Traveling around the world with camera gear and drones can be challenging. In this video, Justin from Droneworks Studios shares some helpful tips for traveling abroad with drones and other gear. He and the team shoot all over the U.S .and the world, which means bringing tons of equipment to flights with them. So, they have lots of experience and helpful tips to share with you.
Even if you’re working on a small project and don’t carry lots of gear, it can be a challenge to travel with it. Not to mention working on large projects, where it takes a whole team to help you transport the gear from your studio to the airport.
When traveling with drones and doing a project abroad, you need to keep in mind that every country has its own airspace authority. For example, there’s no one body of authority of all of the EU countries, but every country has its own. So, one of the first steps to take is to find out who to talk to and make sure you get the right approvals from the country’s airspace authority. Similarly, different airlines have different regulations. Therefore, make sure to get informed about them before you pack for the flight.
Justin suggests that you contact the local film commission of the country you travel to. They can help you obtain the permissions and inform you about the regulations, as well as the best times and locations for flying. Clients themselves will often help you out and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There are some things which can help you when you fly with your gear and shooting a project abroad. First, there are media badges. If you work for a media company, your media badge gives you some legitimacy when you talk to someone. Also, most airlines give you different baggage benefits if you’re a member of a media agency.
Another helpful thing is to join some of the pre-check options. For example, signing up for TSA Pre✔ or Global Entry programs will spare you going through security check every time you fly. Also, having multiple forms of ID is what you might also find helpful when flying with gear. Other than your passport, having a pre-check membership and a letter of guarantee from your client are likely to help you get through the security without much fuss.
Getting a Carnet is something you need to take into consideration when flying with gear. It’s an international customs and temporary export-import document used to clear customs without paying duties and import taxes.
Inventorying all your cases and their content is another step you could find useful. Put a serial number on every one of the items you’re bringing, and take photos of them.
Here you can find more tips for flying with camera gear, here you can learn how to avoid checking in, and here are some tips for packing. Considering that each airline has its own rules, as well as each country, getting ready for traveling with gear can be pretty difficult. But, planning ahead, getting informed, packing properly and getting all the papers should do the job and spare you any inconveniences.
[How WE travel with drone and camera gear | Droneworks Studios]