The 5 best drones to travel with

Drone photography and videography is definitely going to be the next big thing for travellers. There’s no better way to get great images and videos of your adventures. Drones provide a different perspective from what we are used to compared to images taken from the ground.

They give a refreshing new angle, showing as places we cannot reach. But lugging a drone around from place to place is not like taking your Iphone. Luckily, drones are getting smaller and more portable as technology advances, making it increasingly possible for every traveler to take professional-quality photography on the road.

Right now there are so many drones on the market that we’ll focus on drones in a price range between 500 – 1500 euro’s. In our opinion this are the best 5 drones for any travellers. These drones out there have a few features in common. The best camera, super-steady video stabilization and, in some cases, a foldable form factor that allows them to fit in the palm of your hand or slip into a backpack for easy transportation. 

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane No, it’s an unmanned aerial vehicle!” 

1. DJI Mavic Air

For travelers we recommend the Dji Mavic PRO.  This Drone was built to go wherever adventure takes you. Inheriting the best of the Mavic series, this ultraportable and foldable drone features high-end flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration.

DJI Mavic Air features folding wings, a 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, up to 21 minutes of flight time, and some very clever new features, including advanced gesture controls and shooting modes. The DJI Mavic Air, isn’t exactly inexpensive, it’s still the best drone for your money.

THE GOOD

  • Incredible portability
  • 4K video at up to 100Mbps
  • Near-perfect obstacle avoidance

THE BAD

  • Could have better range
  • Really need multiple batteries

2. DJI Mavic Pro

The latest release from DJI (the biggest brand for drones) is the DJI Mavic Pro. This is one of the best drones if you only need a drone. It’s like a Swiss army knife of drones. Planning to go on a day trip to the beach or a picnic in the park? You can fold it to a size of a water bottle, what makes it ideal to take it with you on every trip.

Even if you’re going to hike in the mountains. The Mavic pro got some other magnificent specs, like around 25 minutes of flying on 1 single battery, max. speed of 65km/h and a range of more than 6km. With a 4K camera on board, 30FPS and 12 megapixel photos it beats almost al other drones in our price range.

THE GOOD

  • Highly portable
  • Dedicated remote control
  • Follow mode
  • 4k Video Quality

THE BAD

  • Cheaper DJI Mavic Air is better in some areas
  • Unremovable camera and gimbal

3. DJI Spark

If you’re looking to spend less money and you’re a fan of Star Wars the DJI Spark is the drone for you. With its incredibly cool gesture controls that make you feel like a Jedi and its different colored body it’s definitely one of the most approachable drone out there. With the Spark you can seize the moment whenever you feel inspired. 

THE GOOD

  • Controller-free gesture controls
  • Absolutely tiny
  • Automatic Quickshot modes

THE BAD

  • Short flight time
  • Easily swayed by the wind

4. GoPro Karma

The GoPro Karma isn’t just a drone, but also has the ability to detach the waterproof GoPro Hero 6 camera. This camera captures ultra smooth hand-held or body mounted shots.

Karma combines all of GoPro’s best bits, including 4K video, 12MP stills resolution and ultimate toughness in a handy foldable design. Plus, unlike other drones, its controller has a built-in screen, so you don’t have to link up your smartphone before you start flying.

The biggest difference between the Karma and other drones is that you don’t  just get a flying camera, but a versatile adventure filmmaking system.

THE GOOD

  • Portable, fold-up design
  • Total stabilization package
  • Tight controls

THE BAD

  • Lacks collision detection
  • Not-so-autonomous auto flight modes
  • Short battery life

5. DJI Phantom 4 PRO

The one who can beat the DJI Mavic Pro on specs, is it’s big brother, the DJI Phantom 4 PRO. At the moment, this drone is by far the most innovative one on the market. Last week DJI released the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced. So, what are the differences between the Pro and Advanced? Both drone camera’s have 20 megapix photos, 4K video with 60FPS.

No other mide-range drone has a camera like this! The difference is that the Pro version have 5.8 GHz RC and backwards facing avoidance sensors. That’s all. This is why the Advanced will be around 150 euro less. The Pro version will cost you around $1399. It’s a big price difference comparing to the Mavic, which is $999.

THE GOOD
  • Highly portable
  • Dedicated remote control
  • Follow mode
  • 4k Video Quality

 

THE BAD

  • Cheaper DJI Mavic Air is better in some areas
  • Unremovable camera and gimbal

Bonus: Parrot Bebop 2

Are all good drones made by DJI or Gopro? No, of course not… A good competitor is the Parrot Bebop 2. A compact and powerful drone that makes every flight simple and intuitive. All new design, built with safety in mind. 

Weighing 500 g and offering 25 minutes of autonomous flight time, this leisure drone is cutting-edge. Its high-performance specs mean it can fly, film, and take photographs brilliant. $399,-

THE GOOD
  • Excellent battery life
  • Phone/tablet controls are easy to learn
  • Strong video quality

The bad

  • Touch-screen controls lack sensitivity
  • Camera is prone to lens flares

The best drone for travellers.

These drones are the leaders and best drones in this price class. But, when you like to travel with your drone, for me, there is only one drone which is ahead of the others. The DJI Mavic Air is the perfect marriage of unparalleled flying ability, it’s more then just a drone.

2 thoughts on “The 5 best drones for travellers in 2018

  1. Derek Antonio Serra says:

    Thanks for this article 🙂 I think that you have left the only true travel drones off your list though…The foldable 200g Zerotech Dobby and the Dji Spark. Both of these drones can realistically be taken on travels around the world without requiring a seperate backpack. I own the Dobby, and it can slip into my pocket or my camera bag together with my Fujifilm mirrorless kit. Not in the same league as the Mavic, but for the ordinary traveller a more realistic option at $350 – and no permit or registration required anywhere in the world as it weighs under 250g.

  2. Travelcommunity says:

    Hi Derek, Thanks for your comment. We focused on drones in a price range between 500 – 1700 euro’s. But we’re looking for someone to write an artikel about the best <500 euro drones out there for travellers. Let us know if you're interested 🙂

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