Guitars are some of the most portable and ubiquitous instruments out there. You don’t need any set-up or other equipment to be able to play one–you simply need to pick one up, tune it, before being ready to rock out to your favorite tunes. It’s always fun to go to parties where there’s a guitar player with their instrument nearby because you can always count on them for some live entertainment. Good guitar players are extremely protective and picky about what they play on, and rightfully so. The difference between a good and a bad guitar is easy to spot even to amateur guitar players or those who don’t play any instruments at all. This might be easy to fix if you’re at home, with all your instruments around you, but what if you’re travelling and want to bring a guitar with you? You need to make sure that what you have is sturdy enough for travel while providing you with the sound quality and feel that you’re used to. You also need to ensure that this isn’t a guitar that’s going to break the bank for you, since the risk of damaging it is much higher when you’re traveling.
These are pressing concerns whether you play electric or acoustic guitar. But not to worry–we’ve gone ahead and put together our recommendations for the best electric and acoustic travel guitars. If you’re a guitar player looking for a new instrument to bring with you on your travels, take a look below at our 2020 picks!
Our Favorite Electric and Acoustic Travel Guitars In 2020
Cordoba’s Mini M is the perfect acoustic guitar to keep you company while you’re on the road. This is smaller than a normal guitar, with 20” scale length and 50” nut width so that it can easily fit into an airplane’s overhead compartment–just make sure you loosen the strings before you fly so the air pressure doesn’t mess with how tight the strings are. Onto the strings themselves. The nylon strings are easy for beginning guitar players and convenient for those who are more advanced but want something that has high playability with high overall quality. Aesthetically, it features a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides, and has a smooth matte finish for a polished and professional look. For those of you who are always on the go, it comes with a custom Cordoba gig bag so you don’t need to worry about getting another bag to store your guitar in. Given everything, this is a great all-around travel acoustic guitar. One reviewer noted that “for the price, this is great! Smaller than a full-size classical guitar, but with a full-width neck, unlike the fractional-size classical guitars. Very nice tone, and good volume.”
The first thing you’ll notice about this acoustic travel guitar is the shape. Martin designed a guitar that is specifically geared for backpackers who want to make sure that they’re packing as light as possible while bringing all the essentials along. Nonetheless, the unique contour shape of the neck doesn’t detract one bit from the guitar playing experience. Because of the design, you’re able to get a 15 fret fingerboard and a 24 inch scale length that really gives you more of the real guitar playing experience that you crave while you’re on the go. Aside from the shape, it has a spruce top and mahogany neck, back, and sides. The sound quality isn’t compromised one bit and you get all the quality of a Martin guitar for less money and more portability. As one reviewer assures, “nobody makes guitars better than Martin.”
When it comes to an electric guitar for travel, the EG-1 Custom is perfect. It is a full 24 and ¾ inch scale guitar with a proprietary in-body tuning system, which relocated standard tuning machines in-body to allow the guitar to be lighter and more portable than a full-sized electric. This eliminates the need for a headstock, which is why the EG-1 is shorter than a full-sized guitar. But you’ll still get the same, full-scale playing experience that you’re used to, thanks to the proprietary 4-channel headphone amplifier already built-in. You can listen to yourself practice on an amp or through your headphones, if you’re on the go and don’t want to disturb the people around you. For those who don’t want to carry more than you have to, this includes the Shadow E-tuner, which is a chromatic tuner already built into the pickup ring. It comes, of course, with a bag and you can easily fit the EG-1 into the overhead compartments on airlines. One reviewer raved that this is “One of the best investments I’ve ever made!… It feels like a quality instrument in the hands. I was surprised to find that I like the tone of the pickup and feel of the neck better than many of the “real” guitars in my collection.”
For a more unique-looking electric guitar to take on all your travels, Traveler Guitar’s Ultra-Light Electric boasts that it’s the smallest and lightest full-scale electric travel guitar available. Like the EG-1, it utilizes Traveler Guitar’s proprietary In-Body Tuning System that uses standard tuning machines relocated into the body of the guitar, so the ULE also doesn’t have a headstock. This one is 28% shorter and 68% lighter than a typical full-sized electric guitar–at 28 inches long and weighing only 3 points, it is perfect for portability when you’re travelling. It features a dual-rail humbucker pickup and standard ¼ inch output so that you can plug it into your favorite amp or recording device. From a frequent traveler to you, “I waited a while before I wrote this. I wanted to make sure my first impressions would remain and they did. I have played guitar for 35 years. My problem is I travel on business most weeks and it is not easy to carry a guitar with you when you stay in a different hotel every night. This guitar is very compact, easy to carry on to a plane, and is just plain fun.”
- 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 hum bucker pickup
- Includes Gig Bag