Best Travel Drones – Comparison & Analysis

Looking for the best travel drone? You’ve come to the right place. Here you will find a collection of various drones for travel including drone comparisons, where to buy travel drones, reviews of travel drones, travel drone accessories, and our recommendation on the best drone for travel, overall.

Specifically we answer the following questions:

  • What is a good travel drone and what is the best travel drone?
  • How do I travel with my drone?
  • What are the top drones for travel?
  • How do I compare drones for travel?
  • What are the most important features for using a drone when traveling?
  • What is the best drone to get for travel and/or vacation (aka the best vacation drone)?
  • What is an affordable travel drone?
  • What is the best small travel drone?
  • What is the best travel drone with camera?
  • And much more!

Thanks for visiting the Best Travel Drone!

Image of Travel Drone at Dusk from Best Travel Drones Image 2

Table of Contents

To jump to a section, simply click on the links below.

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Summary – Best Travel Drones

For the impatient readers we’ve summarized our findings below and provided more detailed analysis (both in table and narrative format), farther down in this article. But for those looking for quick answers, here’s the tale of the tape:

The rest of this article examines the use cases for travel drones, how to pick a travel drone as well a summary of key technical specs for the various drones we cover.

Take me to the Drone Comparison Table, below, please!


Using a Drone for Travel – do I need a travel drone?

Drones have become wildly popular (and much more affordable) in recent years. Many travelers have started investing in drone technology to augment and enhance their travel experience.

Image of Woman Flying Drone from Best Travel Drones Image 5

In fact, drones have become one of the hottest travel accessories to hit the market in recent years. There are a variety of interesting ways that travelers are using drones. For example, travelers are now using drones to:

  • Take aerial photographs
  • Take aerial videos
  • Explore more of your destination
  • Improve influencer media posts
  • Take group selfies / pictures w/ out needing a photographer
  • Follow your adventure “from the sky”
  • Film / photograph interesting events while traveling
  • And more!

These are just some of the things travelers are using their drones for, and we’ve only just scratched the surface!

Learn how drones are reshaping all parts of society

Or watch this great video on the future of drones:

But, the question remains, do you really need a travel drone in 2021?

If you are still on the fence, here are some questions to ask yourself before sinking several hundred dollars into a high quality travel drone:

  1. How often will I actually use the drone when on my trip?
  2. Have I ever flown a drone before?
  3. Do I have time to practice using my drone before my trip?
  4. Does the country / location I am visiting allow drones?

These are just some of the questions to consider when determining if a travel drone is the right investment for you.

If you decide you need a drone a few other questions quickly emerge. These questions can help guide you on your travel drone buying journey:

  1. What is the best drone to travel with?
  2. What’s a good cheap travel drone?
  3. Maybe size is the issue and so you are curious: what’s the most compact travel drone?
  4. Maybe, just maybe, your question is what’s the best drone for travel videos?

And so on…you get the picture. USE CASE matters. How you intend to use your drone while traveling is important because it will help you find the perfect drone to travel with.

Take me to the Drone Comparison Table, below, please!


How to pick the Best Drones for Travel

Picking the right drone for your vacation or trip is the fun part. But, it also requires some forethought and planning. Some drones can be quite expensive while others can be incredibly cheap (and junky). And there are plenty of options in between.

Your choice of the right travel drone should be based on a combination of your needs, budget and experience / aptitude with flying drones.

Several key factors are important to consider when picking the perfect travel drone. Some of these include:

  • Ease of Use – how simple is it use?
  • Price – self explanatory, but how much does it cost? What can you afford?
  • Portability – is it going to be easy to travel with?
  • Weight – how much does it weigh?
  • Camera strength & quality – how many megapixels does it support? How about the quality of video? If high quality photography (or video) is crucial for you, these features need to take more prominence in your search.
  • Drone Accessories – what kinds of accessories will I need to buy?
  • Maintenance – What kinds of maintenance will I need to consider (e.g. buying new propellers, cleaning lenses, etc)
  • Warranty & Support – what kind of warranty comes with the travel drone? What happens if I damage it? How do I get support?
  • Battery life / Flight Time – How long will my drone stay charged? How many batteries will I need to travel with.
  • Safety Features – Does it have collision avoidance and/or return home features?

Making an investment in a travel drone is something worth thinking carefully about. Finding the drone that fits your unique travel needs, your individual skill sets, and budget is important.

Image of Two Drones Flying from Best Travel Drones Image 1


Comparison Table of Best Travel Drones for 2021

To aid our readers we’ve provided a quick summary table of 4 of the top travel drones, below, with a more detailed investigation of each drone after the table. Plus we’ve added a few others for consideration as well.

Best Travel Drones Quick Ref Comparison Table


Best Travel Drones – a detailed look at the top travel drones for 2021

In this section we examine each of the 4 travel drones noted in the comparison table in much greater detail, plus we highlight a new drone to hit the market. We dig into these best drones for traveling and examine the ins and out of each one of the them, including sharing a buying recommendation.

New Travel Drone: DJI Mavic Mini – the hottest new travel drone to hit the market

The DJI Mavic Mini is a new-ish drone to hit the market from industry leader DJI. This drone has taken the drone world by storm because of it’s compact size. In fact, it’s often referred to as the Compact Drone. In addition to it’s size the Mavic Mini really packs a punch with battery life featuring a 30 minute battery charge (which is very long for LiPo drone batteries).

Key Features of the DJI Mavic Mini

  • 30 Minutes of flight time
  • 12MP images
  • 2.7K Quad HD videos
  • Uses your iPhone or Android as the controller

If you are looking for an inexpensive, but still high-quality drone for your next trip, the DJI Mavic Mini is worth serious consideration and is easily one of the best drones to travel with.

DJI Mavic Pro – flaship consumer & travel drone – the perfect combination and the best travel drone 2021

The DJI Mavic Pro is consistently ranked by drone enthusiasts as a “best value” sort of drone. For travelers looking for the right combination of features, value, quality without breaking the bank, this is a win. It’s also very popular with travel bloggers who typically consider the DJI Mavic Pro the best drone for travel bloggers.

For example, ranks it a 9/10 and calls it “The best flying eye-candy you can buy.” And calls it the “The Best Small Drone.”

Many drone enthusiasts rate the DJI Mavic Pro the best drone for travel (and it is universally regarded as the best DJI drone for travel)

DJI marketing materials note that the Mavic Pro has “24 high-performance computing cores, an all-new transmission system with a 4.3mi (7km) *range, 5 vision sensors, and a 4K camera.”

Key Features

  • 21 min flight time
  • Camera: 3-axis gimbel with 32 mega pixel camera
  • Excellent portability – 9.7 x 8.9 x 4.7 inches and it folds for convenient transport
  • Speed: 65 kph
  • Key features:
    • Includes 8GB of onboard storage
    • Simple Control – the ability to take photos using hand motions
    • Tap and Fly – where you tap your phone screen and the drone flies in the direction of your tap
    • Active Track – automatically recognizes objects and track them based on where they are and how fast they are moving
    • Ultra Smooth technology – dramatically reduces shake and rolling shutters
    • Return Home (RTH) brings your drone safely back if you lose it

Click Here to See the Price of the DJI Mavic

Why you should consider the DJI Mavic Pro as your travel drone

Travelers looking for the best value for their investment in a drone should consider the DJI Mavic Pro. It is the ideal combination of value, price and quality and is consistently rated as the one of the top travel drones time and time again.

Downsides to the DJI Mavic Pro 

  • Some travelers have noted it can be a little difficult to hand catch which is important for travelers flying drones in denser areas
  • Other reviewers have noted that the DJI Mavic can have trouble with high winds, but there are mixed opinions on this with plenty of reviewers reporting no issues with reasonably high winds.
  • It is not a cheap travel drone

DJI Smart Controller Video

Check out this cool video from DJI explaining their smart controller technology:

The DJI Mavic Pro is, in our opinion, the best drone for vacation use given it’s feature set and reputation. That said, the Spark, covered below, is also a good drone for vacation in that it’s very easy to use which is hands down one of the best drones for beginners. 

DJI Phantom 4 Professional V2 Quadcopter

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro Version 2 is a high-end travel drone for serious users looking for the maximum amount of features and capabilities. In other words, it’s a professional drone for experienced drone users.

Travelers looking for a more affordable (and better rated, presently anyway) version, but still high-end quality drone, might consider the DJI Phantom 3 Pro which is one of the highest rated drones. In fact, some drone enthusiasts consider it to be a better drone than the Phantom 4, even. Click Here to See the Price of DJI Phantom 3 Pro

Travelers considering buying this drone for use on their next trip are advised to have experience with flying drones and have the money to expend on this pricey option. It’s also advised to make sure you really need the features and capabilities the Phantom 4 Pro V2 has to offer.

Speaking of features and capabilities, the Phantom 4 Pro V2 is the Cadillac in the DJI family. Here are some of the key features:

  • 30 mins flight time
  • Camera: 3-axis gimbel with 20 mega pixel camera
  • Fastest Speed: 72 kph in sport mode
  • 7 km transmission – meaning you can fly it a long ways
  • Key features:
    • 5 direction obstacle sensing technology (collision avoidance)
    • OcuSync video transmission which employs time-division multiplexing technology to send control signals and receive video signals simultaneously. OcuSync system scans for the frequency band with lowest interference and switches accordingly to maintain clear transmission
    • 1080 Live View – crystal clear live video

Click Here to See the Price of the DJI Phantom Pro V2

Why you should consider the DJI Phantom 4 as your drone for traveling

If you are the kind of traveler looking for the highest end drone experience you can spend your money on and you have the money, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 is for you. Make sure you have some experience flying drones, too.

A few other drones to consider for traveling

In addition to the drones noted above, here are a few other drones to consider for your travels.

Parrot Anafi

While DJI drones are incredibly popular, they are not the only drone company in town. The Parrot Anafi has performed well in many reviews and is typically fairly affordable (relative to DJI drones in some cases).

Click Here to See the Parrot Anafi Price on Amazon

PCMag gives it 4/5 bubbles on it’s review page.

The Parrot Anafi has several features worth noting:

  • Size: 2.5 x 2.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Weight: 11.3 oz
  • Flight Time: 25 mins
  • Max Speed: 49.8 kph
  • Portability: It’s a foldable drone designed for easy travel
  • Camera: 21 MP

For more information, visit Parrot’s website for details.

Here’s a video on why the Parrot could be (in some people’s minds) better than the DJI Mavic (we remain unconvinced, but they do make some interesting points):

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro

Yuuneec, while not as large or successful as DJI has still grown their consumer drone business in leaps and bounds. The Typhoon H Pro is a good example.

Click Here to See the Price of Typhoon H

The Typhoon H Pro is a six propeller drone that’s a bit on the large (and heavy size) which is a bit of a drawback for travelers looking for optimum portability. However, the features still make it worth considering for folks looking for an alternative to DJI products.

Key Features:

  • Size: 20.5x18x12.2 inches
  • Weight: It’s heavy at 4.3 lbs (but that’s really not that heavy)
  • Flight Time: 25 mins
  • Max Speed: 69.2 kph
  • Camera: 12.4 MP
  • Intel RealSense Technology which is used for obstacle avoidance.

Best Affordable Travel Drone

The best affordable travel drone is the DJI Mavic Mini. This droneprovides the best combination of value and affordability not to mention its ease of use. It may not be the best cheap drone overall (sure, there are others), but this drone is the best cheap drone for travel (the key part of that sentence being for travel). Meaning, that in addition to being one of the more affordable drones, the drone must also be useful for travelers.

The Mini checks all of these boxes. If you are looking for the best budget travel drone, look no further than DJI Mavic Mini. See the table above for more details.

Best Small Travel Drone

The best small travel drone is the recently released DJI Mavic Mini. This compact travel drone is one of the hottest things to hit the drone market in recent years. Not only is it a great portable travel drone it features the quality DJI brand name. Travelers who are looking for the small drone for travel should look no further than the DJI Mavic Mini. Be sure to check out our detailed description of this small drone in the above sections.


Travel Drone Accessories

When buying a drone to use when traveling be sure to verify what’s actually in the box. Drone manufacturers often create various bundles for consumers that include (as an “upsell”) additional accessories that travelers might find useful.

Common Travel Drone accessories to consider include:

  • Extra drone batteries
  • Drone controller (if not included)
  • Spare propellers
  • Drone Travel Cases
  • Camera Lens Filters
  • Car Chargers
  • Battery charging hubs (to charge several batteries at once)
  • Propeller guards
  • Hood to block sunlight when using your phone as part of the controlling system
  • Gimbal Protectors
  • Caps for your motors
  • And literally so much more…

And while there are a lot of different accessories to choose from the most important travel drone accessories are highlighted below:

  1. Batteries
  2. Batteries
  3. And more batteries…lol. You get the picture…you need a fair amount of batteries.
  4. Extra propellers. It is not uncommon to damage your propellers and having a few spare sets can make the difference on your trip.
  5. Storage Cards (SD Cards). Video can take up large amounts of space, so come prepared with lots of storage.
  6. Good travel case. Drone mfrs usually offer hard and soft shelled cases. Make sure to check what kind of case (if any) comes with your drone, and get a case for your journey. If you are going somewhere where you have to check your drone, get a hard case. If you can carry it on, a soft case might be easier (and lighter) to transport.

Pro Tip: If traveling to a foreign country make sure you have plugs that are compatible with that countries power distribution systems. When (and if) applicable, buy a universal plug. Be a shame to not be able to charge your drone on your amazing adventure!
We’ve provided links, below, to different accessories for the drones we’ve covered above.


Flying with a drone – can I bring it on the plane?

Now that you’ve bought your drone, the real fun can begin. But you might have some questions about traveling with your drone. We got you covered. Here are a few things to consider when getting ready to take your drone on your next trip.

This content has moved! Check out our detailed guide to traveling with a drone.


Learning how to use my Travel Drone

Now that you’ve invested a good chunk of money into your drone how do you fly the silly thing? What happens if you crash it?? Great questions.

It can be a little unnerving sending that thousand dollar drone up into the air knowing you (yes you!) might crash it.

Not to worry though. Most modern drones have collision avoidance technology which helps mitigate the chances of that happening.

Image of Drone Flying on Brown Background from Best Travel Drones Image 3

Moreover, some practice flying is definitely worth your while. Before you do that, though, you need to do some homework. Specifically, you need to do some learning. Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Read your travel drone’s manual completely and thoroughly – get to know it!
  2. Watch a few videos on flying drones (ideally your make / model of drone) – see a few we posted, below
  3. Research other guides / manuals / tips on learning how to fly your drone
    1. DJI’s How to Fly a Drone Beginner’s Manual
    2. How to Fly a Drone – A Beginner’s Guide (from UAVCoach)
    3. How to fly a quadcopter (from DroneNodes)
    4. Consider joining a local drone enthusiast club or find a drone meetup.
  4. Take a class!
    1. ABJ Academy (highly recommended)
    2. UAV Coach has lots of great programs
    3. Dart Drones has programs as well
  5. Practice, practice, practice

After you’ve mastered the art of flying, it’s time to go deeper. You’ve invested in a travel drone to take your trip to the next level. That means high quality video and great photography.

Here are some resources to help you take better photos and videos with your travel drone:

Videos to Watch on Learning how to Fly your Drone

Here’s a few drone videos that might help you get your travel drone journey started:

Previous Winners of the Best Travel Drone 2019 and earlier

These drones used to claim the throne, however, as drone technology continues to advance, they’ve been replaced and in some cases, cannot even be purchased. We keep ’em here so our readers have a sense of how far the travel drone industry has come. We’ve even kept our original write up of them, although please note that some of our comments may no longer be applicable in that a few of these drones have been outpaced by other, newer drones. 

DJI Spark Drone Quadcopter – best affordable travel drone (aka the Selfie Drone)

The DJI Spark is the best affordable travel drone of the bunch. It’s also the most feature-light and most compact drone for travel. We like to think of this drone as more of an entry level travel drone or a beginner’s drone.

The DJI Spark, in our opinion is more of entry level travel drone

While all of the major features that most DJI drones have are included with this drone (like quick launch and active track), it has a little less horsepower in areas like battery life (which impacts flight time) and camera quality.

In fact, drone enthusiasts often refer to the DJI Spark as the Selfie Drone because it’s great for selfie takers, is easy to use and the best affordable travel drone on the market.

The DJI SPark is a “mini-drone” which makes it the smallest of the drones we have shared above. Price and size are the DJI Spark’s primary benefits.

Click Here to See the Price of the DJI Spark – aka Selfie Drone

It’s key features include:

  • 16 min flight time
  • Camera: 2-axis gimbel with 12 mega pixel camera
  • Maximum portability – 6.7 x 7.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Speed: 31 mph (50 kph)
  • Colors: Alpine White, Lava Red, Sky Blue
  • Apps: Supports DJI GO 4 App
  • Key features:
    • Faceaware Quicklaunch technology – drone can take off after recognizing your phase for quick use
    • Simple Control – the ability to take photos using hand motions
    • Tap and Fly – where you tap your phone screen and the drone flies in the direction of your tap
    • Active Track – automatically recognizes objects and track them based on where they are and how fast they are moving
    • Ultra Smooth technology – dramatically reduces shake and rolling shutters
    • Return Home (RTH) brings your drone safely back if you lose it

Why you should consider the DJI Spark as your travel drone

If an affordable travel drone that still features good quality manufacturing and a big name (DJI is the leader in drones) the DJI Spark will do the trick.

Amazon sells the DJI Spark and you can buy it directly from DJI themselves (usually with free shipping).

GoPro Karma with HERO6 Black

Note: this model can no longer be purchased. 

Adventure sports film leader GoPro entered the drone business with the release of their (currently) only drone on the market: the Karma.

The Karma is a drone that allows users to attach an existing GoPro HERO6 to it, thus providing a more economical approach to your drone investment.

However, the Karma will not be around for long so buyers beware (see announcement). GoPro has announced it’s exit of the drone market.

That said, travelers are still able to find deals on existing inventory and for folks who’ve already invested in a GoPro camera might find this to be a rational and more affordable way to get your hands on a drone.

Why you should consider the GoPro Karma as your travel drone (although this is definitely NOT the best drone for travel)

If you already have invested in a GoPro HERO6, the Karma might be worth the risk.

Final Thoughts on the Best Travel Drones

We hope you enjoyed learning about and comparing travel drones. What drone did you decide on? We can’t wait to hear about it. Send us a video!!

If you are interested in Travel Tips, make sure to check out our main site, where you will find a variety of practical travel tips, travel hacks, product reviews, (including the 20 best travel purses, fun backyard games, cool backyard water toys), travel memes, and the latest travel news.

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