Do I Need a Separate Travel Engagement Ring? 10 Tips to Keep Your Ring Safe

Updated 09/07/18

Photo by Jordy B Photography

You love your engagement ring almost as much as you adore your partner. So it goes without saying you'd never want anything to happen to it. That's why some people prefer to wear a separate travel engagement ring while on vacation — because your honeymoon (in addition to being the best vacation ever) could be just the place for something bad to happen to your engagement ring or even your wedding band.

Why? If you're taking a tropical vacation, you could dull the shine of your sparkling diamond with sunscreen — or, much worse, your slightly-loose diamond could get swept away while you're swimming in the ocean. Let's say you're traveling from city to city, and hotel to hotel, on an epic adventure across Europe: You could leave your ring behind on a bathroom counter, never to be found again. And if you're traveling to a high-risk area, your engagement ring could simply get stolen.

But you can't spend your honeymoon worrying about your ring. Deciding whether or not to bring your actual engagement ring — or a travel engagement ring — on your honeymoon requires a little proper planning before you head to the airport. We spoke to James Allen and Michele Sigler, the co-founders and husband-and-wife team behind James Allen to get insight from jewelry pros on what to consider before you take off.

1. Insure Your Ring (If You Haven't Already!)

If you didn't get jewelry insurance right when your engagement ring was purchased, make sure to do so before heading on a trip. It's better to be safe than sorry in case anything happens!

2. Have Your Ring Inspected

Before you board a plane, take your engagement ring to be serviced and inspected. Bring it back to the jeweler where your ring was purchased, and they'll check for any defects, such as a loose stone or an ill-fitting band. As Sigler points out, "it's better to catch a loose stone before you go than lose it during a trip." If you don't already have your ring insured, now's the time to do it, too. While you don't want to have to replace your ring, you'll be glad you can in case it gets lost, Sigler says.

3. Use Your Judgment and Listen to Your Gut

Still can't shake the feeling that you shouldn't bring travel with your ring? Your gut is probably sounding off warning bells for a reason, so listen to it. Truth is, there are plenty of popular honeymoon destinations where a diamond ring will stand out, and the last thing you want to do is feel awkward — or even like a target — on such a relaxing vacation. If you decide it's best to leave it at home, be sure to keep your engagement ring in a secure location such as a safe or lock box.

4. Wear Your Ring Strategically

If you do bring your ring with you, know when to wear it — and when to take it off. "When you're at the beach or on an excursion such as hiking or snorkeling, you can accidentally damage the setting," Schultz says. And you definitely don't want that.

"We also suggest removing your ring while you're getting ready, because sunscreen and perfume can cause grime to build up and reduce the sheen of your diamond or gemstone," adds Schultz.

5. Never Wear Your Ring in the Pool or Especially the Ocean

This bears emphasis: never wear your ring in the ocean. The cold water will cause your fingers to shrink, which in turn makes it easy for your ring to slip off your finger and sink to the bottom of the ocean. Even if you're in shallow water, your ring will likely be loss forever as it gets swept up in the current and sand. The same rule applies to the pool. The ring can slip right off. On top of that, chlorine can damage platinum, gold and white gold.

6. Lock Your Ring in the Hotel Safe When You're Not Wearing It

When you remove your ring, don't just set it anywhere in your hotel room. Sigler and Allen advise that you take advantage of your hotel room's safe whenever you're not wearing your rings.

7. Consider Wearing Your Wedding Band Solo

Here's a compromise: wear you less valuable wedding band and leave your engagement ring at home! "It still says, 'I'm married,' without risking the much more expensive engagement ring," says Sigler.

8. Rock a Fake Travel Engagement Ring

Can't resign yourself to a honeymoon sans bling? Get a fake engagement ring that's just for traveling! There's some very authentic-looking cubic zirconia out there. If you're worried about damaging or losing your engagement ring while on your honeymoon, this can be a sparkling solution. If, however, you're traveling somewhere that theft is a concern, this might not be your best bet, as your fake can easily be mistaken for the real thing and put you in danger.

9. Or, Rock a Rubber Ring

Another option is rocking a rubber ring. QALO is one of the leaders in rubber rings, designed for activities and professions that get in the way of a traditional ring. They come in just about every color, and celebrities like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Audrina Patridge and James Aldean are big fans. If you want a hassle-free travel engagement ring, this is a good way to go.

10. Never Voluntarily Take Off Your Ring at the Airport

One last tip for traveling while wearing your engagement ring: don't voluntarily remove your rings at airport security. Platinum, silver and gold will not set off the alarm, and all that TSA confusion provides the perfect distraction for a leering eye to swipe a sparkler.

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