How to Pack Jewelry for Travel Without Tangles or Scratches

Traveling with jewelry can be a hassle, so let me share a jeweler’s secret with you. The best way to pack and protect the most valuable jewels is with the least costly material: small zipper polybags (yeah, Ziplocks!). They’re cheap, they’re reusable, and they come in any size you could possibly need. We use them whenever we have to store our pieces or ship them anywhere.

Why? For one, a polybag keeps the piece from getting scratched. Second, it keeps chains from getting tangled since they’re so slippery. So when traveling with fine jewelry, the best way is the jeweler’s way. Just pack each piece in a small baggie and then store it in your jewelry travel pack or pouch. That way, they won’t scratch each other and chains won’t get tangled up. If your piece is extra delicate, you’ll want to add some bubble wrap or soft padding around it before storing it (sometimes a paper towel will do!).

Once your jewelry is safely bagged and wrapped, pack it in a carry-on and not in your checked luggage. The best way to keep your valuable jewelry safe is to keep it with you. Even better than packing it in a carry-on would be to wear it, if possible.

Our pieces are painstakingly finished to a beautiful high polish, so we take care to keep them looking great even if they’re not immediately going into a jewelry box for shipping. Next time you have to pack a chain or necklace with a pendant, try my method, which I’ll outline below.

necklace packed in polybag with chain out and then packed in another zip polybag

First, pack the pendant part of the necklace into a small baggie. If your necklace has multiple pendants, place each one in an individual baggie. Make sure most of the chain is out of the bag and close the zipper around the chain. Most people know to pack some of the chain with the pendant and keep a little out to keep it from tangling, but I keep most of the chain out of the small bag because the chain can scratch the pendant by rubbing against it inside the bag.

With the pendant safe in its own little bag, pack the whole necklace into a larger bag. Using both an inner and outer bag keeps the chain from tangling, but it also keeps it from scratching your shiny, beautifully polished pendant.

Also, always, always clasp the chain—two open-ended chains are tangled chains, and who wants to sit and untangle a chain for hours?

If you have a jewelry travel case that has necklace hooks and a pouch below, you can pack each pendant in its own little baggie with the chain all the way out and just hang the chain on the hook. That way, the pendant part is protected, and the chains are all organized. When you get back home, you can store all of your baggies in your travel case and reuse them every time you travel.

Do you have your own method for keeping your jewelry safe while traveling? If you’ve tried my method, let me know how it worked for you!