The Best Travel Drone for Discovering New Places [2021]

Drones are now the most popular consumer gadgets on the market and almost everyone is getting on board the drone hype.

A few years ago drones were out of reach and cost quite a lot of money.

However, the introduction of consumer drones saw them flying off shelves due to their affordable prices.

These consumer drones come equipped with powerful cameras and new technologies that make piloting the units easier and offer a unique flair to aerial photography.

Drones are now so popular that some people always have their units by their side and take their units with them even when they travel.

For the best travel drone, continue reading this comprehensive guide on travel drones.

Drone

Features

Price

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Onyx Black
  • Flight range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight time: 21 minutes
  • Weight: 15.17oz
DJI Mavic 2 PRO Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Kit Combo...
  • Flight range: 5 miles
  • Flight time: 31 minutes
  • Weight: 32 oz
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video...
  • Flight range: 2.5 miles
  • Flight time: 23 minutes
  • Weight: 43 oz
DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White
  • Flight range: 100 meters
  • Flight time: 16 minutes
  • Weight: 10.6 oz
Parrot Anafi Drone - Ultra Compact Flying 4K HDR Camera,...
  • Flight range: 2.48 miles
  • Flight time: 24 minutes
  • Weight: 11 oz
Contents

Best travel drones to get your hands on!

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Onyx Black
  • Flight range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight time: 21 minutes
  • Weight: 15.17oz

The DJI Mavic Air is hands down the best drone for travel due to its size, optical quality, flight features, and price.

This unit has a portable size and when folded it’s probably the size of a tablet with the only difference being just a bit thicker.

The controller also is collapsible and all you have to do is remove certain components to make it smaller.

This device weighs only 15.17 ounces and can easily fit into any backpack and does not require any special carrying case.

Flight performance is exceptional and the controller pairs well with their phone through the physical plug and the DJI app is pretty responsive.

The flight time of the unit is 21 minutes while the flight range is 6.2 miles which is more than you’ll ever need.

It is loaded with a series of QuickShot modes that allow you to take some pretty cool photos and 4K videos with the 1 2/3 “CMOS sensor and 25MM lenses.

 

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Onyx Black
  • 32.0MP sphere panoramas - In addition to horizontal, vertical, and 180° panoramas, Mavic Air...
  • Lightweight and compact foldable design - You can take it anywhere with you.
  • Supports 4K video at 30 fps - The 12.0MP camera with Adobe DNG RAW support is ready to shoot. The...
  • Control your drone from up to 6562' away - The Mavic Air Intelligent Flight lithium battery provides...
  • Dedicated remote controller- Features a foldable, low-profile, ergonomic design to hold your...
  • Fly by phone - Set up tracking to shoot a friend, or head skywards for a quick flight using your...
  • Share with your friends - Shoot an incredible scene and edit it with just a few taps in the DJI GO...
  • Safe flight - Its five vision sensors, GPS and GLONASS, a pair of ultrasonic range finders,...
  • SmartCapture - Fun, simple, and intuitive, SmartCapture offers a new and interactive way of...
  • Included - DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller, Intelligent flight battery, Charger and...

DJI Mavic 2 PRO Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Kit Combo...
  • Flight range: 5 miles
  • Flight time: 31 minutes
  • Weight: 32 oz

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the go-to professional drone for travel since it is loaded with the most up-to-date drone technologies.

However, it does come at a steep price and should be bought if you need a drone to take professional-quality videos and photos for commercial use.

It is equipped with a 20MP 1” CMOS sensor for some stunning professional-grade images and 4K videos that are second to none.

The images and videos are sharp and clear, thanks to the stabilization system.

Flying the drone is pretty easy and the controller is responsive allowing you to fly the drone up to five miles away though you probably should never fly it out that far.

Flight time clocks in at an impressive 31 minutes with speeds reaching 45 MPH in Sports Mode.

 

DJI Mavic 2 PRO Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Kit Combo...
  • See the bigger picture: equipped with a Hasselblad l1d-20c camera with a 20MP 1” CMOS sensor, The...
  • Please Update the firmware version of your Mavic 2 to 01.00.00.00 or above via the app tips or DJI...
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 907G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots,...
  • Functions include active track 2.0, omnidirectional obstacle sensing, Hyper lapse, low-noise design,...
  • With fly More kit: comes with 2 extra intelligent Flight batteries, Mavic 2 car charger, battery...

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video...
  • Flight range: 2.5 miles
  • Flight time: 23 minutes
  • Weight: 43 oz

If you’re a beginner looking for your very first travel drone, then the DJI Phantom 3 is exactly what you need.

The unit can capture amazing videos and photos, thanks to a combination of a 12MP sensor and a 3-axis gimbal stabilization system.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to shoot 4K videos but as a beginner, 4K may just be too much to handle anyways.

However, if you do want to shoot 4K videos, then have a look at the pricier Phantom 3 Pro.

This Phantom 3 unit comes with most of DJI’s patented and effective in-flight technologies but has no obstacle avoidance system.

Again, if these are things you need, check out the Phantom 3 Pro.

The DJI Phantom 3 drone will serve the beginner well and offers a flight time of 23 minutes with a control range out to 2.5 miles.

Read this phantom drone comparison to see how each model matches up against the other.

 

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video...
  • Refer the user manual and videos on this page for troubleshooting.Enjoy the view: A live video feed...
  • View a live image streamed from the drone up to a half mile away on the DJI Go app using your mobile...
  • GPS assisted flight features let you concentrate on getting great images while the drone helps you...
  • Fly up to 25 minutes with the included intelligent battery. A range of accessories is included:1...
  • Update the remote control first before use.

DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White
  • Flight range: 100 meters
  • Flight time: 16 minutes
  • Weight: 10.6 oz

The DJI Spark is the best budget-friendly travel drone on the market today.

While flight time and flight range aren’t anything worth bragging about, the unit is equipped with some of DJI’s best features.

These include obstacle avoidance technology, QuickShots, and physical image stabilization.

Flight time is a mere 16  minutes and the flight range is 100m over wifi connection from your phone and can be extended to 1.2 miles with a remote controller.

It can capture 1080p videos and 12MP pictures which is fair enough for a budget-friendly option.

Other factors that make the DJI Spark a great choice are its size and build quality.

 

 

Sale
DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White
  • Intelligent Flight ModesSmart, reliable, and incredibly intuitiveQuickShotVideos with a Tap
  • High-Performance CameraAmazing images and stabilized videoMechanical Gimbal StabilizationShake-Free...
  • Flight PerformanceAwesome potential, immersive experiencesPowerful Propulsion Speed and Precision...
  • Flight SafetyWorry-free flight in the palm of your hand ; Propeller guards are recommended when...
  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera. Voltage - 100-240 V
  • Requirement = Windows 10 64bit, Windows 7 64bit

Parrot Anafi Drone - Ultra Compact Flying 4K HDR Camera,...
  • Flight range: 2.48 miles
  • Flight time: 24 minutes
  • Weight: 11 oz

The Parrot Anafi is an excellent alternative if you are looking for a travel drone that isn’t from DJI.

The unit takes impressive 21MP photos and records video in 4K at 30fps or Cinematic 4K at 24fps.

The optical performance of the unit is what makes it a worthy opponent to some DJI models.

It is also capable of zooming in and can rotate a full 180 degrees in all directions which is something that many DJI drones aren’t capable of.

The unit is lightweight and has an impressive battery life that offers 24 minutes of flight time with a range of 2.48 miles.

Do note that the Parrot Anafi 4K drone is more suited to experienced pilots since it does not come with obstacle avoidance technology.

If you are a pro at piloting a drone, this unit is worth considering.

Parrot Anafi Drone - Ultra Compact Flying 4K HDR Camera,...
  • 4K HDR videos and 21MP photos
  • Unique 180 Degree vertical tilt gimbal, ideal for low-angle shots
  • Battery provides up to 25 minutes of flight time
  • Easily check your battery's charge level

Do I need the best drone for travel?

Drones are popular and a whole lot more affordable today than they were a couple of years ago. 

Many travelers are now investing in a drone and this gadget is one of the hottest travel accessories out now. 

Travelers use these unmanned aerial vehicles to enhance their travel experience by using them in various settings and interesting ways.

They may use these gadgets to take aerial photos, videos, take selfies and pictures without the need of a photographer, filmmaking, and much more. 

There are a few questions you probably should ask yourself before investing hundreds of dollars in a travel drone. 

  • How often will you be using the drone? 
  • How good are you at piloting a drone? 
  • Do you have the time to practice using the drone before your trip? 
  • Am I allowed to fly a drone in the country or location that I am visiting? 
are travel drones allowed

If at the end of answering these questions you do decide that you need a travel drone then there are a few other questions to consider. 

  • What is the best drone to travel with? 
  • Are there any good cheap travel drones? 
  • What are the most compact and portable travel drones? 
  • Which travel drone has the best camera? 

Thankfully this article seeks to answer these questions to make it a bit easier for you to decide which travel drone is best. 

Identifying your needs from the get-go will help you to settle on a travel drone that meets your demands and leaves no room for regret.  

Can I take a drone on a plane? 

can I take a drone on a plane

Oftentimes, you can bring your drone on the plane with you unless it’s a very large drone.

Most airlines will allow you to travel with you and you can either place it in your checked luggage or carry it on the plane with you. 

If you are uncertain of the drone policies of a specific airline then do your research to ensure that you are following the rules.

Some airlines have different policies that cover checking in your drone or carrying it on.

These policies may include restrictions relating to the size of the drone or the type of batteries used etc.

If you’re wondering if it’s best to check your drone or carry it on, then most definitely you should carry it on if the airline permits.

This is because drones can become damaged in your checked luggage due to mishandling by baggage handlers. 

If you are allowed to carry your drone in person on the plane, buy a travel drone backpack or hard case.   

Just ensure that it has a TSA-approved lock and hard case. 

This will make going through airport security easy and without too much of a hassle. 

Another question you might be asking is if you can bring the batteries for your drone on the plane. 

On most occasions, you can bring your drone batteries on the plane but again check with your airline regarding the specific guidelines for traveling with batteries. 

Some airlines may allow you to travel with batteries while others won’t since most drones use lithium polymer batteries that can catch fire. 

Others may allow you to take only two batteries while others require you to remove them from the drone and keep them in baggies separately. 

To get a straight answer it’s best to check with your airline before flying with a drone. 

Things to consider when buying travel drones

When searching for the best travel drones There are a few things to look for before purchasing.

Weight 

Drones are available in different sizes and vary in weight, however, they are hardly ever cumbersome.

The materials used in construction and the technologies used are what determines the weight of a drone. 

Heavier drones can work to your advantage especially in high wind situations since the wind won’t be able to toss it about as it would with a lighter drone. 

However, when traveling you want to make sure that you grab one of the most portable drones for travel that isn’t too heavy. 

Size and shape 

As mentioned before drones come in different sizes and vary in weight.

They also come in different shapes and choosing the right unit to travel with can be very frustrating. 

Drones can sometimes be bulky, rigid, and downright fragile which can lead to many issues when traveling. 

Drones generally come with fixed bodies or foldable bodies and they both have their pros and cons. 

Fixed body drones are harder to travel with since you have to get a special backpack or case to protect them during transportation. 

Foldable drones, on the other hand, are the preferred type of travelers since they’re easier to transport due to their foldable designs.

However, foldable drones are more prone to breaking due to the extra moving parts they contain. 

In the end, you want the most portable drones for travel when going on your adventures.

Camera 

Most drones are equipped with small sensors that are less than 1” which can be a disadvantage when considering image quality. 

Drones with larger sensors like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic 2 pro come with 1” sensors that have a greater dynamic and image sharpness. 

However, identifying what you will be using the drone for will determine the camera quality you need. 

For the best camera drones, check out the best drone with camera guide

Flight time and range 

Other things you need to keep in mind when purchasing a travel drone are the flight time and range. 

A unit with a long-range and longer flight time means you can capture more and produce some pretty wild compositions as well.

If you would like to expand flight time you can probably keep a few spare batteries handy but make sure the unit you choose has at least 20 minutes of flight time.

Ease of use 

This one is a no-brainer and of course, you want a drone that is easy to fly. 

Some units come with complicated controllers that can lead to wastage of time and severe frustration. 

Look for units with onboard obstacle avoidance sensors, simple remote controllers, and flight modes that can make piloting the drone easier for you. 

It is also important to know which stage you’re at in the drone piloting process.

If you’re a newbie then, look for a unit with automated features that allows the unit to fly itself without little interaction.

On the other side of the side, experienced pilots may take their chances with a less than ideal controller since they have experience.

If you are buying a new unit to travel with, make sure you practice enough before leaving on your trip. 

Ready to fly 

All drones are not created equal and some are not necessarily ready to fly straight out of the box. 

Some units require some assembly or firmware updates before they work. 

Sometimes these extra steps require a bit of skill and screwing up is a possibility. 

To save yourself from trouble there are a few acronyms in the manufacturer’s description to indicate whether the drone is ready to fly or requires extra work.

RTF-Ready to fly 

RTF drones as the name suggests are ready to fly right out of the box or with very minor setup required like installing profilers etc. 

BNF- bind and fly 

Bind and fly drones come without a controller so you will have to control a drone using an app from your smartphone or by using a compatible controller. 

ARF-Almost ready to fly 

These types of drones usually come in a DIY kit with various parts that require assembly and in some instances, you may have to purchase transmitters and receivers. 

If you do decide to buy an ARF kit, you’ll have to do some research on every single part, how they function, and where they need to go.

Replacement parts and accessories

Drones like any other equipment tend to fail at times which means they can crash and break. 

Purchasing a drone that has parts readily available on the market is ideal because in the event of any mishap you can find the replacement parts easily. 

Doing so guarantees that you don’t have to throw the drone out and purchase a new one. 

Some manufacturers sell drone bundles which means you get the unit itself along with some extra parts and accessories for a reasonable price. 

Drone

Features

Price

DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller - Onyx Black
  • Flight range: 6.2 miles
  • Flight time: 21 minutes
  • Weight: 15.17oz
DJI Mavic 2 PRO Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Kit Combo...
  • Flight range: 5 miles
  • Flight time: 31 minutes
  • Weight: 32 oz
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video...
  • Flight range: 2.5 miles
  • Flight time: 23 minutes
  • Weight: 43 oz
DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White
  • Flight range: 100 meters
  • Flight time: 16 minutes
  • Weight: 10.6 oz
Parrot Anafi Drone - Ultra Compact Flying 4K HDR Camera,...
  • Flight range: 2.48 miles
  • Flight time: 24 minutes
  • Weight: 11 oz

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