Jewelry Roll Bags and Accessories for Traveling

When traveling with jewelry, vacationers typically take fewer precautions against the risk of damage than the risk of theft. Without good storage containers and tarnish protection materials, jewelry is much more likely to suffer dents, cracks and tarnishing than it is to be stolen. Fortunately, the accessories you need to protect jewelry properly are quite affordable, usually less than the average bracelet.

Jewelry Roll Bags

Sometimes referred to as a travel jewelry organizer, a jewelry roll bag is a folding bag with multiple see-thru compartments for keeping different jewelry types isolated. Most of the versions that are actually called jewelry rolls are the size of a clutch wallet, while most jewelry organizers are larger: some the size of a purse, others the size of a hanging suit travel bag. Though they're just as vulnerable to being crushed as standard suitcases, their main advantage is keeping metal jewelry stored separately from clothes that can absorb tarnish-inducing moisture. And, needless to say, they keep jewelry more organized.

Jewelry Cases

If at all possible, avoid putting jewelry in checked luggage. Most suitcases have soft exteriors which expand when stuffed—great for jamming in extra clothes, but potentially disastrous for jewelry. Your suitcase will probably be piled on by other suitcases in the luggage compartment, and a leather or canvas exterior will cave in under the weight, crushing any jewelry that's the least bit fragile. If for some reason you'd rather not keep your jewelry in carry-on, use a jewelry case. It's rigid exterior will withstand the pressure and weight of other luggage, and most jewelry cases are more stylish and less masculine than hard-shell suitcases.

Watch Boxes

Watch boxes are available for both men and women, but they're usually purchased by men. Fashion conscious watch enthusiasts typically own a collection of expensive watches that are too valuable to risk scratching. Watch boxes have an array of compartments with cushions that brace watches to keep them upright, preventing them from knocking against the dividers or the lid.

Since it's important to keep watches from making contact with other surfaces, avoid watch boxes with flaccid cushions or compartments that are too shallow or narrow. Cushions that aren't sufficiently firm will allow watches to tilt sideways when moved, and potential butt up against the lid. There should also be at least a half-inch of clearance between the lid and the face of your largest watch. Glass-top watch boxes are more popular for at-home use, but covered-top boxes are more durable for packing.

Watch Winders

Most high-end watches are automatic watches that, unlike quartz watches, don't use batteries; they're wound by the natural movement of the wearer. As long as an automatic watch is worn with a couple of days, it will keep ticking. If it's left on an inert surface (or in a watch box), it eventually winds down, so the time will have to be reset the next time it's worn. For owners of several watches, this is highly inconvenient, so instead of using a watch box, they can store their watches in a watch winder.

A watch winder has a series of rotating cuffs that keep watches in continuous or intermittent motion so that they're ready to wear immediately. A winder that holds two or three watches will be sufficient for most travelers, but there are also single watch winders as well as models that wind a dozen watches simultaneously.

Valet Boxes

A valet box is roughly equivalent to a jewelry box. Like watch boxes, valet boxes are primarily jewelry accessories for men, who typically have smaller jewelry collections than women. Valet boxes have an assortment of compartments and trays for items like watches, cell phones, lighters, rings and cufflinks. Since most valet boxes are small enough to be carried in one hand, they're ideal for traveling, especially for men who only own one or two watches.

Anti-Tarnish Trays and Wrappers

The natural gases in the atmosphere contain oxidants that promote tarnishing. Though it's usually easy enough to remove tarnishing with polish, it's better to eliminate its formation up front using products that are treated with coatings that neutralize harmful gases. You can find stackable jewelry trays coated with LusterLoc or a similar anti-tarnish compound that keeps your metal jewelry's sheen from degrading over time

Anti-tarnish bags are an extremely popular solution. These look like regular Ziploc bags, but have the anti-tarnish coating on the inside. You can find the smallest sized bags (appropriate for rings, as well as many earrings and necklace) in packs of 100 for around $5. If your pieces need more padding, you can find anti-tarnish paper (sometimes called anti-tarnish strips) in packs of 20 for around $10.

With the exception of watch winders, most of which range between $150 and $1,200, each of the accessories listed above can be purchased under $50 unless you feel like splurging for aesthetic features over and above the products' basic functionality. If you're spending more than $50 on a bracelet or a pair of earrings, another $50 to protect them from damage is money well spent.