If you’re eager to view the night sky, being apart from your telescope can be a tough experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re off on an eclipse cruise, on vacation under a dark sky, or just away for a night or two on a business trip, taking a telescope along can be a great way to enhance your time away from home. What’s more, manufacturers have begun to introduce models specifically designed for travel, and today there are plenty of options available to the astronomer on the go.
The most obvious consideration for a travelscope is that it be small enough to bring along conveniently and not interfere with your other luggage. For most purposes, this pretty much limits its maximum aperture (the diameter of the lens or mirror that gathers light) to 3 or 4 inches. While this may not seem large, that telescopes (and the mounts that support them) get bulky very fast as the aperture increases.
If your present telescope fits this description, you’re all set. If it doesn’t, consider buying a second, smaller telescope specifically for the road. Luckily, there are plenty of models that travel well. What kind of should you buy? There's no perfect design, so you should assess your priorities and buy accordingly. I’ll touch on some key points here, but Choosing Your First Telescope is a good general guide to buying any scope.