People who play the ukulele often want to bring it with them when they travel. However, they worry about damaging it. Some people ask, “Can you bring a ukulele on a plane?” You can bring your ukulele on the plane with you as long as you pack it properly. Take a look at the following seven practical tips for traveling with a ukulele.
1. Make Sure That You Have a Hard Case
The best way to protect your ukulele while you are traveling is to get a hard case for it. The hard case might be heavier, but it will protect your ukulele from anything banging it around. When you are traveling, you can expect your ukulele to experience a few bumps along the way.
When you are looking for a hard case, you should choose one that is sized specifically for your ukulele. It should fit inside snugly, and three shouldn’t be any extra room to move around. If it is able to move, it can be damaged. You can also wrap your ukulele in a soft towel or an old t-shirt before you put it inside to make sure that it is snug while it is in the case.
2. Find Out the Airline’s Musical Instrument Policy
Different airlines have different policies when it comes to carrying on musical instruments. You need to be familiar with this before you purchase any tickets. You should try to choose an airline where you are allowed to carry the ukulele on with you. If you check it with the baggage, it can be damaged and you may never see it again.
3. Loosen the Strings Before You Fly
When you are traveling, your ukulele is likely to experience different temperatures, humidity levels, and air pressure. All of these factors can cause your nylon strings to tighten and loosen, and they can break if they become too tight. This can lead to other problems that can damage your ukulele.
When the strings tighten, it puts pressure on the saddle. If it creates too much tension, it can cause the saddle to snap. Your ukulele will be ruined if this happens. If the saddle doesn’t snap, it could put too much tension on the neck and cause it to warp. The problem is that the tension has to go somewhere, and if the strings are tight, it will go to the saddle or the neck. You can prevent this from happening by loosening the strings before you travel.
4. Make Sure That You Have Extra Strings and Anything Else You Might Need
When you travel, you will want to have extra strings and anything else that you might need while you are gone. You should bring a tuner, nail files, and anything else that you keep with your ukulele at home. This way you won’t have to find a local shop to buy something if you need it, and you will be able to play your ukulele whenever you want to. You will have extra strings in case they break.
5. Pack Your Accessories Separately
You should make sure that you pack your accessories separate from your ukulele. If you stuff them in the case, they could damage your instrument. Another problem is that when you are flying, if you keep the accessories inside the ukulele case, it may cause security to open the case and check inside. They may not be as careful with your ukulele as you would like, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
6. Be Sure to Label Your Case
It is very important to put a label on your case with your name and phone number. You should also place another one that says, “Fragile, Please Handle with Care.” You should try not to let anyone else handle your ukulele, but if you are required to let security look at it at the airport, you should be sure to have these labels on it just in case.
If you do end up checking it or leaving it at the desk in a hotel, the label will alert them that they need to be careful. If you should lose it, your name and phone number will be there so that you can be contacted.
7. Pack Your Ukulele Case Inside Your Luggage
While you are traveling, you may need to consolidate your bags. If you are flying on an airline that requires you to check the ukulele, you need to protect it further. Make sure that you have your ukulele in its hard case, and then pack it inside of your luggage. You can put it in the center surrounded by clothes. Make sure that it has clothing on the top, bottom, and around the sides. This will help give it extra protection.
If you can’t fit it inside your luggage, you can get some bubble wrap and cover the case. You can actually have this done for you at the airport for a few dollars. You just ask for this service, and they will wrap it in several layers of bubble wrap while you wait. It gives your ukulele the added protection it needs to make sure that it arrives safely.
If you plan to travel with your ukulele, make sure that you protect it during your trip. You should make sure that you have a hard case, and then take steps to minimize anyone opening it or touching your ukulele.