#1
I am leaving my hometown of Varna, Bulgaria to go to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where I will be attending uni. For now I'd like to transport my acoustic guitar and my current plan is to send it via a courier, namely the firm Interlogistica (other companies are available). They seem good, because they don't charge much (after all the guitar with it's case is about 5-6 kg which isn't that much) and they deliver in 5 days.

The guitar has a soft case, which does include padding, it's not from the cheaper models. I plan on putting some extra padding inside like pieces of cloth or something. Do you think this is safe enough for the guitar? Do you believe this will be enough to protect it from breaking or even yet - will it be dangerous for the wood itself, since it's going to be in a tight squeeze for a few days, so humidity or whatever may be a problem? Alternatively it is not too late to get a hard case, I do have the money but would like to know it anybody has done this before without one and not had his/her guitar broken.

Has anybody done something like this before and would you recommend it? I plan on using a courier since I am traveling by plane and the guitar is bigger than the approved size for hand luggage and I don't trust the airport staff dealing with the general cargo. Many a guitar have been broken in airplanes.

Every opinion if appreciated. Thank you!
#2
I wouldn't trust a padded bag of any kind. At the very least try to get a guitar shipping carton from that will hold the guitar and the bag from your local music store.

I've travelled a lot on airlines with guitars in cases as hold baggage and never had one damaged. I did think I had lost them a couple of times, but it was only because they were put on the fragile elevator rather than the carousel.

Let the tension off the strings, put padding (socks and underwear ) around the headstock in a hard case, and make sure that the shipper puts fragile stickers all over it.
#3
My advice: Take the train and carry-on. Traveling by air in the US is pretty safe now and most carriers allow you to carry-on instruments including guitars. In Europe the carry-on restrictions can be pretty intense especially on budget airlines like Ryanair. I personally think that an acoustic guitar is at high risk of damage in an unpressurized cargo hold where temps drop below -20C and humidity drops to zero.

For reference, I have flown in and out of Berlin, Budapest, Paris, Rome, London, and Dublin with my acoustic as a carry-on. These were all major airlines and they were very accommodating often putting it with the crew luggage.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Aug 3, 2014,
#4
If you're like me, you probably don't want to trust anybody with handling your guitar.

I definitely recommend hand-carrying it over all of the other options. Like Cajundaddy said, and he seems to have a lot of experience travelling with his guitars, the crew will most likely be very accommodating.

It's worth a slight bit of awkwardness to avoid having your $5000 guitar ruined, by either the temperature/humidity changes or rough handling.
My God, it's full of stars!
#5
Quote by Dreadnought
If you're like me, you probably don't want to trust anybody with handling your guitar.

I definitely recommend hand-carrying it over all of the other options. Like Cajundaddy said, and he seems to have a lot of experience travelling with his guitars, the crew will most likely be very accommodating.

It's worth a slight bit of awkwardness to avoid having your $5000 guitar ruined, by either the temperature/humidity changes or rough handling.


The problem I have with this approach is that if the the cabin crew flatly refuse to let you take it on as cabin baggage, because say, the flight is full, then you are left with a poorly protected guitar going into the hold. I haven't, and wouldn't, risk it; I prefer to take my chances with the hold.
#6
Quote by Tony Done
The problem I have with this approach is that if the the cabin crew flatly refuse to let you take it on as cabin baggage, because say, the flight is full, then you are left with a poorly protected guitar going into the hold. I haven't, and wouldn't, risk it; I prefer to take my chances with the hold.
Well no Tony, the problem with this whole thread, (IMHO, of course), is that our TS, thinks he's going off to college, with an acoustic guitar in a gig bag.

He did say he's willing to spring for a hard case, and the discussion we're having about shipping methodology, should probably happen after that.

An acoustic in a dorm room in a gig bag, does that sound like a good idea to you?

And God knows, I hate to spring for hard cases! It's a dirty thankless job, but everybody should do it.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 3, 2014,
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
Well no Tony, the problem with this whole thread, (IMHO, of course), is that our TS, thinks he's going off to college, with an acoustic guitar in a gig bag.

He did say he's willing to spring for a hard case, and the discussion we're having about shipping methodology, should probably happen after that.

An acoustic in a dorm room in a gig bag, does that sound like a good idea to you?

And God knows, I hate to spring for hard cases! It's a dirty thankless job, but everybody should do it.


You're quite right, and I did mention that in my first post. FWIW, I've got one good dread case and a collection of cheapos. Whichever guitar I'm travelling with goes in the good case. Along with my clean socks and underwear.
#8
Quote by Tony Done
Whichever guitar I'm travelling with goes in the good case. Along with my clean socks and underwear.
Do you loosen the strings, or just kinda stuff the undies between them....? Ba, dum, dump....
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
Do you loosen the strings, or just kinda stuff the undies between them....? Ba, dum, dump....


I loosen the strings, and quite often on Qantas the check-in staff will ask if I have done so. The undies are mostly packed round the headstock and under the neck to reduce shock from bouncing. The worst experience I've had was when I thought I had lost one in transit, but it was just that some thoughtful handler had put it in the fragile elevator located on the other side of the baggage hall. It's happened a couple of times since then, but since that first time, I just go and check. Another dodgy experience was when I was coming back from Colombia with my old (1932) L-00. It looks like a piece of junk, so the suspicious customs guys carted it off into the back room for a closer look. - I thought they might saw the neck off, but they didn't.