Drone Holidays – Your questions answered

Who leads each trip

In Spain the trips are led by PFS Founder, Alan Proto, assisted by professional photographer and videographer, commercial drone pilot, and local expert, Steve Lowery.

In the French Pyrenees, the trips are led by full-time PFS pilot Simon Smith, assisted by our local hosts, Louise and Giles Neville.

The trip to Iceland will be led by Alan Proto, assisted by PFS pilot and professional photographer Tom Jacobs.

In Corfu, the trip will be led by Alan Proto, working with Norman Johnston at NoStressYachting, who run a yacht charter business out of the marina in Corfu.

Alan Proto will be leading the trip to Las Vegas for InterDrone.

How many people are on each trip?

We limit numbers to a maximum of six clients, with one PhantomFlightSchool expert drone pilot and one local guide / driver / translator leading each trip.

Is it difficult taking my drone on the plane?

No.  PhantomFlightSchool clients have travelled to over 50 countries in the last two years with their drones.  And we have not heard of any having a serious problem.  Every person who came on holiday with us in 2016 and 2017 passed through customs and security without incident in both directions.

Should the drone go in the hold, or hand luggage?

If at all possible, bring it hand luggage.  So certainly with the Mavic, and almost always with the Phantom, our advice is to bring it hand luggage.  If you have an Inspire 1 or 2, then you are going to have to put it in the hold.  Either invest in a lockable flight-case, or wrap the DJI case repeatedly in clingfilm to protect it from enquiring eyes.

How many batteries should I bring?

On most days the aim is to fly four batteries.  So you should aim to bring four batteries with you.  If you have fewer than this, then we have charging facilities for batteries in the van, for the times when we do not revisit the villa in the middle of the day.

How many batteries can I bring?

The answer is anywhere from “as many as you want” to “a maximum of five” (one in the drone and four in hand luggage).  It depends on which airline you are with.  Since you only need four, the number you are limited to by the airline should not be an issue.

How many drones can I bring?

As many as you would like to.  The record so far is three: A Spark; A Mavic Pro; and an Inspire 2.

Do I need my own drone?

No you don’t.  You are welcome to hire one of our DJI Mavic Pro drones (£150 for the trip) or DJI Phantom 4 Pro drones (£200 for the trip).

What level of previous experience is required?

We have trips to cater for every level of pilot, from complete beginner to accomplished expert.  Whatever level you are at when you arrive, you will go home a far better, more expert, pilot.  Here is a table showing you which trips are suitable for what level of pilot:

  Beginner Intermediate Expert
UK X X X
USA X X X
Spain X X
France X X
Corfu X
Iceland X
What is included in the cost of the trip?
  • Expert support from our highly qualified commercially qualified drone pilots
  • Transport to and from the airport, and to and from the flying sites every day
  • Your accommodation in our high-quality, single occupancy, en-suite bedroom in our villa
  • All breakfasts and evening meals
  • All lunches at the villa
  • Minibus and driver / translator / general expert.
What is excluded from the cost of the trip?
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks. We operate a kitty – average cost is 50Euros.
Which airport should I fly from?

Fly from whichever airport works for you.  It is not where you start from, it is where you are going that matters.  Unless, like me, you think it is not the destination, it is the glory of the ride.

Which airport should I fly to for holidays in Spain / France / Iceland / USA?

Spain – Malaga

France – Toulouse

Corfu – Corfu

Iceland – Reykjavik

USA – Las Vegas

What time do I need to get there on the first day?

At all of our destinations, the minibus leaves for the villa at 2.30pm.  So if you want to catch the bus, you need to arrive in time to be through Arrivals by around 2.15pm.

What happens if I want to arrive early?

Malaga, Toulouse, Reykjavik and Las Vegas are all wonderful places to visit.  If you fancy extending your stay, it makes great sense to arrive a few days early.  Ask us if you would like advice on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do.  Simply make your way to the airport for the pick-up time, and away we go.

What happens if I need to arrive late?

If you can’t arrive in time to catch the minibus, don’t worry.  It’s a holiday, after all.  At all of our destinations, a taxi from the airport to our base should cost you no more than about 50Euros.  Or, in Spain, France and the USA, hiring a car represents excellent value for money.

What happens if I need to leave early

If you need to leave early, don’t worry.  It’s a holiday, after all.  At all of our destinations, a taxi from the airport to our base should cost you no more than about 50Euros.  Or, in Spain, France and the USA, hiring a car represents excellent value for money.

What happens if I want to leave late?

Malaga, Toulouse, Reykjavik and Las Vegas are all wonderful places to visit.  If you fancy extending your stay, it makes great sense to tack on a few days at the end.  Ask us if you would like advice on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. We’ll drop you at the airport with the other clients, and from there it is a short hop into town by your preferred means.

Can my partner join me?

We welcome partners on all our trips.

In Spain, at the villa there is a lovely pool, beautiful views, and a very relaxed atmosphere.  Although the villa is up in the hills some way from the town.  So if you fancy exploring the local area, which is rich in culture, you may be best hiring a car.

In the French Pyrenees, the Gite we stay at is really wonderful.  I wouldn’t want to leave!  But our route to the flying sites takes us through some stunning ancient towns and villages.  So partners who paint or are photographers will be well catered for.

What is the cost for non-flying partners?

The cost for non-flying partners is set at 50% of the standard price of the holiday

What is the cost for flying partners?

The number of people we can accommodate on each of our holidays is limited by the number of people who are flying.  Hence we are only able to offer a £100 discount on the second person in the event that both members of the couple intend to fly.

What if I have a medical condition?

If you have a medical condition that may mean you require assistance during the trip, please tell us at the time of booking.  We will do our best to support and accommodate anyone who wishes to come on one of our trips.  But we reserve the right to refuse to take someone if we consider their condition may put themselves or others at risk during the trip.

What if I have a food allergy or intolerance?

We understand and can make arrangements for almost any food allergy or intolerance.  Please let us know when you book the trip, and we will ensure we are able to prepare you interesting and varied cuisine that fits with your needs.

Will I need a laptop or MacBook?

You don’t need to bring a laptop or MacBook with you.  But if you want to review your photos and videos during the trip, and get the most out of the sessions on photo and video editing, then it certainly helps.

Can I get by with an iPad or other tablet?

Yes you can, so long as you have a card reader that will allow you to transfer the data on your MicroSD card onto the iPad or tablet.

What if I crash my drone?

Flying over 1,000 batteries with clients in Spain, France and Tenerife in the last two years, we have only had two accidents.  One caused by human error, the other by the failure of a propeller on an older Phantom 3.  So it is very unlikely that anything untoward will happen to your drone.  But if the worst does happen, then you will be able to hire one of our Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic Pro drones for the remainder of the trip.

What if I have to cancel at short notice?

We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to guard against this hazard.  If you have to cancel more than 90 days before the start of the trip, then we will arrange a full refund for you.  After that, I am afraid the full cost of the trip is non-refundable.

What insurance cover do I need?

We recommend that you join the BMFA, in order to benefit from their Europe-wide £25m of public liability cover.  We also recommend that you insure your drone against accidental damage.  Either by listing it on your household insurance, or by insuring it with a photographic insurer such as Photoguard.

Where are we staying in Spain?

We stay in the idyllically located Casa La Negra, set high in the hills above the village of Periana, about an hour north of Malaga in Andalucía.  The villa has six unsuited guest bedrooms for clients, a large shaded terrace and several sun terraces, inside and outside dining tables, barbecue, swimming pool, well-maintained lawns and gardens, beautiful views, and an upstairs living room with a wide-screen TV that is perfect for Alan’s “Pro Tips” presentations.

Where are we staying in the French Pyrenees?

Our home is Manzac d’en Bas, about an hour South of Toulouse in the Ariege region of France.  A magnificent Gite that has been lovingly restored by Giles and Louise Neville over the last decade.  Set in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the Gite has six ensuite guest bedrooms, several living rooms, a studio with table tennis table, an enormous swimming pool, beautiful manicured gardens, spectacular views, and a sense of peace and tranquillity it is hard to find these days.  And Louise’s cooking is world class!

What else should I pack?

We’ll send you a full list of things to think about packing when you book your holiday.    But here are the main things you should bring:

  • Your drone, transmitter, and display device
  • At least three batteries, and a battery charger
  • Filters (the sunlight is bright where we go)
  • Monitor hood
  • Spare MicroSD cards
  • Laptop or MacBook (not essential)
  • Shorts, T shirts, swimming costume, suntan cream
  • Shoes you would be comfortable walking across a field in