Travel Tips– keeping instrument safe during travel

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    • #6242
      Jake Keegan

      Hey everybody– I wanted to start a thread about how you keep your instrument safe during travel. What kind of gear do you use? What travel tips do you have? I’ll kick it off:

      – I’ve used the TKL travel case for flight before, and really liked the weight of it. I liked it, but have also been interested in Caulton cases.
      – I also detuned all strings to reduce tension on the neck before flight.
      – for road gigs, I’ve also used an Alpine gig bag. I like how it works as a backpack (I’ve also purchaed a “back axe” straps to turn hard travel case into backpack. not the most comfortable, but will save your arms during heavy travel).
      – during tsa checks, i have had tension rod screwdriver confiscated. do any of you have any that security doesn’t seem to mind?
      – do any of you have preferred flight lines that take care of instruments well, or allow carry ons for dobros?

      Let me know if any of you have any good travel tips!

    • #6248
      Rob Ickes

      Hi Jake,

      I’ve been using the TKL case for several years now, really like it. Lightweight and looks great…
      I used to have a Calton- a great case, but they are too heavy to carry around on the road…
      If I think I might have to check my guitar, I will loosen the tension on the strings also.
      I had a small screwdriver confiscated once on an international flight, but it is usually not a problem for me.

      #1 TRAVEL TIP FROM ME-Fly Southwest Airlines!! Why?
      -all their planes are 737’s , so you know your guitar will ALWAYS fit in the overhead baggage compartment.
      -if you do “early bird” ticketing, you usually get in “A” or “B” group. This means you board the plane first and there’s usually still plenty of space to put your guitar in the overhead compartment.
      -the boarding process is simple and by number, so there is no confusion about when you will board. The other airlines seem to have a random boarding process which means you’re never quite certain when you will board and if they will have room for your guitar.
      -other airlines often treat you poorly when you have an instrument to carry on. I have never been treated poorly while flying Southwest Airlines.

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