Do you think about purchasing a drone for your travels to capture your adventures in a unique style? In that case, make sure you do some proper research in what will be the best travel drone for you. In this post, you will find out which is the best drone for travel. After reading this, you will be able to decide what are the best travel drones based on the different specs. Specs like video and photo quality, battery life, budget, weight and dimensions.
And we will give you some useful tips about the regulations for flying a drone in different countries. Finally, you will read what to be aware of when packing your drone for your travels. Because we travel full time with a drone and use it a lot for our videos and photos we know now exactly what you have to look for to decide what will be your best travel drone.

Aerial drone footage – A MUST have for your travel videos & photos

These days aerial drone footage is almost essential to have in your travel videos and photos. We’ve seen a lot of travel videos over the years and in most aerial footage is used. From our experience, we must say this perspective is still very unique to use in your content.  It works perfectly to use as an establishing shot or an extreme wide shot as an introduction for your audience to show where you are.

In terms of photos, most of the time we use our drone to create a perspective on how small we as people are in relation to nature. Always make sure you fly high enough to create this. A drone is a perfect “tripod” and you can shoot almost every angle you want to get the perfect shot.

In case you are here to get a quick answer on the question; What is the best travel drone?

Our top 5 best overall drones for travel:
1: DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Mavic 2 Zoom
2. DJI Mavic Pro/ Mavic Pro Platinum
3. DJI MAVIC AIR
4. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
5. DJI Spark

Drone with the best camera:
1: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
2: DJI Phantom 4 Pro
3: DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
4: DJI Mavic Pro/ Mavic Pro Platinum
5. DJI MAVIC AIR

Best drone for beginners:
1: DJI Spark
2: DJI MAVIC AIR
3: DJI Mavic Pro/ Mavic Pro Platinum
4: DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Mavic 2 Zoom
5: DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Should I buy a drone?

Before we start with what drone to buy, please be aware it can be nerve-racking to fly one. It was definitely for us in the beginning and we heard it from a lot of other people too. Why? Because it’s not easy and you are flying with equipment of $1000- $2000 in the air and you don’t want to crash it! But after a while, you will trust yourself and your drone. Always take it seriously and be disciplined to follow the safety and preparation rules. From that point, you’ll start enjoying flying it and you can focus on creating some incredible footage!

What are the best drones for travel?

The drones which we’ll mention are from the brand DJI. This company has proven to be the market leader and owns the market for now. We don’t advise to just buy because of the name. DJI is not the only company in the world that makes drones. We use DJI drones by ourselves and watched a ton of reviews on YouTube. This to figure out how different drones compare to each other. DJI drones are the overall winner based on quality, handling, technical specs. And they have the widest model range. Also, we think the DJI drones are the best beginner drones because most of their models have the FlightAutonomy system. This includes vision sensors and infrared sensing systems for up to a total of 5 directions of obstacle sensing and 4 directions of obstacle avoidance. How safe sounds that?!

With a drone you can see everything from another perspective.

Another top-down shot we made with our drone during our travels.

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Mavic 2 Zoom – Overall best travel drone

In our opinion, this is the go-to travel drone. If you like to do a lot of hiking or you find yourself in situations where you can’t carry a lot of gear, this drone meets all your needs you want to have to create stunning footage for your travel video. It has followed up the DJI Mavic Pro which already was a game-changer when it came out in late 2016. The footage from that one is good enough to start with but if you have the budget to purchase the Mavic 2 pro we absolutely recommend this because it will produce way better quality and you have all the latest features.

With the all-new Hasselblad camera, the image quality of this compact drone is very high and will definitely meet the quality you can get out of your 4K handheld camera. In this price range, the Hasselblad is the best drone camera you can get. It can shoot 4K/10bit and 20 megapixel still images and it’s small enough to fit in your backpack being only about the size of a water bottle. This combination makes the DJI Mavic 2 Pro one of the best drones you can buy to shoot your content while traveling. The video quality is the best you can get out a consumer drone. The large 1-inch CMOS sensor has amazing performance in low-light environments with a more extensive ISO range, from 3200 to 12800.

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How will this drone fly?

This drone has really high performances, it has features which make it easy to use and also the intelligent flight modes will help you, especially in the beginning, to make really professional shots. Also, it’s sensors allow flying without fear of crashing into anything. Don’t rely for 100% on them but they will save you for sure in a lot of situations.

Another great advantage of the Mavic 2 Pro compared to our previous Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian is the noise of the props. The blades are designed in a way to make it more silence and compared to what we were used to before these props make a huge difference. This is a great improvement in several respects, it’s better for nature and you can fly more incognito without disturbing other people.

Another great advantage of the Mavic 2 Pro compared to our previous Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian is the noise of the props. The blades are designed in a way to make it more silence and compared to what we were used to before these props make a huge difference. This is a great improvement in several respects, it’s better for nature and you can fly more incognito without disturbing other people.

Mavic 2 Zoom

A good alternative more affordable version of the Mavic 2 is the Zoom version which will you save around $250. The big difference is in the camera but the build of the drone is exactly the same. It comes with a 24-48 mm optical zoom camera lens which allows you to get closer to your subject while keeping the same distance. This is a really nice feature and together with the high-resolution mode, you can make some awesome videos and photos in a more creative way.

The video footage from the Zoom is less quality compared to the Pro. You will still be able to produce some proper shots but if your goal is to make a travel video you might saving up a few $100 more to buy the Mavic 2 Pro.

The Mavic 2 Pro has a lot of great features and we can say it is the best travel drone of this moment. To note some cons of this drone we like to mention the mounting of the Gimbal protector and the ground clearance. But these are just minor cons and when you get used to it then you can handle it well.

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2. DJI Mavic Pro/ Mavic Pro Platinum – The first Mavic on second place

The Mavic was produced earlier than its successor the Mavic 2 pro but in this blog, he has to do it with the 2nd position. Why? Broadly it has all the conveniences of the Mavic 2 Pro but camera wise it’s a pretty big difference.

The Mavic Pro Platinum is almost the same drone and in comparison with the Mavic Pro it has a different (platinum) color. The props are 4db quieter and the max flight time is extended. With a 30 minute flight time, the Platinum has 10% more flight time than the Mavic Pro which has a max flight time of 27 minutes.

For a lot of travelers, this model is still the best travel drone, and many have been sold. Because of the arrival of the Mavic 2 Pro, the price has dropped. So budget-wise it’s really an affordable drone with a lot of the same features.

With a 4k video resolution and 12MP sensor, the camera is good enough to create great content for your travel blog or social media. In the case, you are a professional photographer or videographer this camera will slightly underperform. The image quality is quite noisy and with a fixed aperture it makes it really hard to expose your image in the right way. ND filters are definitely needed for this drone camera, what you will confront with a con of this drone, the sensitive gimbal. From other travelers, we heard it can be a challenge to mount the ND filters because the gimbal is constructed in a fairly vulnerable way.

Buying a used model

If a new drone is out of your budget you will find out the Mavic Pro is available in large numbers as a used model. Because of the launch of the Mavic 2 Pro many Mavic Pro owners want to step over to the latest model, and we are sure you can find a good one for a reasonable price. Always make sure you check a few things before purchasing a used drone. For example, ask the owner to show you the total flight time of the drone, the amount of miles/kilometers the drone has flown and possible damages in the past. Always ask the owner for a test flight and go through all the controls to confirm if everything works as it should. Too cheap drones are too good to be true so always compare prices and when the difference is too much there must be something wrong.

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3. DJI PHANTOM 4 PRO V2.0/ADVANCED

The Phantom series of DJI are known for years as the best consumer drone looking to the features, image and build quality and easy handling. Compared to the Mavic series it’s way bigger and where you can collapse the landing gear with the Mavic 2 Pro, the Phantom 4 Pro doesn’t. Together with the bigger body, it will take a lot of space in your backpack. But its size can also be its strength because this drone is strong, robust and is very stable in heavy wind conditions.

We were using the much bigger DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone because at the time we purchased it, the Mavic 2 Pro wasn’t released. Regarding image quality, it’s still one of the best drones you can buy in this price range. It has all the features you need, like obstacle avoidance and different fly modes which will help you to produce beautiful cinematic shots.

If you are serious about shooting travel videos as well as photography and you want to grow in this, you won’t regret purchasing the Phantom 4 Pro. The V2.0 is the latest PRO version at this moment of writing. We’ll expect DJI is releasing the Phantom 5 Pro which will overclass the Mavic 2 Pro in his specs but it’s been always very hard to know when a new model of DJI will be released as they are in control of the market.

A really good alternative is the advanced version which has the same camera as the pro and costs more than $500 less! It has the same camera as the Phantom 4 Pro (V1.0).

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Differences between the Pro 2.0 and Advanced

Obstacle sensors: The Phantom 4 Pro has 5-direction obstacle sensing. Three sets of visual systems to avoid obstacles in front, behind and below the aircraft, as well as an infrared system which can sense on both sides. The Phantom 4 Advanced only has the obstacle sensors at the front and below. It lacks back sensors and the infrared sensors on both sides. Furthermore, the flight systems are all the same

Live view working frequency: With the P4P you can choose between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz to gain better signal stability in areas with high radio interference. The P4 Advanced does not support the 5.8 GHz frequency band.

Weight: The Phantom 4 Advanced is a bit lighter than the Phantom 4 Pro. This will not affect the impressive flight time of almost 30 min.

At this moment it’s hard to say the Phantom 4 Pro series will provide the overall best scores for the best travel drone. Before DJI released the Mavic 2 Pro it was the best in terms of camera quality and build. But in terms of travel convenience, the larger size of the P4P will be a reason for most people to purchase a Mavic model. And now it has to compete with the upgraded camera and features of the Mavic 2 Pro. But as we know how good this drone is, it’s the third-placed drone which we recommend to purchase for shooting your travel videos.

One of the best backpacks for the Phantom 4 series. Buy on Amazon

4. DJI MAVIC AIR

If you really need a compact drone and don’t need the image quality of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Phantom 4 Pro, this might be the drone for you. It’s about half the size of the Mavic 2 Pro and folds up to the size of a glasses case.

The Mavic Air has a 4K camera and 12-megapixel sensor. You can shoot some pretty good stills with this drone but from what we’ve seen we were not impressed by the video quality. It’s not bad but a big difference with the Mavic 2 Pro. Many professional filmmakers and travelers are complaining about camera quality since then. While it solves the portable issue of carrying a drone, it does lack in quality. Have a look here for all the specs.

You should buy this drone when size does matter. The compactness offers many advantages, not only when you travel with this drone but also when flying with it. The drone skills of famous filmmaker Sam Kolder are a good example of this as he shows in his videos flying though all kind of obstacles. If you are in for this kind of drone flying the Mavic Air is the best model you can get (apart from FPV drones).

Cons of this drone

Concerning travel conveniences, the Mavic Air can be placed as the best travel drone. But a big con of this drone is the maximum fly range. Because of the WI-FI video transmission, it’s pretty susceptible to interference. This may result in situations where you will lose connection with your drone or the image on the screen will lag. Luckily the drone will automatically return home when you lose connection. But I can tell from own experience this is one of the most frustrating issues you can have. When shooting content you want to rely on your drone so you can focus on shooting the best photos and videos. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case with the Mavic Air. So together with the less camera quality, we place this as the fourth-best travel drone

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5. DJI SPARK

This mini drone is the most affordable compared to the models we mentioned before. Although it has many of the same features as his bigger brothers like the intelligent flight modes, the camera quality is a big difference. It has a 12 MP sensor for stills but it can’t shoot 4K but only HD. Also, the gimbal isn’t that stable because of the 2-way design. And you can’t fold the drone like the Mavic series to make it more compact.

Despite the cons of the Spark, the price and overall features make this a perfect “holiday” drone. What I mean by this is that the drone can be used by people who want to fly for fun. Or occasionally want to take an aerial photo or video of their destinations.

Also, don’t expect a great flight time and range. To summarize, this drone has a good image and video quality (so not great). And because of the price and overall features we do recommend to purchase this drone if you are on a budget and only want to fly occasionally.

Extra batteries

Finally, we recommend buying some extra batteries or the fly more combo deals which are offered for almost every DJI model. For a few 100 dollars more you get extra batteries, propellers, and some other accessories. Have a look at the DJI store for more information and availability. Spare propellers and an extra battery are always included but from our experience, if you plan to shoot a lot of footage at a certain destination you will be happy to have 3 batteries or even more with you!

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COMPARISON DIFFERENT SPECS

Tips for traveling with your drone

As we’ve traveled with our drone for almost 2 years now we want to share our top 10 tips on traveling with a drone:

1: Purchase lipo safety bags for your drone batteries. Because this is necessary when you plan to carry your drone on an airplane.
2: Carry your drone batteries as hand luggage on an airplane. Because this is mandatory for most airlines and also carry your drone as hand luggage. Some airports will not allow this so make sure to check this out.
3: Discharge your batteries before carrying your drone on an airplane.
4: Take your memory card out of your drone to prevent losing footage in the case your drone gets seized.

5: Bring a good case or backpack for your drone
6: Respect nature everywhere when flying your drone
7: Also, respect people their privacy when flying your drone
8: Calibrate your IMU every time after traveling with your drone
9: Always calibrate your compass before every flight (when there is more than 1 hour between flights)
10: Research aerial rules and regulations when traveling to another country

Most of the time we use our drone to create a perspective on how small we as people are in relation to nature.

Aerial rules and regulations

So you bought your first drone and can’t wait to get in the air to shoot some amazing aerial footage. So before you do, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations. Take in mind every country has its own rules and even in some countries drones are not allowed and you can get yourself in the situation you need to leave your drone behind at customs, and might even have the chance to never get it back…

Because this blog provides you all the information about the best travel drone we won’t go too deep in this. But you can’t ignore the rules because you will be confronted with it anyway.

The basic rules are:

> Fly at or below 400 feet/120 meters
> Keep your drone within sight
> Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
> Never fly over groups of people
> Never fly over stadiums or sports events
> Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
> Never fly under the influence
> Be aware of airspace requirements

For more information specific per country, we advise you the following websites. And we also use the APP “hover” which will provide you with live information about the no-fly zones per country.

uavcoach.com
uavsystemsinternational.com

Our e-Book – How to make a travel video?

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions regarding this topic!

Do you want to learn everything about videography and how to start making your first travel video? Because then our eBook is THE guide you will need to read for this! Discover what equipment you can use and understand all technical information and let us inspire you how to be creative in making your first travel video.

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