Galley Gossip: A question about packing jewelry

Dear Heather,

I meant to ask you before my vacation — what’s your secret for packing jewelry? In what do you pack it and how? Some outfits I have look better with gold, and some look better with silver. Then there’s a myriad of “fun” jewelry that include bracelets, necklaces with different charms, earrings to match, etc. The thing about the “fun” jewelry is that it causes the security alarms to go off in some places, so I try not to wear it on days of travel, wearing either gold, silver or nothing at all, which means I’m forced to pack it. Just curious as to how you did it so it wouldn’t get broken, tangled or lost.


Dear Angela,

My secret to packing jewelry is simple. I don’t pack it. Ever. When I’m working a trip I wear my wedding band, a necklace and a nice watch. When I’m traveling for pleasure I might pack a cheap bracelet and a few pairs of earrings that wouldn’t cause me distress if they were to become lost, stolen, or broken. But I always leave the good stuff at home. When it comes to traveling, I firmly believe that less is more and that includes the jewelry. I mean do you really need all that silver and gold to go with all those outfits? And where will you hide it all after you’ve checked into your room? I ask because I’m not so sure I’d trust the hotel safe with something really valuable. I’ve used the safe on several occassions, and while I’ve never had any problems, I can’t help but wonder who many people out there have access to the code.

I decided to contact an expert who deals with security and high net worth. When I told him your question about traveling with jewelry, he had this to say…

I assume this is more than one piece and would be considered valuable. Couriers are told the same as I will tell you. You never pack your jewelry. Hand carry only. If you put it in your suitcase TSA will screen it and G-d knows who else. If its stolen from your suitcase you will get a few hundred dollars based upon their limit of liability which should be on the back of your ticket. No evidence, no suspects, no police investigation, no crime scene, no responsibility and if you by chance ever proved it, you will be in court with the Dept of Homeland Security until you grow old.

I would put the jewelry in a sandwich bag and hand carry it in your carry on. Leave it on top but put a few things over it. Watch the bag go through the x ray before you pass the metal detector. If they want to look at the bag ask for a private screening. Also ask for a supervisor or second screener to be present. You will not be allowed to touch your bag but they will be able to see the jewelry through the sandwich bag without having to touch it either. Do not leave the bag unattended for any reason during the inspection. Maintain hand or sight of the jewelry at all times even if you are asked by an agent to move. You are never to separate yourself from your property until the bag is returned to your custody.

Hope that helps, Angela! If you (or anyone else) have another question feel free to email me at

Happy travels!

Heather Poole

Photos courtesy (Suitcase) Remon Rijper (Woman) Simone Koster