Traveling with your full-size dreadnought acoustic electric guitar has never been a convenient option. Guessing at whether it will fit in the overhead cabin on a plane, stage coach bus, or your sedan, you still might be worried about scratches, and dings.
Get a travel size guitar! Here’s the best lineup to let you know which guitar is going to be your best traveling companion in various cities, across state, or even around the world!
Quick Answer: 5 Best Travel Acoustic Electric Guitars In 2020
- Taylor GS Mini-e Koa
- Yamaha SLG200S Silent Guitar
- Martin LX1E
- Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size
- Traveler Guitar Pro-Series
The Top Travel Electric Acoustic Guitars
Travel acoustic electric guitars can be on the more affordable end, and they can be quite expensive, especially if you’re hoping to land a brand-name one. However, this presents quite the opportunity for guitarists with various limitations on budget.
Even better, travel guitars can also cater to various skill levels of guitarists. You don’t have to be a newbie to tow a travel git, and even pros can get their fix while traveling with one of these guitars.
But, you still need to know about size, durability, and of course, sonic projection. Here’s where we steer you straight. Trust our lineup to cater to all your specific needs!
Our 5 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars for Travel
1. Taylor GS Mini-e Koa
- Body Body shape: Other Cutaway: Non-cutaway Top: Hawaiian koa Back and sides: Layered koa Bracing pattern: Other Body finish: Varnish Orientation: Right handed Neck Shape: Other Nut width: 1.687"...
Who says a travel guitar has to be ugly as sin? The Taylor GS Mini-e Koa guitar is anything but ugly. As the most expensive guitar in our lineup, it deservedly wins the top spot. Not just because it’s a Taylor, but because it has profound sound projection in such a small package.
While the size has been scaled down, the tone woods haven’t. Yes, it does have a laminate veneer for the back and sides, but that’s how you land yourself a Taylor for under a grand. The solid Koa top lends to its pleasing, bright, and yet deep and dark tones that will continue to evolve as the guitar ages and you get better.
Because of its size, you’ll have a playable guitar within your reach whether you’re slouched on the couch, en route, or ready for a live performance plugged in! Again, few guitars can beat the aesthetic beauty of this gorgeous Koa guitar!
2. Yamaha SLG200S Steel String Silent Guitar
- Steel Strings, Translucent Black Finish
- The SLG is the perfect instrument for practice, travel or stage use – any time an acoustic guitar just won’t do.
- Near-silent performance makes discrete practice simple
The Yamaha Silent Guitar might seem pricey for an instrument that seems to lack body. However, while it does sport a “bodiless” look, the SRT preamp system makes up for it with full body tones and sonic projection that belies its minimalist design.
But, what’s the point of a guitar that lacks tone woods? Well, the good news is, the few woods it does have are solid, like the Rosewood and Maple core with the Mahogany neck. However, there’s also a solid point to the lack of a top and back.
It’s quiet. So quiet that you won’t ever be told off about playing too loud or disrupting others again! You can play as long as you want anytime of the day, and when you do want to be heard, be disruptive, or please the crowd, simply plug in. Yamaha’s SRT technology is one of a kind, and you won’t be able to believe that a slim, bodiless, travel guitar can make such an impact that will leave both you and your audience more than impressed!
3. Martin LX1E
- While the Little Martin is our smallest guitar, it is very big on tone, quality and versatility.
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Mahogany high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides
Martin certainly makes a big imprint in the travel guitar industry with their LX1e which is an inexpensive and compact acoustic electric guitar. While it’s not cheap for most buyers, it certainly is for the brand. Thanks to its scaled-down size, you’re getting the cost savings you don’t really ever see from a brand as respected as this.
But, why would you buy this Martin when you could own a $2000 one? Well, what would you rather risk traveling wear and tear to – your irreplaceable Martin or this one for under $500? This Martin has been made for travel with its high-pressured laminate Mahogany back and solid spruce top. Its durability is up there.
You won’t have to worry about sound on this travel/parlor guitar either – it’s a Martin after all. With Fishman Isys T electronics, you can plug in and make quite the good kind of ruckus wherever your travels end up taking you. A mini Martin is still a Martin!
4. Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size
- Spruce Top
- Rosewood Fingerboard & Bridge
- System 68 Pick-Up
Leaving the expensive guitar collection at home while on the road is definitely the smart option. But, being high and dry without music is not an option either. You still need a guitar that can weather the abuse of travels while you’re on the road.
The solution is to opt for an affordable, scaled-down guitar that will do the job while you’re gone. The Yamaha 3/4 size acoustic electric guitar can get the job done well. With such a low price tag, you know the body is going to be completely made of laminate. But, this is a good thing when you need a sturdy and impervious build to climate changes that won’t buckle under the inevitable abuse of travel and storage demands.
For plug-power, you’ll still have dynamic sound projection with the ART-based preamp with a System 68 contact pickup. Nothing fancy, but beginners will like the user-friendliness of the simple electronics. Budget, sound, and durability in check? It’s a strummin’ yes!
5. Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar
- One-piece maple neck-through-body
- Hybrid Acoustic and Electric with piezo and electric pickups
- Full 24 3/4" scale steel-string acoustic/electric travel guitar
Weird or ingenious? We say ingenious! Anyone who spots this instrument and who knows anything about this guitar will know that you’re sporting one of the original model designs of the Traveler Guitar brand. What can we say? It has a very unique look.
However, it’s not so unique with its price. But, what can you expect when you’re buying the convenience of towing, storing, and travel advantages? It’s very slim in design, the lap rest can be taken off, and it even comes with an included gig bag.
If you’re new to this design, it will definitely take some getting used to. But, you can be sure that it will quickly become your number one travel guitar for those times away from the studio and home. What do you say? Are you funky enough to sport a spunky guitar?
What to Look for in an Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar
While on the road, the demands on a guitar can be grueling. You’re dealing with climate changes, damage from towing, and then storing concerns. You want to look for durability, scaled-down sizes, and acceptable electronics without compromising on sound and playability. Here’s how you narrow down on those features.
- Tone woods: You won’t find many travel guitars with solid wood bodies. Laminate can definitely be more impervious to damage, especially while on the road. Don’t expect too much quality in tone woods for a travel guitar.
- Size: Small, scaled-down, and compact designs will vary. Travel or parlor size guitars will be the norm. It’s convenient for storing while on the road.
- Electronics: For a scaled-down size, you’ll need to make up for the lack of sound with the electronics. You might want to be brand-specific or look for a more expensive travel guitar for the best electronics.
- Accessories: Travel guitars may come with a few accessories like a bag that fits the guitar perfectly. However, don’t expect a complete kit as they seem to be scarce in this category.
- Value: As a scaled-down sized guitar, you’re going to get immediate cost savings versus a full-size guitar. However, brands, quality, and unique travel features can quickly run up the costs to rival full-size guitars. Ensure money spent is inline with the features you’re after.
Small Size But Big Benefits!
Travel guitars are perfect instruments while away from home. However, they also present a great opportunity to double as quality practice guitars, or an instrument for smaller adults and youth players.
They’re versatile instruments that can literally be taken anywhere for players of all types to enjoy. When you share the music, you share the passion, and that’s music magic baby!
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Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.