When I purchased my first drone one of the things I was most excited to use it for was travel. After a lot of research (and coming across a good deal at Best Buy), I ended up purchasing the DJI Spark. It’s a great drone for beginners who want something semi-professional.
When I first bought the Spark, packing it for trips was the last thing on my mind. But as my first trip approached, figuring out how to travel and fly with it started to stress me out a little bit. But now that I’ve figured the packing out and have a system, I’m much more confident traveling with it.
Here are my tips on how to pack and travel with your drone.
Know Your Drone + Be Confident Flying It
Before you think about traveling you should know the details of your drone and know how to fly it. Read the documentation so you know information like the weight, speed, maximum flying distance and battery capacity. It’s also a good idea to practice flying with it at home before you are in a new country. You might need to update the firmware or adjust the settings that will be easier to do at home when you don’t mind wasting battery power and have cell service or wifi.
Know the Rules Where you Want to Fly it
Research the rules for flying drones in the country you are planning on visiting. Some countries have no rules on drone flying, some have restrictions for certain areas, and some you need to register depending on the size.
Separate and Drain your Batteries
No matter what, you are not allowed to check the batteries for your drone. This is true of all lithium type batteries found in all kinds of electronic devices. Make sure you separate the batteries and that you drain the power.
Check with your Airline
Check with your airline on their rules and regulations. Most list the details on their websites. Some airlines don’t mind you bringing drones in your carry-on bags and some do. For example, I flew to Iceland with WOW Airlines who had no regulations but then I flew to Sri Lanka with Emirates who didn’t allow drones in carry-on baggage. If you are unsure, call the airlines’ customer service number.
Pack It Safely
Pack your drone in a good case that protects it from being squashed or bumped. For the DJI Spark, I found the foam case it came in to be enough protection. I pack the Spark inside of my backpack when I carry-on. In my checked bag I like to pack it in the center of my suitcase surrounded by my clothing for extra protection. Also, if you check it, lock your suitcase and confirm with your travel insurance that it would be covered if it gets stolen from your bag while flying.
Be Respectful of Others
While surfing on the beach in Sri Lanka a few weeks ago someone was flying a drone less than 15 feet above our heads. And it was a giant Phantom that felt like it could hit us if the pilot was inexperienced. Drones are often loud and make people feel uneasy. They also have cameras so you should always be respectful of others privacy. Don’t fly it around other people unless you ask their permission first, or fly it far enough away that they can’t hear it.