Tips for proper jewelry packing

Whether you're traveling to California or the Caribbean, it's likely that you'll want to pack some of your favorite baubles to wear on your getaway. However, there's a right and a wrong way to organize accessories inside a suitcase. The last thing you want is to reach your final destination to find your jewelry tangled, or worse – damaged. Before you carelessly toss prized fine jewelers pieces into your luggage, consider these packing tips:

Separation is key
Particularly when you're toting along a wide variety of jewelry, it's best to keep pieces separate. The Zoe Report noted that an enamel bracelet, for example, can survive some turbulence, but a daintier bracelet may require some protective padding. To be on the safe side, place delicate pieces into small individual cloth pouches. Bulkier baubles should also be packed separately. Packing expert Anne McAlpin told The Boston Globe that you can even use snack-size plastic bags for these items, as long as you allow the clasp to dangle out of the top to keep them from getting tangled.

Protect with a case
It's also a good idea to get a proper case to keep your jewelry organized. Look for one that has special spaces for necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. The Zoe Project explained that a flat, envelope-style is best for light pieces, while a rounder one works well for chunkier jewels. The foldable jewelry roll is a popular style, but hard cases are an ideal option for those that are traveling with high-value items.

Use the straw method
According to McAlpin, snake-chain and thin herringbone jewelry are most likely to become intertwined around other pieces. You might be surprised to discover that the solution lies in a household item: a straw. All you have to do is loop the chain of the necklace through the straw and clasp it together on both sides. This can work for chokers and bracelets as well – simply cut the straw in half to achieve your desired size. Then you can slide the pieces into your travel pouch or case. There are ways to keep other jewelry items from tangling with unusual tools. For example, you could stick a pair of stud earrings into a button to keep them together.

Zipper up
Putting your jewelry case in a large luggage compartment is asking for a disaster – after being tossed around during travel, it's bound to wind up a mess. Instead, place it in the smallest zipper pouch it will fit in. If your suitcase doesn't come with a slender inside pocket, consider putting it in your carry on. An outside pouch poses a higher risk that your precious pieces will get stolen.