Category: Travel

DroneMate App Has All The Current Rules For Traveling With And Flying Your Drone Worldwide

dronemate app

DroneMate is an app I created that shows you the international rules for flying a drone in every country in the world. Available for iOS and Android, the DroneMate map is updated regularly from official sources, to make sure the information is as current and accurate as possible. DroneMate also includes U.S. state laws as well as the specific rules for various tourist sites around the world so you fly your drone without breaking any rules.

dronemate  wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Why I Created DroneMate

Earlier this year I bought a drone small enough to comfortably travel with, but quickly realized finding out the rules, regulations, and laws to abide by internationally were difficult. There’s a lot of online hearsay, misinformation, and people who tell you convincingly what the local recreational drone laws are but are often (very often) wrong. Filming with a drone might seem innocuous but flying a small aircraft and breaking the rules, even unknowingly, can get you in a lot of trouble.

I created DroneMate to make all the recreational drone laws around the world accessible in one place, on your phone or tablet, so you can fly and film legally. Also, several countries, even those popular with tourists, outright ban the import of drones. DroneMate can help you plan before a trip, letting you know whether or not to leave your drone at home.

The recreational drone use rules around the world change frequently, which is why DroneMate is updated continuously.

DroneMate Features

It took me months of research to compile the proper contact information of official sources in every country to get the data for DroneMate. Still, anecdotally, many people’s experiences differ in some countries, where the rules aren’t enforced, or enforced incorrectly. DroneMate has a comment system where users can leave their experiences to share with other travelers and ask questions.

  • User-Rated Comment System – DroneMate lets users rate comments so the most useful ones are shown on top.
  • Check Rules At A Glance – The app categorizes national drone laws into one of four categories/icons (allowed, limited, restricted, no data/legislation) making it easy for you to quickly get an idea of what to expect. The details view lists all the applicable rules, registration forms, penalties for violations, plus comments from other drone operators.
  • Available Offline – The map is available offline so you don’t need an Internet connection to use DroneMate when you’re traveling. You can view the free, basic version of the map online here.
  • Specific Drone Information – Find out if your particular drone falls under the weight requirements of a given regulation.

DroneMate only covers recreational, not commercial, drone use and ultimately you’re responsible for knowing and following the right rules. The goal of DroneMate is to put the proper drone rules in one place, provide you with the appropriate contacts if registration is required, and save you from the hassle of drone confiscation or problems at customs around the world.

Available For iOS And Android Now

You can download DroneMate from the App Store for iPhone and iPad for $4.99. There are no ads or in-app purchases in DroneMate and you get a lifetime of free drone regulation updates, access to all the comments, additional information, as well as offline use for your travels. DroneMate is also available for Android devices here for the same price, with the same features, for $4.99. Purchasing DroneMate helps support me as I update the app, add features, provide speedy service, plus keep up with drone legislation to ensure DroneMate’s as useful as possible.

dronemate  wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
I appreciate your support, as well as feedback or feature requests – also if you’re happy with DroneMate, your 5 star reviews on Google Play or the App Store!

This Map Shows You The Drone Laws For Every Country In The World (Updated Regularly)

drone sofia bulgaria

This map is now available in app form! DroneMate is available on the App Store and Google Play.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Many travelers buy a drone to shoot videos of the places they’ll be visiting but when you’re crossing international borders, not being aware of the local laws can cost you fines, hassle, the loss of your drone, or worse. Some countries, even those very popular with tourists, prohibit unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs e.g. drones) from being imported at all.

Many travelers have been caught off guard at customs and having traveled around the world with my drone, can say the rules are often confusing. A big part of this is due to a lot of hearsay and misinformation floating around online, so I got in touch with the appropriate governing bodies in every country in the world to put together this map of official laws for recreational droning worldwide.

  • Last update: July 25, 2017

You can also bookmark the map or this page to keep up with any future updates.

The map is updated regularly and only applies to recreational drone use – commercial drone use requires a permit in practically any country you can think of. I’ve also included links to registration forms and any other relevant contact information you may need before you fly your drone in a given country.

U.S. States And Special Circumstances

Several U.S. states have additional (to the Federal Aviation Administration; FAA) rules governing drone use, those have been included in the map above as well. Additionally, some specific tourist sites, parks, and other areas have their own rules concerning drone use, those have been noted as well.

Help Me Clear The Grey Areas

I’ve tried to organize the map into four main categories:

  • Green: Drone use is generally allowed.
  • Yellow: Drone use is limited or may require cumbersome registration processes.
  • Red: Drone import or use is prohibited or otherwise heavily restricted.
  • Grey: No data or there are no defined or applicable UAV laws.

Of course, not all drone regulations fit neatly into these categories so please feel free to comment if you have any questions – and in many countries, the law may say one thing, but travelers experience another. I hope that you’ll help add to this map by commenting about your experiences below. Lastly, although I’ve done my best to get the most accurate information but it’s informational and ultimately it’s your responsibility to know the rules and not get in trouble. I hope this map helps serve as a valuable guide as you travel with your drone around the world!

Is It Still Possible To Visit Socotra Island?

socotra dragon blood tree

The Socotra archipelago, particularly its main island, is one of the most neglected tourism destinations in the world. A big part of the reason, in addition to Socotra’s remote location in the Arabian Sea, is that it’s Yemeni territory. Despite being 380 kilometers (236 miles) off Yemen’s southern coast, visas, not to mention a precarious security situation on the mainland had kept most people away.

A frequent question I’m asked is whether or not it is still possible to visit Socotra, as Yemen’s civil war continues, bypassing the mainland altogether. The answer is technically yes; but you’re not going to like the details.

Flights To Socotra, Sounds Nice

I visited Socotra and the Yemeni mainland several months before war made it too dangerous for travel – obviously, a lot has changed since then. For a while, flights from Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates near Dubai on Felix Airways to Socotra’s capital Hadibu were infrequent, but flying occasionally. Those flights have stopped completely, despite the claims by a few tour operators in the UAE. I reached out to several of the tour operators in the UAE and Yemen, as well as some airlines who all floated the sentiment they were hopeful regular service would resume soon, despite there being no change for many months.

socotra island beach

Believe In Ferries

Some tour operators based out of the UAE sign people up to tours, claiming to arrange Socotra trips by ferry. Practically all are canceled, so be very weary before booking or giving money to any tour operator. All of the other options are fairly unofficial, such as traveler Johnny Ward coaxing his way on to a cement shipping boat, with a lot of local help.

“One whole week of phone calls, paperwork, cash, documents, visas etc. went by… to ensure my visa to Yemen wasn’t canceled… to ensure that immigration in Socotra would accept me via the cement boat.”

Clearly, not a travel plan possible, or desirable, by most of you.

Situation Determination

You really have to be persistent, determined, and adventurous to even attempt a trip to Socotra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are substantial costs, not to mention risks, right now in doing so. Travel to Socotra is likely to be practically infeasible as the situation in mainland Yemen continues to deteriorate with more than 70% of the population – most of these peopleneeding humanitarian assistance.

Those of you still wondering why you might want to visit Yemen can take a look to what was and hopefully what may be again one day.

Is This The Most Boring Place In The World?

The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament I run every year on this site is often controversial for a wide variety of reasons. 2017’s winner, Granada, Spain (yay!) wasn’t a surprising result for many of you who voted but the city it beat in the final, Campina, Romania, generated passionate comments of hate and love, mainly from locals.

Each year, I visit the winning Best City. I’ll be revisiting Granada this fall – though the fact that thousands voted for Campina while at the same time others wrote comments that I might die of boredom there made me curious. I have a goal to visit every country in the world, and there are many places I’ve visited which turned out to be very pleasant surprises, despite not having large tourist attractions.

You can see the story in the video above and decide if Campina is the most boring place in Romania or if a visit to the area should be part of your Romania travel plans.

My Camera Was Stolen In Argentina 7 Years Ago, Now I Finally Have The Pictures

buenos aires casa rosada presidential palace

In 2010 I visited Argentina for the first time, taking countless photos of the tasty foods and scenic views of Buenos Aires. I left Argentina with all of those pictures but when I landed in Santiago, Chile, they were gone. Along with my camera. I wasn’t robbed in a dramatic way – no armed mugging or crafty pickpockets – but fell for a sly scam at the airport which taught me two important lessons for all the travels I’ve taken afterward.

Those pictures I missed because of a security mishap had been on my mind until finally, six years later, I returned to Buenos Aires to get those photographs. Here are some of those pictures, 6 years later, and the story, from six years prior.

Traveling back to a place after a long while is like visiting friends with children, you’re surprised by how much they’ve grown, but also how recognizable their characters have remained. Like looking at an iPhone 7 but not seeing a smartphone since the 4S, the contrast is more evident since you’re seeing two moments in time, not witnessing the evolution in between.

buenos aires colorful street

But cities often look back at you, showing it’s not just them, you’ve grown too.

buenos aires canal

Some tastes may have changed, you can like a place you once hated, and getting to know yourself better opens up more travel possibilities.

la boca art

These beans at Cumana were so good, even the small cockroach in the dish didn’t stop me from finishing the bowl.

cumana buenos aires

A second ride around town with La Bicicleta Naranja was as good, and recommendable, as the first time.

buenos aires la bicicleta naranja

Many touristic areas are popular for a reason, like the very photogenic La Boca neighborhood.

la boca selfie argentina

Although I don’t remember specifically, there was probably a guy doing just this the last time I visited La Bombonera, the Boca Juniors soccer team stadium.

la bombonera

I do though recall flipping through the photos on my camera at Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires, prior to checking in.

park lezama buenos aires

When I got to the check in counter of a small airline I won’t mention, I was told that all of the electronics in my carry-on would have to be put in checked luggage. It was going to be a short flight, so naively, I didn’t resist much.

buenos aires old man

After landing in Santiago, many of the electronics were gone, along with some clothes. It was apparent that someone had a short time to reach in and grab what they could. I’m convinced it was part of an organized routine happening between the check-in crew and bag handlers – mostly because of the insistence of checking the electronics – which was never actually required and the knowledge of exactly where in the bag to look.

plaza de mayo buenos aires

For a travel blogger not having pictures of a place limits how much I can share of a destination. They’re also memories which can be looked back on, gone. On the other hand, not having one can let you focus on what you can’t capture with a camera.

cumana buenos aires

The theft of my camera cultivated two habits I’ve done ever since, which I would recommend to any traveler:

  1. Backup Right Away – After a day of taking pictures or videos, when you’re back at your hotel, transfer the data over to a laptop. Doing so ensures you have copies of you photos in case something happens to your camera plus it lets you comfortably delete pictures from your SD card or phone, in case it fills up when you’re out and about. There are some automatic wireless backup options or you can go with an external hard drive if you don’t have space on your laptop. No laptop? No problem, the WD 2TB My Passport Pro has an SD card slot, USB ports, and is wireless too.
  2. Keep Your Valuables In Hand Luggage – Although it seems very obvious to me now, at the time I didn’t consider theft from checked bags to be a significant risk. (Or even a thing.) Theft from luggage is fairly common all over the world and it’s important to keep an eye on your stuff through security checks as well. With all this thievery going on, tracking your stuff digitally may be a good idea as well.

WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive  WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive

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In the end, not having the pictures from 6 years ago brought me back to a place that was both familiar as I remembered but not quite the same. Which had changed more, Buenos Aires, or me? I wasn’t quite sure I thought as I left town, adjusting my small carry-on backpack with camera securely tucked away – probably, a little of both.

Small, Ergonomic, Revolutionary? A Review Of The Penclic R3 Wireless Mouse

The Penclic R3 Wireless Mouse is a rethinking of how you should use the gadget you probably touch most during a given day. Traditional mice put your arm in an unnatural position, causing wrist, elbow, shoulder, or even back pain from using one. Frequent traveling can make the situation even worse, especially if you’re working on hotel, cafe or tray tables in cramped spaces where you have to get into contorted shapes to type.

penclic r3 wireless mouse  Penclic 3-Scroll Ambidextrous Wireless Mouse – Black

amazon buy

I know the mouse isn’t the most interesting piece of technology to write about – they haven’t changed much over the past few decades. But as you can see in the video above, the Penclic R3 is really a creative design, put into a travel kit that’s small, light, and very ergonomic.

penclic r3 wireless mouse

The Penclic connects to your laptop with through a wireless USB dongle connection, has a battery life of about a month, and gives you precision hard to find in a traditional mouse. Getting used to the Penclic though will take some time but of all the ergonomic designs I’ve tried, this comes closest to real comfort in a size that’s actually practical for frequent travelers.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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Recent Articles

DroneMate App Has All The Current Rules For Traveling With And Flying Your Drone Worldwide

This Map Shows You The Drone Laws For Every Country In The World (Updated Regularly)

Is It Still Possible To Visit Socotra Island?

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