The drones have found its way into a popular choice for traveling around the world. Whether you are going on a mini vacation to perhaps the Bahamas or someplace really nice and exotic like Malta. You might be wondering if you can actually travel with your drone. For first time flyers, it can be both scary and confusing.
Luckily, travel with your drone is actually quite easy. In the article, I will share 15 important traveling tips with you when you are going on a trip. These tips will help you learn what your drone rights are within the country laws. As well, protecting your drones from being confiscated because you weren’t aware of the laws. You will sigh with relief that you know what to do because our tips will help you prepare for traveling with your drones.
Before we go into the details, there are important gears which we will recommend throughout the guide. If you are going with your family or alone, you will definitely need the right drone gears like DJI Mavic Pro 2 (See Price) or Phantom 4 Pro (See Price). Not only they will help you prepare for the trips, we want you to avoid making mistakes and last-minute regrets. What is the fun in this if you broke your drone’s propellers and can’t fly it because you don’t have spare to replace, right?
I have been traveling around with my trusty DJI Mavic Pro (See Price) for quite a time enough to experience what it was like. Throughout I have my own share of positive experiences and of course learning experiences. These traveling tips will help you become an expert and savvy drone travelers within matter of minutes. Read to find out these 15 important traveling tips you should know before going on a trip.
Be Aware of Countries Drone Regulations
Not all the countries have same drone regulations. In some cases, few countries like Cuba and Barbados banned the use of drones outright. If you are envisioning going to Cuba to take shots of their paradise and beautiful cities with your drone.
Don’t bother with that, the chance that you are going to get your drone confiscated the moment you go through their customs border. Even worse, you might not be able to get your drone back and that is $1,000 into powder of ash.
Each countries have their own drone regulations that develops independently and changes constantly. It can be quite confusing to stay updated on the latest change. However, that doesn’t have to be that hard at all. In fact, we have our own drone laws by country articles that you can easily browse and find the country you are planning your flight trip to.
Bring Drone and Accessories as Carry-on
Always bring your drone and accessories as carry-on. The main reason why they shouldn’t be treated as “luggage” is due to the fact the baggage uses x-ray to scan for dangerous items. The drone batteries that you are taking with can’t go through x-ray. Because of the extreme temperature and coming in contact with the batteries can cause fire hazards.
Before you plan to travel with your drone, be sure to know what is the airline policy on drone carry-on. Call your airliner and ask them about having your drone as carry-on. Some airliners have their own policy which requires you to put your drone as baggage. You might feel uncomfortable about leaving a $1,000 gadget alone in the baggage claim.
If that is the case, I highly recommend that you purchase professional-grade luggage with locks for your drone and accessories. Calling your airliner in advance can well save you a lot of time and hassles in advance!
Professional-Grade luggage for your drones:
- HPRC1100 Hard Case for Phantom 4 Pro
- Premium Carrying Hard Case for Mavic Pro
- Nanuk Hard Case for Mavic Air
- CasePro for Inspire 2
Be Polite to Airport Security
There is a saying that politeness goes extra miles. That is true with airport security. Some of them can be very intrigued with your drones. Don’t be surprised if they start questioning about your drones.
It happened to me once during my visit at an airport where a security asked me about the drone. I replied them with courtesy and politeness, explaining what my Mavic Pro is and what I use it for. They were pleasantly surprised with it and proceed with everyday business. Even one of them actually followed up with me like how fast can it goes and what is its camera quality.
Instead of keeping everything to yourself and thinking that they are out to take your drone away, be firm and response politely when they ask you questions about it. Politeness will make your entire experience breeze and fast.
Plan Ahead of Flight Trip
Before you travel with your drone, you need to plan ahead of the trip. Suppose that you have decided to travel to Greece. You will want to know what hotspots they have to offer as well tourist attractions and places you shouldn’t miss out.
Research that country you are going on a trip. Find out information as much as you can and gather them. Then go to Google Map to create your own customized travel path. But most importantly, you should focus on enjoying the culture, beauty and its uniqueness apart your home country.
If you are going to be out all day long, you are going to need extra batteries in case. From my experience, four to six batteries is good enough. Depending on how often you are going to fly. For some areas where there are so many attractions going on, extra batteries will come in handy.
Extra Batteries for your drones:
- Phantom 4 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery
- Inspire 2 Self-Heating Intelligent Flight Battery
- Mavic Pro Intelligent Flight Battery
- Mavic Air Intelligent Flight Battery
Have Sizable Memory SD Card
Don’t you just hate it when you take a lot of stills and videos only to look that your memory card is maxed out? Oh, the horror, now you have to delete useless pictures and videos to create room for new shots. Just don’t, save them when you come back from your vacation so that you can actually look through them.
Better yet, get a 128GB memory SD card. That card will work out for all DJI Drones without the need to format them. However, if you truly want to use a 256GB memory card, which you can do to make it work by formatting it on computer first. Then insert on the drone’s micro SD card.
Depending on type of your drone and gears you use. It is a good idea to have at least two 128GB micro SD cards for a reason. If you are a CrystalSky user like me, then having an extra micro SD will go nicely to store all videos and stills on the video monitor. Essentially, you are making two copies, one on the drone and another on the video monitor. A nice backup just in case something goes wrong.
The best memory SD card we recommend for all the DJI drones is 128GB memory SD card.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
When you are traveling with your drone to a different country. It is your opportunity to get break from your home country and explore something unique and different. With your drone, you will need to give yourself at least few days so that you can fly and enjoy.
You definitely don’t want to rush too much because flying will at least take a couple of hours or so depending on your travel plan. So, it is always a great idea to give yourself at least two or three extra days even if it means you have to spend a little bit more money.
In the end, you will have a huge collection of stills and videos to produce. You will be very happy that you have given yourself few extra days.
Get Extra Parts to Spare
No matter what, you are going to need extra parts to spare. In my recent trip to a city which is around three hours from my home location. I stayed in the city overnight and while I enjoyed the scenic and urban landscape. Somehow I accidentally stepped on the propellers and bend it.
I tried to fix it but couldn’t and now my drone can’t fly because I don’t have an extra propeller to replace it. Luckily, it was just only an overnight stay. Anything can happen to you, whether it is your mistake or not.
Propellers, guards and batteries… you will need them. With extra spare to parts just in case, you will be very grateful to have backup to keep your drone flying. Best of all, your fun doesn’t have to stop right there. Keep the fun rolling and enjoy your adventure.
Spare Propellers for your drones:
Take Proper Care of Your Drone
When you are traveling with you drone, you are never going to know what will happen. That is why I use Google Earth to check the landscape out to see how it looks like. Depending on the terrain, you don’t want to have dust or sand getting in contact with your drone.
These tiny particles can hinder your drone’s performance and well, that can cause risk to other nearby people and yourself. I always bring my landing pad and landing legs for my DJI Mavic Pro. They are small, foldable and easy to carry with. Furthermore, they are small enough to fit in any travel cases.
Plus, I do this a lot so that I can plan ahead and get an idea of what to shoot at for cinematic videos and pictures. This will help reduce your planning time and not only it makes easier to produce the content. It saves you the headaches of trying to figure out what you expect to get out producing the aerial footage.
Landing Pad and Legs for your drone:
Get Camera Filter Lens, Seriously
Seriously, you will want to have camera filter lens for your drone. If you are going to travel with your drones, you need this. There is always going to be sunlight no matter where you are going. What you don’t want is excessive sun glare on your stills and videos. They can definitely turn your audience away and make the images look bad. It is photographer’s worse enemy even for aerial photographers too!
The camera filter lens will help reduce the sun glare and improve the quality of images. For some drones, we recommend vibrant camera filter lens as they enhance colors and makes them look cinematic. If you are wondering how some movies gets so cinematic, you know now. It is the secret of camera filter lens.
I use camera filter lens for my Mavic Pro (See Price) and I love them. They are actually very easy to use. Just insert them on the camera and make sure they snug fit onto it without coming out loose. Throughout my experience, I have vowed to never go anywhere without camera filter lens.
Camera Filter Lens for your drone:
- Mavic Pro Camera Filter Lens
- Mavic Air Camera Filter Lens
- Inspire 2 Camera Filter Lens
- Phantom 4 Pro Camera Filter Lens
Know Your Photographer’s Rights
You will need to know your Photographers’ rights wherever you go especially if the law enforcement happen to approach you. If they are asking you what you are doing with your drone, the most effective way from my experience is to show them your screen.
Explain what you are doing with your drone for photography and they will be on their way out. But if they ask you to stop doing it, you gotta do it. It is important that you maintain calm and show politeness to the law enforcement. As I mentioned previously, being polite does takes you miles further.
Don’t Fly near the Crowd
I know how exciting it must be to fly your drone in somewhere special and different places. It is likely you will be interacting with a crowd of tourists nearby. As a general rule of thumb, don’t fly your drone near the crowd where it would create unsafe situation for them including yourself.
Even though the drones are lightweight and the chance that they will cause harm are minimal. These sharp spinning propellers can do serious damage and can scare people away that will put the rest of remote pilots a bad public image.
So please: keep the drone away from the crowds and maintain safe distance from the spectators.
Don’t Disturb the Wildlife
This largely depends on the type of your drone setup. For most of the part, it is always a good idea not to disturb the wildlife. Naturally, you want to keep at least a safe flying distance. If you have a drone like Mavic 2 Zoom (See Price) that utilizes dolly zoom function. You can easily see the wildlife without having to fly over them.
While you certainly do not want to disturb their everyday cycle by flying too close. It is known that there are some hawks, eagles and even large birds who are very protective of their territory will attack your drone if it gets too close. Thus, it is a smart idea to maintain a safe flying distance. When in doubt, don’t fly at all.
Otherwise, just observe and enjoy the wildlife.
Capture Yourself in Epic Shots!
Traveling with your drones presents countless of awesome drone shots. I took quite a few shots and love doing that. You can see my work here and like everyone, you can do the same with professional drones! When you are going to a different place, why don’t you capture something amazing from a drone perspective? You will blow your friends and family away with stunning aerial shots.
Go to an iconic place that are well known and take an epic selfie shot with your drone. Watch as the picture rakes up likes, hearts and comments! Selfie shots or “dronie” are quite popular in traveling and I highly recommend doing that if you have the opportunity to do so.
Make New Friends
You are going to be making new friends traveling with your drone. And I mean a lot. I am not even kidding, the drones are popular and they attract attention of people. Some new friends that I made are remote pilots. When I went to the glass church in Eureka Spring and I saw a person who was flying the drone.
My initial reaction? I walked up to him and chatted about drones. We introduced each other, exchanged names and kept in touch. Not only we did become good friend, we share tips, hotspots and informative articles once in a while.
They are great friends to have, at least I can talk to them about drone laws in their country, tips and popular places to fly drones in. Not only you will make new friends, these relationships will help you in the long run and can last for many years to come.
When you are traveling with your drones, your priority of importance should be focused on enjoying what the country has to offer to you. Fly your drones when you have create the time to do so in your travel plan and everything will work out together.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
Flying your drones in a different country can be really fun to do so! However, you shouldn’t hold back if there are strict drone regulations that limits where you can fly and whatnot. It is always a smart idea to research in advance if you can travel with your drones.
Make sure you add few more days to your travel plan that way you have days to spend and have fun with new friends and your family. Most of your travel plan should be focused on experiencing the culture, food and even learning their own language.
When you see something that is worthy enough to fly your drone, take advantage of that opportunity. Because once you miss the opportunity, you probably won’t be able to capture the same experience. As always, you should have fun when traveling with your drone.
Before you plan to buy drone for yourself, be sure to read these articles below so that you will get the best quadcopter to start with for your traveling blog business, hobbyist and even professional services.
- 10 Best Drones with HD Camera
- 10 Best Drones with Collision Avoidance
- 5 Best Drones for Traveling Blog, Tourists and Adventurers
That’s all about it! I hope you find my 15 travel tips on taking the drone with you helpful and insightful. Happy flying and follow the drone laws.
Travel With Your Drone Guides
Wherever you travel with your drones, it is important that you know these tips. Because these tips will help you protect your assets. Most of these expensive drones are over $1,000 and losing them can be especially damaging since the airliners are only liability up to $1,000.
In addition to that, some country have very strict drone laws. Which is why I encourage you to check our drone laws by country to familiarize yourself with each country and apply for the right permits so that you can fly legally. Flying the drones would be a whole lot easier if there is a single, uniformed drone law that regulates the flight activity. However this isn’t the case.
If you are still interested in learning more about travel with your drones. I recommend you to check out our other drone travel guides below.
If you have any questions about traveling with a drone, please feel free to ask question in the comment section below. We will be sure to answer your questions regarding travel with drone right away. Happy flying and let us know how your experience was going abroad with your drone.