How to Travel with Jewelry Safely

Gold Hoops in Vogue Taiwan

Styled by Davian Lain

Getting ready for your next vacay? Don't want to leave your precious baubles behind?

Traveling with jewelry can create a lot of unnecessary headaches if you don't do it correctly. You must consider how you are going to keep your beloved trinkets safe on the road way before you start on your next adventure.

Let's focus on three very important steps: packing your precious knickknacks for travel, going through airport security and trying to put a lid on loss and theft. If not steered clear of, theft is a major downer on an escapade and will wreck an otherwise wonderful trip. Below are some ideas that will help you safely fly.

Pack as little jewelry as you can, to match what you’ll be wearing. Be savvy by bundling outfits that work together, that are in similar color palettes or complement each other enough to allow you to match different outfits with the same jewelry. Added bonus, this will save you from paying additional fees when it comes to luggage poundage.

Try not to take highly valuable, one-of-a-kind pieces or trinkets that hold special sentimental value unless you plan to keep them on at all times, i.e., wedding ring. These pieces can’t be easily replicated and replaced. It’s difficult to enjoy taking a piece of exquisite jewelry on a stroll when you're stressing over its safety.

There are a range of jewelry travel cases and jewelry rolls you can buy to store your jewelry while you travel, some more functional than others. You can also use jewelry bags and plastic bags. Just make sure you store your pieces separately surrounded by plenty of padding, so pieces don’t get tangled and scratched. You can take all of your smaller bags and place them in one large bag so that your jewelry stays together.

This is also the best time to create a list and take photos. Make a list of the items you are bringing. Before you leave, take photographs (or even videos) of each piece … just in case.

Take jewelry on board with you. Never pack it in your checked luggage where it is out of sight and could be searched. This puts your jewelry at risk. Place your trinkets in your jewelry travel case and tuck it away in your carry-on luggage where you can keep a watchful eye on it at all times. Keeping your jewelry in your possession is the best way to prevent damage or loss.

If you’re wearing jewelry at airport security, you needn’t take it off. Placing your jewelry in those containers increases the likelihood of loss, damage and theft. Wand searches are still being used and you can simply ask for one, so you won’t have to part with your personal treasures.

If you are traveling with a lot of valuable jewelry and don’t want to put it on public display, you can ask for a private search in an area separate from public view. It would be wise to insist on supervisor’s presence as an additional safety measure.

While staying at a hotel, the safest place for your stockpile of jewels is in your room's hotel safe (if you have your own combination that only you have access to), or in the hotel’s safe deposit box. There are other clever ways of storing your jewelry - in falsely labeled containers (curled in bubble wrap so it doesn’t rattle), in your clothing, etc. Try to get creative. But no matter how imaginative you are, you are still not at peace while you are out of your room, unless you know that your jewelry is secure.

Don't roll the dice by taking careless risks with your valuables. Don’t carry all of your jewelry around with you. Between the weight of the bag, the burden of being responsible for it everywhere and the risk of losing it all, it will feel like a Herculean task.

When you’re sightseeing in a city where pickpockets are common, it is best to resist wearing a lot of jewelry, especially pricey jewelry. No need to set yourself up as an easy target!

When in your hotel room, always safeguard your jewelry by disguising it. A good idea is to cover your jewelry with a cloak, sheet, coverlet, etc. or any other fabric readily available. A hotel service worker could enter your room at any time…while you’re in the shower or going for a bucket of ice. While I’m sure most hotel employees are honest and wonderful, I think its best to avoid possible problems.

Use the "Do Not Disturb" sign strategically. Hang it on your door when you leave the room. You might consider leaving the radio or TV on too. This keeps hotel employees out.

Unavoidably, there are moments when you will have to travel with costly jewelry. For instance, you could be taking a gift to a loved one or dressing up for a special event. Stay on the safe side and make sure your jewelry's insured and that you have a recent record of its appraised value on file.

In the name of love—double check to see if you have ring insurance for your engagement ring. Making sure your ring insurance is up to date may sound like a hassle when planning for a trip, but nothing's sweeter than peace of mind.

Cheat Sheet: Traveling with Jewelry

  • When it comes to jewelry, sealed poly bags come in handy: rings, collars, earrings, etc. 
  • Avoid your necklaces and body chains forcing you into a panic (dainty chains tangle easily). Silk jewelry bags or jewelry rolls keep your jewelry properly sorted and free of knots. 
  • Leave your costly, irreplaceable jewelry at home.
  • Keep it simple, it is easy to overpack. Decide what jewelry you absolutely need to wear during your travels.
  •  Keep a thorough list of your jewelry inventory.
  • Keep your jewelry on you at all times in airports.
  • Always pack your jewelry in your carry-on luggage.
  • When sightseeing, store your jewelry in your hotel safe or at least disguise under a sheet/ blanket when running a quick errand like grabbing ice.
  • Use the "Do Not Disturb" sign strategically.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date jewelry insurance.