Guitar Travel: Learn How To Travel With Your Guitar Safely

Guitar Travel

Keep Your Guitar in One Piece After Short or Long-Distance Travel

Georgia Luthier Supply
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Guitar Travel:

Guitar Travel is a very important subject for those of us wrapping up our guitar and sending our precious cargo out the door in wonderment if it will survive. Here are some tips to help you through this ordeal and to get your guitar through if great shape

Get a Good Quality Guitar Case

If you a have an instrument that has either emotional or monetary value and you don't currently have a good case, consider it as your first line of defense in eliminating any damage to your guitar.

Most quality guitars come with hard-shell cases that are very suitable for our most basic travel needs. When it comes time to ship your guitar on the airlines, that "very good" case may not cut it.


SKB Guitar Case

SKB Deluxe Universal Dreadnought Guitar Case

I was traveling with one of my fine instruments a few years ago and while I was buckling up my seat belt, I caught the baggage handlers outside my seat-side window tossing my frail and very valuable guitar up to the top of the heap after is had already fallen down. Luckily I had just decided to by a new case from SKB, which is sturdy fiberglass on the outside and the semi rigid foam inside. Anyway, the guitar was in perfect shape - more than I could say about the case! Here are some of the features I like about these cases:

  • New fiberglass reinforced nylon trigger release latching system.
  • TSA recognized and accepted locks
  • Bumper protected valance
  • Indestructible cushioned rubber over-molded handle
  • Full length neck support
  • Rigid EPS foam interiors to keep guitar from slipping
  • Injection molded feet
  • Accessories compartment
  • Slacken Your Strings

    Another Guitar Travel Tip is to loosen or "Slacken" your strings a few complete revolutions on each tuner. No, we are not going to play Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. We are protecting your guitar neck from damage. With around 200 lbs.of pressure on an acoustic guitar neck, even a little fall can spell disaster for your guitar neck.

    Oasis OH-6

    SKB Deluxe Universal Dreadnought Guitar Case

    Humidify, Humidify, Humidify

    Another unforgettable Guitar Travel Tip is to get a good guitar humidifier for your case. More than anything else, lack of humidity can cause you extensive trips to your favorite repair shop, to fix cracks, loose braces, lifted bridges and popped bindings. Not to mention the stress it places on your guitar neck when you ship a guitar.

    Get a good quality case humidification system. I use the OH-6 System by Oasis in all of my guitar cases (and I have a lot of them). The humidifier mounts inside your storage compartment with magnets that fasten to the included stainless steel clip.

    This system will assure you of a totally humidified guitar for the duration of the Guitar Travel. As a bonus you can use the case humidifier to protect your instrument during those long, cold, dry winter days.

    Fedex Truck

    Are You Concerned About Shipping Your Guitar?

    FedEx, UPS, DLH or USPS

    Even though none of us will experience a shipping disaster like the picture above, with Guitar Travel, it still makes us consider what can happen during shipping. Take the same approach as the large music retailers online and carefully pack your instrument.

  • Pack your guitar in the case as described in the earlier portions of this article, THEN pack your case as well. Use light-colored packing materials just in case the box is exposed to the sun.
  • Make sure you check insurance coverage on your carrier. In most cases their standard insurance coverage will not come anywhere close to covering the instrument value and you will have to purchase additional insurance.
  • Also, if it is not a part of their service, get the package tracking as part of your shipping service. It is well worth the small fee.
  • Local Guitar Travel

    Even that short trip to your music shop or a gig in the next city, is cause to give a bit of extra thought in your method of Guitar Travel.

    Here are some tips to consider:
  • Warmup your car in the winter to avoid any kind of environmental shock to your guitar's finish or glued components
  • Guitar in Trunk

    In The Trunk At Night? That's OK

  • Never haul you guitar in you car trunk and let the guitar broil in the sun.
  • If you do have to leave your guitar in the cold, make sure it is in a quality, tight case where it can cool down gradually and make sure you don't open that case. When you guitar reaches a warm environment, let it acclimate slowly inside the closed case for an hour or two prior to opening the case. If it is not such a severe temperature change 20 to thirty minutes will do.
  •  Just pay attention to the needs of your guitar during Guitar Travel. Treat it just as you would your baby, after all that is what it is for most of us.

    FedEx Plane

    Treat Your Guitar Like Your Are Shipping Your Baby

    Here are some airline tips that may work for you, but don't count on them 100% of the time. They have worked for me, but it is wise to check at the ticket counter before you try.

    You can quite often "Gate Check" a musical instrument, which takes it out of the normal luggage stream and is put directly in the plane's luggage compartment from the airway walk gate.

    Some airline will allow you to store a guitar in the coat closet of the business or first class section. Be sure to be very complementary to the flight attendants as they are doing you a favor.

    So check out what type of guitar you want and we will help you on your venture to care for it, repair it and accessorize it. So buy a guitar!