Should you take your fiddle with you on vacation? Here are several factors to consider:
1. Where are you in your musical process? Are you in need of a break? Are you having breakthroughs?
Sometimes a break from your instrument can be healthy. However, if you’re having breakthroughs in your playing, take your fiddle and maintain a consistent practice (even if it’s short). It will keep the door open to eureka moments and you won’t regret it.
2. How often do you go on vacation or travel?
If you only travel once or twice a year, you may consider leaving your fiddle behind on these rare occasions. If you’re a frequent traveler, though, bringing your fiddle can help establish a nice musical routine. Plus, you’ll continue to progress consistently. And your fiddle teacher will be proud of you!
3. Do you have an overhead carry-on?
Remember, your fiddle will need to go overhead (airlines are required to let you carry your instrument on the plane, as long as the bin space is available). If you can, be sure to get an early boarding group so that you are guaranteed bin space. When you place your fiddle in the bin, place it towards the front at a slight diagonal, so that it can be seen easily; You don’t want someone shoving their roller suitcase into it! I travel with a backpack, which I put under my seat, and my fiddle, which I put overhead. If it’s a longer trip, I check a suitcase as well.
4. Is your case easy to walk with?
I recommend getting a lightweight case with backpack straps. It makes it much more comfortable to carry your instrument for long periods of time.
5. Are you concerned you won’t have a place to practice?
I always travel with my mute so that I will have flexibility. A smartphone and a pair of headphones are other great tools for fiddle practice. You can have your tuner, metronome, learning videos and back-up tracks with you wherever you are.
5. Should you take your good instrument with you or a cheap one?
I always take my good instrument. Never leave it in the car when you’re not in it. This will avoid any weather related damage and potential theft. Depending on where I am staying, sometimes I’ll hide it in my room when I leave. Just take care of it and be aware of your surroundings.
With all of these tips, I hope you’ll take your fiddle with you on your next trip. Bon voyage!