Whether you’re jetting off to the Caribbean this summer or your favorite European historical hot spot, if you’re traveling with your jewelry, you’ll want to take a few precautions to keep it safe — both during your travel and while you’re in your destination.
Here are some top tips from the travel and jewelry experts, on everything from avoiding jewelry thefts while touring the town, to preventing jewelry loss while packing your suitcase.
Invest in the Proper Jewelry Insurance
Before you even begin planning that dream vacation, it’s time to take one big precaution that you’ll appreciate no matter how often you travel or how many trips you take. Invest in the proper jewelry insurance. While it may seem like a bit of a hassle and a chore, doing so can guarantee that your jewelry is safe and covered in the event of loss or damage while traveling.
Before seeking insurance coverage, talk to an appraiser to learn the true value of your pieces, and then purchase insurance accordingly. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best, most extensive, exhaustive coverage, and be sure to read the fine print about what is and isn’t covered by your plan (some plans don’t always cover international travel with jewelry).
To assist with potential insurance claims that result from traveling with jewelry, always document the jewelry you’re traveling with, before you’d depart, and alert both your insurance company and international officials that you’re traveling with valuables (the U.S. government requires you to claim any items that you’re traveling with that are valued at $10,000 or more).
Both while on the go and at home, you’ll quickly appreciate the peace of mind the right insurance can give you.
Pick the Right Bag for Your Jewelry
You have your carry-on, personal item and your checked luggage — where should your jewelry go? You might at first assume that your jewelry should be packed away inside your checked luggage, where it’ll be out of sight and safely stowed away within the plane, but that’s not actually the safest spot. (After all, how many horror stories have you heard about luggage that’s lost forever in transit?)
The best place to pack your jewelry is in your personal item, the bag that you plan on carrying with you the entire time you’re traveling to and from your destination. Compared to a carry-on or checked luggage, your personal item will be with you much more often, during nearly the entire length of your journey, allowing you to keep a vigilant eye on your jewelry. The only time your personal item should leave your side is when you’re going through airport security, and you must briefly remove it for scanning.
Don’t Leave Your Jewelry Lying Out
Once you’ve reached your hotel, it can be tempting to unpack everything and arrange your wardrobe in a way that’s easy for you to navigate, just like you would at home. But don’t just leave your valuable jewelry lying out on on the vanity or bedside table. Lots of people have access to your hotel room while you’re away.
Instead, always tuck your jewelry away in the locked, in-room safe.
Only Wear Your Jewelry During the Right Times
You may be tempted to wear your jewelry to the pool deck or the beach but be smart about what elements you’re exposing your jewelry to. Sand, sun and surf can all spell trouble for delicate pieces. Avoid exposing your jewelry to pool chemicals and sweat.
Additionally, if you know you’ll be headed to a less desirable part of town for whatever reason, consider leaving your flashier pieces at home.
Consider a Fake
Yes, some people buy less expensive and even fake jewelry to wear on vacation. This is especially the case for engagement rings or other items that have significant sentimental value, but that you want to continue wearing. A fad that’s popular with honeymooners, a fake engagement ring or wedding band can be just the thing to give you peace of mind while vacationing.
what valuables you may have on your person at any given time, the best way to avoid a theft or even a minor pickpocketing is to remain alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Know what’s going on around you. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted momentarily by hubbub or the chaos that can come with crowds in popular destinations.
If you suspect that someone is following you or targeting you, don’t hesitate to find help by seeking out the local authorities, a site security guard or hotel manager.
Keep Your Mode of Travel Safe, Too
Car trouble can make you an easy target for theft or crime of any kind and flashing expensive or fine jewelry while you stand along the side of the highway is just a recipe for disaster. So, take precautions before you head out on your journey, to ensure your mode of travel is completely safe.
If you’re driving, whether in the United States or while abroad, make sure that your vehicle is road-ready and gassed up, and consider investing in a roadside assistance program that can help you if needed — allowing you and your family to stay in the car while you wait for them to arrive, lessening your risk of exposure.
And If Worse Comes to Worst…
We don’t like to think about the possibility of a theft or robbery, but it’s definitely a threat, with that threat lessening or increasing depending on your travel destination. If you ever have the misfortune to find yourself involved in such a crime, resisting can result in injury or even death.
Your best bet? Cooperate and then deal with the ramifications after the immediate threat has passed. If your jewelry is properly insured, you’ll be able to recoup your monetary losses, even if it means you won’t necessarily be able to recoup the sentimental value of your favorite pieces.
The Safest Option?
Obviously, the safest option with the least risk is to simply leave your jewelry at home. While this isn’t always fun, if traveling with your fine jewelry is going to cause a lot of anxiety, you should do yourself a favor and leave that worry behind. Keeping your jewelry safe at home while you’re gone is as easy and carefree as storing inside your home safe or a safety deposit box.
If, though, you think you can find peace of mind by taking the above safety precautions, don’t hesitate to wear your favorite jewelry while on your next vacay — so long as you have the right jewelry insurance.
Need help shopping for jewelry insurance or getting a jewelry appraisal? Be sure to check out the Yamron blog and subscribe to the Yamron newsletter for insider tips on all things fine jewelry. Stop by our newly renovated store front for in person questions.
How Jewelers Can Travel with Jewelry Safely (National Jeweler)
3 Things You Should Do When Traveling with Expensive Diamond Jewelry to Keep Them Safe (Beyond 4Cs)
How to Travel with Jewelry Safely (Jewelers Mutual Group)
7 Tips to Travel with Jewelry Safely (Jewelers Mutual Group)