How to Travel With a Guitar

How to Travel With a GuitarSo you are off on an adventure, and you want to bring your guitar along to liven up campfires and pass the time while waiting on planes, trains and automobiles. A guitar is a delicate piece of equipment, and it is very important to keep your instrument in tip-top shape so that you don't wind up sounding like a tin can orchestra when you really want to lay down some Eric Clapton. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to protect your guitar from being banged up on the road and stop the elements from warping your music and your mind.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Guitar case
  • Newspaper
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Dampit
  • Silicone packets
Step 1
Loosen up the guitar strings. Always loosen or remove the guitar strings before taking your guitar on any serious trips to protect them from snapping or getting bent out of shape. If your guitar has a movable bridge, remove that as well, as it can get loose and scratch up the guitar body during travel.
Step 2
Pack and pad the guitar case. Use simple newspaper or Bubble Wrap to fill in empty spaces in your guitar case so that the guitar has very little room to move. Put a big wad of newspaper or Bubble Wrap under the peghead and on top of it to hold it in place and protect against impact.
Step 3
Put a Dampit in the case near the top of the guitar. A Dampit will keep the guitar humid in dry climates and conditions and will protect the guitar from cracking or warping due to dry heat. Professional classical musicians use Dampits when traveling, and they are available at most music shops.
Step 4
Place silicon packets in the body of the guitar. If you are traveling in wet areas, this is a necessary step. The silicon packets will absorb any moisture that may enter the guitar case and keep the wood from getting moldy or water damaged. You can also place silicon packets around the body of the guitar in the case.
Step 5
Use masking tape to seal the guitar case. Put masking tape over the clasps on the outside of the guitar case to seal it from moisture and to reinforce the seal, keeping it from accidentally opening in transit or when being handled.

Tips & Warnings

Avoid checking your guitar into baggage claim or other places where it will be away from your person, as rough handling and bumpy rides can severely damage your instrument.

Article Written By Ocean Malandra

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.

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