Tips For Travelling Safely With Musical Instruments

As the end of the year approaches, many musicians find themselves travelling to participate in holiday events and family functions. While this can be an exciting time, it can also be a bit daunting to try and figure out how to best transport your musical instruments.

Whether you're headed on vacation or for a performance, travelling with a musical instrument requires meticulous planning and care. Here are some things you should be taking note of to ensure that your string instrument arrives in order:

  1. Invest in a good case or bag: A sturdy case or bag is essential for protecting your instrument while in transit. Look for one that is well-padded and has sturdy handles and straps. If you're flying, consider a hard-sided case that meets the requirements for checked baggage, even if it means that you have to borrow or rent one. If you're always on the move, purchasing a case for yourself can be a worthy investment.
  2. Use additional padding: In addition to the padding provided by the case or bag, consider using additional padding to protect your musical instrument. Sponge, plushies or thick unused blankets are great options to provide extra protection. It might be unconventional, however, conventional padding such as bubble wrap or foam sheets might damage the varnish of the instrument. Bubble wrap, foam sheets, or old blankets can all be used to provide extra protection.
  3. Consider insurance: It's always a good idea to have insurance on your musical instruments, especially if you're travelling with them. This can help cover the cost of any damage or loss that may occur during transit.
  4. Know the airline's regulations: If you're flying with your instrument, be sure to familiarize yourself with the airline's regulations. Some airlines have specific size and weight restrictions for musical instruments, and some may require that they be checked as oversized baggage
  5. Hand-carry your instrument: If possible, try to hand-carry your instrument onto the plane with you. This will reduce the risk of damage and ensure that it stays with you at all times. Those who play larger instruments such as the cello may have the option of purchasing a seat, specifically for their instruments. While this may be more expensive, it can be considered for those who do not want to risk checking in their musical instrument.
  6. Label your instrument: Make sure your instrument is clearly labelled with your name and contact information. This can help to ensure that it is returned to you in the event that it is lost or misplaced.
  7. Pack carefully: When packing your instrument, be sure to place it in a secure location within your case. Avoid placing heavy items on top of it, and try to distribute the weight evenly throughout your bag.
  8. Transport your instrument safely: When transporting your instrument, be sure to handle it with care. Use both hands to lift it, and avoid placing it where it could be damaged.
  9. Keep your instrument in a safe place: When you reach your destination, be sure to keep your instrument in a safe place. Avoid leaving it in a car or in a public area where it could be damaged or stolen

By following these tips, you can help ensure the safety of your musical instruments while traveling. Whether you're a professional musician or an amateur, these precautions will help protect your valuable instruments and ensure that you can continue to enjoy making music.

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