How To Travel With A Guitar

Every musician worries about traveling with their gear, whether they’ve got a piccolo flute or a complete drum set. The idea of your instrument getting banged up or misplaced is enough to concern anyone.
How to travel with a guitar

Luckily, guitarists have many accessible and easy options when it comes to traveling. In this quick how-to guide, we’ve gathered all the critical information on how to travel with a guitar. 

Read on to learn about the quick and easy options for traveling with a guitar.

What You Will Need

Here are the essential items you’ll need to follow this easy guitde:

  • Guitar
  • Guitar case
  • Optional: soft items (i.e., blankets, t-shirts, etc.)

Types of Guitar Cases

When traveling with a guitar, your guitar case is crucial to keeping your guitar safe. Below are the main types of guitar cases to consider.

Soft Cases

Soft cases, also called gig bags, are soft-shelled cases with no hard structure. These cases are often offer minimal protection because the soft body of the case doesn’t offer structured reinforcement. 

Soft cases are often called “gig bags” because they’re great for carrying your guitar to and from a gig. The cases are lightweight and often come with one or two straps to hold the guitar on your back. Soft cases are an excellent, low-price option if you have your guitar on hand during travel.

Hard Cases

Hard cases are the most common guitar cases you’ll find, and many guitars come with a hard case at the sale. A hard case has a structured shell, typically made of plastic, wood, or metal. 

Low-end hard cases might have a general inner molding for your guitar to sit in or soft materials that act as a cushion. Mid-to-high-end hard cases have a molded interior covered in a soft fabric like velvet. 

Hard cases are a standard option for travel, including by car, bus, train, or plane. The structured case helps prevent damage. 

Hybrid Cases

Hybrid cases combine the main features of soft and hard cases, resulting in a soft-body exterior and structured interior. As a result, these cases don’t offer as much protection as hard cases but provide more protection than soft-body cases. 

Hybrid cases are a slightly heavier-duty alternative to soft ones, as the case has more structure and protection but is still lightweight and easily portable. 

How To Travel With A Guitar

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to travel with a guitar. 

Step One: Choose Your Guitar Case

The first step to traveling with a guitar is determining which guitar case fits your needs best. Even if you’re taking your guitar down the street, you should always use a case to minimize risk. 

A soft or hybrid case is a suitable option if you’re going straight from your house to a gig. 

You’ll want a hard case if you’re packing your guitar in a crowded car, bus, van, train, or plane. Hard cases with molded interiors are ideal for most situations, though heavy-duty road cases are the choice for many professionals on the road. 

Step Two: Pack Your Guitar

If you want extra protection, you can add soft fabric (like old t-shirts or a small blanket) to fill in any gaps in your guitar case. The extra layer ensures your guitar doesn’t jostle around during your travel. 

Step Three: Confirm Travel Accommodations

Even after you have your guitar safe in a case, you have to ensure there’s room for it, right? 

If you’re traveling in a car or on a bus, this is as simple as confirming there’s a space for your guitar case in the vehicle where it won’t jostle around, and nothing heavy will get stacked on it. 

If you’re traveling by plane, you’ll need to call the airline and confirm your guitar case is suitable as a carry-on or will be safe in the cargo hold. 

Most musicians recommend pushing to have your guitar case confirmed as a carry-on or luggage that you can place in the cabin storage bin. This assurance is because you can guarantee you’ll have your guitar on hand at the end of the flight, but checked luggage may end up lost, damaged, or delayed. The chances are low, but many people think it’s a risk not worth taking. 

  • Tip for Flying: If you’re traveling with a guitar on a plane, you might consider booking an extra seat just for your guitar. Many musicians with expensive gear go for this option to travel with as little risk as possible. 

Step Four: Travel With Peace of Mind

With all the prep work done, you can travel safely and securely, knowing you’ve taken all the correct steps to travel with your guitar. Then, once you’ve reached your destination, you can unpack your guitar and play to your heart’s content. 

When it’s time to travel again, you can follow these same steps to ensure your guitar is safe and secure.


Final Thoughts

Traveling with instruments can worry any musician, but with the proper preparation, you can travel without worry. Keep in mind how vital your guitar case choice is, and you’ll be traveling with a guitar like a pro! Wanna check out more articles? Simply click here.

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