I travel a lot with my job and there are occasions, where you are stuck in a hotel room by yourself. At these times I often think that it would be nice to have a guitar to strum on. However, it is not always practical to lug a full size guitar around the world when you are on your travels. That is where a travel guitar comes in useful. Now I have never really seriously considered buying a travel guitar before, that was until I spotted the Traveler Guitar!
Why buy a Travel Guitar?
As I said above if you travel a lot, and it is not practical to take a full size guitar, then a compact travel guitar is a fantastic option. The benefit of a travel guitar is that it is usually light enough to comfortably travel with. They are also compact enough to be accepted by most airlines as hand baggage. So, rather than having to check your precious guitar into the hold, you can keep a close eye on it by taking it on board the plane.
Unfortunately travel guitars have come in for a bit of criticism over the years, much of which I think is unfair, so they are often looked at as not serious instruments. However, a lot of that is changing with more and more guitar manufacturers adding compact travel sized guitars to their range. I considered what I thought were some of the best travel guitars in the article “our favourite travel guitars” which was published back in 2015. Unfortunately when I wrote the article we didn’t look at the Traveler Guitar. Hopefully I can put that straight now.
So what is the Traveler Guitar?
Well as the name suggests the Traveler Guitar is a compact travel guitar but it is also, in my humble opinion a work of art. First designed back in 1992 by Leon Cox the Traveler Guitar has gone through quite an evolution. From small beginnings the Traveler Guitar rapidly gained a following forcing the company to find bigger premises from which to make the guitar. In 1998 whilst contemplating their next move they were approached by Fender executives who offered to move Traveler’s guitar manufacturing to their Corona facility. This was a first for Fender and gave Traveler the ability to greatly ramp up quality production of their ever expanding range of Traveler guitars.
Traveler Guitars produce a range of instruments from the Escape, AG and CL series to the popular Ultra Light series there is something to satisfy most guitarists.
We will focus on the ever popular Ultra Light series.
The Traveler Ultra Light guitar has the tuners in the body of the guitar.
Essentially the Ultra Light Traveler Guitar is produced from one single piece of wood. The guitar has a headless design with the tuners situated in the body of the guitar. This unique design allows the guitar to be exceptionally light (2lb 14oz) and compact, measuring just 28″ long, whilst still being able to accommodate a full 22 fret neck.
In terms of build quality the Traveler Guitar is beautifully crafted. The Ultra Light is made from a single piece of American hard Maple and the natural finish is amazing. The guitar is fitted with an acoustic piezo pickup which allows you to plug the guitar into an amp or mobile device.
The Traveler Ultra Light Guitar features a Piezo pickup so can be amped up!
What is the Traveler Guitar like to play?
Most travel guitars take a bit of practicing to get used to, this is largely due to their size. The Traveler Guitar is no different in this respect. The headless design and compact body does mean that it can feel a bit odd and a little unbalanced. But played with a strap or with the detachable leg rest you will get used to the feel of the Ultra Light very quickly.
In terms of sound the Traveler Guitar is not too bad. Played acoustically it has a good tone but for some it may not be loud enough. Its small size and open design means that the sound volume is a bit limited but if you are looking for something to play around on it is perfectly adequate in my opinion. The presence of the piezo pickup however does allow you to plug in and for me this is a great option to have. Played through an amp the sound is clear and crisp with good punchy undertones.
You can see the Traveler Ultra Light in action in the video below.
So what will the Ultra Light Traveler Guitar cost you? Looking on-line you are looking at around £310. From Amazon it is currently available for £307 which we think represents fantastic value for such a good guitar.
So what is are view of the Ultra Light Traveler Guitar? Well if you are after a good quality, affordable travel guitar which plays well, can be amped up and looks nothing short of superb then this is the guitar for you.
To find out more about the Traveler Guitar Ultra Light series or their full range of guitars you can visit their website.
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