5 important things you need to know before you travel with a drone
Thinking about getting a drone camera to up your travel ’gram game? Here’s what you need to know before taking it to the skies.
- March 2020
From the do’s and don’ts of drone flying to the best ones to get for travel photography, this guide has you covered.
1. Know the local laws
The rules on drone use differ from country to country so check ahead. A few countries have banned drones entirely while some like Vietnam require a permit. As a general rule, never fly near airports or over groups of people. Singapore’s drone laws are spelled out at the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore website opens in new window while the UAV Coach website opens in new window maintains a handy global directory.
2. Be transit smart
Each airline has its own drone policy so be sure to do your homework. Some general rules apply: drone batteries must always be packed in your carry-on luggage and the contact points should be covered with duct tape. It is also best to pack the drone itself in your carry-on to prevent loading and unloading damage. To ensure you are doing the right thing, check Jetstar’s dangerous goods policy before you pack.
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3. Pack spare batteries
Mid-range drones can stay in the air for an average of 20 minutes so you’ll want to carry extra batteries on your travels. As your smartphone acts as the display for your drone’s camera, bring a powerbank for it as well — don’t forget to load it up with apps like Hover, which provides helpful no-fly zone maps.
4. Brush up on drone etiquette
Do not be that person who ruins everyone’s day at the beach by flying a noisy drone low over people’s heads. Always seek permission before flying over private property (this includes your hotel). If curious locals approach, answer queries respectfully, keeping in mind that a drone can look pretty scary to someone who has not seen one before.
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5. Put safety first
Google “drone accidents” and you will be surprised by the number of mishaps that can happen, from injuring bystanders and property to getting attacked by wildlife (yes, there have been cases of drones damaged by monkeys and eagles). Always keep it in your line of sight and be mindful of its surroundings, particularly when launching and landing. On windy days, keep your drone grounded.