If you’re a travel buff or simply need to travel as part of your job and you’re also a ukulele enthusiast, it is good to know that there are ukuleles that are the perfect size for traveling. As a general rule, all ukuleles are small in size, but you also have to consider the overall quality and the shape of the instrument as well.
Whether you travel through airports on a regular basis or use your personal vehicle most of the time, traveling with a ukulele doesn’t have to be complicated if you know which ones to choose to take along with you.
Ukuleles made for travel usually have a thinner body, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in width instead of the usual 3.5 to 4 inches for standard ukes. In addition, travel ukes usually have geared tuners, which tend to keep the instrument tuned much longer than other types and therefore make traveling with the best uke a lot easier.
The only drawback to finding the best travel ukulele is that they are often more expensive than other types of ukuleles so you should expect to pay around $150 for it or even more.
Things to take into consideration when buying a travel ukulele also include the sound and tone of the instrument, which often consists of a less overall volume and a sound that isn’t quite as deep as regular ukes; however, this is a quality that many people actually prefer. Some of the best travel ukes are listed below.
1) Eddy Finn Travel Ukulele: Best Overall Travel Ukulele
With a slim, 1.75-inch body made of sturdy spruce, the Eddy Finn concert ukulele is at the top of the list for a reason. The ukulele has mahogany sides and backs and comes in a comfortable concert size, which is what many musicians prefer anyway.
It even has a sound hole that is shaped to resemble a shark fin, so it is attractive as well as high in quality. Although the company isn’t as well known as many other ukulele companies, it is gaining in popularity because the instruments are very detailed and made to last.
Eddy Finn also offers a generous three-year warranty with every ukulele they sell so you can count on the instrument lasting for a very long time. The Eddy Finn travel ukulele also has an arched back, a beautiful satin finish, and top-notch Aquila strings.
Its natural finish enables it to be quite an attractive instrument so while you’re completing your various travels, you’ll have an instrument that you are proud to show off to those around you.
2) Hola! Music HM-21 Ukulele: Best Budget Travel Ukulele
If you’re looking for the best travel ukulele and you’re on a budget, the Hola! Music HM-21 ukulele is for you. It actually comes in many different price ranges, so you are all but guaranteed to find the one that is right for you but doesn’t let the low price fool you.
This compact ukulele is a high-quality instrument that has a body made of maple, a neck made of mahogany, and a bridge and fingerboard made of rosewood. Furthermore, because it is only 21 inches long, you’ll find it very easy to pack and take along with you while you’re on the road.
The Hola! Music HM-21 ukulele provides an additional advantage as well with its available colors. These colors include purple, pink, green, and orange, among others, or you can stick with a natural wood look if you prefer.
And at this price, you can afford to purchase two of these well-made ukuleles - one for home and one to take on the road with you.
3) Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele: Best Quality Travel Ukulele
This is part of Kala’s thin-line series, and the KA-SSTU is the thinnest of the bunch. At just over 21 inches long, this soprano ukulele is only 1.75 inches at its thickest point, so it is quite thin indeed.
It has a curved back that allows for the best sound from such a small space and Kala also makes a concert and tenor ukulele if that’s what you prefer.
This ukulele comes with a top made of solid spruce, a bridge, and fingerboard made of rosewood, and a back, sides, and neck that are made of mahogany.
It also comes with die-cast tuners and a carrying bag, making it easy to bring with you wherever you need to go.
4) Kala Waterman Ukulele: Best Plastic Travel Ukulele
A travel ukulele doesn’t have to be made of the finest wood in order to produce great sound and great portability; the Kala Waterman ukulele proves this point.
When you’re looking for the best travel ukulele and aren’t picky about what it’s made of, this uke can suit your needs perfectly.
If you’re concerned about your ukulele getting destroyed during your travels, this might be the best one for you to purchase, but it is definitely not a toy. The Kala Waterman ukulele is made out of high-quality ABS plastic and is very easy to keep clean. Its open-gear tuners are nickel-plated, and it is water-resistant as well.
Usually, around $40, the Kala Waterman ukulele is very reasonably priced, and once you hear the sound it makes, it will erase all doubts about buying a plastic uke instrument because its sound is full and deep.
Final thoughts on the best travel ukulele
Finding the best travel ukulele isn’t difficult, especially if you know what you’re looking for. When comparing various travel ukes, there are things that need to be considered if you want the best one for your needs.
Naturally, the price is a big consideration, but travel ukuleles come in price ranges that can accommodate nearly everyone so this doesn’t have to be your biggest concern. You’ll also need to consider the size of the instrument, especially if you have limited space in which to store it for your travels.
Finally, you should consider what you want the ukulele to be made of but you may ultimately also want to play the ukes you’re considering buying so that you always get the best-sounding travel ukulele in the end.