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Thread: Should I get a travel uke or not?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default Should I get a travel uke or not?

    Iím planning a holiday trip to Tokyo, Japan in December and the temperature is around 50F (10 deg Celsius) during that period.

    Plan to visit the Kiwaya museum and some uke shops as I heard that Japan is the second home to ukulele other than Hawaii. So, Yeah!

    So of course I need to have my ukulele with me for daily practices. And hereís the problem, all my ukes are full solid wood. Granted that the uke is only played indoors in the hotel. The only outdoor exposure to between airport to the hotel and itís in a gigbag.

    So is there really a need to get a travel uke such as the flight travel uke, a solid top uke with everything else ABS plastic? I would most likely not use it after the trip and is such a waste of money. Iím thinking of bringing my Eddy Finn (solid Mahogany) soprano uke for the trip. Would it be dumb to do so?
    Kamaka HF-1 || Martin S-1 Uke || Eddy Finn EFTS-20-S || Martin C1K Uke || Enya EUT-M6E
    Check out my ukulele themed paintings in UU forum thread

  2. #2
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    My understanding is that prices for non-Japanese-made ukuleles are quite high there due to import costs. You could buy an inexpensive Flight or Enya and if you find a ukulele to buy whilst in Japan you could sell or donate the travel uke to make space for the one you buy. Or maybe the dealer will take it for a reduction in the purchase price.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    óLou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
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    Southern California, USA
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    Blackbird Clara! I’m loving mine!

  4. #4
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    Dec 2018
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    Well, if to buy a new uke while in japan, it would be an obligation to get the kiwaya! Haha, wifey will not allow this to happen.. that would be a dream for me.

    I really wish to justify the need of the travel uke but I’m not playing outdoors at all. I’m a complete noob of handling solid ukes in extreme cold weather.
    Kamaka HF-1 || Martin S-1 Uke || Eddy Finn EFTS-20-S || Martin C1K Uke || Enya EUT-M6E
    Check out my ukulele themed paintings in UU forum thread

  5. #5
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    Dec 2018
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    I canít afford a black bird either.
    Kamaka HF-1 || Martin S-1 Uke || Eddy Finn EFTS-20-S || Martin C1K Uke || Enya EUT-M6E
    Check out my ukulele themed paintings in UU forum thread

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    San Francsico Bay Area
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    52

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    To buy a travel ukulele or not to?
    The answer, to me, lies in another question:
    Given the hustle and bustle or travel,
    Can you afford to experience damage to any of your current ukuleles?
    And if so which one?
    If you can’t, purchase one you can afford to have damage occur — a ‘beach’ ukulele.
    I travel with an inexpensive, which, if it gets crushed in the overhead bin, my tears would be significantly less than the loss of any of my other ukuleles.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    542

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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinHing View Post
    Iím planning a holiday trip to Tokyo, Japan in December and the temperature is around 50F (10 deg Celsius) during that period.

    Plan to visit the Kiwaya museum and some uke shops as I heard that Japan is the second home to ukulele other than Hawaii. So, Yeah!

    So of course I need to have my ukulele with me for daily practices. And hereís the problem, all my ukes are full solid wood. Granted that the uke is only played indoors in the hotel. The only outdoor exposure to between airport to the hotel and itís in a gigbag.

    So is there really a need to get a travel uke such as the flight travel uke, a solid top uke with everything else ABS plastic? I would most likely not use it after the trip and is such a waste of money. Iím thinking of bringing my Eddy Finn (solid Mahogany) soprano uke for the trip. Would it be dumb to do so?
    Absolutely no need to get a travel uke for playing indoors, especially for playing in a hotel room. Better to have that money for something else.
    Last edited by AQUATOPAZ; 08-08-2019 at 08:23 PM.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2017
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    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Ukulele View Post
    To buy a travel ukulele or not to?
    The answer, to me, lies in another question:
    Given the hustle and bustle or travel,
    Can you afford to experience damage to any of your current ukuleles?
    And if so which one?
    If you can’t, purchase one you can afford to have damage occur — a ‘beach’ ukulele.
    I travel with an inexpensive, which, if it gets crushed in the overhead bin, my tears would be significantly less than the loss of any of my other ukuleles.
    Agreed here. If you are definitely not going to get a Kiwaya, then for travelling, get a laminate, low cost, but one that you can enjoy without anxiety for the trip. This may not be your last trip so you can use it again. All you need is a fretboard to practice really, you are not performing. And depending upon how long you will be gone, your fingers may get the itch to play. Be careful of the plane trip though, you may have to stow in overhead bin. I have travelled with a uke on the plane before, and when people know what it is, you may get requests to play!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    No need for a dedicated travel uke for what you are doing. I travelled many times with a Pono pro classic tenor, all solid cedar and macassar ebony. Flights internationally as well as week long car camping trips and weekends away with no troubles. Make sure it has a good hard case
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    U.K.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinHing View Post
    I’m planning a holiday trip to Tokyo, Japan in December and the temperature is around 50F (10 deg Celsius) during that period.

    Plan to visit the Kiwaya museum and some uke shops as I heard that Japan is the second home to ukulele other than Hawaii. So, Yeah!

    So of course I need to have my ukulele with me for daily practices. And here’s the problem, all my ukes are full solid wood. Granted that the uke is only played indoors in the hotel. The only outdoor exposure to between airport to the hotel and it’s in a gigbag.

    So is there really a need to get a travel uke such as the flight travel uke, a solid top uke with everything else ABS plastic? I would most likely not use it after the trip and is such a waste of money. I’m thinking of bringing my Eddy Finn (solid Mahogany) soprano uke for the trip. Would it be dumb to do so?
    I have some good laminate Ukes and some cheap laminate Ukes. The cheap ones are robust enough to travel with so I don’t worry about damage to them, however that robustness also robs them of some sound quality (they’re tolerable, good even for what they are, but not a patch on my better but more fragile laminates). Travel with any Uke is a bit of a gamble, but by your actions and choices you can change the odds and you can decide how much you’re prepared to loose. Change the odds by the type of Uke you take and the care it is subject to, only you know whether you can comfortably (should the worst happen) write-off the replacement costs (should your choose to replace).

    I can’t find the EF solid mahogany Soprano on their website but EF’s usual aren’t that expensive and are replaceable with something similar. Rather than go to the expense of buying another Uke I’d keep that money and gamble on the EF being OK. The EF will likely sound satisfyingly better than a cheap travel Uke, the risks are probably overstated and with a bit of care you’ll come out the right side of the ‘gamble’ - save yourself the upfront expense of a new Uke.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-08-2019 at 10:48 PM.

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