As an experienced musician who has toured the country many times over, I've learned to appreciate the value of a good road case. When so many things can go wrong in transit, why leave anything to chance? After spending a considerable sum of money on your instrument, it only makes sense to protect your investment. Which brings me to my first point: Always get protection for your instrument immediately after you buy it. If necessary, wait until you've saved enough to acquire both. Prior to buying your instrument, do some homework and be prepared to choose your case as soon as possible.