It was Shakespeare who said, “if music be the food of love, then play on.” And play on, is play on, people. Nothing should keep you from your music!
So, that’s why today’s review features one of the sweetest instruments ever – the acoustic guitar. But, we aren’t just talking about regular acoustic guitars. We want to ensure that as Shakespeare said, you “play on.” So, we’ll be reviewing the Top 10 best acoustic travel guitars.
Whether you’re new to guitars or you’re already a veteran, this article is here to help you. We have ten different awesome acoustic travel guitars lined up. And are confident, that with our help, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.
THE GUITAR IN THE PICTURE BELOW IS NOT A TRAVEL GUITAR – IT IS A REGULAR GUITAR BEING CARRIED.
Now, let’s get this show on the road, or for those who want a quick overview, take a look at the comparison table below:
- Top 10 Best Acoustic Travel Guitars For The Money 2023 Reviews
- 1 Traveler Guitar AG200EQ Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best Travel Guitar Under $500
- 2 Yamaha Steel String Silent Guitar SLG200S – Near-Silent Performance For Discrete Practice
- 3 Cordoba Mini O Travel Acoustic Guitar – Ideal Compromise Between Ukulele And Guitar
- 4 Martin LXM Little Martin LXM – Best Travel Guitar Under $700
- 5 Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic – Electric Travel Guitar – Super Lightweight Travel Guitar
- 6 Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar – Super Lightweight Backpacker Guitar
- 7 Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Travel Guitar – Lightweight Guitar With Super Sturdy Protective Case Ideal For The Traveler
- 8 Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Travel Guitar – Best Travel Guitar Under $150
- 9 Yamaha JR1 FG Junior ¾ Size Acoustic Guitar – Ideal For Beginners And Children, Value Purchase
- 10 Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany ¾ Size Travel Acoustic Guitar – Fantastic Budget Travel Guitar
Top 10 Best Acoustic Travel Guitars For The Money 2023 Reviews
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Martin LXM Little Martin LXM
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Eastern American Hard Maple
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1 Traveler Guitar AG200EQ Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best Travel Guitar Under $500
We begin this review with the wonderful Travel Guitar AG450EQ. It’s the ideal buddy for those who want something compact but cannot imagine playing on a guitar that’s shorter than a full scale.
The sound and resonance that come from this guitar are more than acceptable, especially for a guitar of this size. It uses a modified traditional bracing pattern, which offers increased volume and more presence.
The tones it produces are superb, and even though it understandably falls short when compared to a full-bodied guitar, it is still a star in its own right.
There’s a headphone out in the guitar which means you can plug your earbuds or whatever in and get a fully immersive experience, just you, your guitar, and our music. And sometimes, that’s all we want, right?
And that’s not all; there’s also a 1/8 inch aux-in. With this feature, you can also plug your smartphone or MP3 player into the guitar and jam along with all your favorite songs.
As for convenience, this guitar scores high. First, there’s a quality deluxe gig bag included.
Plus, the guitar also fits into overhead compartments for flight travel! Talk about convenience, right! Now, you don’t have any excuse to not travel with your best buddy.
Okay, let’s quickly tidy up some other little details. The neck is excellent, the frets are smooth, the built-in tuner works well, and it’s pretty loud.
And, we just can’t get over how compact this thing, especially since it has a standard full-scale neck on it.
- Compact guitar with a full scale neck.
- Will fit into overhead compartments for traveling on airplanes.
- Quality gig bag included.
- The built-in tuner is easy to use.
- The action is a bit high but can easily be adjusted.
2 Yamaha Steel String Silent Guitar SLG200S – Near-Silent Performance For Discrete Practice
The first thing that struck us about the Yamaha SLG is its strikingly beautiful body. The body, or lack of it, depending on your opinion, looks really sleek. The places where you would normally find the body of a guitar are missing, making this guitar a very eye-catching piece that would look fantastic in any gear collection.
It comes in a translucent black finish, and the SLG is a perfect instrument to practice on, travel with or even use on stage. Whenever an acoustic guitar can’t do the job, there is a good chance the Yamaha Silent Guitar can.
But with this kind of body, or no-body, how’s the tone?
Well, the answer is brilliant. It’s amazing that a guitar that lacks so much can still sound so good. Yamaha’s SRT-Powered pickup system produces an incredibly natural acoustic tone, either through headphones or via the line-out.
Okay, let’s get to the volume…
Yes, it is called a silent guitar, but we’re not very sure we’d call this silent. Yes, it is way quieter than the average acoustic guitar. But, if for instance, you’re using the definition of a silent violin, you might be disappointed.
The guitar is actually moderately loud. For comparison, it’s about the same volume as an electric guitar that is not plugged into an amplifier. It’s superb for discreet practicing or playing on trains, plains or in automobiles. And if you want more volume, just plug in your headphones, and you have it.
And while on the subject of headphones, if your using them, or pluging the SLG into an amplifier or PA system, you can take advantage of the studio-quality on-board effects which will enhance your playing to perfection.
- Silent acoustic guitar for discrete practice.
- Long lasting batteries included.
- Attractive look.
- Quality strings hold their tune.
- Some may not like the styling and look.
- The gig bag isn’t padded enough.
3 Cordoba Mini O Travel Acoustic Guitar – Ideal Compromise Between Ukulele And Guitar
For those very familiar with ukes, you might be first tempted to call this a uke before finding out exactly what it is. It is just so cute and portable. The tone of this guitar is also quite warm, which is also similar to what you get from a ukulele.
But seriously, if you love ukes and guitars and you’re looking for a great compromise for the two, look no further than this guitar. You could call it your “ukulitar” or “guilele” or something. Lol. Anyway, back to business…
This guitar makes an ideal travel buddy, especially with its size. From road trips to airplane journeys to singing songs around a campfire, here’s one guitar that won’t let you down.
For those asking, due to the small size, you’re very unlikely to get hassled by flight attendants about your guitar when you go for the Cordoba Mini O.
Because of the size of this guitar, it is not only great as a travel guitar; it’s also excellent for beginners, children, or anyone with really small hands.
But the size of this guitar is not the only reason this is excellent for a beginner. It’s a very down-to-earth instrument without much sophistication. So, a beginner won’t be overwhelmed with many distracting bells and whistles.
There’s a gig bag included as expected. And, impressively, the gig bag is also of a high quality, just like the rest of this guitar.
- Looks and sounds a little like a ukulele.
- Fits into overhead compartments for flight travel.
- Excellent for people with smaller hands.
- Down-to-earth guitar, great for beginners.
- High quality gig bag included.
- Some buyers have experienced problems with the fretboard.
4 Martin LXM Little Martin LXM – Best Travel Guitar Under $700
Martin certainly named this wonderful instrument correctly. It’s a really cute little guitar that proves the old adage that great things really do come in small packages.
If you’re one of those that have been discouraged from learning the guitar because everything seems far too much of a stretch, then the Little Martin is here for you. Its body is small enough for anyone to hold it comfortably while learning the ropes.
Aside from that, this guitar is also very durable; it’s so obvious that it’s well constructed from the choicest materials because the feel is great as well. No matter how clumsy you are with this guitar, it will remain loyal by your side.
The sound of this guitar is beautiful considering its small size. It obviously won’t give you the sound of a higher end, full-bodied acoustic but fair play, that wouldn’t be expected.
Moving on, this guitar is a bit quieter than a regular sized guitar, but hey, for such a little instrument, you’d still call the sound huge.
Miraculously though, the sound isn’t obstructive. By that, we mean that if you have to record yourself playing as you sing, the guitar will not get in the way of your voice. Bliss, right?
Now, let’s get back to the sound for a bit. The sound is both beautiful and dynamic with clear high end, well balanced mid frequencies and enough bass end considering it’s small size.
- Small, comfortable body.
- Solid build quality.
- Beautiful, dynamic sound.
- Big sound for the size.
- Very responsive guitar.
- None, it’s a Martin!
5 Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic – Electric Travel Guitar – Super Lightweight Travel Guitar
The first thing you’d probably say when you see this guitar is “oh my gosh!”. It is shockingly small and lightweight. It’s barely 3 pounds!
You’d hardly believe that such a guitar could sound anything even remotely close to a real guitar, but you’re in for a big surprise.
This is a real instrument and does not sound anything like a toy!
Of course, we don’t need to mention that traveling with this guy would be pure joy. You can easily stow it away in the overhead compartment. Plus, the gig bag is well padded. So even if someone doesn’t recognize your super small, strangely shaped guitar, it will always be safe.
The sound is very good considering the shape and the price, but it understandably won’t sound like higher end models. But, there’s the catch – it’s not very loud, because there is no physical body to achieve that resonance. It’s actually quite quiet which could be a pro or a con depending on the situation.
If you prefer a more discrete practice, then Yay! But if you’re looking for something that you could play out loud in a small gathering, then, Nah.
It does feature a built-in pickup, so if you really need it to be loud, then just plug it into a guitar amplifier, or preferably a PA system, and you’ll get a pretty decent sound.
As for the build quality, it’s good and sturdy. The guitar feels great to the touch and will last a long time especially with its well padded gig bag.
- Quality build.
- Decent tone.
- Super lightweight and comfortable for travel.
- Fits overhead compartments for flight travel.
- Great for discrete practice.
- Comes with built-in pickup.
- Not very loud.
- The action is a little high but can be easily adjusted.
6 Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar – Super Lightweight Backpacker Guitar
Here’s another quality lightweight travel guitar from industry legends Martin. At slightly over 2 pounds, this guitar is even lighter and smaller than the Little Martin. So, it’s very easy to lug around.
It features a solid Spruce Top and solid tonewood back and sides. And its 24-inch scale length neck features a unique contour and 15 frets.
The strings are extra light. We love this because it makes the guitar super easy to play, even for beginners.
Now, because of size, you should not expect this guitar to give you the volume of a full-sized guitar. It’s simple physics. But then again, this guitar is loud enough in its own right as a small, travel guitar.
Now, to the tone, it is warm, bright, and the guitar sounds great. In fact, many famous guitarists have used this instrument on stage and in the studio because of its unique tone. The legendary Neil Young is one of many.
It’s the ultimate travel guitar to be honest, it doesn’t sound like a full-bodied acoustic, how could it? But the sound it produces has a charm all of it’s own which has risen it to be a highly desired instrument amoungst serious guitar players. Join them and be a very happy camper with this stunning little instrument.
- Super lightweight.
- Extra light strings are easy to play.
- Relatively loud for its small size.
- Warm, mellow tones.
- The action is low and comfortable.
- A well-padded quality case is included.
- Because of its unique shape, holding it comfortably without the strap might be difficult.
7 Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Travel Guitar – Lightweight Guitar With Super Sturdy Protective Case Ideal For The Traveler
When picking a travel guitar, you want to go for something that is lightweight and yet sturdy enough for the road. But another thing you need to watch out for is the case. Many people might not give it a second thought, but it’s an important part of any travel guitar.
The cordura case included with this guitar has a hard foam lined, molded interior and features internal and external storage pockets and can be worn as a backpack, which is superb for traveling. It also looks like it can take quite a beating.
So, moving on to the guitar itself…
It features a full 24″ scale neck so you’ll feel as if your playing a regular sized acoustic. The body is made of mahogany, and it has a very nice solid spruce top which produces the warm, defined sound you would expect from the wood. The body, as well as, the fingerboard is bound ensuring great looks and durability.
The neck is also made of mahogany and has a rosewood fretboard with nice inlays and quality geared machine heads.
This is a handy little travel guitar that you can conveniently strum on a couch, on a train, in the back of a bus or wherever. It has a beautiful tone with a good volume for its size and is simply a wonderful guitar with a very nice, warm sound.
It also comes with an instructional CD Rom to get you going on your journey to guitar mastery. As well as 3 picks which are always handy.
- Well-padded, very sturdy case included.
- Decent sound and a warm tone.
- Narrow neck great for playing barre chords.
- Some buyers have complained that the case is a little smelly at first, but the odor soon disappears.
- Harder to balance on your knee than a regular acoustic guitar.
8 Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Travel Guitar – Best Travel Guitar Under $150
Alright, even though this is from the legendary guitar makers Gretch, you do need to lower your expectations a little. This is so reasonably priced that you need to expect a few things not to be quite as good as you would expect from this guitar giant. But, then again, you also need to understand what parlor guitars are all about.
Parlor guitars are quite different from acoustic guitars, and some might say that they don’t sound as good, but it’s a matter of perspective. In our opinion neither sounds better or worse than the other, parlor guitars simply have a different sound.
Parlor guitars are usually boxy sounding, and they are great if you need to play blues, slide or ragtime. For most people, the bass might be too much, and the highs might sound “flatish.” But this sound is exactly what you need if you want to play some authentic delta blues.
It’s not the best strumming guitar in this review, but if you enjoy some quality fingerpicking, you’ll be a happy camper with this little Gretch.
But then again, it does come with a pretty big sound. The action is also nice and low, which makes playing the guitar really easy. Plus, the neck is the same as on a full sized acoustic.
Altogether, for the price, we’d say this is a great buy, as long as you love the sound of a parlor guitar.
- Small, comfortable body.
- Boxy sound for playing acoustic blues.
- Great for finger picking.
- Superb action.
- Full size scale.
- Cheap finish.
9 Yamaha JR1 FG Junior ¾ Size Acoustic Guitar – Ideal For Beginners And Children, Value Purchase
Although not designed to be a travel guitar, this still works. It comes as a ¾ guitar size which is the size of most travel guitars. So, yes, it can still function perfectly well as a travel guitar, especially for those on a budget.
Also, it’s an excellent size if you’re looking to gift a child you love with a guitar.
Now, another thing we love about the Yamaha JR1 FG, is that it’s a great value purchase. For a very affordable price, you get so much. So, what’s in the bundle?
- A clip-on tuner.
- A capo.
- Guitar strap.
- A peg winder.
- Legacy picks.
- An extra set of Yamaha folk guitar strings.
- An instructional DVD.
- A gig bag.
So, you see? It’s excellent for a beginner. There’s almost everything a beginner needs to begin playing right out of the box included in this package. You will have to learn how to use some of the accessories if you’re not used to them, but they are all simple enough, so no real worries there.
Now, besides all that, this is a sturdy guitar which sounds good and is relatively easy to play for the low price.
The gig bag, however, isn’t that good and is not solidly made. But, it’s better than nothing, so will do until you need something better.
But generally, the charm of this guitar is the value for the money you get. We love it for children of all ages as well as smaller adults or those who want a fun travel guitar and don’t worry that much if it gets the odd knock here and there.
- Value purchase which includes almost all the accessories you could possibly need.
- ¾ size is great for beginners and children.
- Sturdy, durable guitar.
- Comes with an extra set of strings.
- Also comes with different sized picks.
- Flimsy gig bag.
10 Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany ¾ Size Travel Acoustic Guitar – Fantastic Budget Travel Guitar
So, for those on a super tight budget but are still looking for a great travel companion, here’s our best recommendation. The Luna Safari. It is beautiful and offers some great benefits for the low price.
First of all, the build is quite impressive. Yeah, there may be one or two blemishes here and there, but then again, for something this affordable, that’s slightly understandable.
The guitar comes sufficiently set up out of the box, which is always a nice bonus. But, as with any guitar, we do recommend you get it professionally set-up if you want it to play and sound the best it can. Check out your local music store or a local luthier for more details.
Although it comes with a full fingerboard, it’s a smaller scale. So it may get a little tight up the neck if you have chubby fingers.
We love the sound of this guitar; it is very impressive for a guitar this affordable. It’s obviously nowhere near high end, but it sounds good and is more than loud enough.
The gig bag, on the other hand, is as bad as on the Yamaha we’ve just reviewed, it’s flimsy at best. But gig bag aside, this is one fine guitar for those on a budget.
- Very affordable.
- Good setup direct from the factory.
- A decent sound with enough volume.
- The gig bag is quite flimsy.
Read more review: Ibanez GSR200 Review
So, which is our favorite travel guitar? Easily, it’s the…
Traveler Guitar AG200EQ Acoustic-Electric Guitar.
We love how Traveler Guitar has been able to make a compact travel guitar and still retain the majority of the most important features of a regular acoustic guitar. Like the full scale length, for example.
This is an almost flawless travel guitar, and though it’s a bit pricey, it’s worth it. Plus, it easily fits into the overhead compartments of airplanes, so, it’s a definite winner for us.