Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you should be without your guitar!
Traveling with a guitar is important for many musicians. It ensures that they keep up with their practice and don’t get rusty. Having your guitar with you also enhances your traveling experience. It will prevent you from being bored during your downtime and give you the chance to play in another part of the world!
Some people shy away from bringing their guitar on the plane. They are worried about damaging or even losing it. Or, maybe they think it’s too much of a hassle. While flying with a guitar can be challenging, there are ways to make the process much easier.
Here’s everything you should know about flying with your guitar.
Check Your Airline’s Instrument Policies
Before getting on the plane, check your airline’s instrument policies. Knowing the policies beforehand will help you feel prepared and avoid potential issues. Some airlines are more lenient than others. Go with one that allows you to take an instrument as a carry-on.
You can also check your instrument, but this isn’t always the best option. Checked luggage is jostled around much more and may cause unwanted damage.
Choose the Right Case
Choosing the right case will give you the peace of mind you need on your flight. A gig bag won’t take up as much space, but it won’t offer as much protection. We recommend going with a hard case. The sturdy outside and padding on the inside will protect your instrument from the roughest conditions.
Packing the Case
Before you put the guitar in your case, loosen the strings a little bit. Having less tension on the neck will help it cope with changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. Once the strings are loose, it’s time for some cushioning. This will minimize how much your guitar moves and absorb impact. Use t-shirts, towels, etc. to fill in the spaces between the instrument and the case. You’ll be protecting your guitar while taking advantage of extra luggage space!
Also, consider throwing a humidifier in the case. This will give your guitar a consistent environment by protecting it from climate changes.
Pack the Right Accessories
Don’t be so worried about packing your guitar that you forget your accessories. Sure, if you forgot them, you can probably buy most of these once you land. But having them ready-to-go is much more convenient.
Some accessories you might want to pack include:
- Sheet music/tablature
- Loop pedals
Note: You may need to charge some of these accessories (rechargeable tuners, wireless headphones, etc.) while you’re traveling. If you’re going overseas, charging international devices can be a pain. Check travel sites like Gecko Routes to see if the country you are traveling to requires you to have a universal power converter.
Invest in a Travel Guitar
No matter how much preparation you do, accidents happen. Baggage handlers may neglect a “fragile” sticker on your case. Or, turbulence may jostle your guitar in the overhead bins.
Regardless, if a guitar has a lot of sentimental value or is worth a lot, don’t travel with it. If possible, invest in a guitar specifically meant for travel.
This won’t just protect your prized guitars. Travel models are also much more convenient. They are typically smaller, making them much easier to carry and store. Some even collapse at the neck so they don’t take up as much space.
Even if you don’t get a travel model, these tips should help you effortlessly fly with your guitar!