Best Travel Electric Guitars of 2019 – Ultimate Round-up

Traveling can be stressful when you carry around a full-scale guitar. It is big, bulky, and a little awkward to try to manage when you are lugging around all your other luggage. Once upon a time, the musician on the road would settle for a scaled-down version of whatever six-stringed companion he could find, but that doesn't have to be the solution nowadays. There are many great options for travel-sized electric guitars. In fact, there is enough selection that you may find yourself asking, which one should you buy? 

Well, in this guide, we aim to give you the tools to make that decision with confidence. We also handpicked a few of the best travel electric guitars for you. Hopefully, this will help too! So, let us get that amp warmed up and tune those strings, because we are about to get real rock and roll while traipsing around the globe.

Comparison Chart of the Best Travel Electric Guitars

Product

Rating

Price

Traveler Guitar 6 String Electric Guitar, Right, Wine Red (SPD WRDMT)

Traveler Guitar 6 String Electric Guitar, Right, Wine Red (SPD WRDMT)

Best Overall

Traveler Guitar EG1C BLK V2 Custom Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag, Black

Traveler Guitar EG1C BLK V2 Custom Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag, Black

Runner-up

Hofner 6 String Shorty Electric Travel Guitar

Hofner 6 String Shorty Electric Travel Guitar-Blue w/Gig Bag, Right Handed (HCT-SH-BL-O)

Best for the Money

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light  Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag

Best Acoustic Electric Travel Guitar

Hofner HCTSHCGO Cadillac Green Travel Electric Guitar

Honorable Mention

How is a Travel Electric Guitar Different Than Other Electric Guitars?

As a musician, you probably feel as if you and your guitar are best friends. Just like with your living breathing friends, you want to protect it, and that can be quite difficult when on the road all the time. Travel leaves your guitar vulnerable to all kinds of mishaps, but with a travel electric guitar, the manufacturers have answered this problem. You see, a travel electric guitar is crafted to be easier to transport and to answer some of those hard to answer travel issues we all have had to experience.

Because they are built for portability, of course, that means that they had to be designed in a way that made them more compact and lighter too. This means that you may have fewer frets and a smaller body. They usually are made of lighter tonewoods. If you get an electric acoustic, the body may be hollow, and often the companies have found ways to cut back on the production cost to decrease the price tag. These are just some of the ways that a travel guitar differs from the traditional version.

Why Are These the Best of the Year?

Trying to choose the right travel electric guitar for your needs could seem like a daunting task. After all, what is more important, sound or portability? Frets or size? To carefully craft the list below, we took an in-depth look at what makes a good travel guitar. What we found is that there are several features and factors you should take into consideration. Here are the 5 top ones that will help you figure out what guitar you should go with:

Frets

A travel guitar typically has fewer frets than the traditional model. This makes it easier to transport if the neck is smaller. However, if you are looking for more traditional options, you may want to choose a traditional neck with a lighter tonewood design.

Style of Play

This will certainly have an impact on the choice. If you are a professional musician who likes to shred the night away, the guitar you choose must be different than if you are just a strummer busking or playing around a campfire.

Portability

The most significant part of travel is the actual travel part. This means that if you want to bring along your six-string companion, you want to take a good hard look at its portability. Will it be easy to carry? Will it fit easily into a nice carrying case? Will you feel like a pack mule as you see the world? All important questions when it comes to portability.

Sound Quality

Just because you are getting a shrunk-down, easy to transport guitar doesn't mean you want one that doesn't have the right sound! That means paying attention to the electronics, woods, and features that come with the model; these are directly correlated with the quality of sound you can get.

Size

This perhaps may be the most critical question to ask yourself. How often are you going to be lugging your guitar from place to place? By factoring in the weight and size of your options, you may find that some models don't make the cut. You will want to pay attention to the tonewood, as this plays a crucial part in the weight. You may also want to look at the size and if it can be separated to become even more compact.

Review of the Best Travel Electric Guitars

Okay so with all of that taken care of let's discuss the models that we have selected to be the best travel electric guitars on the market today. 

Traveler Guitar 6 String Electric Guitar, Right, Wine Red (SPD WRDMT)

PROS

  • Tuning is easy and fast.
  • Clarity and tone are nice.
  • Durable and lightweight design.
  • Action on the full-scale neck is great.
  • Easy to get started playing straight from the box.

CONS

  • Difficult to restring.
  • Issues with input jack quality.
  • Armrests could use some redesigning.

What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, recent buyers love this amazing travel guitar. With its full-scale neck and lightweight, compact design, it is easily the best overall option on the market. Even with the few issues that recent buyers have had (such as issues with the restringing process or the armrest quality), the Traveler SPD WRDMT is a well-reviewed instrument.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The attention to detail that went into crafting this amazing travel guitar is what singles it out the most. The full-scale neck and the built-in tuning technology make this an easy to transport guitar with great functionality. That is why we chose it as the best of the best.

Who Will Use This Most

Traveling musicians will love this guitar. This is great for any level of experience; even the more seasoned vet will absolutely love this option.

Bottom Line

To be the best, you must beat the best, and this guitar does that and so much more. Even some traditional guitars will have a hard time keeping up with this monster. Designed with the traveling musician in mind, this instrument's lightweight, compact body and electronics that only serve to increase the quality will make any musician happy, should they choose it as their go-to guitar.

Traveler Guitar EG1C BLK V2 Custom Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag, Black

PROS

  • Nice looking aesthetic.
  • Versatility of style capability.
  • Tone and clarity are nice.
  • Quality electronics included in the design.
  • Exceptionally high performing tuning system.

CONS

  • Issues with plug quality.
  • Issues with action being too high.
  • Some issues with sound quality when using amp.

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users love the beautiful look and full-scale neck of this instrument. These features give it exceptional playability; combined with the 4 tone knobs, this grants this travel guitar great versatility when it comes to style capability. Some buyers do feel that the action feels a little high, and that it is best when used with the built-in headphone amp as opposed to a traditional amp.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar has a lot of great qualities that combine to create one of the best travel electric guitars out there. The built-in high-grade tuning system and the ability to choose between 4 tones are excellent additions to a sleek-looking guitar.

Who Will Use This Most

This is great for that traveling backup musician that will be asked to lay anything from jazz to metal. With the versatility of this guitar, this musician will definitely get the biggest bang for their buck.

Bottom Line

Having a great sounding, beautiful looking guitar for all your road trips is an excellent tool for any musician. With this model from the Traveler guitar, you get all of that in an easy to transport package.

Hofner 6 String Shorty Electric Travel Guitar-Blue w/Gig Bag, Right Handed (HCT-SH-BL-O)

PROS

  • Tone is crisp and clean.
  • Versatility of styles from the full-scale neck.
  • Durable traveling bag is included with the guitar.
  • Compact and lightweight design for better portability.
  • High-quality Open Humbucker is included in the build.

CONS

  • Issues with the width of the body.
  • Issues with the weight of the neck.
  • Problems with strap knob placement.

What Recent Buyers Report

Though some recent buyers have some issues with the width and the weight of the neck being too heavy, overall this travel guitar option has a lot going for it. With a high-quality build that comes at a budget price, many recent buyers are touting the abilities of this model from Hofner.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The value of sound and build you get for the price tag is absolutely exceptional. Built with high-quality electronics and superb attention to detail when it comes to the things that make a guitar a good travel option, this model is an excellent choice for any musician.

Who Will Use This Most

The beginner or musician that is working with a tight budget would get the most out of this budget option. This will be a great instrument for a musician that is a little harder on his gear as well, as it is well built and durable.

Bottom Line

This model is easily the best option for the price-conscious shopper. If you are working with a limited budget but want a high-quality, sweet-sounding guitar, then taking a good hard look at the Hofner Shorty 6 string is not a bad idea.

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light  Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar with Gig Bag

PROS

  • No need for power to play.
  • Aesthetically pleasing build.
  • Tonal clarity and quality are nice.
  • Designed to be easily transported.
  • Reduced noise levels for quieter play.

CONS

  • Issues with the sound level.
  • Tuning can be difficult at first.
  • Playability is more like an electric model (instead of acoustic).

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love a lot about this acoustic-electric option. In fact, one thing finds itself in both the yea and nay column… the sound level. Many love the fact that you can play it even in a crowded room or a house full of sleeping people, whereas others feel that it is just too silent to be effective. No matter where the recent buyers fall on this issue, most agree that this is a nice-looking guitar with a great tone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Trying to find a travel guitar that is as versatile as possible is always a good thing. That is why this model stands out to us. The ability to play acoustically or plug in to get an electric acoustic sound as well means that no matter where you are traveling to, you will be able to pluck these strings whenever you want.

Who Will Use This Most

This travel guitar will be great for the traveler that looks to get out on the street and make a little cash by busking. It is also great for a musician who lives in a house with people that have an opposite work schedule as them due to its ability to be played quietly.

Bottom Line

When all is said and done, this guitar offers the musician something others don't. This guitar is a nice-looking, great-sounding, easy to transport acoustic-electric travel guitar. With all of that built into a compact package, it hits all the right notes!

PROS

  • Crisp, clear tonality.
  • Versatility of styles from the full-scale neck.
  • Included with the guitar is a good-quality travel bag.
  • High-quality Open Humbucker is included in the build.
  • Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to transport.

CONS

  • Strap knob placement.
  • Issues with the neck's weight.
  • Problems with the body width.

What Recent Buyers Report

No product is perfect, and with this model from Hofner, there are a few issues that recent buyers bring to light through their reviews. The neck is heavy, which can cause the guitar to not to be able to stand without falling. There are of course a few little issues to add to that, but all and all this guitar has such great sound and is so easy to transport that many recent buyers love it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a great budget-friendly option that offers the musician great sound and portability. That is why we felt it deserved an honorable mention on our list. The sound and durability are unmatched by any other options in this price range, and that combined with the exceptional build makes this guitar stand out.

Who Will Use This Most

In truth, any musician that looks to hit the open road will get a good return on their investment with this model. That is especially true if they are looking to spend as little money as possible.

Bottom Line

In the end, if you are looking for a travel guitar that has solid sound and is excellent to travel with, then you may want to consider this as one of your top-ranked options. Plus, who wants to spend a bunch of money on a guitar that will be bounced around and taken through its paces?

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

When traveling, many things can affect your guitar's durability and quality. You will have varying humidity and temperatures. However, no matter where you find yourself in the world, there are a few aspects that you should consider before buying that new travel electric guitar to take on the road.

Electronics

Most times you need an amp to play your electric guitar, and there are many great, small, portable amps available, but some travel guitars come with a built-in headphone jack and all kinds of amp features and goodies. So, make sure to look at what your guitar comes with before heading out to get that amp. Then make sure you are always prepared with batteries so you can keep rocking!

Comfort

You will want to pay close attention to the comfort aspect. The travel guitars are generally more comfortable to play tend to be smaller and more lightweight, which means holding them with no strap is quite easy. Their bodies are small, though this may take a little away from the comfort. So when looking at your guitar of choice, make sure it comes with extensions that will help the guitar rest easier on your legs, almost like a traditional guitar would.

Versatility

Just because this guitar is being bought for the sole purpose of travel doesn't mean that that is the only time you want to use it. So, make sure that when you make your decision, you find one that you can use even after you get home.

Conclusion

So you see, finding the best travel electric guitar is a lot easier than you thought. If you pay attention to the features and factors we discussed above, you will be sure to find just the right one for you, your travels, and your musical needs.