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Buying a DJI Mini for a Cross-Country Road Trip: Is it worth it?

pswalkerz

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Hi everyone, I'm pretty new here, but I have been reading and watching a lot of content about drones for the past 4-5 months or so. I am taking a cross-country road trip with a few friends of mine this summer and was really excited about the prospect of bringing a drone and capturing some beautiful scenery, as we will be camping and hiking for the majority of the trip. However, as my research continued I discovered the disappointing nature of how many places ban drones including many of the destinations we were planning to visit, including some national parks. I understand that drone use is illegal in national parks and will certainly not be trying to get any footage there, but it seems like even outside of parks that it may be a headache to figure out where and when I can and can not use the drone while traveling state-to-state. I was curious if anyone has any experience with this, as far as bringing a drone on a road trip and having trouble figuring out where they can use it, as well as the nature of drone use being a challenge? We are starting on the East coast and planning to drive through the midwest, to California, up the pacific northwest, and travel back through the northwest. Again, thank you to anyone has taken the time to read this, I hope it is not too convoluted or confusing.

Thanks :)
 

Thomas B

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Use LAANC, use available maps around the parks, wilderness areas, etc. still you’ll find some great things to captured. Sedona, AZ is like the areas you reference.... search my name and Flying Sedona for examples of what an still be done.
 
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old man mavic

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@pswalkerz first off welcome to the forum,a mini2 would be a great way to start your drone owning adventures, the fly-more kit would give you the best start ,as far as where you can fly ,then that is down to many factors ,i cannot speak for the US ,but there are various Apps that can assist you in getting air born in a safe manner and it will add to your adventure with the footage you are able to get
 
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rp6

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Hi everyone, I'm pretty new here, but I have been reading and watching a lot of content about drones for the past 4-5 months or so. I am taking a cross-country road trip with a few friends of mine this summer and was really excited about the prospect of bringing a drone and capturing some beautiful scenery, as we will be camping and hiking for the majority of the trip. However, as my research continued I discovered the disappointing nature of how many places ban drones including many of the destinations we were planning to visit, including some national parks. I understand that drone use is illegal in national parks and will certainly not be trying to get any footage there, but it seems like even outside of parks that it may be a headache to figure out where and when I can and can not use the drone while traveling state-to-state. I was curious if anyone has any experience with this, as far as bringing a drone on a road trip and having trouble figuring out where they can use it, as well as the nature of drone use being a challenge? We are starting on the East coast and planning to drive through the midwest, to California, up the pacific northwest, and travel back through the northwest. Again, thank you to anyone has taken the time to read this, I hope it is not too convoluted or confusing.

Thanks :)
As with cameras, the one that you have with you is the one that you will use. That is why I bought my Mini 2. It is on my bicycle, my e-bike, my motorcycle, my car. IMO, there are always more places where it is lawful to use a drone, than places where they are prohibited. Load an app that tells you if it is ok to fly...and in seconds you will know if it is ok.
 
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ckoerner

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I’d say go for it. Grab a Mini 2 with the Fly More bundle and have fun. Practice before you depart on your adventure and follow the FAA guidelines. Dad advice: Keep it stored out of sight as you travel.

Worst case, you don’t use it much and sell it on Craigslist a few weeks later. Best case scenario you catch the bug and have a good time.

Heck, I haven’t done much traveling since I got my Mini 2 in March, and I love just taking it up for a short flight in the back yard. :)
 
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sarimento1

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Sir pswalkerz, welcome to the forum!
Indeed, a Mini2 would be great for your trip.
Just a few suggestions, FWIW.

First, be sure you take a few weeks to practice and master the new drone.

Second, take along a car charger so you can recharge while traveling.

Third, keep in mind that the best filming times are early morning and late afternoon, perhaps while everyone else is getting ready for breakfast or dinner.

Fourth, consider the possibility of using your footage to add to other videos and stills that you and others might capture with cell phones, cameras, even a dashcam! There are loads of youtube travel videos that will give you many ideas!

Last, most important, be considerate of your fellow travelers...quite likely they will get bored while you ask to stop and take a half hour to fly around somewhere!

Have a fun and safe trip!!
 
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gfields

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If it were me, I'd get the Air2s for the trip.
 

Dale D

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Hi everyone, I'm pretty new here, but I have been reading and watching a lot of content about drones for the past 4-5 months or so. I am taking a cross-country road trip with a few friends of mine this summer and was really excited about the prospect of bringing a drone and capturing some beautiful scenery, as we will be camping and hiking for the majority of the trip. However, as my research continued I discovered the disappointing nature of how many places ban drones including many of the destinations we were planning to visit, including some national parks. I understand that drone use is illegal in national parks and will certainly not be trying to get any footage there, but it seems like even outside of parks that it may be a headache to figure out where and when I can and can not use the drone while traveling state-to-state. I was curious if anyone has any experience with this, as far as bringing a drone on a road trip and having trouble figuring out where they can use it, as well as the nature of drone use being a challenge? We are starting on the East coast and planning to drive through the midwest, to California, up the pacific northwest, and travel back through the northwest. Again, thank you to anyone has taken the time to read this, I hope it is not too convoluted or confusing.

Thanks :)
If you are taking a cross country road trip through the USA you are truly driving through a target-rich environment for scenery, drones, and cameras! There is absolutely no need to break the law and fly in the national parks.

Sometimes, just outside the parks, you can get the same feeling, even though it is not Yosemite Valley. Also, there are many state parks that do not have drone regulations. Think about rows of cornfields, scenes of the Rocky Mountains, so many lakes, winding roads, railroad tracks, boating scenes, etc. There is so much beauty in the country you not lack for subjects to film.

If in doubt, use your Airmap app or B4UFly, but the county is so wide open, you would only needs these apps in congested areas. Hope this encourages you to buy and take that drone.

Dale
Miami
 

66427cobra

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Get the drone. Keep it handy and charged. The different perspective that it will provide will make it your go to device for pics and videos. Your friends will take plenty of "regular photos". Plus, nothing takes a group selfie like a drone.
 
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AVLJMA

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YES!! Take the Mini 2. The size is perfect and not too "in your face" to others around you. The batteries charge up faster and the USB C charging is soooo much easier than my MA2. You can charge the batteries in the car between stops.
The Mini 2 will take great pictures. Easy, light, fast charging....the best flying camera you could ask for on a trip.
 

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