Any tips on what to do with one's passport and money while traveling solo and going for a swim at the ocean? Also, when traveling, is it best to keep passport on body at all times or leave in hotel or wherever one is staying?
Sally, I travel solo quite often so have to deal with the same issues. I normally prefer to keep my Passport with me at all times, usually stored in my Money Belt. However, prior to checking into a new Hotel, I transfer it to a reasonably secure pocket, as I know that I'll have to present it to the hotel clerk. Going for a swim is a bit more trouble. I haven't done that so far but would use a product something like this to store my Passport while swimming: http://www.goinginstyle.com/Water-Proof-Wallet-Splash-Caddy-P3176.aspx There are lots of different types on the market. Check Amazon or other sites for other models. Happy travels!
It is very unusual to show your passport during ordinary day-to-day activities. Once or twice I have been asked while making a large purchase, but the store has accepted other photo ID. You can make a colour copy of your passport's main page and carry that. It's not official but indicates you do have proper ID. Store the original and other valuables at your hotel, either the front desk or the safe in your room. For money, depend on ATM cards from two different banks. Ditto credit cards although the fees for foreign transactions can mount up; paying cash is cheaper. Never carry all the cards in the same wallet or pocket.
When travelling in the Schengen area, you are required to have your passport or state issued ID with you at all times. It is extremely rear that you will be controlled while in the Schengen area, but it does happen, in such a case if you are unable to provide an official identification, then you can be detained until such time as they are able to establish your identity. It has only happened to me once, I was travelling between Basle and Zurich with a Swiss colleague and we got controlled. The Swiss guy did not have a Swiss ID on him and we had to get off the train at the next stop and wait until the police and run a check on him, needless to say we missed our train.
Sally which countries are you travelling to? I never carry mine around all day sightseeing but do wear it in my moneybelt ( worn under clothing) when actually in transit. The few times I went to a beach I kept it super simple. I would leave everything in a hotel safe , take only 5-10 euros for an ice-cream or drink. I didn't bring my camera . Its not as easy as with when a partner you can take turns swimming etc. I also just would stick my stuff in a casual plastic bag towel and bag of chips etc. In UK and France I never carry my passport around, I am a bit different in some places, depends on my comfort level .
When traveling, I leave my passport, etc. all in the hotel safe. If everything I need is in there together, I won't forget them. For those who think hotel safes are liable to theft, this might have been true back in the days before the internet and Trip Advisor. If this was happening in hotels, it would get posted immediately and a hotel would lose all of their business. I don't know any hotel that can afford that to happen to them. Only the manager is able to get into a safe. As to the law that says you have to carry your passport all the time, this is a misunderstanding. You have to be able to access it. So, if the police want to come to my apt. so I can show them my passport, everything is ok. I have not broken any laws. If I was driving a car or traveling far away from Frankfurt, then yes, I would have my pass on me, but it is perfectly legal for tourists to leave their passports in their hotel rooms while out sightseeing. Oddly enough, in 26 years, I have never carried mine with me, nor ever been asked for it.
In transit my passport goes into my moneybelt but once I have arrived at my destination it goes into a secure spot. The only times I have been asked for a passport was in Italy when I wanted to use the internet at an internet café (its the law), and in Amsterdam when I was using my credit card, the shop wanted identification (lots of stolen credit cards).