Packing jewelry for travel is a must if you ask us! But you may want to pause your packing and consider whether it’s safe to tote your most valuable pieces with you. Traveling with jewelry requires a few extra precautions. Whether flying with jewelry to another state or another continent, it’s important to carry it securely to avoid damage or theft. Your favorite jewelry doesn’t deserve to be tossed in your luggage without a second thought. If you’re packing last-minute, it’s not too late to make sure your jewelry is tucked safely away. You probably have items lying around the house perfect for a DIY jewelry travel case. We’ll give you several tips for how to pack and transport your jewelry to keep it hassle-free.
Packing your jewelry for travel
Although you have a lot of options for stowing away your jewelry to prepare for the perfect getaway, all of the choices fall into two categories:
- DIY jewelry case hacks
The best option for you depends on your time and budget and the value of your jewelry.
10 DIY ways to pack jewelry
If you’ve waited until the last minute to pack your jewelry or you are taking a spontaneous trip and don’t have time to purchase or hunt down your travel case, here are 10 hacks to give your jewelry a safe journey.
How to pack necklaces for travel
1. DIY jewelry roll
What you need: cling wrap, optional cloth, and rubber bands
How to make it: The jewelry roll is the best way to keep necklaces from tangling while traveling. Tear off a piece of cling wrap, making sure it’s long enough to cover your necklace. Leave the sticky side facing up and place your necklace on one end of the cling wrap. Fold it over. Then, place another necklace on the cling wrap and fold it over. Continue to fold and roll until you reach the end of the cling wrap. Finally, place some sort of soft cloth–either a hand towel or scarf–around the roll for extra protection and slide rubber bands around it to keep it secure.
2. DIY Straw necklace hanger
What you need: straw, optional scissors
How to make it: Take a plastic straw, open your necklace, and slide one end into the straw. You may need to cut the straw to fit daintier, shorter necklaces. Grab the end of the necklace exiting the straw and clasp it to the other end. If you want to hang multiple necklaces, use a wider toilet paper roll.
3. DIY necklace roll
What you need: plastic freezer bag or sandwich bag
How to make it: Use a freezer bag if you’re planning to pack longer necklaces and a sandwich bag for smaller ones. Carefully place one or more necklaces vertically in the bag, leaving the top of the necklace chains outside the seal. Secure the bag seal around the portion of the necklace chain hanging out. If you have more than one necklace in the bag, fold one necklace over the other. The plastic should act as a divider between the necklaces. Continue folding until you’ve made a necklace burrito.
How to pack earrings for travel
4. DIY button earring holder
What you need: buttons with at least two holes
How to make it: Simply insert one earring into the hole of a button and fasten it from the other side. Attach the matching earring to the next hole. This earring holder will keep the mates together and prevent you from rummaging around your bags looking for the match.
5. DIY earring card holder
What you need: a piece of cardstock or foam
How to make it: Cut the sturdy paper or foam piece to a good packing size, stab the earrings in, and fasten them from behind. This makeshift board can lie flat in your luggage in between layers of clothes.
How to pack rings for travel
6. On a ring
What you need: metal O ring (or a carabiner)
How to make it: Open the O ring and slide your rings right on!
7. In a bag
What you need: organza bag
How to make it: If you’ve purchased jewelry recently, you probably have an organza pouch handy. They don’t make great storage for necklaces because it’s easy for them to tangle, but they’re great for rings as long as you pack the bag between soft materials to prevent the rings from scratching against each other.
8. In a tin
What you need: empty metal mint tin
How to make it: Clean the tin, line the bottom with felt or another soft material, and drop your rings in.
How to pack bracelets for travel
9. DIY toilet paper roll jewelry case
What you need: toilet paper roll or paper towel roll
How to make it: Believe it or not, you can travel with all of your jewelry on a toilet paper roll (or a paper towel roll if you have a lot). You can clasp or slide your bracelets around the outside of the roll. If you want to use the same roll for other types of jewelry, you can feed your necklace through the hole and hang it from the roll and punch and fasten your earrings into the cardboard.
10. DIY tissue jewelry wrap
What you need: a tissue and bobby pin
How to make it: Place your delicate bracelet (or necklace) in the center of the tissue and fold the tissue around it until you create a small and thin square package. Then gently slide the bobby pin over the center to keep the fold in place.
How to travel with jewelry
Once you’ve determined how to best pack your jewelry, it’s time to plan for the journey itself. Here are a few things to keep in mind when traveling with jewelry.
What jewelry you do or don’t need
The more jewelry you bring with you, the greater your chances something will go missing. Be honest with yourself and first decide whether or not you even need any jewelry. It may be nice to have but not worth the risk if your trip will be full of daring adventures. It’s easy to find yourself guilty of packing jewelry and never wearing it the entire trip.
But more often than not, jewelry is a travel essential. To avoid overpacking or losing a valuable piece, only bring what you know you’ll wear–something versatile. The best travel jewelry fits all or most of these characteristics:
- Simple–not so flashy it attracts unwanted attention
- Inexpensive–not so valuable that it would be too expensive to replace if lost or stolen
- Of no sentimental value–not from someone or somewhere meaningful, full of memories that can’t be replaced
What do you do if you don’t want to risk taking your engagement ring or favorite gemstone jewelry but need an alternative that’s just as beautiful? Jewelry made of semi-precious stones or quartz makes unique alternative engagement rings.
To know exactly what jewelry you need for your trip, have your itinerary ready and match your attire to your travel plans. Try to determine exactly when you’ll need to wear jewelry and which pieces you’ll wear on certain occasions. Don’t pack jewelry that doesn’t have a corresponding outfit or outing. Even if your trip includes a special event, consider buying alternative jewelry that isn’t as precious to you but still sparkles.
If you’re traveling with expensive jewelry, you need to think about insuring it. Standard homeowners insurance usually comes with some jewelry coverage, but not enough for valuable jewels. Double-check to make sure your insurance plan comes with what you need–it may not cover the full cost of your jewels or theft.
If you need more extensive coverage, you have two options: to increase liability limits or purchase a floater policy. Increasing liability still has limits on the amount of coverage you receive. Purchasing a floater policy is most expensive, but it covers the full cost of your jewelry should it get lost, stolen, or damaged.
Keep an inventory of any jewelry you decide to bring. Take real photos, not just a mental picture, in case you need evidence of missing jewelry. If you’ve planned out your outfits and corresponding jewelry for each day in advance, then it will be easier to retrace your steps if an earring or ring vanishes. You don’t need to declare customs on jewelry brought from home, but you must declare anything you purchase outside of the US, even if you plan to wear it rather than pack it.
Don’t forget to consider where you’re going to keep your jewelry when you get to your destination. Don’t leave it behind in your room lying in your luggage or even in a room safe. Ask the hotel concierge about your options for locking up your jewelry before you leave. Many hotels have safety deposit boxes at the front desk. Remember, your jewelry is safest when it’s on you. If you can wear it, do. If not, locking your jewelry in storage with a unique combination code is the next best option.
Where to pack jewelry when flying
You are permitted to wear jewelry on a plane, and, in fact, that’s what we recommend you do to keep your jewelry safe. You won’t set off the metal detector unless you’re wearing solid metal jewelry. Gold, silver, and jewels should go undetected. If you do set off the metal detector, you’ll receive a pat-down, but once your jewelry isn’t deemed a weapon, you’ll still be able to wear it onboard your flight. Your pocket is no place for your jewelry. You’ll be asked to remove everything from your pockets at the security check and place it in a bin. Jewelry in a bin is asking to be stolen.
How to pack jewelry in a carry-on
You want to keep your jewelry with you at all times, so your carry-on is the second-best place for it. Do not leave it in your checked baggage, where it passes through many hands and can easily be stolen or lost with your luggage. Pack jewelry in a discreet place in your carry-on and remember to follow the TSA guidelines for what liquids and other items are not permitted in your carry-on. You want to avoid having your bag searched and all its contents exposed if you’re keeping your valuable jewelry inside.
How to travel with expensive jewelry safely
- If you can leave expensive jewelry at home, do.
- If you plan to bring it, wear it as often as possible.
- If you leave it at the hotel, leave it in a safe with the concierge, not loose in your luggage or in the room safe.
- Make sure your priceless items are insured.
- Remember, priceless doesn’t always refer to a price tag. Meaningful jewelry may not be valuable to anyone but you but is every bit as important to care for.
Where to hide engagement ring when traveling
We recommend alternative engagement rings when traveling, but if you’re proposing at your destination, of course, you’ll want to bring the real thing. Just keep a few things in mind:
- Make sure the ring is the right size. If it’s not sized appropriately, then it won’t stay on the finger and becomes a hassle to keep up with.
- Keep it on you but not in your pocket. Keep it in a hidden travel pouch that stays with you at all times or on a subtle chain around your neck.
- Avoid sharing your engagement on social media until you return home to prevent potential pickpockets from knowing where you are and what valuables you have.
Best way to pack jewelry
DIY jewelry packing hacks come in handy, but a travel jewelry case is by far the best way to travel with jewelry. Jewelry cases are a convenient and secure way to transport your jewelry. They come in many styles and with many different features.
Jewelry case options
- Case: The standard travel jewelry case comes with any or all of the following features–small compartments, ring slots, mirrors, earring hooks, and necklace and ring clasps–in a single or multiple layers. A jewelry case keeps all types of jewelry concealed in one place and is compact and easy to pack.
- Box: You can purchase a small jewelry box, but most boxes are larger than cases and have drawers with lots of storage. Some have a combination lock for added safety.
- Roll: A jewelry roll ranges from soft leather or cloth tied with a ribbon to rolled pouches with zippers encased in a hard outer shell and clasped together.
- Pouch: The best jewelry pouches have pockets inside to keep jewelry from tossing around and tangling together. Some jewelry organizers are a hybrid case and pouch, with the pouch as the primary compartment inside the case.
We’ve recommended 10 of the best travel jewelry cases to help you decide which is right for your vacation.