Tips for Travelling with Your Guitar

Guest Post By Johnny Peters, Follow Johnny on Google Plus here… and on Twitter here…

There are some really important precautions to take when traveling with a guitar if you want to make sure that your beloved instrument arrives in one piece.

Image has some rights reserved by cathyse97

Image has some rights reserved by cathyse97

Things like choosing the right case, paying attention to the weather, and making sure you’re following all the correct regulations when taking your guitar on an airplane, are all things we’ll discuss more in-depth. Also, we’ll talk about a couple of really useful tips to help prevent your guitar from being stolen while you’re travelling.

First things first, a protective case…

Those soft gig bags might be okay for taking your guitar back and forth from your buddy’s place, but if you plan on doing any serious traveling with your instrument then you’re going to need a hard-shell case, plain and simple. Hard-shell cases are a little bit more expensive, but the soft bags barely provide any protection at all and they’re just not good enough.

Thinking About the Weather

You might not realize how important the weather is when it comes to traveling with your guitar. Sudden changes in humidity can cause the guitar to warp or bend ever so slightly, but still enough to totally mess up the sound and the alignment of the fret board. If you’re going to a dryer climate, you can purchase little sponges that soak in water and help to keep the humidity correct inside your guitar case.

You can also de-tune your strings slightly to allow for a bit more give in the event of changing humidity. For more info on How Humidity Affects Your Guitar, check out this article on Premier

Traveling by Airplane with a Guitar

We already talked about finding a good case for your guitar when you’re traveling, and if you’re taking it on an airplane you may want to invest in a flight case for extra protection. Also, slap on a handful of “FRAGILE” stickers, but also add a lot of extra padding to the inside of the case because there’s no guarantee that anybody is going to pay attention to those stickers.

Ideally, you want to be able to shake the case that’s holding the guitar and not feel any movement. Some airlines accept guitars as a carry-on item, whereas others will toss it into the pile with the other luggage. Call ahead to find out what your airline’s policy is, and book accordingly! Here’s a handy article on Oversized and Fragile Items on the Virgin Australia website…

Tips for Traveling with a Guitar in a Car or Van

Avoid keeping your guitar in the trunk of the car when you’re traveling in the summer because it will get a lot hotter in there than the rest of the car, and that can mean trouble. If you’re taking your guitar with you in the winter, let it warm up for an hour after you take it inside before you even open the case.

Tips for Avoiding Theft

If you have a really fancy hard-shell case, like the ones with metal or chrome on the outside that look brand-new and really cool, people are going to assume that the guitar inside is a lot more valuable, whether it is or not. This increases the chances of your guitar being stolen.

People who normally wouldn’t steal might imagine an instrument worth thousands of dollars and not be able to help themselves, meanwhile if they saw a ratty old hard-shell case they might not even think twice. A lot of musicians choose to travel using old cases that are a bit worm out looking. They’ll still provide the same protection, but they’re a lot less attention-grabbing to the common thief.

If you’re traveling by car, don’t leave your guitar where people walking by can see it. If you’re flying with it, make sure you get to the baggage claim right away.

Shipping Your Guitar Instead

If you’re just going from point A to point B and you want to avoid having to worry about traveling with your guitar, there’s always the option to ship it. Depending on where you’re going, this will cost in the ballpark of $100. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to ship something when you’re going there anyways – you might as well just take it with you. Also, you are going to handle it with more care than someone who works at the shipping company and that’s a guarantee.

However, if you must ship your guitar, make sure that you buy enough insurance so that you’re covered in case anything does happen to it and make sure you package it super carefully. Stuff some t-shirts along the body and the neck of the guitar and make sure you can shake the package around without hearing any movement inside the guitar’s case.

For more tips on How to pack an Electric Guitar SAFELY for Posting, check out this article on…

In Conclusion

It’s easy to travel with your guitar as long as you take these simple precautions. Rock on!

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