Tips for Travelling With a Guitar
Travelling with a guitar in tow can be a source of anxiety for many musicians, especially those who rely on their instrument to make a living. And even those who simply love having their guitar with them wherever they go, carrying a guitar and taking it on a plane ride or road trip can encounter complications.
There’s needing to check their guitar in as luggage and risking it getting damaged or lost, and there’s also the exposure to changes in temperature and humidity that can compromise the structural integrity of the instrument.
A travel-friendly guitar…
Of course, it helps if you have a travel-friendly guitar like the Taylor GS Mini model. The smaller size makes it a good road and air companion, but it does still need some extra TLC like all guitars on a trip. So if you’re planning to take your guitar along with you to wherever it is you’re going, keep these tips in mind to make sure your precious baby stays safe and protected.
If you are traveling by plane, the first thing you should do is to check the airline’s regulations for musical instruments. Some airlines allow guitars as a carry-on item provided these meet the guidelines. Check the guidelines and make sure you comply. When it’s time to pack, you can prevent your guitar from getting damaged in transit by doing the following:
Make sure it fits snugly in its case. A hard case is ideal when you’re flying with your guitar, but a gig bag can also benefit you because it’s more compact. Whichever you’re using, you need to make sure that your guitar fits snugly it it. If there are any empty area in the case when you pack your guitar, fill it up with shirts or towels to make sure your guitar doesn’t slide around or bump the edges.
Loosen or de-tune the strings. Changes in air pressure and temperature can cause stress to the neck of the guitar and damage it. Before packing your guitar, make sure you loosen the strings first.
Use a humidifier. Changes in humidity can cause damage to your guitar as well, so make sure to put a humidifier in the case or gig bag when packing your guitar. Bamboo charcoal or silica gel packs are effective in absorbing excess moisture.
Keep it cool
It’s really fun going on a road trip with your guitar, but be careful not to leave it inside on a hot day. When a guitar is exposed to extreme heat, the bridge may come loose because of the string tension and the wood glues may soften. If you have no choice but to leave your guitar in the car during daytime, do the following:
Leave the windows open – just a crack – to prevent heat from getting trapped in the car.
Use reflective window shades to keep the sun out and keep the interiors of the car cool.
Park your car in an area that offers lots of shade, like a covered parking area or under the canopy of a tree.
Avoid putting your guitar in the trunk if you don’t have a hard case with good insulation.
We hope you find those tips useful when preparing to travel with your guitar. Where are you planning to go and for how long? Have fun and let us know how your trip goes!