Travel Abroad with your Drone

Travel Abroad with your Drone

Travel Abroad: In order not to answer the same questions every time, I decided to write a separate article on how to travel with a drone abroad.

I call a drone an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a camera, which in my case is represented by DJI. Drones are also called a quadcopter in many countries.

How to transport a drone in an airplane?

For all the Phantom drones, I bought a backpack.

The backpack is the simplest, not the original DJI. I ordered on ebay and received it in a couple of weeks or you can also find top 10 drones under 200 online and check their feature before purchasing one.

The backpack suited me 100%:

  • Light and simple
  • The drone quickly gets out, mounts and after 2 minutes is ready to fly
  • The drone quickly cleans up in 1 minute.

Several times I checked my backpack with a drone in my luggage.

Just put it in a suitcase: a backpack takes exactly 1/2 of a suitcase, and the rest is stuff.

But for a year with a ponytail, I’ve just taken a backpack with a drone with me on the plane like hand luggage along with a backpack where I have photo-video, laptops and chargers.

Hand luggage and security drone at the airport

The attitude to the drone in the hand luggage of the security service at the entrance and exit from the clean zone of the airport is different.

  • Indifferently.
  • He asks to get it and checks for traces of explosives.
  • He is interested in what it is.
  • But they always miss because it is not forbidden to carry on board the aircraft.

How do customs relate to importing a drone into the country?


In Brazil, they tortured me for a long time why I came to Brazil by looking at a backpack opened at the request of customs. I replied that I came as a tourist and I will photograph the beaches.

In fact, I understood their suspicion: after a 13-hour flight I really wanted to smoke, so I left the airport building without any luggage.

Not surprisingly, a dude with a drone and without bathing shorts and a toothbrush, having flown in from Paris, aroused the suspicion of customs. In principle, a drone can deliver loads of up to 2 kg to inaccessible places – for example, to a prison. Perhaps I was mistaken for a drug courier or for a journalist of the yellow press.

In Canada, I was tortured for a long time where I am going to shoot a drone.

I replied that I would be shooting outside of settlements, outside national parks and in the daytime.

My answer was fine for everyone since the customs officers understood that I know the laws of Canada.

But in most countries where I came, customs officers did not see through my luggage and hand luggage.

In which countries you cannot shoot a drone

I suspect that you can’t shoot in North Korea or Iran. But these countries are not interesting for me

Drones are prohibited in Cuba. After passport control, the hand luggage of all passengers is revealed. Targetedly looking for drones. And in 100% of cases they find even small drone.

After this, a long paper procedure awaits you: the serial number of the drone, its signs, as well as all parts of it are recorded: batteries, propa, etc., etc.

Next, the drone is requisitioned and lies in the storage room. The first 3 days are free, then 1 euro per day.

When flying from Cuba, the drone needs to be picked up. Details of what awaits you in Cuba.

In other cases, when visiting the country, you need to quickly study the legislation of the country.

We go to google and write the request “country” law about drone.

After looking through the latest articles on this topic.

For example, before going to Cyprus, I did just that. A separate article on the subject of drone shooting in Cyprus.

Drone shooting rules that should not be violated

  1. Do not fly above 120 meters.
  2. Do not fly at night or in conditions of poor visibility.
  3. Do not fly near airports (DJI itself will not take off near the airport).

4) Do not fly over private property (villas, estates) without the permission of the owner.

  1. Do not fly over herds of domestic/wild animals.
  2. Do not fly over military bases and strategic facilities (nuclear power plants).
  3. Do not fly where it is prohibited and there are appropriate signs.

If you are forbidden to raise a drone, but you really want to

1) If the law says that this object is forbidden to be removed – no risk.

In the United States, it is forbidden to shoot in national parks, and in the popular Yellowstone park generally there are signs prohibiting the flight of drones over park objects.

The punishment is not only the confiscation of the drone, but also a significant fine.

In Hawaii, a stun gun was applied to one tourist for controlling the drone’s passage over the crater of a volcano.

If there are no visible prohibitions, but some unwritten laws of ownership are violated, then such measures will help to make a video:

1) Choose a launch pad far from the subject.

2) Do not advertise your further actions to random passers-by: take the backpack out of the trunk, quickly calibrate the aircraft, take off 30 m and quickly fly away from the launch point.

3) We control the aircraft sitting in the car or behind the machine, opening the front and rear doors, so as not to attract attention.

4) We remove the object (for example, a castle in Scotland or the pyramid in Copan) for no more than a minute and fly off to the side (not to the starting point). There we hang out and shoot a panorama – so that the guards accept the false start point.

5) From the intermediate point we fly to the true launch site and quickly land the drone.

6) Quickly turn off throw in the trunk or under the seat and gas. For everything about everything no more than 5 minutes.

Where exactly can I shoot a drone

  1. Uninhabited places: landscapes outside settlements, taiga-mountains-lakes-beaches.
  2. Country roads with a minimum of cars.
  3. On the water.

Where exactly you don’t need to shoot a drone

1) In a city or village with a starting point in a busy, crowded place.

Drone propellers can injure people. People can gape, get scared, get hit by a car. A drone can fall on people and injure them.

This article is in Europe and you can sit down for it.

2) In a city with high-rise buildings or in a city with an abundance of repeaters of mobile operators.

When the drone loses the signal from the remote control, after a few seconds it switches to the “return home” mode.

At a given height (30m by default), it will fly along the shortest road to the starting point.

At this moment, he is uncontrollable.

Well, if on his way there will be no building with glass windows. The drone will not break the modern facade decoration, and window glass – easily. Shards can fly down and …

The golden rule for those who shoot a drone

Imagine yourself on the spot

Would you like it if a drone hangs over your summer cottage?

I think there isn’t, and if you had a smooth-bore gun, you would welcome a drone with a buckshot charge.

Would you like it if a drone hovering over a place where your girlfriend is sunbathing topless?

I’m sure that there isn’t if there was a volleyball or stone at hand – you would have launched this into a drone.

Therefore, imagine yourself in the place of another and do not hang over random objects even by accident. Since not even intentional freezing will be perceived as a violation of privacy and this is true on the part of those whose private space you violated.

Let the drone always be in motion.

If something fell into the frame by accident – cut it out of the clip and delete. Never share footage that might be considered an invasion of privacy.

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