Steveb

Drone Weekends

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Hi Guys

 

Im new to this forum so a big hello to your community.

I've been looking into starting up a Drone business in the travel sector and would welcome peoples thoughts, ideas and guidence as this something I dont have a great deal of experience in with regards to Drones. 

I live in Southern Spain near Malaga, surounded by breath taking views and a nice size plot of land in the country side . My idea is to offer Drone enthiasts from around the world a weekend of droning in Andaulcia, with various benifits included such as: Camping on site, Tent and camping equipment rental, Breakfast, Airport transfers, transport for guests to scenic locations for Drone activities, Drone rental. Additional activies such onsite pool for their use. Evening excursion to additional venues for Apre Droning such as Gibralter trip or such touristy place.

 

Obviously these are initial ideas and I would love peoples feed back on such a viable business. It is obviously still in its planning stage but I think a short break for Drone enthusists is a potentially good idea and one that will hopefully be as sucessful as Golfing weekends, Mountain biking and other weekends that people love to do on short breaks.

Any input is welcome.

 

Thank you 

 

Steve

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Welcome to the forum.  

I have no idea whether such a venture would work.  Sounds like a fun idea.  

Do you think this idea would work if you didn’t include the drone?  I’m not sure people care about shooting aerial enough to plan their vacation around it.  Also, how much extra does it cost to use the drone?  Are you allowed to fly drones in those locations?  If so do a lot of people fly there?  

I have not idea what the right questions to ask about this, I just find it an intriguing idea and wanted to get the conversation started.  

Good luck.

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Hi  

 

Thank you for getting the conversation started, i definatly agree it is an intruging venture and one I hope with the right planning be a successfull one.

Im only in the planning stage at present and really looking to see if there is an initial interest with the idea and help from drone enthusiasts with regards to such things as their thoughts on trip planning and a what they would like to see or do whilst on the weekend. 

Ive looked into the laws for Spain when operating a Drone and they are fairly easy to stick to i belive. The Spainish regulations fall under the AESA and are fairly senisble such as no flying within 5miles of airports, 150 meters from buildings and so forth.

I would look to rent or include the Drones, but obviously this would limit the number of people I could initially take as cost then becomes a factor.  But yes I think you have to put drones in checked luggage, and unless some people use this as a stop off they are unlikely to book a suitcase for 3 days! so yes the more I think about it rental would be most likely.

 

Im hoping to get adivce on good Drones to get then at a reasonable cost for people to use, do you have any ideas with regards to a respected brand or Drone people would enjoy using. with regards to price of rental I would look to include in the overall cost of the weekend. 

I have not seen many people flying Drones and this is what really got me thinking as I know what a popular past time it is becoming, and have never seen anyone combine a short break with some flying, especially in Spain.

 

Where I am in southern Spain there are many many open spaces, many of the mountains and as such they are a place where the public can walk and generall have acess to, I would obviously have a few locations sourced before I avdvertise, but im friendly with the local tourist office and im sure they could help.

 

As an initial cost that would be subject to change depending on the offer people would want is around  300 pounds. which i hope would include transfers to and from airport, transport to locations for either Droning or walking if people prefer 2  days flying. Breakfast, some for of tent whether it be 2 or 4 man. and 2 nights camping. Drone rental. and potentially an evening trip  to Gibralter.

 

Thanks again for your input it is most welcome, and again this is just a start up idea i think has potential with the right setup.

 

Steve

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Hi 

 

Also if a party books and would rather break the day up with half droning and half site seeing in Andulucia some where, that is not a problem. Im also looking at making it a bit more exciting than just Aerial photography and would like peoples thoughts on such alternative activities such as a Treasure hunt, agility course or Night flying which is allowed in Spain depending on Drone size and local Authority approval. Something I would look to investgate further if people are intested.

 

Not to forget I have a pool on site, 3 acres of land and am 35 minutes from the Beach!!!

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19 minutes ago, Steveb said:

But yes I think you have to put drones in checked luggage

Actually LiPo batteries have to be in carry-on luggage, they are not allowed in checked luggage.  

21 minutes ago, Steveb said:

150 meters from buildings and so forth.

That’s actually a significant distance.  Most small drones have small cameras with wide lenses at that distance things appear pretty small.  

It’s such a historic area, I’m sure there are guided tours that provide information about the locations.  How much do they charge?  If you could combine that with the different perspective a UAV could provide, possibly a view of something that people taking pictures from the ground can’t get, people might be willing to pay a little more for that.  

Challenge is that there’s nothing to stop company’s already proving guided tours from adding a UAV to the tour, or people who already have a drone from just doing it for themselves.  You’d have to figure out how to combine several experiences in such a way that it would differentiate you them.  Probably not an easy task.

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hi Steve

As a drone operator If my wife and I traveled to Spain I would definitely consider your place as a stop. How ever I would bring my own drone and of course research the laws where ever I went before operating. Also here in the U.S. we have AirB&B I'm not sure if those are else where around the world but it would be a good starting model for you. I would look into how their model is built. However I would not business with them! Also with that being said I would look into cheaper options to those who have their own. (reduced price). ect. 

Another thing to look into is the Possibility of building small 2 person huts/cabins on your property in a secluded area as to not take away from the beauty of your property either. Of course that would require plumbing and power but just the bare necessities to keep the experience as a vacation. Also include converting power strips some tourist don't know that different countries have different power plug ins. hahaha. 

I would look into offering photography lessons to guest who stay with you, so that would require a licensed photographer. Along with the tour ideas you already have this would be a great combo to offer.

As for for your drones/rentals you will need protection/insurance to cover any damages to property or persons so look into that aspect.

 https://www.skywatch.ai/blog/drone-insurance-for-businesses?utm_source=uavcoach.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Blog_CaseStudy_dec1

As for your drone question my personal favorite are from a company called DJI You can look at their website at https://www.dji.com/. Right now they have a Mavic mini for $399 plus tax and many bundle options. This drone is the size of your hand so very small and fragile, yet easy to transport and a good start for beginners and your business venture. However there are plenty of other good drone companies to choose from, your going to have to do your research and find what best fits you. Um also with this type of business and offering drones to people your going to have to implement a security policy to insure somebody doesn't walk of with your property. Example mark drones with a number #1 #2 #3 #4 ect. and their serial number according to said number along with the name and contact info of whoever is currently handling that drone, I would use a computer for this because paper is expensive and bulky. 

well Steve I hope this gets your gears rolling a bit further and everything works out for you! Best of luck and looking forward to seeing you on here again.

Justin

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Hi Steve

I almost forgot to include that accidents do occur so I would also look into bundles that come with or for the drones you buy. Examples would be carrying cases, remotes spare batteries/charging ports, new wing blades for the drones ect... example this would be a bundle buy to get started, i.e. website below. There are also maintenance bundles that only include spare parts.

Also where you buy does matter. Amazon doesn't offer warranty but i'm sure you could buy one for extra cost vs manufacture will offer replacement policy options and or warranties. This route does tend to be more expensive though. Like I said just do your research and find what best fits you.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=dji+mavic+mini+bundle&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiYW44fKX5gIVjyCtBh2X7gXuEAAYASAAEgJruPD_BwE&hvadid=397158919403&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1016216&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=14630576284991362931&hvtargid=kwd-839485424068&hydadcr=2140_9908310&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_8dtbvyklub_e

Edited by JustinT

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Hi Justin

 

Thank you for taking the time to give me so much info and help it is really appreciated. Im still in the evolution of planning the framework for a set business plan and all the help and pointers peopl give me are invaluable.

We certainly do have Air BnB here and i have  used them previously. I have a small villa we have let out using one of these companies for 4 Years now gaining a 5 start rating from Tripadvisor something which will benifit me should I host people in the future for this venture.  At first I would look to keep costs down and offer the accomodation via Camping as Spanish building laws even for small or wooden structure is notoriously difficult. I already have a 5m x 5m Glamping canvas tent ready to go which will have a REAL bed fridge and electric, then more basic tents should people want to keep their costs down. in the future I would look to increase the glamping and potentailly offer a cabin, but i must wait and see how successfull or indemand they are before a start laying out for the. The facility will have electric, toilets and showers, basic I know but im trying to appeal to the camping community as well. 

 

as I have said the idea has evolved partly due to feed back from kind people as yourself and im thinking maybe 2 days of Droning is a bit much and so will be offering something i think is a bit different. Andaulcia is rich in historical and Archaeolgical sites that have guided tours from the grounfd but few offer the added bonus off thearieal view using a drone. I am a qualified Archeologist with over 15 years experience of the area and belive I can guide academic tours of Moorish, Roman and neolith sites from the air as well as the potential to discover previously undocumented sites since drones are not the utilized at present in spain as much as they are in the UK. 

 

This historcal and archaeological theme will be offered along side a city tour of malaga, which in my experience is a most beautiful and clean city, on one of the days, maybe i will do a half day droning and the afternoon in malaga. then on the second day again archaeological droning and in the afternoon on to a place such as Mijas Pueblo, which if you look up is a picturesque and quntessential Spanish white wahed village located on the side of a mountain. Agian this is just a thought.

 

I have begun to colate a map of legal drone locations and will cross reference them with significant Archaeological landmarks of interest to build and great tour route. Hopefully this will give me something different to offer in the area. 

 

As regards to Photography lessions I can certainly look into lessions but i would need to add this to the list of costs. I will research it.

Ive been asked a few times for costs of this weekend and It is very difficult to give this at present as im thinking of offering a lot of parts to the weekend, however as a starting point my base plan for the weekend and cost is as follows please let me know your thoughts:

 

Airport pick up 

welcome drink

Camp site plot for 3 nights, Tents can be included. or people can bring Camper vans and there own equpiment.

Breakfast for each morning

Transport to drone site

Guided tour of Archaeological site by qualified archaeologis 

Transport to City 

Transport to Mijas Pueblo for Spanish Village visit

Transport to Airport 

Drone reantal and insurance.

Use of a pool and sunbeds

Transport to town 

This list is just a first draft. But I would like to think people should arrive on a Thursday evening read for Friday and Saturday of activities the leave on the Sunday. And at present I would be looking for around 350 Euros. 

 

I will be looking at the bundles you have suggested shortly as I would like to buy decent drones for people to use. 

 

I intend to setup and dress the main tent this coming weekend, wheather permitting and hopefully start to produce some stock photos for people to view. 

 

so watch this space!!

 

Thanks again I will be looking at all your info and help immediatly.

 

Steve

 

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Hi Steve

Sounds like you have a great start already, Also this would be a perfect time to get an aerial photo of your property with the tents setup. I believe that would be a great photo for your business and customers. 

What type of transportation do you have in mind/ or set up for your guests? I would look into a shuttle van that can support 5 to 15 passengers and luggage. I would also look into a smaller vehicle for quick trips (more cost effective).

How far outside of town are you? Maybe bicycles can be an option as well. or scooters/mopeds. Another expense but maybe in the future.

Beverages are pretty cheap depending on the type you are serving so that could be as little as 5 Euros per person. Now food is an expensive cost especially having some one prepare and serve it to your guests. Now keep in mind there's 2 options you can take buy in bulk and make your food from scratch, (this route is cheaper food cost but more in labor) or you can buy prepared food and its effects are reversed(cost higher for food lower for labor.) Also what type of breakfast are you serving? A traditional dish from Spain or a broad dish everyone can relate too? I was a chef for a couple of years so I definitely have some experience there for you.

Answer how are you going to cook it, who is going to cook the food, and how will it be served?

Hmm... The rest I feel you have more expertise than I but I am enjoying bouncing these ideas off of you and are grateful to be helping you with what I can.

looking forward to your reply

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Hi Justin

 

Yes I agree I will certainly get the Aerial photography. At present though I have the tents and the pool as well as the property ovbviously, and space however Im having the washing and toilet facilities built and aranged over the coming weeks. I do think though a shot would be good idea and I will arange as soon as I can.

Location

We are 3.5km from our town centre which if your interested in having a quick look is a small town called Coin, in southern spain. Its so perfectly located as its approx 35 mins from Malag, Mijas Pueblo which is a famous spanish village amoungst tourists,  and within 1 hour of beautiful scenic areas. on google maps its under Coin, Malaga, 29100. Have a look.

For my initial offers im going to limit the number of clients to 6, which is a nice number since I have a people carrier which will fit 6 passengers but have available a minibus which seats 8 passengers if demand is high. I could certainly advise on options for extra transport but for starters I think if people are staying on site, the options would be hiriing a car in which case I can arange with local vendors for cheaper rates, who dont charge 1000 euros for deposit like the airport ones! However the short excursion im goin to off would include shooping in the town for supplies and my self as taxi if extra requirements were required. If people are using me as a stop on a tour of spain I suspect they will have transport already. 

As for cooking on site, as im only looking to entertain 6 cients for the smaller weekendsand I would look to cater my myself for breakfast and have a few options already which are with my capabilities! I have worked for 9 years in hospitality as a host and planner for Weddings and functions. Not as A chef like yourself but enough skills to produce quality products for guests. If however larger bookings or clients were more refined I know some local chefs who could help, however costs would increase.  If you have any ideas from your experience, that would be certainly welcome. Im looking a doing a bbq one evening and a Paella which im rather good at the following. I have catering facilities on site to manage meals for people during their stay with 2 ovens 3 fridges and seating for over 20 if needs be. and this can be increased as demands also increase. Drinks will certainly be available whilst on site and at cheap local prices,so 2 euro for pints 1 euro for soft drinks. 

 

Im so excited about this idea and appreciate your input. Im going to start offering a basic deal in the next couple of weeks and will send a link to my initial start up advertising, unfortunatly it will be social media and then reliant on places people look at with similar interest such as drone clubs an walking or tour guide holiday forums. but this evoleve and be more dynamic in time.  

 

I really do think this will work and if i take my success with holiday villa lettings success be a measuring stick it should be very successful as i love entertaining people and am enthusiastic about my potential

 

I wlll let you know as soon as I have more literature.

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