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Best drones for holidays – Edition 2020

Best drones for holidays – Edition 2020

What kind of drone should you buy for your vacation?

Top 4 Travel UAVs

On vacation, drones can unfold their full potential: Whether photos and videos of beaches or snow-covered mountains – the bird’s eye view is a great extension for every holiday video or photo album. But what does a drone for your holiday depend on? How light should it be? Which camera quality is mandatory? And how expensive can it be?

The best drone for your holiday should have the following features:

Requirements:

The Copter should be foldable and small enough to fit in your luggage,

be equipped with as good a camera as possible,

offer stylish selfie and autonomous flight modes

and of course not too expensive, so that the holiday budget is not exceeded (500€ should be invested at least).

The best travel drones up to 500€

DJI Mavic Mini DJI Mavic Mini 9.1
Parrot Anafi Parrot Anafi 9.1
DEERC DE25 DEERC DE25 8.6
Hubsan Zino Hubsan Zino 8.5
Yuneec Mantis Q Yuneec Mantis Q 8.4
Holy Stone HS120D Holy Stone HS120D 8.2
Holy Stone HS165 Holy Stone HS165 8.2
Holy Stone HS700 FPV Holy Stone HS700 FPV 7.9
The best 4K travel drones
DJI Mavic 2 Pro DJI Mavic 2 Pro 9.8
DJI Mavic Air DJI Mavic Air 9.3
DJI Mavic Pro DJI Mavic Pro 9.2
DJI Phantom 4 DJI Phantom 4 9.1
Parrot Anafi Parrot Anafi 9.1

I myself bought a drone for my holidays in 2016 as well as in 2019 and tested and introduced many more in between. With this in mind, I would like to introduce you to the best comrade drones for your holiday, including tips on what to look out for when buying and operating them.

Strong camera for the best beach pictures and Selfies

What would a drone bring on vacation without a good camera? Right, nothing at all. After all, on holiday you want to enjoy the weather, experience the countryside – and photograph the whole thing. Consequently, a good drone should also carry a high-resolution camera. In recent years, thank God, a lot has happened in the area of consumer and prosumer drones. More autonomous, more stable flight systems carry high-resolution, larger sensors, and foldable drones are gradually replacing bulky multicopters. This change makes it possible to buy a camera drone for a relatively small budget that captures the sea, mountains and forests in impressive quality from a bird’s eye view.

Good drone to take pictures on vacation

Midday sun and strong surf. Recorded with the DJI Mavic Pro.

Holiday pictures with drone: Coast & sunset
Rough coasts against the light of sunset. Recorded with DJI Mavic Air.

What you can expect for your money

Low Budget
(max 200€)
2-5 megapixels

not a good FPV

rarely foldable

no smart flight modes

NOT AVAILABLE

middle class
(300-600€)
8-12 MP

stable FPV

rarely foldable

rarely good flight modes

CONDITIONALLY SUITABLE

Highend & Professional
(from 600€)
12-20 MP, FullHD – 4K

high-resolution FPV

foldable & high quality

strong selfie modes

VERY SUITABLE

Buy a drone for your vacation: The ideal budget

As already mentioned, you have to spend some money on good models and you won’t be happy with copters under 300 Euro. These beginner models usually don’t have things like reliable GPS/GLONASS or obstacle detection, which is why every flight in wind (keyword snow & mountains, beach & sea) can become a unique risk. If the drone doesn’t have an absolutely reliable position or altitude, you won’t dare to go to the best locations, let alone let the Selfies mentioned above fly and film autonomously.
Also camera resolution, flight time and range suffer from budget restrictions, which is why I advise you either to take fun shots with a cheap model or to buy a really good travel drone like the DJI Mavic Air.

The 4 best drones for on the way in the comparison

If you want to travel with the drone, I recommend the following copter. These have the best mix of required features.

Foldable high-end drone: DJI Mavic Pro

Best drone for your holiday: DJI Mavic Pro
DJI Mavic Pro: First really good foldable drone

Foldable: Yes

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 740 gram

Dimensions folded: 19,8 x 8,3 x 8,3 cm

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 60 FPS

Photos: 12 Megapixel

Launched at the end of 2016, the foldable Quadrocopter is still the tip in 2018 for the best possible performance with a small pack size. 4K video, 12 megapixels, all kinds of flight modes and in the Fly More Combo everything you need for long journeys. The DJI Mavic Pro is the choice for all those who want to take the best possible pictures of their holiday destination and don’t want to worry about flying themselves (tip: learn to fly a drone). In the newer, better (but also more expensive) version 2 you will find the technically best drone in my opinion.

More info about the DJI Mavic Pro and a detailed test report.

DJI Mavic Air: Even smaller, even more selfie

Drones Test 2018: Reviews on current drones
Even smaller travel companion: DJI Mavic Air

Foldable: Yes

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 430 gram

Dimensions folded: 16,8 x 8,3 x 4,9cm

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 1080p at 120 FPS

Photos: 12 Megapixel

The smaller brother of the big Pro (1) was introduced in 2018 and offers just about everything the Mavic Pro stands for: the smallest possible packing dimensions with the best possible performance. New flight modes like Asteroid and Boomerang make even the Pro look old and the 360° sphere panorama is really fun. Due to the great new features and the even smaller and lighter design, my tip for mobile travel with light luggage and little space.

More about DJI Mavic Air, including test report.

Yuneec Mantis Q: Cheap travel drone for occasional flyers

Yuneec Mantis Q: Comparison & Test
Travel drone for little money: Yuneec Mantis Q

Foldable: Yes

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 480 gram

Dimensions folded: 16,8 x 9,6 x 5,8 cm

Video: 4K at 30FPS, Full HD: 1920x1080p at 30fps (with image stabilization)

Photos: 13 Megapixel

If you want to buy a good drone for your holiday and have only 300 to 500 Euro at your disposal, you should take a closer look at the Yuneec Mantis Q (330€). The Quadrocopter is foldable and light and fits into any luggage, no matter how light.
With a great maximum flight time of 33 minutes, the Mantis Q is also equipped for many flights without having to carry additional batteries.

The drone’s camera can take 4K videos and 13 megapixel holiday photos. In comparison to really good drones like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic Air or Parrot Anafi, the Mantis Q also shows weaknesses: The gimbal is not mechanically stabilized and therefore susceptible to vibrations and wind.

So the Mantis Q is rather in the category good and cheap. If you want to take professional aerial photos of beaches and mountains or need obstacle detection for selfie shots, you should at least use the DJI Mavic Air!

DJI Mavic 2 Pro/ Zoom: Holiday photography deluxe

Blows up a lot of vacation budgets: DJI Mavic 2

Foldable: Yes

Autonomous flight modes: Yes

Selfie drone: Yes

Weight: 907 gram

Dimensions folded: 21,4 x 9,1 x 8,4 cm

Video: 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 60 FPS, 1080p at 120 FPS, 10-bit HDR Video

Photos: 20 Megapixel, 10 Bit Dlog-M color profile

The third and most expensive option is the DJI Mavic 2. The Copter is available in two versions to appeal to different target groups: On the one hand the Pro version, which is equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera (4K/20MP). Whether profile (f2.8 aperture) or landscape (f.11 aperture) – the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the ultimate when it comes to aerial photography on holiday. With a flying time of up to 31 minutes, the foldable Quadrocopter is an enduring travel companion who, with a take-off weight of 907 grams, is neither too heavy for the backpack nor requires proof of knowledge.

You can find more information about this luxury aircraft in the detailed presentation of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Size does matter – smaller is better

Good drones for beach pictures on journeys
Strong pictures but (too) large pack sizes for many journeys: The DJI Phantom 4.

Whether you travel by car, plane, train or bicycle – space is always limited. For this reason, a drone that you buy (more or less) for your holiday should take up as little of the valuable storage space as possible. When you first get to grips with the topic of the smallest possible comrade drone, it should be said: You have been lucky and live in comfortable times! Anyone who used to take a drone with them on holiday needed an extra suitcase (which of course was especially suitable for this copter) – and this was by no means small.
Nowadays foldable drones are available in all price ranges, the most famous representatives are the DJI Mavic Pro and the DJI Mavic Air. Both are excellent drones for the holidays, which I own for this purpose.
If you buy a drone for travelling, make sure that you can stow additional equipment and accessories as compactly as possible. What you need for a drone flight in general and on a journey I have explained in this guide.

What is the minimum resolution?

In order for your videos and photos to look great in a few years, a good drone for holiday videos should have a sufficiently high camera resolution. Due to the price developments drones with HD or Full HD cameras are quite cheap today, but in a few years technically more than an old hat. For this reason I recommend to buy a drone with 4K camera. These too have fallen drastically in price in recent years and are now a technical standard. In this case 4K is the name for the video resolution, usually quadrocopters can take photos with such a camera with 12 or 13 megapixels. With such a camera you are in any case on the safe side on vacation and can compress the videos as desired and adapt in the resolution.

Flight modes for the perfect Selfies and holiday videos


You want Instagram-enabled videos and photos from your holidays, but are still a bloody beginner pilot? Then you should make sure that the drone of your choice has as good a set of flight modes and features as possible. Since the most impressive videos are usually based on flight maneuvers that are not easy to control manually, drones with ready-made, retrievable quick shots are recommended.
Copter’s under 300 Euro can’t usually do that well or safely, which can be considered a spoiler for the best drones on holiday: Unfortunately, these features cost money.
But you get super cool autonomous shots like Asteroid, Boomerang but also the standards of pursuit and classic Selfies, triggered by a hand signal, like the DJI Mavic Air.

One final word on the subject of permission: Please inform yourself about the legal regulations in your holiday destination. In many places there are strong deviations from German law, which must be observed.

If you have questions concerning copter choice or useful (or completely useless) accessories for your holiday, I am always available by mail and will gladly help you. Concerning legal basics I have to refer to the information pages of the respective holiday country

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