Fashion | 01.28.2022

Look Put Together from a Carry-On: 5 Types of Travel Jewelry You Need

Travel Jewelry Header with a jewelry case and sunglasses on a book.

By Franki Hanke

Core, easy-to-style jewelry brings class and flair to every outfit you wear on the trip. 

When traveling, space is limited. Whether you’re flying with a carry-on bag or not, it’s not practical to pack your entire jewelry box. Instead, there are five types of travel jewelry you can style with every outfit for the finishing touch needed. It’s like the capsule wardrobe you pack for clothes, but for your jewelry. 

Multi-Functional Travel Jewelry: What Works

When traveling, there’s more to balance than our day-to-day life. 

Easy to Style

Sure, statement necklaces are awesome, but when you need to pack light, bringing along seven different ones for every outfit will be a hassle. Instead, we’re aiming for sleek, multi-functional pieces that can be styled with all your outfits. 

Easy to Replace (Affordable Options) 

Plus, depending on where you’re traveling, the safety of your jewelry might be a consideration. Fine jewelry could be stolen or lost while traveling. It’s no fun to lose your favorite jewelry (or worse a wedding band) on some beach, trust me. 

For a worry-free vacation, consider packing affordable alternatives to your precious jewelry that don’t need to be loaded in and out of the hotel safe each time you leave. 

Bringing Expensive Jewelry – Our Tips

For the expensive jewelry, you want to bring, like your wedding ring, protect it with these quick tips. 

→ Travel with your jewelry on, so it isn’t lost with a mishandled piece of luggage or during a bag inspection by TSA. 

→ Don’t bring the engagement ring to the beach! On adventurous excursions, lock items up in the hotel room’s safe. Don’t leave them out where hotel staff could misplace them. 

→ Check your insurance policy. Some coverage (or specific jewelry insurance) will protect lost/stolen jewelry during travel. If you’re like that added safety net, make sure it’s in place before something happens. 

A core pieces of travel jewelry is a chunky chain necklace.

Travel Jewelry: Our Picks

For a packing list set of jewelry items for travel, we have five recommendations. Wear them together throughout the entire trip or mix and match based on each outfit. 

For all these pieces, either opt to mix metals purposefully or stick to a single metal family. Packing a full set of gold and silver options doubles the pieces of jewelry you have to bring. 

1. Long, Thin Chain Necklace

A classic, multifunctional necklace is the long, thin chain. Opt to add a charm for more interest when needed. 

We love this $12 option from Amazon. The 18K gold-filled construction is durable enough for travel without a hefty price tag. The initial pendant adds an Anthropologie-styled flair. At 22” (with a 2” suspender) it will hang in the middle of the chest dependant on neck size. 

2. Chunky Chain Necklace

The opposing cousin to the long, thin chain is the chunky, short-chain. Pair the two together for a quick necklace stack or wear the short one alone with higher necklines to mirror your shirt’s shape. 

Longer chains emphasize your décolletage when worn alone with deeper necklines or can simplify your look for more casual outfits. 

This chunky style tends to get expensive with fine jewelry (because of the amount of metal), but this $10 option from Amazon looks real enough and it won’t matter if it gets lost in the re-packing process. 

Necklace Separator (for Layering)

If you want to keep your necklace stack tangle-free when wearing it, add this necklace separator. It holds each necklace in its place on your neck to avoid tangling plus makes it easier to put them both on in the morning with a quick, magnetic clasp. 

3. Simple Ring(s)

Wearing super sparkly, diamond-heavy rings during travel can quickly be too much for casual outfits and can feel like an advertisement to pickpocketers. Instead, opt for simple, pure metal rings that can be layered or stacked. Plus, this allows some subtle variation by stacking them differently day to day. 

My go-to for these sleek rings is a small, woman-owned business called RCHL. They offer incredibly generous sizing (up to 12.5) so you can definitely find your size. Plus, their pricing mirrors affordable Amazon offerings, but with more reliable quality. 

For your first stack, consider one to three thicker rings. You can wear them spread out across both hands or stack two together. Then, accent with some thinner options as you’d like. 

4. Hoop-Alternative Earrings

Stud earrings are cute, but let’s be real, half the time you can’t even see them in your pictures. Now, hoops are a classic and they fill the role here: a classic shape that matches all outfits. 

However, by opting for a unique hoop shape, your look is more intentional and interesting. Lauren by Ralph Launren recently several updated shapes that riff on the classic hoop. 

For a simple, small option that’s comfortable for daily wear, opt for these teardrop hoops for $32 from Amazon. At just under an inch, they are a subtle addition to your outfit. 

If you want more options, the full collection is at Macy’s. 

If you love to stick to stud earrings, opt for these rope-textured huggies instead. They have the same, small size of studs, but with added interest and texture. 

For a larger statement (without losing versatility), this bit-shape is a new take on the hoop shape without straying too far. They are just under two inches in size, so still wearable for every day. 

Go branded for an added elevation. 

Alternatively, this collection has two logo options that are multi-functional because their casual design is fit for every day, but the recognition of the Ralph Lauren logo elevates them slightly. Pair the earrings with their matching bracelet and/or necklace for a little extra bulk in your travel jewelry box, but a super put-together result. 

Grab the gold-tone set for a classier look. The earrings are under an inch and dainty. The matching bracelet offers a slider for generous sizing that scales even for thick wrists like mine. At 17” long, the necklace is short and could replace your chunky necklace for a more subtle, branded option instead. 

Alternatively, opt for a more stylized, casual look with the leather collection. Combining metal and leather, these are unique and would work wonderfully for all-day wear during travel. The earrings are similarly sized to the above. However, the necklace is a bit shorter. If you have a thicker neck measurement, you’ll want to opt for a style that can have an extender added. 

5. One Unique Accent

I know I said statement pieces were a no-go, but there’s a caveat. 

By packing light overall, you create space for one meaningful accent. Personally, when I travel I always bring a pair of yellow, pom-pom earrings that exactly match a pair of pants and a jumpsuit I have. Because the color match is so perfect, the earrings make the outfit. 

Find your statement piece like that. Opt for something that is so perfect for an outfit (or better yet two outfits) that it’s an obvious choice or bring something to jazz up your fanciest outfit (for that dinner or event). Adding some extra sparkle against the rest of your plain-metal pieces can be like adding heels to your day outfit: an instant evening look. 

Packing your Jewelry

The extra benefit of packing jewelry light? You don’t need to resort to a million plastic bags, wrapping them with toilet paper, or carrying a pill case of earrings to safely pack them. 

Instead, a single jewelry roll or flat-pack travel jewelry case will comfortably fit all your pieces. Opt for a lightweight option with the Avencii jewelry roll. There are three colors, including a classic leather look for only $23 on Amazon. 

For some added space, the StorageLAB travel jewelry organizer has more than enough space with a soft design you can squish flat in your bag, unlike even a small jewelry box that’s stiff and takes up more space. I love the classic, brown faux leather finish for a classic jewelry bag, but there are four colors to pick from for only $23 on Amazon. 

If you don’t have the room for even that, with this simple set of jewelry, you can get away with a single jewelry pouch. Separate any chains into their own ziplock to avoid tangling, but this is a no-fuss situation. 

Ultimately, we travel to see our destination and spend time with others. By packing a simple set of jewelry you can wear over and over, you spend less time fussing with your stuff. That means more time to enjoy what and who you’re really there to see (while still looking cute).

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