View Full Version : Uke in checked baggage?

05-29-2012, 09:09 PM
Hi am travelling from Oz to Europe next month with small kids and hoping to take my Kala travel uke. For ease of travel with kids n'all I'm planning to put it in my checked case. In its own little padded case and in the middle of all the clothes. I wanted to see if any had bad experience of doing just that and whether cold hold or rough handling might have screwed with your instruments? thx Steve

05-30-2012, 01:32 AM
I would strongly suggest that if you must check it, you put it in the most hard-core hard case money can buy. Baggage handlers do not treat anything gently, and you don't know what will end up on top of your luggage and crush it. If at all possible, I would carry it on and put it under the seat at your feet where you can keep an eye on it and nothing can crush it.

05-30-2012, 03:02 AM
if you have it checked in the hold be sure to let the tension off the strings, it is very cold in the hold. Carry on if at all possible. As previously stated baggage handlers do not treat anything gently.

05-30-2012, 04:14 AM
I wouldn't put it in checked luggage for love nor money!

05-30-2012, 05:01 AM
I was brave and stupid once when I traveled from the US to Thailand. I put my uke (Makai concert) in a shipping box I got from the seller - no case whatsoever. But I put my clothes all around the box: top, bottom, and sides. The uke box was in the middle of my checked luggage. Surprisingly, the uke made it to Thailand safely.

My friend also put his small guitar the same way I did when he came from Thailand to the US. His guitar was safe too.

I'm not sure if we were lucky, or it worked out that way surprisingly well.

05-30-2012, 05:33 AM
I would not check it unless you have no choice, mailing it is probably a better option. I once had customs intentionally break the headstock off a checked-in instrument, who knows why. I presume they thought it might have a hollow neck to hide drugs in, but don't they have X-rays and drug dogs for that stuff? Seemed very malicious to me.

05-30-2012, 06:27 AM
I wouldn't put it in checked luggage for love nor money!

+1 dont do it!

05-30-2012, 06:31 AM
I would not!

05-30-2012, 07:37 AM
If you have to check it you might want to try what we did. I loosened the strings and wrapped it well with the smaller bubble wrap, more than once and secured it at the neck with a rubber band. I put it in the center of the case. Then I packed clothes all around-- top bottom & sides. I worried the whole time till I opened the case and it was fine. Of course I'm not talking about a real expensive uke. With the bubble wrap you could tell what it was. We packed 2 this way in separate cases and they went from the US (mainland) to Australia. The suitcases weren't the hard ones, just the regular ones that get smashed in more every time they fly. Good luck in which ever way they fly.