Traveling with jewelry can be a tricky task, even for the most seasoned traveler. Deciding what to pack, how to pack it, or what to pack it in may leave you frustrated.
It has happened that (in a mad dash to get out the door) I have opted to travel only with the jewelry that I had on and nothing else. As Julia Roberts once proclaimed, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!” Look, I’m not the girliest of girls and I don’t have piles of sparkly things lying around (I mean, they’re medium-sized piles), but I do love jewelry. I love the way a colorful necklace can take an ordinary outfit and make it a conversation starter. I love the way I feel when I switch from simple studs and flats to chandelier earrings and heels for an evening out. There’s no reason why you or I shouldn’t be able to enjoy our favorite jewelry and accessories when we’re away from home, right? Follow these tips for traveling with jewelry and I guarantee you’ll save yourself time, money, and the regret of under-accessorizing.
What to Carry Your Jewelry In While Traveling
Finding the right jewelry box, pouch, or bag is as important as deciding what jewelry you will bring. I tried and tested just about everything out there before a friend bought me a travel jewelry box. Nearly seven years later, I still don’t travel far without it and it continues to be one of my all-time favorite gifts. The size is just right, there are padded compartments, it is pretty enough to keep on my dresser at home, and it travels well. What more could a travel-loving girl with a penchant to accessorize ask for? Once closed, this box is about 4 x 4 x 5 inches, nearly a perfect cube, making it easy to fit it into any luggage. Here are a few examples in a wide range of prices and sizes.
All your favorites can fit into an old sunglasses case.Bonus Tip: If you don’t have a travel jewelry box or pouch and it’s almost time to head to the airport or pack up the car, you can use a hard sunglass case for your jewelry. You can squeeze in a good number of pieces and they will be protected.
Bring jewelry that “travels well”
Once you’ve decided on what outfits you’re bringing with you, take a quick inventory and think about which jewelry pairs well with the most outfits. Bringing your tried and true go-to pieces is usually best. Those new hoop earrings you bought (but still haven’t worn) may prove to be too heavy after a long day exploring a new city. That bracelet you haven’t worn in ages may leave an annoying greenish mark on your wrist after you’ve been huffing it all over town and are breaking a bit of a sweat. Don’t bring any jewelry that is too delicate or too heavy. Leave those dainty necklace chains at home. You know the ones. The ones that always manage to get maddeningly tangled no matter what you do.
Don’t want to spend hours unraveling necklaces after packing them? Here’s an easy trick that only requires a straw and a pair scissors. Win! Bonus Tip: If you plan on traveling with multiple necklace chains, use a straw for each one to keep them from getting tangled. You can then put them in a ZipLoc bag together, if nothing else.
Departure Day/At the Airport
When you’re getting dressed for a day of travel, there’s more to think about than just which shoes will be easiest to take off while going through security. (For the record, I think sandals are the best. I keep an extra pair of socks in my purse or carry on bag in case my feet get cold on the flight, which they always do). You should also consider leaving (or packing) large or heavy metal jewelry and belts at home. You have better things to do with your time than wasting it when getting through the dreaded security lines.
What stays and what goes
Speaking of leaving things at home…I think it is really important to take a moment and decide whether or not the jewelry you would like to bring with you is too valuable (expensive or sentimental) for whatever journey you may be going on. It goes without saying that you could lose or have something stolen anywhere and anytime – even at home. I know that a few of my earrings are still waiting for their mate to return. However, misplacing jewelry (or anything really) on your home turf is one thing. Misplacing and trying to locate or retrieve it away from home is another. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t travel far with jewelry that you would cry over if it were lost or stolen. It’s simply not worth it. Take care of the jewelry you do bring: keep it in your carry on bag en route and in a hidden or protected spot (like your hotel safe) when on the road.
Buy More/Add to your Collection
My favorite jewelry travel tip is to buy a piece of jewelry from wherever you are visiting/vacationing. I think jewelry is the ultimate souvenir. Most souvenirs sit in the back of our closets or in boxes in the garage until we toss them out or try to sell them for a fraction of their original price at a yard sale. For me, jewelry is the smart and practical souvenir. I have NEVER regretted jewelry I purchased while on a trip. Great jewelry can be enjoyed for a lifetime and passed down with a story to go with it. And you don’t have to break the bank. Pick up a funky pair of earrings at a flea market, a statement necklace at antique fair, or a small charm from a local artisan’s shop. Buy something that will always remind you of your time and experience in that particular place. Jewelry can also be an amazingly thoughtful gift. What a fabulous way to show someone you were thinking of them.