Any musician will tell you this; the ability to produce, record, or write music while on the go is something that all musicians adore.
Picture an artist who is traveling abroad. A gadget they will never miss is a music device and a pair of headphones.
And if this is a guitar player we are talking about, then a guitar would be a necessary instrument to have while on the move. The problem, however, comes in when he or she has to travel with a heavy and large guitar that cannot fit into a suitcase. Hence, in the efforts to ensure that a guitar player – whether advanced or beginner – can carry their guitar everywhere they go, travel acoustic guitar came into existence.
These guitars are super light, they do not need any amplification, and they can do well on their own. You can play the instrument in the middle of the jungle, the streets, in the subway, plane, or even in a camping site.
But with a market with a plethora of options to choose from, it is not easy to find an excellent acoustic travel guitar. Therefore, in this article, we will highlight the ten best acoustic travel guitars you should buy in 2020.
Any mind you, all the options highlighted here are acoustic guitars only.
Top 10 Best Acoustic Travel Guitars Of 2020
1. Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Travel Acoustic Guitar
Not everybody would like to practice or play a ¾-inch size guitar. For such people, the fretboard could be quite small, or they would feel awkward playing it at a professional level. If you are that player that may feel burdened about carrying your full-scale guitar everywhere, this Washburn RO10 is what you need precisely.
Primarily, the guitar has a small body, but it is a full-scale 24-inch acoustic guitar. Thus, it gives you the feeling that you are playing any other usual acoustic guitar.
The body also presents a durable travel acoustic guitar. Its top is small but made from spruce, the neck and body consist of mahogany, and the high quality keeps the guitar in tune.
When buying the RO10, the manufacturer will provide a hard case gig back. The interior comes with extra storage compartments where you can store your accessories. It is also has a foam protective cover, which ensures that your guitar is safe from knocks when traveling.
Since the Washburn RO10 is acoustic, you do not need to amplify it. The guitar produces the kind of sound that would brighten a moment around a campfire or when you are in your hotel room. Actually, it produces bright tones.
Nonetheless, the downside is that the instrument does not provide low frequencies. But it will adjust to any playing style whether you are a pro or beginner.
It may not have a strap button at the front of its spruce body, but you will be comfortable while playing the instrument for a long time. The guitar also comes with a strap that prevents the guitar from sliding while playing.
2. Martin Steel-String Backpacker Travel Guitar
The Martin Steel String backpacker is a guitar fit for you if you have a passion for good music, and if you are always traveling. You may hear different opinions about this guitar. But one thing is for sure. It does what the engineer meant it to do precisely.
The manufacturer also uses high-quality material to come up with this guitar. For instance, the material used on the top is spruce, the back and sides constitute of tonewood, and the neck is pure mahogany. Also, the tuning pegs are made out of solid, durable chrome hardware.
It is also important to note that it features 15 frets.
You may think that because of its length, this guitar is only for beginners. But players that have heard the sound coming out of this guitar will agree that it sounds so good since it emphasizes on the highs, lows, and mid ranges.
Besides, the volume is loud enough. There is no need to amplify it unless when you are recording live.
The Martin steel comes with great-sounding strings, and it is so easy to move back and forth the fret. It, therefore, is ideal for all types of styles, including fingerstyle, blues, country, and solos, too.
Although you can access (maybe) up to 12 frets, you have a great time playing barre chords.
3. Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele, Tobacco Sunburst
If you are looking to buy a travel acoustic guitar from a trusted brand, then the Yamaha GL Series is one you should try.
The GL1 TBS Guitarlele is a combination of a guitar and a ukulele. Meaning, the guitar sounds like a miniature guitar. You can also transform it into a ukulele by playing the fourth string going downwards.
Other than that, it is almost the same size as a ukulele.
Any professional player who likes to compose music when traveling would dig this guitar. The GL1 TBS guitalele has top spruce, mahogany neck, and sides. It features fewer frets than the usual travel guitar, but it still does the job quite well.
The guitar also uses nylon strings. If you do not like the sound of that, you are free to use the steel strings.
This guitar is a great and super cool instrument to carry around your expeditions. With both features of a guitar and ukulele, you will be sure to get rich sounds throughout the fretboard.
You should also note that the guitar uses a different tuning technique. It uses the “A” tuning, which means that the strings will become A, D, G, C, E, and A. If you wish to use the standard tuning, this is still possible, though the strings may a bit lose.
4. Baby Taylor BT1 Dreadnought Acoustic guitar
Guitar players who would love to own a super cool dreadnought acoustic guitar for travel would fall in love with the Taylor BT1 acoustic guitar. It is a suitable instrument for a traveler and people with tiny hands such as children.
The color on the BT1 acoustic guitar is fantastic. It also has a solid spruce body, a mahogany top, slim neck, and Sapele back and sides. An added varnish finishing protects and adds flavor to the guitar as well.
It is also a ¾- inch guitar; hence, the BT1 is easy to carry.
The Taylor BT1 acoustic guitar uses the standard tuning similar to the usual jumbo guitar. It is also a low action guitar, which means you are not going to need to add any extra pressure when playing. Maybe it is the reason your children will love playing it.
You do not want to wish that you had your usual guitar since the one you carried to your trip does not sound good when playing a particular tune. For the BT1, you will enjoy using it for any technique. Whether you want to strum, fingerpick, or solo, this guitar will sound just perfect.
The sound produced is well balanced. It is loud, and you will be sure to hear the highs, lows, and the mid ranges when using this guitar. Also, the intonation along the fretboard is perfect, which the compensated bridge enhances.
5. Baby Taylor BT2 Acoustic Guitar
Though it carries the name ‘baby,’ do not despise its ability to soothe you with great-sounding music just like the full-sized guitar. Everything about this travel acoustic guitar is just top-notch.
The BT2 has a lot of distinction from the BT1. It has a mahogany top with Sapele back, sides, and neck. Also, the guitar features a braced front body while the back is non-braced. The head stalk features reliable tuning pegs to keep your guitar on tune, whether you use the standard “E” tuning or any other tuning.
If you want to know why this guitar is suitable for travelers, then look at its neck. Primarily, you can disassemble the neck using the two nuts, which attach it to the body. Thus, you can fold and put it into your suitcase if you do not feel like carrying the gig pack that comes with it.
Additionally, the neck is thin enough to allow people with small hands to hold the guitar comfortably.
This travel acoustic guitar is an awesome gift for musicians of any level, young and old. Besides having a superb neck, it features a compensated bridge, which contributes much to the intonation of the guitar. You can play open chords, barre chords, and solo to the frets at the high end.
Baby Taylor BT2 also produces quality acoustic sound, which is loud enough without any amplification. The guitar will suit both amateur and professional players.
6. Cordoba Mini M Travel Acoustic Nylon String Guitar
Debuted in NAAM 2015, this guitar is a perfect gift for adults that love to travel. It sounds great, looks great, and has many exciting features.
Cordoba seems to have an understanding of what travelers like. It features exceptional quality in terms of the neck and body.
The guitar’s neck is wider, which means that it is ideal for adults who want to feel like they are playing their usual classical guitar even while they are away from home. Children can also use the guitar if they want to play single notes only.
Cordoba’s body comprises of solid spruce, Rosewood Bridge, and mahogany for the neck. When it comes to the finishing, the Cordoba comes with a thin furnish, which enhances the quality of sound that the guitar produces.
The Cordoba Mini M is an ideal instrument for classical players. It is fitted with nylon strings, which enhances playability and comfort for the seasoned classical players. Nevertheless, if you prefer the traditional steel strings, you are free to change them.
Overall, when it comes to sound quality, this brand does a great job. It is loud enough, and the intonation along the fretboard is fantastic.
Instead of the usual diecast guitar tuning pegs, this guitar offers the open tuners. They make the guitar lighter, which gives the guitar a balanced weight overall compared to when you use the diecast versions.
7. Yamaha FG JR1 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar
Though many reviewers recommend this acoustic guitar for kids below the age of 10, this can also be an excellent gift for musicians who travel constantly. It comes with great tweaks and peaks, which any player, from beginner to an expert, is going to love.
Primarily, the JR1 is a member of the FG series. The purpose of this guitar is to get you singing while on the road since it offers a great ¾-size neck for people with short fingers and small-sized bodies.
The body, again, consists of spruce top, a nato neck, Indonesian back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. Yamaha also provides a gig pack for carrying the guitar anywhere you are going.
Although the JR1 has a mini character to itself, the way it sounds does not project that. The fingerboard feels great, you will not hear any buzz or dead frets, and the neck is smooth enough to facilitate effortless movements along the fretboard.
Whether you are practicing indoors, outdoors, or a small hall, its volume is adequate for everyone to hear. It is difficult for anyone to say that the player is using a small guitar unless they see it.
Other than an audible volume, the sound quality is just superb. With a single strum, any audiophile can pick all kinds of frequencies and tones produced. On top of that, everything is in tune and balanced.
8. Martin Backpacker Nylon String Acoustic Guitar
If you are an ardent lover of classical guitar, or you simply do not like metal strings, then this is the guitar to purchase. The Martin Backpacker Nylon string acoustic guitar provides the player with a mellow and relaxed sound that any classical or jazz player would love.
One thing that beginners struggle with is playing guitar with metal strings for long. Although everyone has their preference, the nylon strings do not hurt your fingers; hence, you can practice for a longer time.
Another quality that increases comfortability is the way this guitar is light. It comes with a properly sculpted spruce body; the ¾-inch mahogany fingerboard comes with 15 fretboards, and the head stalk features diecast tuning pegs.
If you travel constantly, you may have to carry this wherever you go. The guitar is not heavy, and its slim profile ensures that you can fit it in your suitcase if it is big enough. However, the guitar comes with its gig bag.
Players can also be sure that the guitar is reliable in playing a variety of pieces from different genres. It adapts pretty well to any playing style other than classical because it is loud enough and the sound aspects it comes with are what most elite players would love to hear.
9. Gretsch Guitars Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar
For travelers who love having vintage-like instruments, then this is a definite must-have. The Gretsch Guitar picks its form and idea from the old parlour guitars, which musicians used for playing delta blues and country music.
Its body comes with a sunburst color, agathis body, a rosewood bridge, and X-bracing. All these contribute to the production of amazing sounds that players from all genres are going to love.
If you love guitars that project sounds properly, especially outdoors, then this is the guitar to buy. Honestly, you do not require any amplification unless you want to perform in a large hall.
Additionally, the sounds suit vintage players, but while testing it, we noticed that this guitar could adapt to most of the playing styles we have out there.
Although it does not offer the variety of sounds you would get from a high-end guitar; the Gretsch does exactly what the manufacturer intended it to do. Therefore, any player can pick up this guitar and play it while hiking, camping, or inside a moving vehicle – since it does not take up too much space.
10. Luna Safari Series Tattoo Travel-Size Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
For players who want to add some fun to their trip abroad or during camp, the Luna Safari guitar is a gift that anyone with such a hobby would love. The guitar is a 3/4- inch scale guitar with qualities that starters and experts admire, especially since it comes at a low price. By the way, both adults and children can play this guitar.
The guitar will offer you great company for your next trip. You will not have any problems carrying since it comes with its gig bag, it is lightweight, and the materials used to manufacture it are great.
Luna Safari also has a beautiful mahogany body with a flowery pattern, which adds color to the instrument. The top also is mahogany, the fingerboard is rosewood, and the head stalk features closed chrome tuners.
Even though its size says something else, this guitar will stay in tune. You can tune it effortlessly with the use of an electronic tuner, and it will stay that way even after playing it for long.
The fretboard and the metal strings allow the player to explore different chord shapes and barre chords when playing across different positions. It also comes with great intonations, though it sounds like a ukulele naturally.
The Luna Safari can adapt to any genre, and since it is loud enough, you can play it from any location without needing an amplifier. Anyone can play this guitar from young ones to travelers who would love to tag along with their lightweight guitar.
Best Acoustic Travel Guitars Buying Guide:
Acoustic travel guitars are useful for musicians who are always on the road or abroad. These acoustic guitars have smaller features to help the musicians carry it with ease when traveling.
But with many varieties of acoustic travel guitars in the market, which one should you choose?
This is a question that most guitarists have.
Hence, in this article, we will help you determine what factors to consider when choosing the best acoustic travel guitars.
Why do you need an acoustic travel guitar?
Before you even understand what factors to think about, let’s explain why you need this type of guitar.
First, carrying a full size dreadnought guitar everywhere you go, especially if you do not have private transport means, is not an easy job. You’ll need a strong gig casing, space, and extra muscle, for this to happen. And that’s where the travel guitar comes in handy.
Also, music is about expressing yourself, and musicians get their inspiration from anything and anywhere. Therefore, when you have your guitar with you, it will be easy to express yourself or jam in the plane, hotel room, or office before your idea vanishes.
That’s how vital these guitars can be.
Which brings us to the first point of what you should consider:
1. Your needs first
Evidently, these guitars are suitable travel companions. That’s for sure.
But there’s also a bunch of musicians who love using travel guitars because of their size and comfort. A good example is Ed Sheeran. Meaning, these guitars are not just for people who are traveling but also for musicians who’d appreciate using a small guitar on stage.
In short, what we are trying to say is that your need should influence the type of travel guitar that you’d like. Even if you are a beginner, buying a professional-looking travel guitar gives you a tool that you’ll use even when you advance your skills.
2. The guitar’s features
Travel guitars have a small body, a short scale length on the neck, and a small headstock. But manufacturers also put some extra configurations to ensure that the guitar sounds professional.
For instance, some travel guitars have a way smaller body than others. But remember, regardless of how convenient the size seems it might not be effective in providing that full acoustic sound that a professional would love.
Also, identify the other qualities in the guitar may have, including a collapsible neck, adjustable truss rod, inbuilt electronics, the finish on the body, and the neck profile.
3. How it sounds
How a guitar sounds depends on a musician’s preference. You will have to test the guitar to know whether it sounds the way you’d like it to sound.
During testing, consider the intonation, note if there’s any buzzing, understand the fullness of the sound, the loudness, and know whether it stays in tune or not. If it has inbuilt electronics, connect it to an amp to see what it would sound if you’d like to use it on stage.
Another thing is to find out whether the sound is versatile enough to fit your playing style or genre. You’ll also need to check the action, and decide whether you should adjust it or not.
Tip for saving money:
When buying the best travel acoustic guitar, you might have to consider your budget. The high-end ones will sound better than the low-ended ones.
Check if you’ll get extra accessories when you buy your preferred guitar if you’d like to save money. For instance, get to know whether they provide a gig bag or any other accessories that you may need to start playing out of the box.
Which reminds me: Get a guitar that is ready to play out of the box. Little adjustments can cost extra cash, especially when you know little or nothing about guitars.
Last but Important Tip:
Even if you’re a beginner, do not buy a cheap guitar without putting the above factors into consideration. You may end up returning the instrument if it does not sound or feel like you would like when you advance your skills.
Hence, always consider the best travel guitar and think about the factors that we’ve highlighted in this article because they work collectively.
Additionally, get to know what experts are saying about the guitar.
There you have it, friends. When selecting a guitar that suits your traveling needs, you may have to choose between the ones highlighted above. However, do not let any of these instruments confuse you. Each has its benefits and limitations altogether. Therefore, it is essential to note what you need for your trips, especially when you are not close to your acoustic guitar.
If you still want us to recommend the best travel guitar out of the 10, then the Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Travel Acoustic Guitar would be an excellent choice. Everything from the way to looks, its sounds, are authentic. You will also love the fact that you can carry it around without any problems.
Other than that, the guitar is ideal for all kinds of players. It suits elite guitar players and starters as well. You can also gift your kid because it is a ¾-inch guitar, which means that they will be able to play it without any struggles.