4 Tips for Safely Traveling With a Drone

Drones have become highly popular as a way for people to capture wonderful memories and explore the world around them. Many people consider their drone to be a must-have item when it comes time to pack for vacation, making it important to know how to package drones safely for travel. When you’re getting ready to take your drone along on your next big trip, remember these tips for keeping your drone safe.

Insulate the Drone from Damage

Your first job when preparing your drone to travel well is to determine how to package it safely in order to prevent any damage from occurring during transit. While your frugal side might urge you to reach for the same, trusty old bubble wrap, remind yourself that it’s imperative to choose the right protective materials for the job.

Picking the right protective materials is a function of the size and shape of your drone. Most of the time, this means purchasing a case that is made specifically for protecting electronic equipment rather than reusing less specialized packing materials that you already have on hand.  Personally, we use Go Professional Cases (GPC). They are a worthwhile investment if you want to protect your drone during transit across the country or across town.   

Do Your Homework

While you probably have plenty of working knowledge of the drone model you have, it pays to also conduct some research regarding any potential weaknesses. If the specific model that you own has shown sensitivity to temperature variation, for instance, you’ll likely want to carry your drone case on your person since you’ll be spending time in climate-controlled areas. 

If you are traveling by air, you will also want to research the airline’s policy on LiPo/Li-Ion batteries.  Most airlines will allow you to carry on your drone batteries as long as they are under 160Wh. LiPo batteries are not allowed in your checked luggage.  For perspective, the Mavic 2 Battery is rated at ~59Wh so you should be ok with a majority of the COTS drones.  

Always Re-Calibrate

Even if it doesn’t feel like your travel destination is all that different from home, always be sure to recalibrate your drone for the new geography before lifting off. This seemingly negligible step can actually prevent a number of disasters, such as losing or damaging your drone in the case of a compromised control signal.

Be Prepared

No one wants to imagine harm befalling their drone, but sometimes the worst can happen. Batteries can unexpectedly go dead, and conditions can change on a dime. Prepare your drone as thoroughly as possible for your trip by bringing along backup batteries, repair kits, and a secondary SD card for data. It’s also advisable to take a bag of dry rice with you in case of water exposure, since combating moisture exposure immediately can drastically reduce damage in the long run.

Traveling with your drone is a great way to document priceless memories and experiences, but you should always be careful how you handle the drone on the trip. Going the extra mile by using good packaging and researching any special instructions for your specific model will help keep your drone safe during transit, and backup tools and diligent re-calibration will continue to protect it after you arrive.

For tips and guidance for how to take care of your drone in the air and make sure you’re meeting regulations and guidelines, check out Drone Academy’s courses!

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