Wedding ring debate: Is it safe to wear your engagement ring while traveling?

Wedding ring debate: Is it safe to wear your engagement ring while traveling?

Saying “I do,” suddenly doesn’t seem so scary anymore once you get engaged. You did it, you found the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with — GO YOU! What suddenly becomes a part of daily reality is when it’s appropriate to wear your engagement and when is it not. Suddenly the scariest situation you can be in is diamond-less and having to tell your fiancé that you lost maybe one of your most expensive possession.

Let me tell you, the first couple of days of wearing my engagement ring I felt like a klutzy teenager again and was constantly checking my left hand to see if I was still wearing it.

Now, I’ve got my ring wearing habits down to a routine. I take off my ring for activities like showering, washing dishes and going to the gym and have designated ring holders and jewelry stands scattered about to keep my ring safe while it’s off my finger. Other than these few instances my ring is glued to my finger — sometimes literally when it’s a warm day and my fingers have swelled.

I didn’t think about my engagement ring when planning my solo trip to Iceland in November.

So when I was planning my solo trip to Iceland in November, I didn’t think anything of my engagement ring. That wasn’t until someone asked me. I was stunned for a moment and did not know how to reply. (And it’s a surreal moment when I’m at a loss for words.)

That evening while I was enjoying dinner with my fiancé, I asked him what his opinion was. At this point, I hadn’t really formulated an opinion myself, so I was interested to hear his take on the subject. He hadn’t thought about it either.

Over the past several weeks we’ve talked about whether my engagement should remain stateside or journey over the pond with me. In the end, we found that there are no definitive right or wrong answers, it’s all gray and depends on how you interpret it. 

Are you traveling solo?

After our engagement, we immediately started traveling. Our first trip was a camping trip with friends where we suffered through the pouring rain. We then embarked to northern Minnesota where we hiked around the shores of Lake Superior. We closed out the summer with a road trip to Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.

During all these trips, I wore my engagement ring. Iceland will be my first solo vacation since we’ve gotten engaged, so I’m unsure of how to proceed.

I never considered my fiancé a reason why I wear my engagement ring on vacation, but subconsciously I think he factored into my reasoning. If I was on those hiking trails alone, I might be warier on whether or not I’d wear my engagement ring.

Where are you traveling to?

Not all travel destinations are created equal. It’s unfortunate, but there are places in the world that are more dangerous than others. Wearing my sparkly, diamond engagement in a country with high crime rates, particularly for robbery and muggings, would be irresponsible of me.

Similarly, when I travel, I try to blend in as a local and not stand out. If a country I’m visiting doesn’t traditionally exchange engagement rings or wear high-end, diamond jewelry, I’m not likely to leave my engagement ring at home.

I also would consider what sort of accommodations I would be staying at. For instance, there are some people who don’t sleep with their engagement bands on. If I was staying in a communal setting such as a hostel or campground, I’d be less likely to take my engagement ring off for the evening. Furthermore, if my hotel or Airbnb didn’t have a safe then I probably wouldn’t bring it either.

What kind of traveling will you be doing?

This relates to where you’ll be traveling but differs because of the activities you might be doing. For instance, I might take a vacation to the Caribbean. I could plan on bumming at the beach at an all-inclusive resort or I could decide to camp on the beach while participating in water activities my entire holiday. I would be more likely to wear my ring at an all-inclusive resort than while parasailing or waterskiing.

How important is it to have your engagement ring with? 

This is usually the most controversial part of the argument because there’s plenty of evidence to support both sides. Furthermore, it’s an emotional issue that can get heated rather quickly. I figured this out when I talked to a girlfriend of mine.

I mentioned to my girlfriend that I might not wear my engagement ring while traveling abroad. She thought I was absolutely ludicrous. Instead of offering me advice, she attacked me and questioned my motives for traveling abroad. She assumed that these “lavish” vacations I partake in are breaks away from my fiancé and reality. It’s a way for me to escape my problems and live in an alternate reality.

As if.

I tried to convey to her my reasons concerning safety, which she refused to believe. Again, neglecting to wear my engagement ring was a sign of infidelity to her.

Rings are now a universal sign of a committed relationship. Others think rings ward off unwanted sexual advances and predators. Both are valid reasons to wear a ring.

Another way to frame this question is “Would it matter if your wedding ring was there or not?” I assumed my fiance wanted me to wear my engagement ring as a sign that I am in a committed, loving relationship. Especially, since he’s not there as physical proof. His reaction was the opposite.

“If someone wants to cheat, a simple metal ring isn’t going to stop them,” he said. And he’s completely right. A ring won’t stop someone from cheating.

Yes, my engagement ring serves as a reminder of our loving commitment, but I don’t have to wear it to remember that.

So we circled back to posing the question again, “Would it matter if I wore my wedding ring or not?”

Our verdict

In the end, I decided to not wear my engagement ring while traveling solo to Iceland. When weighing the risks and benefits, I found that it was riskier for me to wear my ring. Wearing my ring would call attention to me. Iceland ranks as one of the safest places for female solo travelers to venture to. Regardless, a diamond ring screams for unwanted attention. Especially for me as a solo traveler.

We also kept circling back to why wear my engagement ring? While looking at my Iceland itinerary, there were numerous activities such as glacier hiking and snorkeling that would require me to take off my ring. Thinking of a safe place to store my ring was mind-boggling enough, so that was a huge reason why I decided to put my ring back into the ring box.

On a logistical note, cold weather makes my finger smaller and therefore my ring looser, I didn’t want to risk losing my ring in a foreign country. More importantly, I didn’t want to lose my precious ring. True you can lose your ring, anywhere. But it seemed more likely to happen while this modern-age klutz would be traveling solo.

My diamond ring means a lot to me. But if I truly think about it, I won’t feel more loved if I was wearing it on the road alone. In fact, the ring would be a constant reminder that my fiancé wasn’t with me. Also, remind me of how much I missed him.

Yes, diamond engagement rings are a big statement to the world that you’ve found the love of your life, but for me while in Iceland, it would simply state that my fiancé wasn’t with me. This certainly didn’t qualify as an important reason why I should wear my ring. (It’s important to note, I’m don’t travel without my ring to avoid shame for traveling solo!avoid shame for traveling solo!)

The white, gold band that sparkles on my finger doesn’t define our love. It does not even enhance. It’s simply a symbol of our love.

So when I finally questioned whether my ring deserved a coveted spot on my packing list, it was a no-brainer.

No. I’m going to leave my beloved possession at home, safe in its black, velvet ring box for safe keeping.

What’s most important is that I return to him refreshed, renewed and safe from my solo journey. My ring and my love will be at home waiting for me.










Editor’s note: This article was written when the author was engaged. Her relationship status has changed since then, but the thoughts and information on the topic still remain the same. 

40 thoughts on “Wedding ring debate: Is it safe to wear your engagement ring while traveling?”

  • Great post. I inherited an engagement ring from my grandmother. Besides the monetary value, it has huge sentimental value. Before my husband proposed to me, (he already had the ring) he had an exact replica made with white gold but zirconia instead of diamonds. We live in South America and do a lot of traveling so I love that I have my special ‘fake’ to wear when necessary. Obviously it looks like a diamond and could make me vulnerable to theft but if I was robbed they’d get a surprise when trying to sell it 🤣 Also, when I’m in markets or anywhere with a slightly higher risk of being robbed, i turn the ring around so the diamond is on the back so it just looks like a simple band….

    • That’s so thoughtful of him to get you a replica. I would do this too especially if it was a family heirloom! And yes, they are in for a surprise, ha! Thanks for reading!

  • Alright, so why are you so darn perfect! Such an amazing post! Love the quality of the content and the pictures were gorgeous as always. I totally respect your decision and do believe it is every single person’s decision to figure out how they want to handle the situation. I think all of your points were valid of why you left it at home. Nobody has the time to be losing the ring man! I would have lost that shit quick! Love you to pieces and cannot wait to continue reading more of your content!

  • Aww many congratulations on your engagement! I understand your decision not to wear your ring during your travels, especially in case you lost it, and being so recently engaged! Iceland’s a pretty safe country, but I do understand your point of view. A nice angle on a travel story.

    • Thank you! Yes, I definitely think I could’ve worn my engagement ring in Iceland. I never once felt unsafe, even in Reykjavik walking around at night. I think the only way I would lose it is because it would have fallen off my finger. It was so cold in Iceland that my hands shrunk significantly, ha!

  • First of all, congratulation for your engagement! To be honest, I have been together with my husband for 15 years (12 years as married) and none of us wear a ring. I guess if I was into jewelry and if I would be traveling either solo or with my husband I wouldnt wear it for the same reason I wouldnt wear a golden necklace or an expensive watch on a trip. Unless I was a bratpack/resort/5stars kind of traveler but I am not.

    • Thank you! I’m venturing to Belize solo in January and going to be leaving my ring at home again. I’m not an expensive jewelry wearer either, but my ring holds a lot of sentimental value. I would hate to lose it! I also like to do a lot of hiking and adventuring, so I also run the risk of scratching and nicking my ring. Best to keep it at home, safe and sound!

  • I personally don’t wear mine when we travel. Not just for safety, but it’s not very comfortable in certain climates and there is no way I would take it off for fear of losing it. Great post and lots of great insight!

    • Hi Maggie! I completely agree. My fingers fluctuate so much in my own home state that I can’t imagine what happens when I wear my ring abroad. I’ll probably lose it in a heartbeat. Thanks for reading!

  • Love that you did a post on this! I’ve had the same discussion with my husband, and gotten fervent advice on both sides of the argument. In daily life, I’m different from you in that 22 years in, and my ring is on my finger 24/7. And I mean, shower, dishes, gym, snorkel, SCUBA… I’ve worn it for all those things. Granted, I also have an “free” cleaning & re-dip on my ring every 6 months – so that’s kept it in good shape.

    I know that if I were to take it off for daily activities, I’d lose it in short order. Not even a question. BUT, first time we were traveling internationally to a place we thought it may be an issue, I decided to leave the ring behind. We got to the airport, on the flight… I look down… and yep – it’s still there. Totally forgot to take it off. It’s such a part of my hand that I don’t have a conscious thought about my ring for months and months at a time – and I still haven’t taken it off for a trip – despite intending to – because I just can’t freakin’ remember to take it off!! Sigh. Ah well… maybe next time.

    • Hi Meg! I hope to someday be like you, to have my ring feel like its part of my body, not like a foreign object. I’m guessing because my ring is “new” that is why I feel this way. And I’m sure after wearing your ring for long periods of time, it’s hard to even get off, ha! Thanks for your valuable perspective!

  • I think you are right on the money with this post! In some places, it is more common to be mugged or robbed because of expensive items you may be carrying. It is sad to say that but true. If you still want to wear some sort of ring while travelling, I’d recommend something like a rubber ring. Silly but one of my friends wore one while travelling and she felt safer because she wasn’t wearing her diamond engagement ring.

    • Hi Sara! And that’s a great alternative, I hadn’t even thought about including. I always use a silicone ring for when I lift weights at the gym. I hadn’t even thought about wearing it while I travel. To further discuss your point about safety abroad, isn’t it also sad that we feel that we need to wear rings while abroad to feel safer? A ring is considered a deterrent for sexual assault, harassment and even catcalling. But, why can’t society just stop doing these things? That’s a question I often mull over myself. Thanks for your valuable insight! Happy travels!

  • I’ve traveled the world for 2 years with my rings on. I guess it kinda depends where you’re going. From personal experience, growing up visiting my home country of The Philippines since childhood, it’s better to keep it off in third world countries. But it’s a personal thing, really.

  • Really interesting discussion. It’s certainly true there’s no right or wrong, isn’t it crazy that one little object can cause so much concern?! Beautiful final sentiment and I totally agree. For those wishing the best of both worlds I have heard of times people have a “spare” ring (usually a cheaper less emotionally attached one) they use to wear for their personal preference of having one on, but with the safety and security risks involved – could be a happy medium for some!

  • I had no idea there was such a debate about this…then again, I tend to just go with the flow and not overthink stuff…have worn diamonds on wilderness backpacking trips and around the world. In fact, I’ve heard more about single women buying fake rings to ward off unwanted attention than engaged women making a fuss about it.

    • Hi Leigh! Yes, that’s been a big part of this discussion as well, which I find interesting. I mention this a little more in my “Stop shaming female solo travelers” post, but it’s sad that women can travel around the world and it’s still assumed that they need a man. Hence, when women wear fake engagement rings to ward off unwanted attention. If another man has a claim on a woman, maybe then they’ll stop harassing us. Isn’t saying no and we’re not interested enough? Thanks for reading!

  • Wow, this is not something I have really thought about but it’s a really big decision. And not just a big decision for you but how your fiance feels about it is also super important. I thought it was a perfect response by your fiance to say if a person wants to cheat a ring is not going to stop him. Very practical guy, a keeper for sure!

    • Hi Nicole! I definitely agree, your fiance and partner’s position on the ring debate is so important. And thank you, my fiance is definitely very supportive, he definitely deserves a lot of credit for that. Don’t worry, I’m keeping him for life, ha! Thanks for reading; happy travels!

  • I don’t have such problem for now but I guess some day I’ll be facing the same question. I’d probably leave my engagement ring home before I leave but I agree that it also depends on the destination. Beautiful ring 🙂

    • Hi Eve! Thank you! And yes, it wasn’t something I gave much thought to either until I was days away from traveling solo, internationally and having a new engagement ring on my finger. You’ll definitely know your answer once you have one. Thanks for reading!

  • I’m notorious for losing things… especially while traveling. I left my e-ring at home while on our honeymoon since I had the wedding band which isn’t nearly as flashy. I actually only ever wear my e-ring now along with wedding band for family functions.

    • Hi Hanna! That’s a neat idea. I actually know a lot of people who opt to only wear there wedding band most of the time for that same reason. Sometimes it has to do with their profession, other times, it’s for the sake of not losing it. Great advice!

  • I just got engaged last summer, so this is something I’ve given some thought to as well. I agree with you that it’s situational – you want to consider factors such as where you’re traveling to and what you’ll be doing. I do a lot of hiking and diving on my travels – neither of which are great with my engagement ring on – so I typically will store it in a safe at the hotel, or if I’m staying in hostels or Airbnbs without a safe, I’ll leave my ring at home. Something else you can look into is getting a silicone ring from somewhere like Qalo that you can wear in lieu of your actual ring when you travel to places that you don’t want to wear your actual ring to. That’s what I do, and it makes me feel like I’m still wearing my ring, but it doesn’t make me feel unsafe at all since it’s just a silicone band 🙂

  • OMG yes, what a great post! This is something discussed frequently, but I’ve never seen a write up on it, kudos for thinking outside of the box. I think the questions you’ve asked, such as, “where are you traveling to” are legitimate. I didn’t struggle with this so much as an engaged person, but even on my honeymoon I found myself wondering if I should bring my ring on a two week journey. If my day involves lots of activity, I leave it in the safe (and panic the whole time we’re apart HAHA) But, if I know we’re doing something laid back like wine tasting or going to dinner, I put it on.

  • Engagement ring is one of the precious and emotional things in ones life. So, it should be handled carefully. If anyone wants to wear the ring during travel or honeymoon then they should be very careful.

  • liked that youo said that one thing to consider when you are buying wedding rings is to make sure that you buy one that is made from real metal so that it won’t tarnish when you do dishes. I have been thinking about getting a new wedding ring but I haven’t been sure which kind to buy. I will be sure to consider buying one with real metal so that I can ensure longevity.

  • It’s good to know that there are some places where it’s safer to wear your engagement ring than others. My brother recently got engaged, and he wants to make sure that his fiance is safe. I’ll be sure to share this information with them for their consideration.

  • This is really interesting, and something I’ve honestly never thought about before. With crime, hot/cold climates and physical activities, it definitely something I will consider in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  • I am so happy I found your blog and I absolutely love your information about the wedding ring debate and the tips you have shared are awesome. I liked and it is wonderful to know about so many things that are useful for all of us! Thanks a lot for this amazing blog!!

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