Quick Answer: Yes, travel guitars are worth it, especially if they play and sound like a real guitar. The ability to play anytime, anywhere gives you more freedom. Plus, it’s portable and handy, you don’t even know a guitar is part of your luggage.
What are Travel Guitars?
Those are the guitars you bring when you travel. So, if you want to bring a jumbo-sized model and you are comfortable bringing it, that’ll be considered as a travel guitar.
However — there are really travel guitars in the market which are different from junior and baby guitars for kids.
Travel guitars are those small and handy full-sized or nearly full-sized guitars.
Don’t confuse yourself between travel guitars and the toned-down versions for children with reduced scale length.
Since they are small by nature and don’t need too many materials, they are generally cheaper.
They are perfect for traveling, camping, hiking, outdoor retreat or abroad.
Some musicians feel lost when they don’t have something to strum with on long trips, whether by plane, by train or by bus.
So, to alleviate their boredom, they bring travel guitars wherever they go. Thus, these guitars become very popular and a lot of people buy them.
Just like any other guitars, they are not perfect, and they have drawbacks.
They are not like the standard guitars and they don’t sound like them.
Of course, given their small body, there’s no way they can produce a full-bodied sound like your regular guitars.
But, if you’re looking for a portable and a carry-on guitar, these are the ones for you.
Another prominent drawback of these guitars is the playability. Some of them seem poorly made, which could be awkward to hold.
And, since they are small, it may take time to adjust.
Most travel guitars are acoustic guitars, mainly because they don’t need any external power to produce sounds.
So, when you’re on camping and you feel the need for good music, just pick up your travel guitar and play with it.
Yet, there are also electric guitars designed to be lighter and smaller, which could be an ideal on-the-go instrument.
A Deeper Look Into Travel Guitars
Now, let’s take a closer look at travel guitars in terms of playability, design, and sound.
Examples are inserted for you to know some travel guitars that are popular in the market.
Hence, if you’re on the look for the best travel guitar — electric or acoustic — you can easily decide what you need to have in your small go-to instrument.
Aside from the fact that they are generally small and compact, you can see that some travel guitars have a ‘weird’ design.
Sorry for the word, but, that’s the right term, especially if you’re used to a dreadnought or just your mini guitar.
Check the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric Guitar or the Martin Steel String Travel Guitar.
While the former seems very compact, it’s awkward to play at first because it lacks the armrest.
The latter has both removable lap and armrests which makes it convenient to play.
In this aspect, the PRO MOD could be the best travel electric guitar and it’s even among our list of the best travel electric guitar in 2023.
If you don’t like to look weird, the Taylor GS Mini and the CA Cargo guitarlook like your normal guitars.
These are scaled-down guitars made to take on the bumps when traveling.
The former is an acoustic guitar, while the latter is an acoustic-electric with a pickup system onboard.
Though travel guitars are small and slim, some of them feature just the same scale length and nut width.
The scale length is the length of the string from the nut to the bridge, while the nut width is the width of the neck at the nut.
If you have a guitar with almost the same neck and feel like your regular-sized guitar, you’re lucky.
However, since they are small and lightweight, it’ll still be uncomfortable to play, especially when sitting down.
As mentioned earlier, there are travel guitars that have lap and armrest extension, like Traveler PRO MOD X Hybrid Acoustic-Electric.
It’ll be awkward and different to play these guitars, at first, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
While they excel in portability, don’t expect them to sound like your full-sized guitars.
It’s very obvious.
If you put your regular and travel guitar side by side, the latter is very small. Hence, you can’t expect to get the same resonance you get with a bigger guitar.
Some manufacturers claimed that their travel guitars won’t compromise the sound quality.
But, if you look at them, you’ll know that they don’t sound as big as those full-sized guitars.
How Much Should I Pay for a Travel Guitar?
Quick Answer: Given that it’s a guitar specifically made from traveling, prepare to pay an additional amount on top of what you’re paying for a regular guitar. A good travel guitar could cost around $150-$300, and those premium ones like carbon fiber guitars could cost $800 and more.
Should I get a travel guitar, then?
Well, it really depends on your preferences and your habit. If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s better to get a good quality travel guitar that lets you play wherever you may be.
Perhaps, get one among those in the list of the best travel guitars for airplane.
Of course, if not often, you’ll travel by plane and it’s good to fly without any problem with your carry-on guitar. But, if you’re traveling once or twice a year, better to carry your regular guitar.
Though travel guitars are limited, they’ll keep you playing wherever you go.
It’s also a worthy investment since you can continue practicing and making music, whether you’re at home, in-studio or abroad.
So, it’s your calling then, to decide, but for me, I choose to bring a travel guitar every time, I’ll set my feet to another adventure.
So – Are Travel Guitars Worth It?
Based on the arguments presented above, it’s very clear that travel guitars are really worth it. The ease of playing anytime and anywhere is something that only a travel guitar can give.
And, with these guitars, you don’t feel like you’re bringing one with you since they are handy, lightweight, compact, and there are folding travel guitars, too.
Whether you’re playing an acoustic or electric, you can grab a small and portable guitar for you to play with.
Of course, it’s not as powerful as the regular-sized guitars nor does it easily playable.
However, like any instrument, it requires time to get used to and with inevitable limitations but offers some benefits, too.
Traveling soon? Check out our recommended best travel guitars here.