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Best Travel Guitar to Bring on Vacations and Work Tours 

 July 8, 2021

By  Zen Chung

When you plan to go on vacation, a long trip, or even visit a relative some far place, there is no need to pause your love for playing the guitar. Musical instruments evolution is such that you can now find the best travel guitar, designed for travel uncertainties.

All travel guitars come with smaller bodies and are constructed to withstand cruel treatment in transit. Unfortunately, you might have damaged your beloved standard guitar model as you traversed the country before, and now you fear damaging or even losing another.

Not to worry, the following five guitars will fulfill the need to strum the strings on the go. Not only do these guitars come in compact sizes, but your favorite model may come with a padded gig bag, guitar straps, and picks, and also at unbelievably affordable prices.

1. Best Travel Electric Guitar: Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light

Sale
Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Solid-Body Electric Guitar (ULE MPS),Maple
  • Full 24 3/4" Scale electric travel Guitar
  • Fits in airline overhead bins. Only 3 lbs. 2 oz. & 28" Long!
  • One-piece Eastern American hard Maple neck-through-body design
  • Features a dual-rail humbucker pickup
  • Includes Gig Bag

If you wonder how it would feel to bring your regular guitar to your travels, this electric guitar will feed all your curiosity. The Traveler ultra-light is a portable model designed with all the features of your full-size guitar.

The first thing you will notice with it is the lack of a headstock. Instead, it implements a proprietary in-body tuning system that sees the tuning machines inserted in the body. Thus, this saves more storage or bag space so you can travel any time, anywhere.

Additionally, this full-scale length travel guitar is equipped with an electric pickup and a standard 1/4-inch jack so you can plug it into your guitar amp, speakers, or recording devices to play. As a portable electric guitar, you expect to use it spontaneously, and this could leave you with some positioning issues.

The Ultra-Light comes with a detachable lap rest, so you can always balance it on your lap for the best guitar sounds. Besides the lap rest, this travel guitar also comes with a gig bag that allows you to carry it on your back comfortably.

This Traveler guitar comes in a compact size; it is small enough to go into an airline overhead bin. It is 2.5 feet long and weighs just below three pounds. It is also available in right-hand and left-hand configurations.

This guitar comes in a black matte color, with a walnut fretboard and a maple wood body. In addition, the nickel guitar strings guarantee longevity and the best sound quality.

Pros

  • Full-scale length travel guitar
  • It is a compact guitar that will fit in an airline overhead bin
  • Lightweight ad electric
  • No headstock to reduce the length
  • The best travel guitar for overseas trips
  • Durable body and string construction
  • Comes with a detachable lap rest

Cons

  • No volume control

2. Best Acoustic: Hola! Music Vintage Sunburst Acoustic Guitar

3/4 Size (36 Inch) Acoustic Guitar Bundle Junior/Travel Series by Hola!...
  • Don't miss the Video on the left for full description and specifications.
  • Hola! HG-36SB (36 inch 3/4 Size) features: Spruce top, Mahogany back, sides and...
  • Pre-strung with high quality EXP16 Coated Phosphor Bronze strings - Just tune up...
  • Decoration: Traditional tortoise-shell like pattern celluloid binding on body,...
  • Hola! Music guarantees quality and affordability. Hola! - Say Hello to Music!

This acoustic guitar from Hola! Music is what you need for practice or casual playing when traveling. When not on the move, it is the best guitar for an 8-12-year-old guitar player who needs to hone their playing skills.

It is a 36-inch long guitar with a gig bag, a guitar strap that is ready to use out of the box, and guitar picks for safer playing. In addition, this travel guitar also comes with EXP16 Coated Phosphor Bronze guitar strings that help you produce the best sounds even after many years of use.

The 3/4 guitar comes with a solid spruce top, and the back, neck, and sides are made with high-quality mahogany. In addition, the guitar sports a walnut body for the fretboard and is available in various colors like pink, purple, light blue, natural wood, or the vintage sunburst on this model.

Even as it comes at the most affordable prices you can find for a travel acoustic guitar, this Hola! Music model is very responsive to many playing techniques like fingerpicking and flat-picking. In addition, the high-quality strings make it the best travel guitar that comes with the best tone and volume balance.

Pros

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Comes with other guitar accessories such as a high-quality gig bag
  • 3/4 scale length is ideal for travel and home practice
  • Available in different colors and hand orientations
  • High-quality strings for the best playing sounds and volume control
  • Durable body construction
  • beautiful walnut bridge and fretboard
  • Comes with 2-month free guitar classes
  • High-precision tuning system on a headstock

Cons

  • None

3. Best for Good Sound: Taylor Guitars Baby Taylor TB1 Sapele Wood Travel Guitar

When looking for the best travel guitars, Tailor Guitars is a company best known for manufacturing different guitars for different play styles. This TB1 model is your go-to option for the compact size and aesthetics, not to mention the quality of tones you will be able to play.

It is a full-scale length ¾-size Dreadnought with an arched Sapele back for maximum strength. This small travel companion is designed to produce a rich sound and on special application. For instance, you can expect a rich sound while playing in alternate tunings, with a capo, with a slide, and more.

The Baby Taylor's body sports the Sitka spruce wood, which means the guitar will allow many playing styles, including fingerpicking, Flatpicking, and even aggressive tapping. The 19 frets are installed on ebony wood, while the peghead is made of Indian Rosewood.

This is your best-sounding travel guitar that uses Elixir Phosphor Bronze Light strings and features die-cast chrome tuners. Like all best travel acoustic guitars, this Baby Taylor model also comes with a padded gig bag for easier portability.

Pros

  • Top-notch tonal qualities
  • It is a Sitka spruce guitar, so you know it is durable
  • Ideal for young players, but also great for professional musicians who need more practice
  • Compact size plus a gig bag for easier portability
  • Comes with an ebony fretboard
  • Durable construction
  • Comes with an adjustable truss rod
  • Durable varnish for guitar protection and beauty

Cons

  • It is an expensive guitar compared to other models

4. Best Cheap Travel Guitar: Tanglewood TW2T Mahogany Acoustic Guitar

Tanglewood TW2T Mahogany Travel Size Acoustic Guitar
  • Travel size Acoustic Guitar
  • Mahogany Top, Back, Sides, and Neck
  • Pau Ferro Bridge
  • Chrome Die-Cast Machine Heads
  • Techwood fingerboard

This Tanglewood TW2T is a travel guitar designed to last climatic changes and sometimes rough traveling conditions, so you won't miss a moment to play some beautiful sounds. The best travel guitar is made with pure African mahogany and strong laminations for timber for durability.

In addition, this acoustic travel guitar also comes with a Techwood fingerboard and bridge, plus Elixir Nanoweb 12-53 strings that will last the test of time. Besides these features, this Tanglewood acoustic travel guitar is also built with the company's new Winterleaf concept that meets all your demands, from volume, tone, to components.

This guitar comes with a gig bag, Tusq graphite strings, and a natural satin finish. It also sports a scale length of 571 mm plus die-cast chrome machine heads. It is easy to adjust and will produce a decent sound for a guitar of its size and price.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable construction
  • Made with pure Africa mahogany for durability
  • High-quality strings
  • Best cheap guitar for travel
  • Comes with a durable gig bag that you will need to purchase separately
  • Available for right-hand orientation

Cons

  • You will need to purchase the gig bag separately

5. Best Standard Portable Guitar: Journey Instruments Carbon Fiber Guitar

Journey Instruments Carbon Fiber Travel Guitar – OF660 Traveler Acoustic...
  • FINALLY A FULL SIZE GUITAR THAT'S EASY TO TAKE WITH YOU - Our mini travel...
  • STURDY CARBON FIBER FOR PIECE OF MIND - This collapsible acoustic guitar has...
  • BACKPACKER’S HEAVEN - Fit our premium TSA compliant carry-on backpack on most...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Your satisfaction is guaranteed! Our stainless steel neck...
  • CREATED FOR TRAVELING MUSICIANS - Journey Instruments is a company specialising...

This Journey instruments acoustic-electric travel guitar is the go-to solution for all professional musicians looking to form a close bond with one guitar. It is a full-scale guitar but comes with a collapsible neck for easier portability.

Suppose you need a high-quality guitar to perform professionally. In that case, you can get this best travel guitar in acoustic or electric models, as a bass guitar or classical guitar, and in different colors. The guitar also comes with a patented soundboard that produces a unique and articulate sound.

It comes with a patented collapsible neck you can disassemble and reassemble in less than 20 seconds. In addition, the guitar, which also comes with a lifetime warranty, comes in a TSA-compliant backpack, so you can safely and legally fit your mini guitar in an airplane overhead bin.

The greatest feature of this travel guitar is the body and neck construction. The whole unit is made with carbon fiber that guarantees durability after many years of travel and use. Carbon fiber is not only more wear-resistant than ABS plastic and wood, but it can also withstand different, including hot, climatic changes. Thus, you will easily transport this guitar in your trunk without worry.

In your search for the best travel guitars, you will worry about the best playing ergonomics before buying. This Journey Instruments guitar comes with Manzer Wedge angles that protect your fretting arm and wrist from fatigue so you can play longer. In addition, the angle improves comfort to your strumming arm for the best playing experience.

Out of the many traveler guitars in the market, this acoustic guitar or electric guitar is the most expensive. However, it comes with the best features that guarantee durability and portability and great tone controls when you play.

Pros

  • Made with high-quality carbon fiber for durability
  • Constructed in a collapsible neck design so you can disassemble it for portability by foot, road, or air
  • Comes with Manzer wedge angles to reduce arm and wrist fatigue
  • Ideal for hot climates so you can store it in the trunk
  • It is the best electric compact guitar for travel
  • Produces great sound with the high-quality phosphor bronze strings
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for small hands

How to buy the Best Acoustic and Electric Travel Guitars

There are several reasons you need an extra guitar for traveling, whether you are a professional or love to play the guitar in your free time. However, the main reason is that your main guitar is prone to damage if exposed to harsh transit conditions.

It could be colder climates, humidity, or how you store it when traveling. Unfortunately, your best standard guitar does not come cheap; it is most likely your most valued possession. As such, you bear the responsibility of protecting it even if it means leaving it at home whenever you can or need to.

You can buy many types of smaller guitars; they come from some of the biggest names you know, like Traveler Guitar, Taylor Guitars, Martin, and more. Here are but a few tips to help you choose a great guitar for your needs when you decide to buy one.

a) Size

When you need the best guitars for travel companionship, a tiny body will suffice. You will probably need to carry this guitar on your back for longer hours. If not, you will also need to fit it into your car trunk or airplane overhead bin.

It would be best to find compact travel guitars, like the Traveler Guitar that comes with a built-in tuner instead of the standard headstock that requires more storage space. You also can get a collapsible neck design like the Journey Instruments model or a small guitar from other companies.

Additionally, you can also get a backpacker guitar, such as the Martin Steel-String Backpacker travel guitar, if you are certain you will need to carry your instrument and other belongings on your back.

b) Experience

Travel guitars are classified as beginner, intermediate, and professional guitars. Depending on your needs, you will be able to choose your best smaller guitar grom these three options.

c) Material

Most travel guitars are made of wood, but you can find other models made with carbon fiber and other durable materials.

If you want one made with wood, you can pick from;

  1. A spruce body which is the most common guitar body
  2. A solid mahogany body
  3. Marple wood
  4. Rosewood fretboard and body
  5. Laminate wood
  6. Alder wood for electric guitars

d) Budget

Travel guitars are also classified according to prices, and you can choose between budget guitars, midrange guitars, and top-end travel guitars. Also, depending on your experience and playing needs, sometimes spending more money guarantees you a better-quality guitar.

e) Storage

When buying your acoustic or electric or acoustic-electric travel guitar, make sure it comes in a carry bag, also called a gig back, so you can store it there when transporting. A gig bag, preferably with ample padding, makes it easy to carry the guitar on your back and store it with other items without worrying about damaging the guitar.

In addition to storing the guitar, the gig bag will also need ample space to store extra accessories like guitar picks, lesson books, and cables.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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