Traveling with your Handpan (part 2)

Handpan player Malte Marten of Yatao by the see

Dear handpan friends,

flying. What a wonderful thing to do. You can overcome huge distances in hours that bring you to a completely different part of the world in no time. Of course flying is known to be quite bad for the environment and we should all try to minimise this kind of activity. But sometimes we cannot or simply don’t want to miss out on one or another experience.

And as soon as you want to bring your Handpan on the plane (and you surely will be thinking about this), you might get wet hands and ask yourself ‚How in the world can I get my Handpan with me without getting harmed‘. I mean, even other suitcases get destroyed because in the hurry of the airport schedule they are being tossed about and not touched with silk gloves. There are two options to go about this problem.

First, you can get get the best Handpan bag out in the market and check your Handpan in as general luggage. Our personal trust lies most with the Namana bags with extra shells, available at our shop. Turtle care delivers a bag of very good quality as well and we have flown with those before. Nothing happened (yay!). As of our experience in the Handpan scene Panji bags make very good bags as well (made in the USA) and you can trust the bag to fulfill what it promises. But we have to leave a note that you can never be completely sure that you will take out your Handpan at your destination, perfectly in tune and in mint condition. It is naturally not the ideal place to be and way to travel for a Handpan.

The second option - take your Handpan into the cabin. If it is a rather cheap airline or you can afford it - buy an extra seat just for your delicate companion and buckle it up next to you. If you cannot afford this (which will be the case in most occasions) - you can smuggle it in and put it into the overhead compartment. In bigger aircrafts (seating 6 people in one row) the compartments will big enough to juuuust fit your Handpan including a bag that is not too big either. A softbag will definitely work or the smaller version of our Namana bag.

Of course, some airlines will be very picky with what you take inside of the cabin because if there is too much luggage inside, it doesn’t fit and would pose a danger to the passengers. So when you walk in - move confidently and hide your doubts and hesitation. Don’t bring in more items that you want to take and - very importantly - come early to make sure the compartments are not already filled by the other passengers. Cheaper airlines will be even more picky and attentive and they are likely to stop you from entering the aircraft with your Handpan. When it comes to the point that you are already inside the plane and you are asked by the steward*ess to put your ‚hand luggage‘ in the trunk of the plane, make sure friendly and very firmly that you are carrying a one of a kind instrument that you cannot put there. Make up a number of a price you paid to reinforce your argument. Some will remain persistent and in this situation it is good to have a bag that is small but also likely to protect your Handpan when checked in. We can recommend the turtle care Handpan for example. It is very small but still gives good protection.

You see, traveling with your delicate little friend can be a bit stressful sometime because you worry about its wellbeing and you don’t want to give it out of your hands. But on the other hand there are so many occasions in which you will LOVE to have your Handpan at your side, on your lap, beneath your fingertips.

If you want, share your favourite story of traveling with your Handpan. Playing in beautiful, inspiring nature, for people who are as mezmerized by the instrument’s magical sounds as you are, in ceremonies, at weddings, at holy places or wherever it resonated most with you. Share your story and drop us a message or share your story on social media with the hashtag #handpanmagic