10 Tips for Traveling with an Engagement Ring
Getting engaged will be one of the most memorable moments of your life, no matter where it takes place, but there’s something amazing about a destination proposal. Proposing in front of a historic landmark, on a beach, or with an incredible natural backdrop can be totally spectacular. But as if proposing weren’t stressful enough, the logistics of traveling with an engagement ring feel a bit overwhelming. The last thing you want is to have this special piece of jewelry lost, stolen or damaged before it’s presented to your beloved. While this may sound pretty alarming, there are some simple precautions you can take to ensure that the engagement ring stays safe while you’re traveling.
Plan in advanceTake the time to plan your “proposal trip” well in advance—procrastinating will only make things more stressful. Make sure that the engagement ring will be ready and in your hands with enough time so you’re not scrambling in the days and hours before your trip. If you’re traveling abroad, ensure that travel documents and passports are up to date. The calmer and more composed you are during the trip, the less suspicious your partner will be—and the less likely you’ll lose the ring in all the commotion!
Make sure it’s insuredIn all the excitement of buying an engagement ring, things like jewelry insurance might not be at the top of your mind. However, securing insurance for an engagement ring should be high priority, as it protects the ring if it gets lost, stolen or damaged—so make sure to get this done before proposing. This is even more essential if you’re planning a romantic vacation proposal, whether it’s a domestic or international trip.
Pack it properlyWe’ve all heard lost-luggage horror stories, so don’t take the risk by putting a precious engagement ring in a checked bag. Instead, put it in a box (perhaps a watch box, which won’t raise as much suspicion as a ring box!), wrap the box in plastic wrap, and keep it in a carry-on bag you’ll have on your person at all times. Remember: Don’t put the ring in your pocket while going through airport security—the metal detector will likely go off and blow your cover.
Size it rightIf the ring doesn’t properly fit your partner, it’s more likely that it will slip off unnoticed. We recommend double-checking ring sizing with your partner’s current jewelry, or even taking her to get her finger sized in advance. Yes, it may blow the surprise a bit, but you can rest assured knowing that the ring will fit—and you don’t have to show her the actual ring! After the ring is presented, take it to a reputable jeweler to ensure that it fits perfectly and that all stones are secure.
Use the hotel safeJewelry theft is more common in popular tourist areas, so avoid holding the ring when visiting those sorts of places (museums, historic landmarks, etc.). Use your hotel’s safe to keep the ring protected while you’re out and about (again, putting it in a watch box or other non-ring box will raise fewer flags with your partner). Also, if you’re planning on doing any outdoorsy or adventurous activities during a trip, like waterskiing, diving, rock climbing, zip-lining, even just going to the beach (rings in the ocean are a big no-no!), you might also want to keep the ring locked up to avoid potential damage (sand + engagement rings = scratches).
The big momentTry to propose toward the beginning of your trip—not only will you avoid having to hide the ring for days and days (making it perhaps more susceptible to being lost or stolen), but you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation even more.
Take picturesOnce you’ve proposed, have your partner take a picture wearing the engagement ring in your hotel room. It may sound a little weird, but if the unthinkable happens and your ring is lost or stolen, you’ll likely need proof of ownership in order to make an insurance claim. A photo of you wearing the jewelry should suffice—so go ahead, take that ring selfie!
Avoid oversharing on social mediaYes, we know you’re not Kim Kardashian and probably don’t have over 100 million Instagram followers, but it’s still a good idea to avoid posting geotagged photos of the ring on social media. It may sound a bit paranoid, but if a thief happens to see your location on social media and that you have a giant rock on your finger, you may be a target. Better safe than sorry—save the posting (or at the very least the geotagging) until you’re safely home.
Turn it aroundWhen you and your partner are out and about on your vacation, she might want to try the “flip” trick—turning her engagement ring upside-down so that the center stone faces toward her palm. This will draw less attention to the bling on her finger, and make her ring look more like a less valuable, simple band.
Keep it at homeAfter your #justsaidyes moment, the safest place for an engagement ring when you’re traveling is actually at home. Yes, it may sound silly to go on your bachelorette party or on your honeymoon, for example, without your engagement ring squarely on your finger, but keeping that ring locked in a safe at home may be the best place for it—especially if you’re traveling somewhere adventurous. You can purchase a ring sans real stones to wear when you travel so you’ll still have that married or almost-married glow (no one will know the difference, we promise!), and if you’re already married, only wear your wedding band. Just make sure that if you leave your ring at home, you take precautions so that potential thieves won’t catch on that you’re away. Leave some lights on, make sure to stop your mail and newspapers, ensure your lawn is taken care of, and have a friend or relative (hello, maid of honor or best man!) check in on your home while you’re away.
Kim Forrest is an editor at WeddingWire. WeddingWire is the leading online wedding planning destination dedicated to empowering couples with planning tools, giving them inspiration around the wedding planning process, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help.