As the situation is right now, we are at a strange time regarding the use of drones. They are still relatively new, but their popularity is soaring. However, there are some things you must consider before you bring your drone to your next vacation. And to help you out, we have come up with 5 tips for safe travel with your drone.
Today, we will talk about carrying a drone to new countries, through airports, and on airplanes. Every photographer understands how many new possibilities traveling with a drone have opened. Now, you can take videos and photos from entirely new perspectives.
However, if you want to stay away from the trouble, you need to know more than just how to safely operate your drone in urban areas. So, here is what you should pay attention to.
1. Research local laws
If you found a place where you would like to fly your drone, someone probably has already tried it and got in trouble for it. To avoid having a similar experience, start your research online. Search for a specific spot where you want to fly and find out if you will be able to do it.
Experts suggest that you also check the rules and regulations for the countries you are traveling to. This is the only way to be aware of what is allowed and what is not.
For example, if you are visiting Paris, you cannot get that perfect aerial shot of the Eiffel Tower you dreamed about. In fact, most of the city is a big no-fly zone. And it is safe to assume that the situation will be the same with pretty much every well-known tourist attraction. Additionally, major landmarks and high-density pedestrian zones will probably also be off-limits anywhere in the world.
When it comes to the U.S., you can check out the F.A.A.’s app named B4UFLY. With it, you can search locations and see if there are any restrictions in place. Of course, it is not 100 percent accurate, so be sure to double-check with a web search.
2. Get a good carrying case.
If you can afford it, we certainly recommend investing in a quality hard-shell carrying case. Although it is not obligatory, you will enjoy peace of mind when you know that nothing can happen to your precious drone while traveling.
While these hard-shell cases will make the package a bit heavier, they will allow you to bring your drone to some inaccessible places. You will not have to worry if anything will break while you are tumbling over rocks to get to that fantastic spot you saw online.
Now, getting to these places sometimes requires a bit of physical activity. However, if you find yourself in the woods or on a field while filming, it can be an excellent location for exercising while traveling. With proper guidance, it is easy to stay in good shape during your trip. And you will see that hiking and running can be a lot more fun when you are halfway across the globe.
3. Taking a drone on a plane
The next of our tips for safe travel with your drone are about traveling by plane. On this occasion, there are two paths you can take. You can either check your drone in or carry it on the plane with you. Now, if your drone is small enough, we suggest you take it as a carry-on. However, with some larger models, you will have to check them in as they exceed the airline’s size requirements.
Whatever you do, remember not to put your batteries in a checked bag. These are not stored in a pressurized environment, and the fluctuation in temperature can damage them. Additionally, if your bag is in an overhead compartment, airline staff can respond quickly in an emergency. And that is exactly what you want.
One more thing you need to keep in mind that the number of batteries you take on a plane is not as significant as their watt-hours. According to the F.A.A., if your batteries are below 100Wh, you can carry on as many of them as you like. But, if they are between 101 and 160Wh, you can bring only two of them with you. Make sure not to forget that if you are in the process of getting your first drone and you plan to travel with it.
4. Bring extra parts.
We are sure that you are confident in your flying skills, and with enough practice, anyone can be excellent with drones. However, any professional will tell you that you should always be prepared for the worst. Even a small crash could disable your drone for the rest of the vacation, and that certainly is not something you want. So, here are a few things that you should always have on you:
- Spare batteries
- Spare propellers
- A couple of memory cards
- Spare lights
The last thing on the list should concern only people who are planning to fly drones at night. But, if you are new to the whole thing, it is advisable to buy frame and propeller protection for your drone just in case. You will thank yourself later.
5. Have a flight plan.
Before you start flying your drone in a place you never visited before, you should plan for your flight. This will allow you to get the footage you came for and reduce the chances of it crashing. Therefore, you will be more efficient.
Take notes of any large objects, power lines, trees, or buildings that can be in your way, and make sure to stay clear of them. Google Earth is an excellent tool for planning drone flights, and it is free. The last thing is maintaining the line of sight. We cannot stress just how important this is. Although flying in the first-person mode is fun, the video signal can die. And trust us, this happens. So, the last of our tips for safe travel with your drone is to always keep an eye on it and learn how to bring it back home if a problem occurs.