El Camino Bracelets: Taking My Travels With Me

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This is part of a series on my blog all about my favorite travel accessories for the wanna-be-stylish female traveler. Also check out my reviews of Speakeasy hidden pocket scarves, Allett travel wallets, and Tieks ballet flats.

Travel accessories


I've got a bit of an obsession with buying jewelry when I travel. It's uncommon for me NOT to pick up a new ring or necklace or pair of earrings when I visit a new place.

For example, my jewelry box currently contains:

  • A Claddagh ring from Ireland
  • Hand-painted earrings from Thailand
  • A blown-glass necklace from the island of Murano in Italy
  • A Greek-patterned ring from Santorini
  • A hand-made necklace from Croatia
  • Carved Maori bone necklaces from New Zealand
  • A leather bracelet from Greece
  • A black pearl ring from China

I love buying jewelry abroad, because it's actually a useful souvenir. Instead of sitting on a shelf or hanging on a wall, I can actually WEAR it. And, when I wear a lot of these things, people ask me where I got them and I get to relive some of those great travel memories.

But the problem is that I can't wear all of these bits and bobs at once. I would look ridiculous.

However, I've now discovered a way to wear ALL of my travel memories (or, at least my favorite ones) at once: with an El Camino bracelet.

El Camino bracelet

I first heard of these bracelets from another travel blogger. They're kind of a more streamlined version of a charm bracelet — but made for the travel-obsessed like me.

Basically, you buy “steps” for countries, regions, and even cities you've been to. (You can also get custom steps made for any other travel-related events or places you may want to remember.) You then put these steps on the bracelet, kind of like charms/beads on a Pandora bracelet.

The design is sleek and simple — not too flashy; neutral enough to more or less match anything.

I got a dark green double-sized bracelet (so it wraps around my wrist twice) and 3 steps to start with. I chose the USA and New Zealand (the two countries I've lived in) and London (my favorite city in the world) along with some spacers and a green region step that represents Asia.

El Camino bracelet

I've been wearing my El Camino bracelet EVERYwhere, and I love looking down at my wrist and being reminded of roadtripping across the United States, bungee jumping in New Zealand, and going to the Olympics in London.

I love this piece of jewelry so much that I decided to invest in a bunch more country steps and region steps to cover the 5 major parts of the world I've visited.

I've decided to have my bracelet represent ALL of my adventures (well, eventually…), but you could easily focus yours on a specific region or part of the world.

El Camino bracelet

Do you like buying jewelry that reminds you of your travels?


*Note: I did receive a free “starter kit” from El Camino, but I have since purchased more steps on my own — and will likely buy more! As always, I would never recommend something to you that I wouldn't buy for myself.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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37 Comments on “El Camino Bracelets: Taking My Travels With Me

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  1. Love the bracelet! I’ll be looking for one. And I love your newly discovered blog! I recently put together a (long) necklace, attaching small items – silver Viking ship charm from Sweden, link from bracelet bought in Spain, bone whale’s tail from Alaska, etc. – from our travels with gold rings to a chain. It is centered with a pendant watch which belonged to a too-long-gone favorite aunt. It no longer runs, but permanently displays 5:00. How convenient! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Your souvenir necklace sounds really cool! I have so many things all around my apartment from my travels. It’s nice to walk by and be reminded of another time or place.

    WANT! So much. I mean, you should see my left wrist right now. I have 5 bracelets and two festival wristy’s on it. And an insane white tan line where they all sit, too!

    What a great idea – might have to treat myself! Fantastic idea for a gift too

      Yes, these would make great gifts – if you buy one for someone who travels a lot, you’d never run out of gifts since you could buy them new steps for every holiday! Haha.

    I LOVE these! I’ve never heard of these before but what a cute non-tacky way to “collect” countries. Thanks for the review, I’m browsing their site now!

      Yeah, really not tacky at all, yet still a great way to kind of “show off” where you’ve been.

    I soooooo want one of theeeeeeese!
    Just sayin’ ๐Ÿ˜€

      Haha, well you’ll have to enter the giveaway next month!

    Thanks for posting this, Amanda! Those bracelets look amazing! I am also a huge fan of jewelry as souvenirs. I am absolutely gutted to have lost a necklace I bought in Ireland on my first visit to the Emerald Isle in 2008. I wore it almost daily for 6 years until the chain snapped a few months ago. I never recovered the pendant. ๐Ÿ™

    I have dropped so much money on plane tickets and bus tours and hostels in the last couple of weeks, I’m not sure I can justify buy this for myself. But as luck would have it, my birthday is in a couple weeks. So I think I know what I’ll be asking for…

      There you go, Victoria! The perfect birthday gift for the on-the-go traveler!

    These look great! Maybe I’m gonna give on as a present to my gf!

      That’s a great idea! I’m sure she would really like it.

    Amanda! I notice not many guys have replied to this so just wanted to say that this is a cool idea! I like the way each “step” is different and glad the company provided you with one – if anyone can promote it you’re the girl. It could take off! Good luck and safe travels. Jonny PS – As a male I’ll stick to wearing football shirts and collecting beer labels ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Hahaha, yes, unfortunately my product reviews of late have definitely had a female slant. But thanks for the comment and for the confidence in my promotional skillz! ๐Ÿ™‚

    This bracelet looks beautiful and I love the fact it is travel themed. I used to collect “charms” (as well as was given them) when I traveled back in the 70’s & 80’s so have a couple of pretty cool charm bracelets but I’m sure I would get laughed at if I attempted to wear them now! I will never part with them though. I buy jewelry (mainly earrings) when traveling as well – usually from markets and I don’t spend much as I am notorious for losing one earring. I do love jewelry as a souvenir however because like you say.. it’s a special memory when you put them on, a conversation piece and also doesn’t take up any room in your luggage! I seem to get invited to a lot of jewelry parties (does anyone else hate those “at home” parties like I do?) and always decline saying I prefer to buy jewelry when I travel…but the El Camino bracelet looks like something I would wear.

      Haha, yeah, I have one obnoxiously gold charm bracelet from when I was younger that I’ll probably never get rid of, but that I’ll also probably never wear again! This is definitely an “updated” charm bracelet, which I love!

      And yeah, I’ve gotten invited to a few of those jewelry parties lately. But I’m like you – I like to buy things when I’m traveling (or buy really cheap pieces when I need them from Target… lol.)

    Ooh, these look great! I hate Pandora bracelets with an unreasonable amount of passion, but these look awesome. I think I have a problem with the rounded edges on Pandora.

    This’ll be perfect for when family wants my Christmas list. I never know what to say!

      Yeah, I’ve never been a huge Pandora fan, either. I think partly because each charm is SO expensive – I think usually around $50-$60 each! At least the “steps” on the El Camino are much more affordable!

      And yes, this would be a great gift! (Also be sure to check back in about 2 weeks, because I’ll be giving one away!)

    Those bracelets are so cool! I have a Pandora one but I like the idea of these being more travel-related.

      Me too! I’ve never been really drawn to the Pandora ones, but these ones are so perfect for me!

    Well this is just adorable. Sadly, I can see myself spending waaaaaaay too much on this jewelry in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

      Haha, you and me both! In fact, I just got a raise last week at my part-time job, and I celebrated by buying a ton more country steps… Yeahhhh, haha, these can get pricey if you’ve been a lot of places!

    Looks great! I’m pretty similar, I always buy earrings when I travel. They’re small, unique and light, plus I have a ten dollar limit on them as I’ve lost quite a few over the years ๐Ÿ™ My favourite is a pair I bought in Sarajevo, they are homemade and contain stones found in the Bosnian countryside. They’re almost too good to wear ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have soooo many pairs of earrings from my travels! But yes, like you, I try not to spend too much on them since I tend to lose/break them easily.

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