If you have travel plans in your future, think carefully if you really need to take all your expensive jewelry. The risk of theft, loss and damage increases as soon as you start your trip because you are in new surroundings, doing new activities and often in tourist areas that are the target of pickpockets, thieves and con artists.
If you are traveling out of the country, check to be sure your jewelry insurance covers your property when you are traveling outside the United States. Because the risk of theft is so much higher in foreign countries, some insurance companies only provide domestic coverage.
To avoid inviting crime, plan to dress inconspicuously to blend into the environment, especially when in another country. When traveling internationally, consider taking and wearing no jewelry. Criminals assume all tourists are wealthy so if you choose to wear jewelry, turn rings around so the diamonds are not showing and avoid dangling earrings. Large, expensive-looking jewelry is an attractive target and it is easy to snatch dangling earrings.
It is never wise to put jewelry items in checked baggage, especially with security personnel going through your belongings. The percentage of bags lost by airlines continues to increase and their liability for your lost luggage is very limited. Keep your jewelry and other valuables like money, keys, wallets, tickets, cameras, and medications in your carryon luggage. If airport security requires going through your carryon, request a private place so other travelers will not see your valuables.
Be especially careful with your valuables in hotel rooms because they are open to cleaning personnel several times a day and safes in hotel rooms are not particularly secure. How many times have you walked by hotel rooms with doors wide open and cleaning crews not visible? Professional criminals know the cleaning procedures and can quickly enter your room when cleaning service personnel are not looking.
If you do not put your jewelry in your luggage or leave it in your hotel room, that means you are carrying it with you but that can be a problem at the security checks at airports or when carrying something all day as you travel or are sightseeing. Many valuables disappear after being left for a few moments in a bag at a restaurant, transportation waiting room, restroom, or ticket line. Thieves patiently wait for travelers to let their guard down for just a minute and grab their bag without anyone noticing.
Theft is only one of the risks when traveling. Often a vacation includes some time at the beach, pool or hot tub. The sand and concrete can easily scratch precious metals in jewelry as well as gemstones that are not as hard as diamonds. Chlorine can also weaken and discolor precious metals. Travelers often expose their jewelry to risks they would never think of doing at home.
Carrying jewelry when traveling also needs some special care. Diamonds, gemstones and metal can scratch each other if carried together in a single bag. Place fine jewelry in separate cloth bags or put in separate compartments of a jewelry bag made for travel. Then be sure to carry the jewelry case in a purse or carryon.
The purpose of most vacations is to relax, not to impress the locals, so minimize jewelry when traveling. If you do take jewelry, be aware that you are in new and potentially dangerous surroundings. Take special care of your valuables and enjoy your trip.