by Nick Salerno
I recently took a five-week trip to Europe with my family. I've been a guitarist for over 20 years, and I knew I couldn't go that long without a guitar. Luckily, I work for Traveler Guitar [blatant plug], and they were willing to loan me a guitar—provided I took lots of photos and wrote the post you're reading now.
Though I had the entire Traveler Guitar catalog at my disposal, I opted for the EG-1 Standard (Black) for a few reasons. The first was my need to be quiet. During the trip, I knew I was going to want to practice without disturbing my still-sleeping family. The EG-1's built-in headphone amplifier allowed me play at full volume without anyone else hearing.
Portability was my second priority. Originally, I had wanted to take a Traveler Acoustic AG-105 (which I have traveled with before, and it's awesome), but I knew I would be traveling on small planes within Europe—and while the flights are inexpensive, the airlines charge a ton for extra carry-on items. I sidestepped that problem. At just 28 ½ inches long, the EG-1 is already small; but because I am a qualified guitar tech (don't try this at home, kids) I was able to detach the EG-1's bolt-on neck and fit the whole guitar inside my carry-on luggage. Situation under control; no nickel-and-diming from the low-cost carriers over there. (Seriously, the flight is $30, but an extra carry-on will cost you $70!)
The guitar went everywhere with me: on a gondola ride in Venice, in a sky bucket in Madrid, hiking in the mountains of Italy. I took the EG-1 walking in the streets of Rome, over bridges and into cafes in Florence, even to Platform 9 ¾ at London's King's Cross station. I played on rooftops in Paris, at Jim Morrison's grave, on train rides, and more.
All the while, I got in a ton of practice. At home, I can usually only fit in an hour a day in when I'm lucky, but in Europe, even with all the walking, eating and drinking we did, I managed to play two to three hours each day. I'm finally getting those Gypsy Jazz arpeggios under my fingers!
The guitar played great and I didn't have any problems. It stayed in tune, and I never even broke a string. The headphone amp worked great for powering my earbuds, and I even had an audio interface for my phone so I could record some riffs.
So yeah, I would say the EG-1 was invaluable on my trip. The guitar turned all that "down time" into "practice time". I knew Traveler Guitars were made to travel, but I put that EG-1 to the test: Eight cities, four countries, four plane flights, three train rides, and a Chunnel trip, all over the course of five weeks. Not only did the guitar pass the test, it kept me sane and happy.