If you are a musician you’ll understand how difficult it can be to keep your instruments safe during travel. If you are travelling with a musical instrument as a hobby or whether you require it as part of your job it is important to fully understand the potential hazards and do everything you can to ensure your pride and joy remains unharmed during transit. Whether this includes a specific case with custom foam insert, or understanding the specific policies of the airline you are flying with, you should never be underprepared.
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you are fully prepared to travel with your musical instrument.
Understand the Policies – If you are travelling by air there will be different policies relating to musical instruments depending on the airline you are travelling with. There have been some well-documented examples in recent years of musicians arguing with airlines over lost and/or damaged instruments. Most small-to medium sized instruments can be taken on as hand luggage, with larger instruments sometimes requiring an extra ticket. Be prepared and conduct thorough research so you’re not surprised.
Security Issues – Especially for air travel, but also with other types of international travel you are most likely going to be searched more heavily if you are carrying a musical instrument. Always be prepared that you might be subject to this lengthier security check and leave extra time in order to get through the checks in time for your flight.
Use Custom Foam Inserts – Packing your instrument in tightly is vitally important as there are plenty of bumps along the way whether you are travelling by land, air or sea. Extra padding is vital to protecting your instrument and one way to ensure this is to purchase custom foam inserts that are designed and installed inside your case with the exact specification of your musical instrument and accessories in mind.
Tag Your Instrument – The worst-case scenario, other than damaging your musical instrument, is that your instrument gets lost in transit. With this in mind make an easy to read ID tag and place it on your musical instrument. That way if it does get lost in transit you’ll have your phone number, email address and contact address present to be contacted and hopefully have the instrument returned to you.
Update Your Travel Insurance – Have your instrument appraised in order to have an accurate reflection as part of your travel insurance policy if it ends up damaged or lost. If you are travelling by air for instance, it is unlikely the airline will be able to do anything practical to help you, so a solid insurance policy is a must.
These are just a few practical steps that you can take if you are planning to travel with a musical instrument. For an expensive and delicate piece of equipment that is your life it is important to have all angles covered.