13-year old home alone when you have a pool.

My mother got pregnant with my older sister at the age of 16, and my dad was 21. That would be illegal in CA now, and may have been then, but no criminal penalties were pursued. It was winter of 1943/44.

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Then you could just have a house rule that no one under 16 is allowed in the pool unless accompanied by someone over 21, without ever mentioning the word adult, no?

It’s foolish to be out in a pool alone, without anyone else around, anyway, no matter what age you are.



The National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends that children not be left alone before the age of 12.

So Airbnb is going by the recommendation of an official entity. In Kansas, says Google, it’s legal to leave six-year-olds at home alone.

Most kids today have a cellphone (if I remember rightly in the UK many had them before their ages reached two figures) so they’re pretty capable of calling for help if they need it.


Contentious subject, especially to me as someone who has lived/worked in the near and middle East, who also has two daughters who accompanied me from a young age.

Read and weep, or not depending on your perspective.



Those who live in the US, Canada, and many parts of Europe, if they have no experience with quite different cultures, don’t realize that what we consider “too young” is not the same the world over.

In smaller villages in Mexico, it’s not at all unusual to see pregnant 15-16 year-olds. One of the workers when I was building my house was 24 and had 2 kids, the oldest of which was 8.

And you often see a child who can’t be more than 7 or 8 tasked with looking after their baby sister or brother all day.

In many countries, a 13 or 14 year old may be the main breadwinner in the family.


My kids have passports, so probably… Except they do not have a credit card


That’s not what Airbnb are saying at all @farmhost

They simply don’t count over 12s as children for booking purposes