Travel Abroad With Your Guitar

September Blog – Travel Abroad With Your Guitar


Hi guys,

Travel abroad with your guitar. In this months blog post we’re going to take a look at travelling abroad with your guitar. Things you can do for practice when you are away on holiday/work trip if you are unable to take your instrument with you.


Plan Before Hand

If you’ve known about the trip before hand, don’t leave it until the last minute to decide to take your guitar. From my experience your options for traveling with your guitar are one of the following.


Travelling Light

Take a travel sized guitar or something like a Taylor GS mini. Get to the front of the que early and ready to board the plane. This way you are more likely to be able to store the guitar in the overhead compartment.

I’ve been allowed on occasions to store my GS Mini guitar in the overhead compartment but it’s always an anxious time waiting for a decision from a senior member of the team. Also check with the airline you are travelling with as each airline has a different policy for travelling with an instrument.


Be Prepared For A Struggle

Be prepared for some resistance from the check in desk or cabin crew when taking a guitar on board. Prepare to put up a bit of a fight to take your prized possession on the plane. Don’t give up too quickly when they say you can’t take on board.

If you are really uncomfortable with any confrontation simply pay for an extra seat or check your guitar into the hold. Always use a decent hard case if your guitar is going in the hold. I’d highly recommend the Hiscox hard cases for this purpose.


Take Your Seat

The safest way to ensure your guitar makes it to its destination in one piece is to book your guitar a seat.

It’s the most expensive way, but at least you know your not going to be crying at the other end when your guitar is in pieces on the belt. Trust me this does happen.

If you really love your original 1959 Les Paul then this really is the only option to travel with it safety.

Check your insurance documents before you travel to make sure your prized possession is covered abroad or pay the extra to upgrade your policy. I’d highly recommend Allianz musician insurance for this.


Take A Cheap Guitar

The alternative option would be take a cheap guitar. One that’s a real work horse but you wouldn’t be crying if it took a knock whilst in transit. Yes your beautiful vintage Tele may sound better, but can you really afford for this to take a knock, or even worse lose its head.😮


Rent A Guitar

Consider finding a local music shop once you’ve settled in to see if they’d rent you a guitar for the duration of your holiday. Always worth an ask as most businesses are looking for ways to make alternative incomes.


Buy A Guitar

If you really can’t live without your guitar for your holiday or work trip. Simply splash the cash and buy one.

Remember you will need to take this back home also so this will cost you extra on return. Unless you have a friend at your location which you can leave it with and on your next visit you’ll have the guitar ready to go.

Highly advised to check with your wife or partner before you take this route to avoid any arguments when your luggage is over weight. I’ve been there. Unloading your pants and socks in front of a que of holiday makers is not an experience I’d like to relive any time soon.


Ear Training

If you can live without your guitar for your holiday there are other ways you can practice or work on your musicianship.


Apps

Download a few apps to work on your ear training, music theory or fretboard knowledge. I’d highly recommend the functional ear trainer & fret tester apps for this purpose.


Ebooks

Download an ebook to work through whilst away, working on theory and general musicianship. I’ve recently downloaded the Rick Beato v3 book which I’ve been enjoying reading through and brushing up on my knowledge.


YouTube

Most hotels will have WiFi so why not watch a few good videos. Instead of watching silly cat videos, why not do something productive with your time.

It’s amazing how much you can absorb when watching a good structured video. Some great sources I always refer to are Rick Beato, Justin Guitar, True Fire & Andertons TV.


Podcasts

I’d highly recommend you check out the Guitar Hour & True Fire podcasts. I’ve been enjoying working my way through these throughout the flight and whilst sat by the pool.


Final Thoughts

These are just some of the things I’ve learnt whilst travelling and being a musician. Most people would just say, can’t you last two weeks without a guitar.

My answer to that is, unfortunately I don’t remember a time when the guitar wasn’t a part of my every day life, it’s a real struggle when it’s not around.

Yes I do like a break for a few days every now and again but for a few weeks I start to become a little twitchy without it.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps anyone considering travelling with an instrument. Until next month keep up the good practice and I’ll catch you all soon,

Rich 🎸

Director - Richard Hillyer - Bristol Musician

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Comments
  • Rod
    Reply

    Great post and advice. The idea of something cheap and cheerful that could be a throw away if necessary is a grand option for a second hand buy.

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