Posted on August 14 2018
We’ve all been in that position where we’re packing for a trip, and we’re faced with the question of how to pack our jewelry, whether we're on our way to our destination or on the way home. While it’s one thing to simply throw fashion jewelry into a suitcase, it’s quite another thing when you’re dealing with valuable, high-quality pieces.
Maybe you’ve tried tips in the past but haven’t found one that works for you. Maybe you haven’t really experimented and are looking for some good advice for your first real experience traveling with jewelry.
We understand your jewelry is important to you and you want to find ways to protect it even as you’re on the road or in the air. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, plane, cruise ship or train, we’ve got solutions for you as you search for the best ways to travel with jewelry.
Potential Pitfalls to Traveling With Your Jewelry
Before we get into some advice on packing jewelry for travel, let’s first look at why jewelry needs to be protected. By understanding some of these potential concerns and all the ways in which your jewelry might be harmed during travel, you can be better equipped to think of ways to protect it and keep it from suffering damage.
Here are just a few of the ways your jewelry might be damaged during travel if you don’t take precautions.
1. Tangling Your Jewelry
Do you have any long necklaces or bracelets to bring with you on your trip? You’ll want to think twice before storing them in a bag together. You might not notice it at the time, but when you take them out to wear at your destination, you may very well find them hopelessly tangled together. Untangling them could take hours, if you can manage it at all. Even after they’re disentangled, they may suffer damage from having been so wrapped up together.
2. Scuffing and Scraping Your Jewelry
No matter what kind of jewelry you’re traveling with — rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more — throwing it all in a bag together and putting it in your suitcase can result in surface damage ranging anywhere from mild to severe. One piece of jewelry might scratch another, and your jewelry might come away with multiple scratches and scrapes marring its surface.
3. Loose Stones on Your Jewelry
If all your jewelry is tangled together loosely with no careful separation or protection, it’s entirely possible the stones in your jewelry might become loose or even entirely dislodged.
4. Breaking Your Jewelry
Most jewelry is sturdy enough that it can withstand a little bit of rough treatment, albeit with a few scratches. But if you’re transporting jewelry that’s especially old and fragile, harsh treatment during the traveling process might cause these pieces to break. Links in delicate chains can snap, rings can bend and any number of other accidents can happen.
5. Losing Your Jewelry
Finally, it’s important to realize it’s possible to actually lose your jewelry while traveling. In between packing and unpacking, security checks, baggage claims, not to mention wearing your jewelry around an unfamiliar city, it’s possible for your jewelry to actually go missing. This isn’t necessarily the most likely scenario, but it is a possibility, and one that’s critical to be aware of.
General Guidelines for Traveling With Jewelry
After hearing about all this damage that could potentially occur while you’re traveling, you might be turned off from traveling with any jewelry whatsoever. There’s no need for that level of caution, however. With a few precautions and safeguards in place, there’s no reason you shouldn’t feel comfortable taking your jewelry with you so you can accessorize perfectly no matter where you are.
For the best experience while traveling with your favorite pieces, follow these guidelines.
Leave Your Most Valuable and Sentimental Pieces at Home
While it’s unlikely your jewelry will go missing on your trip, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Unless it is absolutely impossible, we recommend leaving your most valuable pieces at home, as well as any pieces that have significant sentimental value.
When traveling, consider only bringing the pieces you wouldn’t mind losing as much. Hopefully, you won’t lose them and will have nothing to worry about. But in the unfortunate event something does happen, you’ll be glad it wasn’t your grandmother’s ring that went missing.
The more pieces you bring, the more you’ll have to keep track of and worry about. When traveling, it’s often best to simply streamline your trip and cut out a few worries by leaving most of your jewelry at home. Bring only the pieces you wear every day — the ones that you don’t feel like yourself if you aren’t wearing. If you have a formal event that requires accessories, you’ll want to think carefully about what you’ll need and then pack only this.
Traveling Home With New Jewelry
Did you purchase jewelry while you were on that vacation or business trip? If so, your next job is to figure out how to safely transport it home, and you can use the tips below to do that.
If there isn’t room in your jewelry organizer or travel case for this new purchase, then we have some good news for you. Plenty of storage and travel options on this list rely on common paper products found almost everywhere in the world. Grab an empty toilet paper roll, a paper plate, a plastic bag or a straw and carefully pack up your newfound treasures.
Best Ways to Protect Your Jewelry While Traveling
Now that we have a better grasp of all the different types of damage your jewelry is at risk for while traveling and what some general best practices are for carrying it with you, it’s time to go over some tips that will help you efficiently pack and transport your jewelry. Use these methods to protect your jewelry on your next trip.
1. Make or Buy a Jewelry Roll
A jewelry roll is a piece of cloth with pockets that rolls up and is fastened with ties on the outside. It's soft and can be as big or small as you like.
Whether you consider yourself handy at DIY projects or you prefer to just buy something pre-made, a jewelry roll is a classic option that has worked well for many people. Some of the advantages include:
- Each piece of jewelry is kept separate from the others.
- The compact and practical small size of the jewelry roll — perfect for tucking into a suitcase or bag.
Plenty of people choose to make their own jewelry roll. If you’re interested in this DIY route, there are many patterns and examples out there to follow. The benefit of crafting your own jewelry roll, of course, is that you get to design it with your own needs and specifications in mind. If you don’t love crafts, however, there are also lots of places you can buy a pre-made jewelry roll for all your traveling needs.
2. Purchase a Jewelry Box or Case
If you have a travel-sized jewelry box or case, then you’re in luck. Without a doubt, this is one of the cleanest and most convenient ways to travel with your jewelry. The best travel jewelry cases might have:
- Slots for rings
- Places to pin earrings
- Room to put bracelets and necklaces
Jewelry cases or boxes are fairly common items you can purchase in many stores or online DIY shops.
One of the nice things about travel jewelry organizers and cases like this is that they are specifically intended for jewelry. Instead of re-purposing another item and using it to transport your jewelry, these cases are designed with this express purpose in mind, and, as such, they are often better equipped to carry it out.
3. Add Earrings to Buttons
Transporting earrings? Try using buttons to keep them organized. Open up that spare tin of buttons you keep around the house and grab a few. If you’ve never collected buttons, you might try pulling them off an old shirt you no longer wear. If you can’t find buttons anywhere around your house, run out to your local craft or fabric store and pick up a few for hardly any cost.
Once you have your buttons, thread your earring posts through the tiny holes in the button, making sure to put the backs on them so they stay in place on the button. If you’re transporting tiny studs, you may be able to fit two pairs per button. If your earrings are larger, however, be prepared to use one button for every pair. Stick the buttons in a box, bag or traveling case, and you’re ready to go.
4. Put Earrings on Disposable Plates
Do you have disposable paper or Styrofoam plates clogging up your pantry? Put them to good use the next time you travel by using them to transport earrings.
To do this trick, poke your earrings through the plate and replace the back on the earring on the back side of the plate. The advantage of this trick is that you can fit many pairs of earrings on one plate. Once you’ve filled your plate with earrings, place it flat in your suitcase. Consider cushioning it with something soft to protect the delicate settings, and you’re all finished.
5. Use Toilet Paper Rolls for All Jewelry
This is another fabulous solution because it makes use of one simple item everyone has around the house — a toilet paper roll. The next time you finish up a roll of toilet paper, save the cardboard roll for your next big trip for an easy and convenient packing solution.
For this to work, wrap any bracelets around the roll. Clasp necklaces through the roll, and pin any earrings directly into the cardboard of the roll itself, being careful to put the backs on. One of the reasons this makes such a perfect packing solution is because it offers a way to store three different types of jewelry — all in one.
6. Store Jewelry in a Drawstring Bag
This isn’t the best option if your jewelry is exceptionally old, delicate or valuable. However, if you just have a few pieces to store that are relatively sturdy, this is a perfectly serviceable way to transport them. Grab a soft drawstring bag, put your jewelry inside, pull the drawstring shut and tuck it into the corner of one of your bags.
If you don’t have a drawstring bag, they’re simple enough to make for yourself. Just take a piece of soft fabric, fold it over about an inch and a half, and sew along the fold. Then lace some string, ribbon or even a shoelace through it, and sew the sides together to form the bag. The drawstring is a particularly handy feature that prevents your jewelry from falling out and scattering around the bottom of your suitcase.
7. Repurpose a Towel Into a Jewelry Roll
Do you need to bring a towel with you on your trip? Why not put it to good use as you pack? To make this trick work, simply arrange your necklaces and other items neatly on a towel. Gently roll the towel up into a long cylinder before tying off the ends with rubber bands or hair-ties to prevent the jewelry from slipping out the ends.
While a towel is the most traditional way to achieve this form of packing, it isn’t the only way. You could also try this with a T-shirt, a tank top or even a pillowcase. Experiment with each and see which works best for you.
8. Store Jewelry in a Pill Case
If you take medication on a daily basis, you’re no doubt familiar with the handy organizers designed to store pills, with each compartment labeled with one of the days of the week. As handy as this is for storing and organizing medication, did you know it also makes a handy way to take your jewelry with you on the go?
These tiny compartments are perfect for storing pairs of earrings, rings or even necklaces, provided they fold up into a small enough size. There are seven full compartments to use, so this gives you plenty of space to bring multiple jewelry pieces to accessorize every day of your trip.
10. Protect Jewelry With Plastic Baggies
This solution isn’t always the most space-efficient, but it gets the job done. It’s easy and simple as well, since almost everyone has plastic baggies on hand. If you want to use less plastic than your average zip-lock, consider purchasing these before your trip:
When packing your jewelry in plastic bags, the rule of thumb is simple. Store one piece of jewelry in each bag. If you store multiple pieces together, they might tangle or scratch one another. If you absolutely must double up by putting multiple pieces in each bag, be sure to store things together that won’t tangle, like a ring and a bracelet. Always give necklaces their own bags, as they are usually the most susceptible to tangling.
Shop for Jewelry at Little Switzerland During Your Next Trip
Now that you know how to store your jewelry when you go on a trip, you can feel free to buy all you want on your next vacation. For the best in duty-free shopping, stop by Little Switzerland during a stop in the Caribbean and find a statement piece that will turn heads no matter where you travel. Browse our online catalog in advance of your trip today.