What better way to capture your next trip abroad than from a stunning aerial perspective?
Fortunately, there’s never been a better time to create spectacular aerial videos from your latest trip, or put together a collection of stunning photographs captured from the sky.
Unfortunately, both taking and using a drone abroad does pose some challenges. By following the tips we’re going to lay out in this article, you’ll stand the best chance of having a hassle free experience.
Let’s get to it.
First thing first, it helps if you’ve got a drone with a portable design. These days, there’s a tone of different high quality drones that are almost breathtakingly small. One such drone is the DJI Mavic Air, one of the most portable, yet high quality drones currently on the market, featuring a stunning 4k camera as well as 8GB of internal storage.
Having said that, I travelled across the globe with my DJI Phantom, which isn’t exactly the smallest drone in the world. It was definitely doable, however I promised myself next time that I’m going to take a Mavic Air/ Pro with me.
Where ever you are in the world, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the local drone laws. This is especially important if you’re travelling over seas, as the country you’re visiting may have a completely different set of rules for drones.
For example, in India you need to acquire a permit to even be allowed to fly a drone, which from what I hear, is an incredibly difficult task.
The last thing you want is to turn up at a country and for what ever reason find out you can’t even use your drone. You can find a pretty comprehensive list of different international drone laws here. I would still recommend checking on the official website of the country you’re visiting before you go, just to be 100% sure of the rules.
I can’t stress how important this is. Having a good backpack or case can either make or break your experience taking your drone travelling. Fortunately, for my DJI Phantom I had invested in an incredible bag that could also hold all of my accessories as well as the drone and transmitter.
An ideal backpack will be comfortable, protective and be able to store all of the necessary equipment needed to fly your drone.
You should also make sure that the backpack or case you decide on is able to fit as your carry on luggage. This does narrow down your options a bit, but there’s still plenty of high quality bags and cases to choose from.
A few good brands to check out are:
This is more of a must do than a tip. When you’re travelling on a plane with your drone and batteries, you’ve got to bring them on with you as carry on luggage.
As well as this, make sure that you remove any battery from the drone and that all of your batteries are depleted to 30%. It also helps if you put your batteries in a Li-Po battery as it’ll show to any security officials the measures you’re taking to safely transport your drone.
You should also be aware that the type of Li-Po battery your drone uses will dictate the amount of batteries that you can bring. If your drones’ battery is below 100 watt hours, you can bring as many as you want. If your batteries are between 100-160 watt hours, you’re only allowed to bring two on with you.
This rule may change from country to country, so it’s worth double checking.
At the end of the day, you’re taking your drone to capture some amazing stuff. By bringing the right accessories, you’ll allow yourself to film/shoot higher quality content with ease.
The type of location that you’re visiting will often have a pretty big impact on the type of accessories you want to bring. If you’re going to a hot place with strong sun light, you’re probably going to want to get some ND filters.
If you’re going to a cold place, you’ll need somewhere to store your batteries without them getting cold.
Aside from this, there’s some general accessories that will make taking your drone abroad a lot easier. Firstly, at least 2 or 3 spare batteries is a must. This way, you’ll give yourself plenty of air time before having to recharge.
Having a charging dock that’s able to charge all of your batteries in one go is also incredibly handy. Some batteries can take up to 1.5-2 hours to fully charge, meaning that charging 3 batteries separately could take up to 6 hours. Having a charging dock will allow you to do this in one go, without having to swap around the batteries.
I recently travelled New Zealand with my drone and was expecting to be able to fly my drone almost anywhere. Unfortunately, a lot of the National Parks are deemed No Fly Zone as to not disturb the wildlife living there.
Unless you want to be on the receiving end of a nasty fine, I would strongly recommend that you’re 100% you’re allowed to be flying your drone before you take off.
This is true of anywhere you fly your drone. Despite consumer drone’s gaining more popularity and attention in the press, they’re still definitely a topic of interest for passers by.
I can’t even count the amount of conversations I’ve had with people interested in my drone. I’ve found it’s best to expect a conversation or two as well as being open to landing your drone if someone isn’t happy about you flying.
I would recommend being 100% comfortable in all areas of piloting your drone before you leave on your trip. If you can, get your drone a couple of months before and get plenty of practice both flying and filming from the sky.
This way your flights will be safe as possible and you’ll be able to capture better looking photographs and videos.
All in all, taking a drone away with you is a must. You’ll capture some amazing footage and be able to look back on your trip from an incredibly unique perspective.
Follow the tips laid out for you in this article and you’ll be set to shoot some awesome content.