Whether you’re slipping on a favorite bracelet to feel more human after a red-eye, dressing to impress in a business meeting, or looking to wow on a date in a new city, jewelry has a way of making you feel special.
Fighting with tangled necklace chains that seem to be tied by a master weaver? Not so much.
A travel jewelry case is more than a pretty box to display jewelry. It’s an organizer that can save you a lot of hassle. The key is investing in a jewelry case that’s made for function while traveling. Here’s everything you need to know to choose the perfect travel jewelry organizer so that you can look and feel your best (yes, even after a red-eye with screaming toddlers).
Bring the Right Jewelry to Travel
The first step in finding the perfect travel jewelry case is knowing the jewelry you want to pack. Tortuga writer Laura Lopuch did a deep dive into how to pack jewelry, but there are two rules worth repeating: travel with jewelry you don’t mind losing, and only travel with a small amount of jewelry.
For some, this is as simple as wearing your wedding band.
For others, this includes a small collection: a watch, a necklace, a few pairs of earrings.
Regardless of what that means to you, live by Laura’s advice and only pack the pieces that make you happy, the ones you reach for day after day. For one-bag and minimalist packers, we offer this addendum: pack jewelry that incorporates seamlessly in your capsule wardrobe.
Jewelry to Leave at Home
If you’re still struggling with what jewelry to pack, it can be helpful to think about what not to pack. The three rules of stay-at-home jewelry are equally simple:
- Don’t pack anything you would be devastated to lose.
- Don’t pack recognizable name brands, like Tiffany.
- Don’t pack anything expensive.
Jenn Sutherland-Miller doesn’t travel with her wedding rings for that reason and instead wears a simple silver band while traveling.
You don’t need to shed your wedding rings if you’re not comfortable with it, but Grandma’s beloved bracelet or your mom’s favorite cocktail ring should stay at home. The same goes for pricey watches—a simple timepiece will suffice.
What to Look for in a Travel Jewelry Case
Once you have your jewelry packing list, you can turn your attention to finding the best travel jewelry case. There are three factors to keep in mind:
- The type of jewelry you plan to travel with
- The type of storage you need for that jewelry
- The cost of a given travel case
Let’s break it down.
Type of Jewelry
Picture the difference between packing long, delicate chains and packing a stack of minimalist rings. Now you understand why the type of jewelry matters.
Not every travel jewelry organizer works for all types of jewelry. A small jewelry case can get the job done for rings, earrings, bracelets, even a watch, but long necklaces are likely to tangle. On the other hand, there’s no need to roll up a hanging organizer if you usually reach for small pieces like studs.
Think about how you like to accessorize. The best travel case should hold most of what you need.
Type of Storage
Keep in mind that your home base while traveling may also dictate your jewelry box of choice.
For a hotel room with a pedestal sink and towel hooks, a hanging jewelry case gives you maximum access. On the other hand, you don’t want to hang up a jewelry organizer in a shared hostel bathroom. In that case, you want a compact, lockable case you can tuck in your bag.
Cost should not be the sole deciding factor between travel jewelry cases, but it’s worth considering. Low-stress travel is all about finding essentials that make your life easier, and a good travel jewelry case is one of them. Don’t be afraid to invest in a travel case if you know it will serve you well for years to come.
The Best Travel Jewelry Cases
Got your packing list and your priorities in order? Then let’s talk about some of the best travel jewelry cases.
These cases were selected with an eye toward packing light and making the best use of space, so we didn’t include a hanging travel case. You can certainly reach for one if that’s the best fit for you.
Best Overall: Ellis James The Quilted Jewelry Organizer
Our all-around champion is the Quilted Jewelry Organizer from Ellis James Designs. It’s spacious without being bulky (9.7 x 6.1 x 2 inches), and the interior offers plenty of organization for the space provided.
The zippered main compartment offers several specific item slots, including a removable earring holder; watch, bracelet, and ring straps, and necklace straps; plus several additional pockets inside. Obsessive organizers will find their happy place with this case, and light travelers will appreciate that it’s small enough to easily slip in a purse.
Best Compact: Vegan Leather Travel Jewelry Case
If your packing style is all about maximizing space, this vegan leather travel case by Case Elegance is your new best friend.
Unlike many cases which are designed to resemble a jewelry box, this case is more like a slim wallet. We’re big fans of functional design at Tortuga, so we appreciate how much thought went into maxing the most of limited space in this organizer. It’s small (8 x 5.5 x 1 inches) but you’ll find zippered pockets, earring slots, and loops for small necklaces.
The one downside of this case is that it’s made for small jewelry. It won’t work for long necklaces, but if your ideal travel jewelry consists of studs and a few minimalist rings, this is a great choice.
Best for a Weekend Getaway: Cuyana Mini Jewelry Case and Vlando Viaggio Small Jewelry Case
Cuyana’s mini travel case is a smaller version of the brand’s popular full-size case. They’re not kidding when they say mini: it measures 2.5 x 5.5 x 4.3 inches. With Italian leather and luxurious gold detailing, you get plenty of style.
This case is mini insofar as it’s also minimalist—you get a leather belt for holding rings and earrings, and the interior includes a small felt pouch with satin drawstrings to secure other jewelry, like necklaces. You run the risk of tangled chains with multiple necklaces, but the pouch gets the job done.
If you want a bit more organization from a small travel case, reach for Vlando Viaggio instead. Unlike most travel cases that look like a wallet or pouch, this case looks like a cylindrical clutch and opens in a tiered stack of three circular compartments for stashing jewelry. When you’re done, it closes and snaps and is ready to toss in your suitcase.
The con of the Vlando Viaggio case is that it doesn’t offer organization based on different jewelry types. There are no earring slots, ring straps, or necklace straps, and a hard bracelet (as opposed to a flexible chain) may not fit.
Best Mirrored Case: Vlando Travel Jewelry Case
Vlando offers innovative design ideas, and this case is no exception. In fact, the interior includes a feature that most travel cases eschew: a mirror.
The small mirror built into the lid is a great feature to help you freshen up on the go. It also offers compartmented organization that the previous Vlando case lacks—slots for bracelets, slots for rings, and slots to hang earrings.
Best Jewelry Travel Case for Men: Small Travel Jewelry Box by M.M.A
If you have men in your life who like to travel in style, don’t leave them hanging.
A good option for the guys in your life is this small travel jewelry box by M.M.A. It’s a minimalist leather case, but it offers just enough organization to travel without a fuss. There are slots for rings and cufflinks on the bottom, a pocket for a watch on the lid, and a leather divider to prevent rubbing and scratching while in transit.
Like most of the cases on this list, it’s a simple design that packs light and is compact enough to suit one-bag traveling.
There are two rules for traveling with jewelry: travel with jewelry you don’t mind losing and travel with a small amount. Alternately, don’t pack anything expensive, brand-name, or precious. Stick with what makes you happy, and pack jewelry that works well with several items in your capsule wardrobe.
Select a jewelry case based on the jewelry you travel with and the storage it requires. Think about your destination and whether you want to leave your jewelry case sitting out.
Don’t be afraid to invest in a travel case that will serve you well for years to come.