I was denied access to a famous nightclub in Miami, and it was not because I was drunk. Read my 3 warnings about what you should not do when you are out enjoying nightlife in the United States.
Bring your driver’s license and passport: I joined a party through my hostel, which was pretty cool. We got free drinks in the chill bar in Rock Hostel, a spacious and modern, fully equipped hostel one block from the beach. A party bus took us to another hostel, where we had a drink before driving to a famous nightclub called Story. We were on a guest list, but had to queue up. When I finally reached the entrance, a big, black guy asked for my ID. I had brought my Norwegian Bank Visa with personal photo and full personal number on it. This was a huge mistake, according to the enormous guard in front of me. He rolled his eyes when I said that this was a good ID In Norway. «Not here in the States,» he said. He showed me a book with photos of what IDs he could allow: Only passports and driver licenses! When I asked if he could let me in anyway, he asked if I wanted to get in trouble with American law.
I am quite certain I do not look under 21, I was not drunk and I had dressed up nice in red dress and high heel gold sandals. But that did not help me.
I was denied access as the only guest from our party – the others were mostly latinos and young people under 30 – and I – the only white grown up woman, was kicked out.
I tried to discuss with the guard, but that was not a good idea, it made him even more demanding. Luckily, our host from Rock hostel felt sorry for me, and he took me back and forth with Uber Pool, so that I could get my passport from the room safe. I felt like a criminal and he understood I was upset, but at the same time he also claimed that my bank ID looked like crap; like it could have been homemade in my kitchen. IDs that are not issued by the state are worthless, he said. This was new and shocking facts! In my country driver´s license is considered more crap than bank IDs with full personal number and photo!
I got in at last showing my passport with the host at my side – but after this experience I did not have such a good time, actually, so I just stayed for short time and went home.
In the nightclub Mango in Miami – at salsa nights – I was never asked for any ID. Therefore I never thought I would need to bring my passport to Story. The thing is – you never know when they will ask for ID either because they need to or because they want to show their power. Please do not do like me and claim your bank Visa with personal photo and personal number is the best ID ever and that Norway is one of the world ´s safest country in the world in front of an angry big guard. He will not understand. Bring your driver ´s license and passport wherever you go in the US. It is all this country understands. According to my hostel host, these people deny people for all kinds of reasons – they might say you picked the wrong kind of shoes that night or wrong clothing or they will claim you had too much to drink, so be careful! (The photo below is from my more happy night in Mango.)
2. Do not take for granted that the waiter will give you the right money back. When in a party and if you have been drinking a bit or have a lot on your mind, it is easy to forget to check your wallet and money. When we were stopping at another hostel to get a drink before the night club, there was a crowd of people there and pretty chaotic. A roommate of mine from Brazil did not discover until he was inside the disco that 80 dollar was missing from his wallet – the waiter in the hostel bar had given him too little money back from a 100 dollar. When I am writing this he is still trying to get his money back. At first the hostel said they could not help him, but the manager at our hostel made a call and made them check the cashier and the cameras. I feel so sorry for this guy – my friend – visiting Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles who lost his precious money. Two days later, when we visited the famous art area Wynwood, he had still not got his money back.
In fact we should always check the bill when we are shopping to see if it is right – and check that we get the right change back in restaurants and bars. It is human to do mistakes, but it is so hard to come the next day and claim you were not given your change back or that the bill is wrong! So here we have all something to learn. Better check twice right away.
3. Do not bring your wallet and a lot of money to beach at night. In Miami (and many other places) hanging out with your friends on the beach at night is popular. I also did this one night – I was invited by my former room mate in Freehand hostel and two more people. Together with my friends from Denmark, Mexico and Canada I climbed inside a beach house and had some drinks and food and nice talk there. Late in the night, the other girl in our nice group, noticed both her wallets were missing. She and the guy from Denmark looked everywhere, even in the garbage, but the wallets with her last money were lost. At night in the beach there might be thieves around waiting for you to lose control of your things, so do not bring too much money and do not leave your thing behind when you go to the toilet or some other errands. Besides from this, we had a supernice time on the beach. My first time to spend a whole night in a beach house.
Good luck with your nights out -and do not forget valid ID. 😉 I have learnt my lesson.
After I printed this, my friend from Mexico lost his phone in a gay club – so please, please, hold on to your things… 🙂
What have you learnt by travelling?
Check out nice and cheap hostels here. Fun way to travel as you meet new friends every day.
Read about my experiences in Miami here.