Summer is here in full swing — a time when many people travel on vacation, and expose their possessions to potentially risky situations without realizing that they are putting anything in danger. Unfortunately, they only learn of their miscalculation the hard way. Rest assured that there really are people who make the majority of their living relieving tourists of their jewelry, and some of these individuals can be very diligent, not to mention creative.

Hotels are the perfect place for easy identification of out-of-towners. There are rarely restrictions on hotel lobbies, and this is a point of high visibility. Under no circumstances should you ever flash jewelry in this type of environment. Not only are you visible to anyone with access to the space, you are blatantly obvious to hotel staff as well. Even if you’re being discreet, you should keep in mind the fact that you’re not invisible, and there are certain precautions you can take to reduce the possibility of a loss while traveling.

Joe Brandt

If your hotel provides a room safe, it’s far better than trying to hide your jewelry in a suitcase — and while we’re on the subject, jewelry should never be placed in a suitcase while in a hotel room, or when traveling on commercial transportation. (On a scale of 1 to 10, the difficulty in breaking into most locked, zippered suitcases is 2.) Some hotels also provide access to a safe at the front desk, but you should check with your insurance company as to whether jewelry storage in a hotel safe is an exclusion on your policy.

Another poor idea would be the use of a locked car in lieu of a safe. This most certainly will not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance if the vehicle is left unattended, and even if you have taken advantage of the additional Personal Effects Coverage on a rental car agreement, you should be aware that the limits for this type of coverage are typically very low (perhaps $600 per person, with an $1800 maximum), and these policies generally have all sorts of built-in exclusions.

It is all well and good for me to advise you to keep your jewelry to an absolute minimum while traveling, but most people always want to have at least several alternate pieces with them, instead of wearing the same things day after day. I can assure you that I understand the motivation to bring nice jewelry with you to wear when you travel, but please remember that extra attention is needed in order to avoid putting yourself at risk in certain situations.

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Joe Brandt is a local resident, and president of J.L. Brandt Company, offering speaking engagements and diversified fine jewelry advisory services to the general public since 1928. Readers are invited to submit questions or comments to [email protected]. Names or contact information will not be used for publication, and all inquiries will be answered promptly.