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While searching for hotels, the major sites such as Expedia, explicitly as the number of adults and children, including their age or age-range, but many minor sites just as for number of guests. Does this usually exclude or include children? If not always, at what age should children be included?

Often, if including the children, the rooms on offer are significantly larger than needed which obviously increased costs and, more crucially, reduces the availability (sometimes with Max Adults Exceeded as reason).

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    It is flagged as too broad, but is it ? The question is valid and I simply do not know if there in fact it depends on the hotel or in contrast an international standard or rule of thumb exist. Do the flagger know that it is really so different concerning hotels (which would be precious information itself) that the "too broad" flag is justified ? – Thorsten S. May 19 '15 at 21:52
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The rule of thumb is that children count as soon as they need their own beds. Baby sleeping in same bed or in a cot? Doesn't count. Preschooler in a rollaway bed? Counts.

Obviously there is wide variation on this on a country, state, city and hotel policy level. In particular, as far as fire codes are concerned, a person is usually a person regardless of size, so a room with a maximum occupancy of three is a room for three, period, even if the hotel doesn't charge you extra for an infant. The best approach is to call the hotel and ask, they're often more lenient in practice than the booking site would indicate.

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