Top 10 | Best Compact Drone For Travel | Buying Guide | Tips

Nowadays, drones are more popular than ever before. However, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you, with so many different models to choose from.

To make things easier, I have compiled a list to help you on your quest to find the best compact drone for travel currently available and provided information about each model and helpful tips and advice on how to choose the best travel drone for you.

I have also included a comprehensive buying guide and FAQ section to arm you with all the information you need before purchasing.

So whether you are flying around the world or want a flying camera for your next road trip, keep on reading to find the right drone for you.

Note – Please know, some of the external links on this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself.

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How to Choose the Best Drones for travel;?

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a drone, but now you’re not sure what to look for. So many things can be confusing when buying drones, so I will break it down for you in this post.

  • I’ll go into more depth later in the post, but here are some quick tips on how to choose which compact drone is best suited for your travel needs.
  • What’s your budget? Set this out first!
  • Look for a lightweight and compact model that is easy to fit in your carry-on or backpack.
  • Make sure it offers quality features such as an HD camera, long flight time, and GPS, or at least altitude control (to avoid crashes).
  • Find one that can return to its original launch point if it loses contact with the remote.
  • Choose a drone with different modes such as beginner, intermediate and advanced. This will allow users of any skill level to fly safely without crashing into things.

And now, let’s dig into our sweet list of flying cameras.

Ten best compact drones for travel

1. DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 3-Axis Gimbal Camera, 5.4K Video, 1-Inch CMOS Sensor, 4...

Key features of the DJI Air 2S

  • 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video
  • Large 1-inch image sensor
  • MasterShots feature, AI-driven to get the best shots in any location with just a tap
  • OcuSync 3.0 image transmission technology
  • Actively avoids obstacles
  • Flight time 31 min

Featuring a compact body weighing less than 600g, The DJI Air2S is currently one of the best of the best drones available right now and among the most advanced DJI drones that they have ever produced. It is the ultimate drone for aerial photographers on the move.

Equipped with an impressive 1-inch image sensor and large 2.4μm pixels with the ability to shoot up to 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video, you are guaranteed an excellent visual experience. With powerful processing capabilities and an advanced obstacle avoidance system, this is one drone that has got everything on board to make it perfect for epic aerial photography.

The DJI Air2S can deliver super-smooth video transmissions, thanks to its OcuSync 3.0 technology. The 10-bit Dlog M color profile is also another aspect of this device to be considered; it guarantees you excellent video quality while at the same time retaining all the little details in your footage.

It also comes with the next generation of quick shot intelligent flying modes such as MasterShots and advanced obstacle tracking. In addition, FocusTrack makes it incredibly easy for you to focus on a subject while flying or circling it at will.

This drone can track its environment in four directions: upward, downward, forward, and backward. This makes it very active when it comes to avoiding obstacles even while flying at high speeds. In addition, the DJI Air2S can perceive its surrounding using optical sensors.

With a generous flight time of 31 minutes, this is an incredible drone with many valuable features.

  • Awesome video quality
  • Advanced obstacle avoidance system
  • Good flight times
  • Exceptional image quality
  • Expensive
  • A little heavy at 600g
DJI Air 2S - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 3-Axis Gimbal Camera, 5.4K Video, 1-Inch CMOS Sensor, 4...
  • 【1-INCH IMAGE SENSOR】Equipped with a 1-inch image sensor and large 2.4μm pixels, DJI Air 2S is capable of 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video.

2. DJI Mavic Mini 2

DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo – Ultralight Foldable Drone, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photos,...

Key features of the DJI Mavic Mini 2

  • Compact yet powerful Mavic Mini camera
  • Weighs less than 250 gms
  • Supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD videos
  • Stay in the air longer than similar consumer Drone Cams
  • DJI Fly App requires iOS v10.0, Android v6.0, or above configuration

The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is an awesome drone and an upgraded version of the groundbreaking original. It is a drone that’s as portable and intuitive to use at your fingertips yet offers the power of larger drones. It is a capable drone, despite its small size, and a firm favorite of many travel bloggers.

It shoots 4K video at 30 frames per second and has a 3-axis motorized gimbal, ensuring the DJI Mini 2 offers amazing drone footage that is consistently smooth. As well as that, the 12 megapixels also has an inbuild 4x digital zoom.

You can fly for whopping 31 minutes on a charge, and there are plenty of accessories to choose from to make it easy for new pilots to fly, including 360° Propeller Guard and DIY Creative Kit.

The best part is it’s a very small drone with a weight of 249g— so (at the time of writing) you don’t need to register it with US, UK, or EU authorities! But be sure to ALWAYS check the local drone laws before you travel.

You need to know that part of the weight-saving differences is fewer sensors, particularly the obstacle detection sensors, so be sure to practice and get comfortable with your drone before trying anything too tricky. But don’t worry! Mavic Mini is super easy to fly, quiet, and stable, and won’t disappoint.

I highly recommend upgrading to Fly More Combo, including extra propellers, 3 batteries, charging hub, and carrying case! It will help you capture more scenery without worrying about running out of battery or storage.

  • Less expensive
  • Suitable for personal use and social media sharing
  • Miniscule size, built-in safety features, HD video
  • No optical zoom
DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo – Ultralight Foldable Drone, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photos,...
  • 【PACK LIGHT, FLY FREE】: at less than 249 g, it weighs about as much as an apple and fits in the palm of your hand. compact and convenient, this small...

3. Power Vision PowerEgg X

PowerEgg X Explorer 4K/60FPS Multi-Purpose Drone for Professional Photography, Video Conferencing &...

Key features of the Power Vision PowerEgg X

  • Power Egg X is a multi-function device
  • Comes with a handheld 3-axis AI camera
  • AI Face Recognition technology
  • Superior Sync Voice technology picks up high-fidelity sound
  • 4K UHD camera
  • A 3-axis gimbal captures stabilized views

The PowerEgg X is among the most advanced personal AI cameras! This high quality drone is a multifunctional device that can be used as your autonomous personal AI camera, handheld 3-axis AI camera, or high-performance drone. Perfect for travel photography.

There are also three different versions available, the PowerEgg X Explorer (basic), PowerEgg X All-weather (With weatherproof casing), and the PowerEgg X Wizard (can land on water).

The AI Face Recognition technology delivers accurate, efficient, multi-angle remote face recognition and subject lock on when following the subject. In addition, the patented SyncVoice technology picks up high-fidelity sound using the mobile phone’s or wireless microphone and automatically synchronizes the audio with the pictures.

With a 4K UHD camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, you’ll capture stabilized views of your subjects. With this fantastic product, you’re going to have access to an incredible range of features that will make capturing those special moments effortless.

  • Power Egg X is a multi-function device
  • Comes with a handheld 3-axis AI camera
  • AI Face Recognition technology
  • Superior Sync Voice technology picks up high-fidelity sound
  • 4K UHD camera
  • A 3-axis gimbal captures stabilized views

  • Reports of recording issues
  • Shorter battery life than ideal
PowerEgg X Explorer 4K/60FPS Multi-Purpose Drone for Professional Photography, Video Conferencing &...
  • PowerEgg X is a multi-function device that can be used as an autonomous personal AI camera, a handheld 3-axis AI camera, or a high-performance drone.

4. Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE

XiaoMi FIMI X8 SE 2020 Drone Quadcopter UAV for Adults,with GPS 12MP Camera 4K Video 8km Range...

Key features of the Xiaomi FIMI X8 SE

  • 8k camera resolution
  • 40 mins flight time
  • Top speed of 45 mph
  • 5.5-mile transmission range
  • 12 omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors

The FIMI X8SE camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera with intelligent shooting modes for stunning results. Push your imagination to its limits because aerial photography has never been this easy. You can even shoot aerial photographs as raw images.

Capture impressive 12MP photos with a 1/2.6″ SONY CMOS sensor while the 3-axis mechanical gimbal provides 4K/30fbs 100Mbs video. The secret to incredible HDR video is a high-performance image sensor. Video transmission distance of up to 8 km and can also deliver 1080p FHD resolution live stream directly from the drone’s camera.

An impressive flight time with long battery life, up to 35 minutes, allows you to pull off epic, fast-paced shots. In addition, 3x Digital Zoom Camera and Obstacle sensing in three directions make it extra convenient for beginners and improve safety.

Certainly worthy of a place among the best travel drones for the way it balances features and quality with a reasonable price.

You may also like the Fimi Mini.

  • Great quality footage
  • Excellent value drone
  • Returns to home if the connection with controller is lost
  • Sometimes takes a long time to find a GPS lock
  • Live video wifi stream drops out far sooner than advertised
  • Battery warning comes on a bit sooner than it needs to
XiaoMi FIMI X8 SE 2020 Drone Quadcopter UAV for Adults,with GPS 12MP Camera 4K Video 8km Range...
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5. Autel EVO II

Autel Robotics EVO 2 Rugged Bundle 8K Camera Drone Foldable Drone Quadcopter, No Geo-Fencing (2021...

Key features of the Autel EVO II

  • Stable flight duration of 40 minutes
  • Lightweight and foldable
  • Patented locking design for propellers
  • Interchangeable payloads
  • Live controller video feed

The EVO II is a long-range drone from Autel. It features 40 min of stable flight time to survey property lines or inspect electrical towers. The lightweight design, coupled with patented locking propellers and live controller video feed, makes this drone one of the most versatile on the market. In addition, its foldable chassis makes it easy to transport and deploy.

The unique design of the propellers allows for quick release in under 30 seconds. This is important when deploying on short notice or during rapid redeployment.

Equipped with a 3 color CMOS camera, the EVO II supports 8K video quality at 30 fps. The advanced sensor captures the best possible image and video quality, even in the harshest of conditions.

The controller features a built-in battery that lasts for up to 4 hours. This allows you to control your mission without the need for an external power source or mobile device. With this drone, all you need is the controller and live video feed directly on the device.

  • 8K video quality
  • Omnidirectional sensors
  • 48 MP camera
  • Amazing controlling features
  • Secured locking mechanism
  • Shooting using 8K has a limitation of 25fps
Autel Robotics EVO 2 Rugged Bundle 8K Camera Drone Foldable Drone Quadcopter, No Geo-Fencing (2021...
  • 【8K Camera, HDR Video】Autel Robotics EVO II Drone is world’s first 8K foldable drone on the planet! The EVO 2 packs a punch with an 1/2" sensor...

6. Holy Stone HS720E Foldable GPS Drone

Holy Stone HS720E GPS Drone with 4K EIS UHD 130°FOV Camera for Adults Beginner, FPV Quadcopter with...

Key features of the Holy Stone HS720E

  • Arrives with 4K UHD Camera having Image Stabilization
  • Full HD Camera built with Shock Absorption holder
  • Comes with a 90°adjustable lens
  • GPS Assisted Intelligent Flight
  • Comes with a battery that works for 26 Minutes in-flight
  • Has long-life Brushless Motors
  • A foldable design and well-fitted carrying case
  • Offers excellent stability and high-quality pic
  • Simple to control

The HS720E is a foldable drone and one of the best from Holy Stone. It is an affordable travel drone and one of the best entry-level options. In addition, it has intelligent features that are uncommon in a drone of this price.

The 4K EIS Anti-Shake Camera can help you to shoot high-res travel photos. Moreover, the camera tilts about 90 degrees. That is an additional bonus. The 5G connectivity makes it a great drone and is fluent FPV transmission that lets you experience the world around you in real-time.

The drone application ensures that you can control the drone from anywhere and share your video with a single click on the app.

It can offer you one of the best flying experiences. Even a novice can fly the drone. It is small in stature but quite a heavyweight in function. The flight is very quiet. A low budget drone is a great accomplishment and will be an ideal choice for many travelers.

  • Comes with follow me feature
  • Super compact drone
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Easy controls
  • Long charging time
  • You might need a replacement battery
Holy Stone HS720E GPS Drone with 4K EIS UHD 130°FOV Camera for Adults Beginner, FPV Quadcopter with...
  • 4K EIS Anti-Shake Camera with Sony Sensor: The EIS (Electric Image Stabilization) technology reduces video blurring; Sony Sensor is equipped with advanced...

7. DJI Mavic Air 2

Key features of the DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo with DJI Smart Controller - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
  • Captures great 48MP photos with a half-inch CMOS sensor
  • High-performance Quad Bayer image sensor.
  • 48 MP Photos and 4K/60fps video
  • Flight time of approx. 34 minutes
  • AI Level shooting functions
  • Active Track 3.0 keeps subjects centered
  • Compatible with the DJI Smart controller

Possibly the most popular DJI drone ever made, the Mavic Air 2 camera drone is an ultra-portable, powerful, and small folding drone for those who like to take aerial photography on the go.

With a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, you can capture stunning 48MP photographs, while the 3-axis gimbal delivers 4K/60fps video. The key to amazing HDR video is a high-performance Quad Bayer image sensor. OcuSync 2.0 transmits videos at up to 6.2mi / 10 km 

With a flight duration of up to 34 minutes, you can make stunning, fast-paced shots. In addition, obstacle detection in three dimensions makes it simpler for novices and adds to the safety of the Mavic Air 2.

It also works with the new DJI Smart Controller, which was created to increase your outdoor flying experience by bringing a built-in 5.5″ 1080p ultrabright display that makes your live feed easily viewable even in direct sunlight. In addition, the screen is approximately twice as bright as typical smart device displays at 1000 cd/m².

This is pretty close to a perfect drone.

  • Overcharging Protection guaranteed
  • Quiet functionally and Longer Flight
  • Epic image quality
  • Many smart AI-driven shooting functions
  • Moderately expensive drone
  • Smart controller upgrade is expensive
DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo with DJI Smart Controller - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 48MP Camera 4K...
  • UP YOUR GAME : The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It combines a powerful camera with intelligent shooting modes...

8. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Kit Combo Bundle

Key features of DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

  • Lithium polymer batteries
  • 4K Video capture resolution
  • Macro zoom lens
  • The minimum focal length of 1 millimeter
  • Fantastic adjustable features

Let me tell you about DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. It’s a clever compact drone that is foldable, low weight, and has a quality lens. It has one of the best cameras available in the market and can film in 4K/12 megapixels. The drone battery life is 31 minutes, with a transmitter range of 5 miles.

One of the stand out features is the dolly zoom function. A function where the drone flies backward while zooming in (it has a 24-48mm 2x optical zoom lens) to keep the subject at the same size while stretching and morphing the background.

This drone is a smart choice for travel videographers who value zoom lens more than some extra megapixels.

Both DJI Mavic 2Pro and DJI Mavic 2 zoom are very similar. They both belong to the same family with the same DNA (which includes the same size, equipment, and multi-directional obstacle avoidance system) except the camera. Pro has a 1-inch image sensor (20 megapixels) at a fixed 28 mm focal length, and zoom has 12 megapixels with 24-48 mm focal length. Pro is great for sunsets capture, while the zoom is mainly used for cinematic effects.

  • Handy and portable
  • 2X Optical Zoom
  • Excellent software features
  • 4K Gimbal camera
  • Expensive
  • 60fps not available for 4K
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter with Fly More Kit Combo Bundle
  • Please update the firmware version of your Mavic 2 to 01.00.00.00 or above via the App tips or DJI Assistant 2 on a computer before using. After upgrading,...

9. Ryze Tello

DJI Tello Ryze - Mini Drone Ideal for Short Videos with EZ Shots, Vr Goggles and Game Controller...

Key features of the Ryze Tello

  • Photos resolution of 5 megapixels
  • Weighs only 80 grams
  • It can be thrown up in the air to start flying
  • Multiple photos and video modes 
  • Digital image stabilisation

The Ryze Tello is a small drone powered by DJI. It comes with great positioning sensors and a 5MP camera, and 720p video resolution. It helps kids and adults who are ready to fly and learn about drones with coding education.

The Ryze Tello Drone is light in weight, only 80 gms, and fits in your jacket pocket.

However, it is very limited in its image and video capabilities, so it is more of a fun travel “selfie” drone rather than one that you will be able to kick start a YouTube career with. But with that said, it is cheap.

There is no GPS; you need to charge the battery inside the drone via USB. Images are saved directly to your phone and not a memory card.

To start the drone, simply launch the Tello app on your phone, select hand launch, throw it into the air and steer it using the virtual joysticks. Here comes the bit exciting feature of Tello.

Using the separate Tello EDU app (iOS and Android), it’s possible to program the Tello to perform a series of maneuvers with no real-time input from the pilot. Just drag and drop a series of blocks (like fly forward, take off) into a specific order, and Tello will follow the commands.

This tiny drone is suitable for low altitudes, short-distance flights, and aerial selfies.

  • Value for money
  • Programmable via scratch
  • Brilliant indoors
  • Range less than 100 m
  • Low-quality video
  • No GPS or return to home feature
  • No obstacle detection
  • Not foldableExpensive
  • A little heavy at 600g

DJI Tello Ryze - Mini Drone Ideal for Short Videos with EZ Shots, Vr Goggles and Game Controller...
  • The Tello records photos with a resolution of 5 megapixels (5 MP) - absolutely sufficient for a mini and fun drone, the weight of the Tello is only 80...

10. Ruko F11 Pro Drone

Ruko F11 Pro Drones with Camera for Adults 4K UHD Camera Live Video 30 Mins Flight Time with GPS...

Key features of the Ruko 11 Pro

  • Compact and Travel Friendly
  • 120-degree FOV lens and 90-degree adjustable camera
  • Capture footage in 4K Ultra HD quality and 2.9K video for stunning detail
  • 2500mAh Intelligent battery provides up to 30 minutes flight time
  • Follow Me Mode, Tap Fly, Point of Interest, Hand Gesture Shots shooting modes

The Ruko F11 Pro is a sleek, small, budget travel drone that makes the perfect camera for your travels. Its resilient construction and folding design can handle bumps and mishandling during most flights with ease. The intelligent flight modes make it easy to fly this machine, making you an instant aviation pro in no time. A great drone for beginners.

Its lightweight design is compatible with many compact cases, so travel never felt easier, especially when transferring between places.

With up to 30 minutes of flight time and interesting shooting modes like Follow Me Mode and Point of Interest, this could well be the best affordable travel drone.

  • Affordability
  • Durable design
  • Compact size
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive controls
  • Good selection of shooting modes
  • Video quality could be better
  • Weighs 520 grams
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Buying tips and guide

A photo taken by a drone of a beach meeting the forest

Choosing the best drones for traveling can be difficult; there are so many options around that it can be easy to find yourself confused. But don’t worry, I’m here to help.

The first thing is first, what can you afford? The good news is you can get a great drone for not too much money these days, and you can get an excellent drone with a bit more.

In my selections above, there are some great budget drones like the HS720E or the Ruko F11; you will usually find these around the $300 mark. But, there are also some other models, such as the DJI Air 2S, for around $1000. Of course, it goes without saying it is a better drone, but do you really need to spend that much?

If you are new to drones, I’d highly recommend getting an entry-level one first for a couple of reasons. One, it will help you learn how to fly. The last thing you need to do is blow $1000 on a sweet new quad only to lose it to the bottom of a Scottish lake after a month. Two, you’ll actually get an idea of how much you will use it. If you only fly it a few times a year, is it really worth spending that much?

When I got the first one, I was so excited, I thought I’d be flying it all the time, but I was surprised how little I ended up using it. This is what stops me from diving into the $1000 and above drones, just I don’t feel I’d currently get value for money.

But, if you’re loaded, and money is no object, do it!

OK, so with those two points covered, let’s have a look at a few of the other vital features that you should try to get right in your choice of travel drone.

How do I choose the best drone for travel?

A small drone flying | the Best Compact Drone For Travel

Battery life

Just like smartphones, drones also run out of battery. Even the best models struggle to surpass 30 minutes of flight time. You can carry extra pair of batteries. Make sure to include the cost of spare batteries in the total price of the drone while considering options.

Camera

There will be a lot of variance in camera quality, and obviously, the more you spend, the better it gets. These days 4k resolution at 30 fps seems to be the standard, although If you need to save some money, 2.7k is still very good. Some cameras now go up to 8k, which is probably more than my eyes, so I wouldn’t pay the additional for it just yet.

Some cameras are now offering zoom. However, I’m not too sold on the necessity of that yet as it will usually be digital zoom which isn’t as good as optical.

Brushless motors

Brushless motors are used on most advanced drones. They are more reliable than brushed motors, and over time, they need less maintenance; they are also quieter.

Integrated GPS

GPS is almost standard now on new drones and is key to a couple of essential features. The first is the return to home feature. This means no matter how far your drone is away from you, at the press of a button, it will come right back. It is an essential feature. The other thing GPS brings is stable altitude hold. My first drone was almost impossible to use as it wouldn’t hold altitude, so I needed to use the thumbstick to do it. The slightest touch and it would fly way high, or even worse, crash. So GPS altitude hold is a true blessing.

Gimbal

As drone price value increases, you will notice models having something known as an integrated gimbal. Usually 3 axis. Due to this, the camera remains steady while it explores around high wind and elevated altitudes. Toy drones (such as the Tello) usually don’t offer this feature as they are never required. So, when looking for drone models, make sure the drone has this function if you wish to shoot videos from height.

Collision avoidance

This is a premium feature often offered by the more expensive drones, but it is definitely worth it if it falls within your budget. In addition, good obstacle avoidance protects you from crashing against trees and unknown objects in your way while flying drones.

Range

The range can tell how far your drone can move away from you before losing any signals. More premium drones offer a higher range, some up to 10km. But, most country drone laws will only allow line of sight flying, so while you can fly 10km, whether you ever are likely to use it is worth considering. Please don’t break drone laws; you ruin it for the rest of us.

Shooting modes

The best travel videos have a variety of shots to hold the viewers’ interest. These are made easier with some of the great intelligent capture modes that many drones come with built-in. Some of the shooting modes to keep an eye out for include Dolly Zoom, Dronie, Tracking, and of course, Live Streaming.

What company makes the best drones?

Currently, I believe the best drones come from the company DJI Drones. They are the market leaders and have an extensive catalog of excellent drones both past and present. You can be assured that most DJI drones will have an excellent camera and be easy to fly, even the ones that are a few years old now, such as the DJI Phantom or DJI Spark.

Uvify drones are another new entrant in the market today. Their Draco racing drone is making headlines, and they are also working on drones with AI technology. Holy Stone, as a company, also makes great drones, as do Fimi (part of Xiaomi). However, DJI is the most famous of them all.

Are drones hard to fly?

A drone stuck in a tree as they may be hard to fly

Well, it depends on the drone, but if you have the right features, they are really not. The hardest thing is remembering which buttons do what regarding photos and videos and making sure you put a memory card in before taking off!

Nowadays, most drones have features such as altitude hold and return to home; you don’t have to worry about losing your drone.

However, with that said, trees can definitely do their part to take down drones. For example, if a rogue branch catches a propeller, it can quickly get stuck.

If you don’t have much experience flying drones, the first few times you practice flying your drone, try to take it to a wide-open space with no trees or buildings and spend some time getting to know it. Take the manual with you and try all the shooting modes and just get comfortable flying.

Fly fast, fly slow, take some footage of the snow (there doesn’t have to be snow, but it rhymes, so I kept it in there). Anyway. Just get used to it then when you need to take some close-up footage or fly over a lake, you’ll be confident that you won’t ditch the drone and can really focus on getting great video.

What travel drone accessories do I need?

There are several things that you should consider purchasing before you take your drone traveling. You should at least have these essential drone accessories:

  • Spare drone batteries
  • Sturdy drone travel bag
  • Spare propellers
  • Take off/landing mat
  • Spare memory cards

There are a few other optional items, but if you want to see more of my recommendations, check out my post on the best drone travel accessories.

Know Drone laws while traveling

A sign post marking an area it is illegal to fly a drone.

OK – this is really important to me and should be to you. Every country has its own laws regarding drones, and as it is a new technology, much like the drones themselves, the rules are constantly evolving, and it is on YOU to know them.

I often refer to this site for some of the most up-to-date laws, but even then, it may be behind, so do some research before you fly.

Here are a few good rules to begin with that are present in certain countries to give you an idea of some of the things to look out for:

  • Drones may be flown to a maximum of 120 meters (394 feet) above the ground.
  • Drones may only be flown during the day.
  • Drones must always be flown within the visual line of sight.
  • Drones must have a fireproof identification plate on both the aircraft and the remote controller.
  • Drone pilots must maintain a distance of at least 8 kilometers (5 miles) to airports.
  • Drone pilots must maintain a distance of 150 meters (492 feet) from buildings and a distance of 50 meters (164 feet) or more from people not involved in the flight.

As you can see, these are just the simple ones, but already that makes a lot of no-fly zones where you may have already been thinking you can.

So I’ll say one last time, know your laws.

Tips for better drone footage while traveling

While flying and taking video is one thing, getting good quality is something else. Now I’m still by no means an expert, but I was surprised, having bought my drone and gone for a few flights, that the footage wasn’t magically epic. In fact, it was pretty dull. So here are a few tips for getting better video footage.

Know your drone

As mentioned above, spend some time getting to know your drone and how the various functions work. Battery life is at a premium, so you won’t have hours to fiddle around with settings.

Know your location

Again, due to the limited flying time, it is always best to have a rough idea of where and what you want to shoot. Within this, I’d also say you need to know when the best time to get your drone footage. Depending on the sun, it may be best to take your footage in the morning or evening. The last thing you want is an intensely bright sun pointing right down your lens as you’re filming some majestic mountain scenery. It would be way better to time it, so the sun is behind the camera lighting up the scene.

Embrace the Intelligent flight Modes

Most modern drones have a plethora of automated flying modes, embracing them. The most common are:

  • Dronie – A ply on the selfie and a favorite of any travel blogger. This will make your drone fly backward and upward at the same time while the camera stays locked on the subject.
  • Rocket – Similar to the dronie, but the camera flys straight up.
  • Point of interest circle or orbit – set a central point, and the drone will circle around it at a fixed distance with the camera locked on the subject
  • Follow me – as it sounds, really, the drone will follow the movements of the subject. This will often have subsetting in which you can control whether the drone remains stationary and tracks or a set distance away and moves with the subject.

Go slow and go steady

I get it; you have a new drone and just want to see how fast it goes. Whizz it over here, there, and everywhere, but practice filming nice and slow. When you make your video, it lets the viewer get sucked in and enjoy the complete picture.

Practice cinematic techniques

It won’t come naturally, but do some research, learn some angles, maybe even by a course, and make sure you truly understand what makes a cinematic drone shot to create better footage and stunning travel content.

FAQ section

Do I need Drone Insurance?

If you are using it commercially, you definitely need it. This is very similar to getting car insurance done. The policy will cover most mishaps. Many clients in business will ask you to show them the insurance papers before getting into a deal with you. So, better be ready. If, as a hobby, it is optional, but accidents happen, it is worth checking how much it would be. Also, be sure to know if your travel insurance will cover loss or damage, as these are significant risks while traveling with a drone.

Do I need a license to fly a drone?

If you live in the US, FAA registration is required for any unmanned aircraft for recreational and commercial use if it weighs more than 0.55lbs (250 grams). Outside of the US, be sure to check the local drone laws before you fly, as it will vary from country to country. Many will require your drone to be registered even if you are a tourist in the country.

Is it safe to fly a drone above water?

Yes, it is; just don’t risk getting too close. Today, many drones have GPS altitude hold, so if you lose control, they won’t take a plunge and a feature called ‘Return home.’ This basically means that as soon as you lose connection to your drone, it will fly back to its last known location. So, if your drone gets lost over water, it will return to where it took off from. Just make sure you have these activated and fly without fear.

How High Can Drones Fly?

I know the first thing you want to do with a new drone is fly it high, right up as high as it will go, but be careful. Almost all countries have regulations on how high you can fly a drone. It is a maximum of 400 feet in the US, so while they can physically fly higher, don’t do it and know your local laws.

Final thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed reading my recommendations and guide. I’m sure you’ll love any of the 10 travel drones listed above. How about you? Do you have any other drones that should be on the list? If you do, or you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments.

Be safe, be legal and have fun!

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