Moving with violin
I'm moving country and my family is hiring a shipping container.
I have two violins, and the main one I play on I am taking with me on the plane.
How should I take my second violin so that it is safe?
SHAR and the other big outfits ship violins all the time. Not just student violins. I have two shipping boxes from them -- one that fits my violin (in its case, with styrofoam packing all around the outside) and one that fits my viola (case). What you want to do is get a box like that. Your closest dealer might have one. Then you just send your violin to your new destination using UPS or FedEx or DHL. Make sure your instrument has an updated appraisal, a decent set of photographs, and adequate insurance coverage. When I got gear pegs put in my violin, I shipped it to Potter and they shipped it back. They give instructions on their website for how to prepare your instrument to be shipped.
It is most secure if you bring it on the plane with you. Maybe use a case that holds two violins.
When I moved 3000+ miles, I had my luthier pack and ship all of my instruments. As part of the service, they also provided insurance for all of them during transit.
Double case might provide at least the greatest illusion of control. Worth having one even when you aren't moving.
If you're going with your family, just ask one of your family members to carry it on the plane. Easy.
There is a page you can print out with regulations saying violins are OK. That plus early boarding should cover it. If not, say “no” and see if they will buckle. Or send you on a later flight. It isn’t grounded in statistics, but I would be reluctant to send an irreplaceable instrument through FedEx or the equivalent. Valuable, yes. But if my grandfather’s good instrument ever disappeared, insurance would never cover that loss.
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