Traveling with your guitar for the first time can leave you in a cold sweat.
Your guitar is your baby, and you would never want anything bad to happen to it, but you want to take it when you go on your next adventure. Missing out on the chance to take your music (and your art) on the road, is simply tragic.
That is quite the conundrum, and it is completely understandable if you find yourself hitting a mild panic.
You can breathe a sigh of relief because below are five great tips for traveling with your guitar that are sure to help you sleep better at night before embarking on your next journey:
1. Confirm Overhead Bin Size
Different airlines have different rules when it comes to allowing passengers to carry musical instruments as cabin baggage.
Some airlines are fine with them being stored in the overhead compartments. For that to work, you will need to call ahead and confirm the bin size with them.
If you’re flying overseas, the overhead bins should be big enough – but it helps to check first. Regional flights are generally on smaller planes, so storing your guitar onboard will be less likely because the cabins are smaller.
2. In-Flight Storage
For your guitar to be allowed to get stored as carry-on baggage, it must be able to be stowed safely in the overhead compartment. The weight of your guitar typically cannot exceed 165 pounds – or whatever weight restrictions that airline has.
If you travel to Dubai frequently, it would be easier to buy a smaller guitar – for ease of in-flight storage.
3. Buy an ATA Case
A sturdy guitar case is essential to protect your precious instrument during your journey.
You do not necessarily need to buy a brand-new one; you can find preloved cases online if you need to save a few bucks. Those extra dollars will give you more money to spend during your exciting travels!
Several good quality options are available – you can click here to learn more about the best ones.
4. Arrive Earlier
Another great tip for flying with your guitar is to arrive early at the airport before each flight.
Airport flight and luggage procedures can take extra time to navigate, so give yourself a more peaceful experience by arriving earlier.
That applies to both carry-on and stored luggage.
Remember to declare your guitar at the security checkpoint if you intend to travel with your guitar as cabin baggage.
Most airlines offer a gate-check service for musical instruments; you should consider utilizing that service because your guitar may not fit if cabin space is limited.
5. Loosen The Strings
One of the best pieces of advice you will ever receive about traveling with your guitar is to loosen the strings the day before your flight. Temperature and pressure changes during the flight, in the luggage zone or overhead compartment, can cause damage to the neck of your guitar.
Pack a humidifier in your guitar case after loosening the strings, and keep your instrument protected and not at risk of avoidable damage.
Traveling with your favorite guitar does not have to fill you with anxiety – just follow the tips above.
Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.