Traveling with your musical instrument is not something to be taken lightly. You must take into account certain constraints imposed by the airlines and make arrangements so that your precious guitar or your violin can travel in the best conditions. So here are some tips for traveling peacefully with your musical instrument.
Notify the insurance when leaving on a trip with musical instruments before leaving for a foreign country; it is essential to inform your insurer in order to secure your instrument and your activities. No one is safe from losing their instrument, being stolen or even broken … you will be sure that your insurance will play its role fully in the event of a claim, and you will also benefit from a lot of advice.
Avoid Putting Your Musical Instrument In The Hold When Traveling By Plane
With most airlines, instruments over 115 cm in length must travel in the hold. If your instrument is smaller like a violin, for example, it can be transported directly to the cabin.
However, it is better to do what is necessary with the airline to prevent your musical instrument from traveling in the hold at all costs for fear of it being damaged. You can have it travel on the plane with you, provided you buy an additional seat as accompanied baggage.
It is better to contact the sales department of the airline company as soon as possible to know its conditions and to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the outward and return journey.
Protect your musical instrument well
To transport your musical instrument and avoid any breakage during the trip, it is better to protect it. Prefer to place your instrument in a case or a hard case for more protection. Also, remember to have easy access to a copy of the original invoice for the purchase or rental of the musical instrument. This document will prove, in the event of customs control, that it is not a stolen musical instrument.
Also, pay attention to the humidity! Depending on the country and the season, humidity could affect your musical instrument, especially if it is made of wood. In summer, confronting an instrument with heat combined with high humidity for a few consecutive weeks is the ideal recipe for causing damage to your instruments. In winter, it is the other way around. Lack of humidity causes stress to the instrument, and this can lead to peeling or even cracking. When wood loses moisture: it contracts. When wood takes moisture: it expands. The humidity level must, therefore, be kept between 40 and 60%. If the rate drops below 40%, you can opt for a humidifier inside the case. The use of a hygrometer, which measures the relative humidity in the air, is also recommended.
Be Able To Prove The Value Of Your Musical Instrument
Before leaving on a trip with your musical instrument, make sure you have a certificate of value for your musical instrument that is less than 3 years old. If this is not the case, it is in your best interest to call a luthier to obtain this certificate of value or a certificate of authenticity. The latter, which lists photographs and all the descriptive elements (quality, origin, attribution, period, nature of the materials, state of conservation…) of the musical instrument, is a real identity card of the instrument.
In the event of theft (still on the rise), the certificate of authenticity will be useful for the police. Its rapid dissemination to luthiers, restaurateurs, specialist dealers, and auction houses can also help find the stolen musical instrument more quickly.