Travelling with your beloved musical instruments can be a stressful experience- the chance of the instrument(s) being damaged dramatically increases the minute they are carried out the door. If you want to take away this stress then read this guide which will give you all the information you need to know about safely travelling with instruments. Whether you are travelling with your guitar to a friends house or you’re are a professional musician on your way to a local gig, this is the guide to ensure you never have to worry about your instrument damage again...
Invest in hard cases
You should exclusively travel with hard cases, no matter the instrument. Whether its a guitar, a keyboard or a sax, hard cases provide you with an outer shell that will prevent your instrument from being squashed and damaged.
Try to buy a hard case that matches the brand of your instrument. Most guitar brands, for example, will have a paired case which is designed to fit your instrument perfectly. You want it to be a tight fit that doesn't allow for too much movement.
If you are travelling on the road then you need to make sure that you pack your music efficiently and safely. You don't want your instruments moving around and banging into one another.
If you use a van you will allow yourself enough space to store all the gear you need. Make sure you tie what you can down and pack the space efficiently. Buying or building your own racks will ensure complete safety. Having designated spaces designed to hold your instruments will also maximise your travel as you will spend less time packing your gear up.
Catching a flight? Take extra care...
If you’re taking any type of musical equipment on a plane then you want to be extra cautious. As most instruments will be too large for the overhead lockers you will have to check it in. To avoid the notorious carelessness of airports make sure you are travelling with a hard case filled with lots of visible fragile stickers. If you travel frequently and your protective gear experiences a lot of wear and tear, and taping over clasps can help them from deteriorating over time.
You can fly with some in the above head locker if it fits the size requirements. You want to aim to bring the more fragile instruments on with you, snare drum, trumpet, saxophone, etc.
Travelling with a stringed instrument? Be sure to loosen them.
If you are travelling with an instrument that has strings then you might want to consider loosening them. Dropping them down a tone or two will give decrease the amount of tension on the neck of your beloved instrument(s). Drastic changes to air pressure and temperature will also affect the tension on the strings, and the warping may cause them to snap, so getting into this routine will add to your instrument’s longevity.
Insure your prized instruments-
Having insurance will give you complete peace of mind when travelling. If you’re a professional travelling musician or an aspiring one then you want to have your instruments covered. Having them financially protected is the safest thing you can do.