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Travel Guitars Under $200: Best Affordable Choices

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Backpacker Travel Guitars Under $200

Intro.

Travelling with a guitar can be a real treat for musicians, but lugging around a full-sized instrument isn’t always practical. Thankfully, there are plenty of budget-friendly travel guitars available that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for travel guitars under $200, you’re in luck. This guide will explore the best quality options available, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck while enjoying your musical journey. 
And having a special guitar for the voyages is just a smart idea:

  • You don’t risk your main valuable instrument in possibly harsh conditions while travelling;
    If it will be stolen it would be easily replaceable;
    you don’t stop practising and playing while on a trip.

Why Choose a Travel Guitar?

Travel guitars are designed to be compact, lightweight, and durable, making them perfect for road trips, vacations, and outdoor adventures. They offer the same musical satisfaction as regular guitars but in a more portable package. Here are some reasons why you might consider investing in a travel guitar:

  • Portability: Smaller size and weight make travel guitars easier to carry.
  • Durability: Built to withstand the rigors of travel.
  • Convenience: Ideal for practice on the go.
  • Affordability: Great options available for under $200.

Top Travel Guitars Under $200

1. Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar

Price: Around $159

The Yamaha JR1 FG Junior is a popular choice among budget-conscious travelers. This 3/4 size guitar is modeled after Yamaha’s famous FG series, offering a comfortable playing experience with a robust sound. It features a spruce top, meranti back and sides, and a nato neck, delivering a warm, balanced tone.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality for the price.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Good sound projection for a small guitar.

Cons:

  • Basic features with no electronics.
  • Smaller size might not suit everyone.

2. Fender FA-15 3/4 Scale Acoustic Guitar

Price: Around $139

Fender’s FA-15 is another great travel guitar that comes in a 3/4 size, perfect for younger players and adults looking for a compact option. It features a laminated agathis top with sapele back and sides, providing a bright and punchy sound. The guitar also includes a gig bag, making it a complete package for travel.

Pros:

  • Affordable and reliable.
  • Comes with a gig bag.
  • Easy to play for beginners and pros alike.

Cons:

  • Laminate construction may not appeal to purists.
  • Limited tonal range compared to full-sized guitars.

3. Washburn RO10 Rover Travel Acoustic Guitar

Price: Around $199

The Washburn RO10 Rover is a dedicated travel guitar, designed specifically for portability. It has a full 24-inch scale length but a much smaller body, making it easy to carry. This guitar features a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, offering a rich and resonant sound despite its size.

Pros:

  • Full-scale length for familiar playing feel.
  • Solid top enhances sound quality.
  • Includes a high-quality gig bag.

Cons:

  • Unconventional body shape may take getting used to.
  • Slightly higher price point within the budget range.

4. Ibanez EWP14OPN Piccolo Acoustic Guitar

Price: Around $199

The Ibanez EWP14OPN Piccolo is a unique and compact travel guitar that blends the qualities of a ukulele with those of a guitar. This piccolo guitar features a 17-inch scale length and a body made of ovangkol, which produces a bright and articulate sound. Its small size makes it incredibly portable, and it’s an excellent option for guitarists who want something different.

Pros:

  • Unique piccolo size for ultra-portability.
  • Bright and articulate sound.
  • High-quality construction and materials.

Cons:

  • Smaller scale length may require adjustment for guitarists.
  • Limited volume compared to larger travel guitars.

5. Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top

Price: Around $189

The Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top is a modern reissue of the classic “parlor” guitar style. It’s a compact and affordable guitar that delivers a vintage sound and feel. The G9500 features an agathis top, back, and sides, with a nato neck and walnut fingerboard. This guitar is perfect for blues, folk, and fingerstyle players looking for a travel-friendly option.

Pros:

  • Vintage look and feel.
  • Compact size, easy to travel with.
  • Warm and balanced tone.

Cons:

  • Limited volume compared to full-sized guitars.
  • Basic features, no electronics.

Tips for Choosing the Right Travel Guitar

When selecting a travel guitar, consider the following factors to ensure you get the best instrument for your needs:

  1. Size and Weight: Ensure the guitar is compact and light enough for your travel requirements.
  2. Sound Quality: Look for a guitar that offers good tonal quality despite its smaller size.
  3. Durability: Choose a guitar with sturdy construction to withstand travel rigours.
  4. Playability: Ensure the guitar is comfortable to play, with a neck profile that suits your hands.
  5. Extras: Consider additional features like a gig bag, built-in tuner, or pickup system for amplified play.

Maintaining Your Travel Guitar

To keep your travel guitar in top shape, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down the guitar after each use to remove sweat and dirt.
  • Proper Storage: Store the guitar in a padded gig bag or hard case to protect it from damage.
  • Humidity Control: Use a humidifier to prevent wood from drying out in arid environments.
  • String Care: Change strings regularly to maintain sound quality and playability.
  • Checkups: Periodically inspect the guitar for any signs of wear or damage and get professional repairs if needed.

Conclusion

Traveling with a guitar doesn’t have to be a hassle or an expensive endeavor. With options like the Yamaha JR1 FG Junior, Fender FA-15, Washburn RO10 Rover, Ibanez EWP14OPN Piccolo, and Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top, you can find a quality travel guitar under $200 that suits your needs. These guitars offer a balance of affordability, portability, and sound quality, making them perfect companions for your musical adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, there’s a budget-friendly travel guitar out there for you. Happy traveling and playing!

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