7 ways to keep jewelry damage free when you travel

Jewelry scored at local markets make memorable souvenirs—whether that’s pearlescent earrings made from oyster shells in Mobile, Alabama or funky bohemian pieces from the hippie markets in Ibiza, Spain. Or, packing some cool, statement necklaces and earrings just makes sense for savvy travelers. Jewelry takes up a minimum amount of space, but can maximize an outfit.

The problem, though? Those unruly jewels mingle together in a suitcase pouch and almost inevitably end up in a tangled heap. How?! Why!? And, perhaps worse, beads are prone to breaking loose, jewels can crack and earrings tend to separate from one another and get lost. Put simply, traveling with jewelry can be risky business.

To make sure that your jewelry travels like the precious cargo it is, here’s seven game-changing packing tips that are popular on Pinterest and shared by others who travel in style.

1. Store jewelry in a pill box

Pill compartments are perfect for stashing earrings, according to these brilliant travel hacks from Buzzfeed. They’re perfect for stashing rings as well as earrings, especially small studs that can bend or get lost if tucked in a suitcase pocket. I bought a cheap compartment case to stash my earrings on a recent trip, and mostly loved the idea. The downside? The compartments aren’t big enough for hoops or big dangles. You can usually find pill boxes at the dollar store.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Goodson


2. Stash Necklaces In Tackle Boxes

Similar to the pill compartment idea, a fishing tackle box makes travel storage easy and has dividers ideal for jewelry, shares Her Packing List. Tackle boxes work especially well for larger, chunky necklaces or bigger bracelets. My Chocolate Moments has a blog post about how to organize your jewelry in a tackle box. It actually works great for not just traveling.

My Chocolate Moments


3. Use a paper towel roll or straw for necklace

Want to make sure your necklaces don’t tangle? Thread one through a straw (or a paper towel roll if it’s chunkier) and then fasten the clasp, suggests Travel Fashion Girl. Straws work best for dainty necklaces. I’ve tried this trick, too, and it works best if you give your necklaces another layer of protection by putting them in a sealed plastic bag.

Photo courtesy Christopher Goodson

4. Use buttons to corral earrings

You can re-purpose lost buttons by putting them to use as jewelry storage, says Good Housekeeping. You can hook studs and small dangle earrings through button holes and then place them in a jewelry pouch.

Jewelry Making Journal

5. Use plastic wrap to keep your jewelry in place

So much mystery shrouds how necklaces and other jewelry tangle. The closest answer we have is this study from a physicist who examined why earphones tangle in our pockets, and he applied a mathematical knot theory. By placing your necklaces in between two sheets of plastic wrap, you can ensure they stay put. Andrea Dekker shows 10 uses of Glad Press ‘n Seal plastic wrap on her blog, including using it to keep necklaces in place.

6. Use a contact case to store small jewelry

An empty contact case is not only a great way to keep your most precious jewelry safe. It works for stashing small amounts of liquids, like a few dabs of eye cream or that expensive night serum you splurge on.

contact lens case photo
Flickr | Lee J Haywood

7. Pack a paper plate

File this under genius: You can pierce your earrings into a paper plate and then hook the backs to them when you travel, Travel Fashion Girl suggests. It creates a mini jewelry display when you travel.

Travel Fashion Girl