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Best Compact Drones for Travel

Traveling is the dream for most people. You may need a drone to capture your best images and videos when you start traveling, either nationally or internationally. 

What are the best compact drones for travel?

The best compact drones for travel are the DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI Mini 3, Auteo EVO Nano Plus, DJI Mini 2SE, and DJI Air 2S.

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There are quite a few reasons why these drones top the list of compact drones for travel, which we’ll share ahead.

Keep reading!

1. DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC)
$909.00 $729.00

Lightweight and Foldable Camera Drone

  • 4K/60fps Video
  • 48MP Photo
  • 34-min Flight Time
  • Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing, Integrated RC and screen
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02/27/2024 03:21 am GMT

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is by far the best compact drone for travel we can recommend.

This drone is very lightweight, weighing under 250 grams with the battery. It can also be folded and can usually fit into a larger pocket.

When you travel with the Mini 3 Pro, as with any drone under 250 grams, you may benefit from relaxed drone laws in some countries and territories.

Please always check your country’s drone laws to see if this drone benefits from these perks.

Mini 3 Pro also has a fantastic camera sensor that can film and photograph at excellent resolutions. It packs some of the latest drone technology to help pilots have a seamless flying experience.

On Droneblog, we often recommend the Mini 3 Pro as being one of the best affordable drones overall, and for a good reason. 

Specs

Takeoff Weight: Under 249 grams
Battery Weight: Intelligent Flight Battery, 80.5 grams, and Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, 121 grams
Foldable: Yes
Size Folded: 145×90×62 mm
Size Unfolded: 251×362×70 mm with propellers
Max Flight Time: 34 minutes with the standard battery and 47 minutes with the Battery Plus
GPS: Yes
Have Return to Home function? Yes
Does it have obstacle avoidance sensors? Yes, forward, backward, and downward (landing) sensors
Does it have Active Track or a similar function: Yes
Camera sensor: 1/1.3 inch CMOS
Video Resolution: 4k 60 frames per second
Photo Resolution: 48 Megapixels

✅ Pros

  • One of the best-performance compact drones for travel
  • Small, lightweight, and can fit in a pocket
  • Has a remarkable camera sensor you can film and photograph with
  • Benefits from avoidance sensors to help you avoid unwanted crashes and Active Track with a follow-me mode and other features
  • May benefit from relaxed drone laws (only with the standard battery)
  • Can fly for a prolonged period
  • Has an excellent transmission system for long-range flights
  • Compatible with DJI RC, simplifying initial setup when flying (as you won’t need to connect a phone anymore to fly your drone)
  • It is a very well-known drone among drone pilots

❌ Cons

  • Already an older drone
  • Not the most affordable compact drone for travels 
  • The Fly More Combo with DJI RC can get pricy

Why we like DJI Mini 3 Pro as a compact drone for travel 

You can put the DJI Mini 3 Pro in your backpack and barely feel its presence.

The drone is very lightweight, and it’s easy to set it up and fly straight away, which is advantageous to travel with it.

You can also take off multiple times in multiple places, even with the same battery. 

2. DJI Mini 3 

DJI Mini 3 (DJI RC)
$609.00

Lightweight and Foldable Mini Camera Drone with 4K HDR Video, 38-min Flight Time, True Vertical Shooting, and Intelligent Features.

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02/27/2024 05:31 am GMT

The DJI Mini 3 was released after the Mini 3 Pro and is a remarkable budget drone. DJI removed a few perks from the Mini 3 Pro to create a cheaper drone that is more affordable.

If you like the Mini 3 Pro but don’t have the budget to buy it, the Mini 3 is a great alternative.

Although it may have a few missing features, the price barrier is shallow and offers the same flight performances as the Mini 3 Pro, even more if we talk about battery life.

Specs

Takeoff Weight: 248 grams
Battery Weight: The Intelligent Flight Battery is 80.5 grams, and the Intelligent Flight Battery Plus is 121 grams
Foldable? Yes
Size Folded: 148×90×62 mm 
Size Unfolded: 251×362×72 mm with propellers
Max Flight Time: Up to 38 minutes with the standard battery and up to 51 minutes with the Battery Plus
Have GPS? Yes
Have Return to Home function? Yes
Does it have obstacle avoidance sensors? No, only landing sensors
Does it have Active Track or a similar function? No
Camera sensor: 1/1.3 inch CMOS
Video Resolution: 4K at 30 frames per second
Photo Resolution: 12 or 48 Megapixels

✅ Pros

  • One of the most affordable compact drones for travel that will offer you quite a few perks and good performance
  • The camera quality is decent, and it can photograph and film at a good resolution
  • Can fly for a long time, possibly one of the most extended flight times from our list of recommended compact drones (with Battery Plus)
  • Weighs under 249 grams and can benefit from relaxed drone laws 
  • Is fantastic to take it with you anywhere because of its size and weight
  • Compatible with DJI RC
  • Simple to set up and fly
  • Beginner-friendly

❌ Cons

  • Does not have any avoidance sensors
  • Does not have any Active Track features
  • Can film at 4k but only up to 30 frames per second
  • Although it has a good transmission range, it packs the older O2 Air Unit (transmission system)

Why we like DJI Mini 3 as a compact drone for travel 

The DJI Mini 3 is a fantastic compact drone for travelers looking for a budget drone with excellent performance and long flight times. It’s also a beginner-friendly drone.

This drone can be folded and takes up almost no space in a backpack. It may even benefit from relaxed drone laws (always check your country or territory’s drone laws).

What we don’t like about the Mini 3 is that the drone lacks avoidance sensors or an Active Track system. You won’t be able to use any automated functions like follow-me mode, orbit, etc.

» MORE: Drone Crash? Do This (Step by Step)

3. Autel EVO Nano Plus

Autel EVO Nano Plus (Premium Bundle)
$2,099.00

249g Mini Professional Drone with 4K RYYB HDR Camera, 50 MP Photos, 1/1.28" CMOS, 3-Way Obstacle Avoidance and more.

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02/25/2024 11:42 pm GMT

The Autel EVO Nano Plus is yet another simple and compact drone capable of filming at 4k 30 frames per second.

It has a unique RYYB sensor technology, dual focus, a 50-megapixels camera, and lots more.

Beneficially, the EVO Nano Plus is a very compact foldable drone weighing under 249 grams, so it’s convenient to grab and put in your backpack to take on your travels with you.

Although it is not as well-known as DJI, the EVO Nano Plus has the potential to reach the top compact budget drones for travel. 

Specs

Takeoff Weight: 249 grams
Foldable? Yes
Max Flight Time: 28 minutes
Have GPS? Yes
Have Return to Home function? Yes
Does it have obstacle avoidance sensors? 360-degree obstacle avoidance sensors
Does it have Active Track or a similar function? Yes
Camera sensor: 1/1.28 inch CMOS
Video Resolution: 4k 30 frames per second
Photo Resolution: 50 megapixels

✅ Pros

  • Is an affordable drone with fantastic flight performance
  • Has a 360-degree advanced avoidance sensor
  • Features a large f/1.9 aperture for low-light photography and filming
  • Has an advanced Dynamic Track 2.1 capable of following fast-moving objects
  • Dual autofocus system PDAF + CDAF and RYYB color filter
  • It can fly for a decent amount of time
  • Has an excellent camera resolution for photography and is decent for filming
  • Weighs under 249 grams and may benefit from relaxed drone laws
  • It’s foldable and can be transported easily in a backpack
  • The Fly More Combo Kit is affordable and has a lot of stuff to offer besides the drone
  • Does not have an active geo-fencing system

❌ Cons

  • Although the flight time is decent, it does not fly as long as DJI Mini 3 and other DJI drones
  • It cannot film in 4k at 60 frames per second

Why we like Autel EVO Nano Plus as a compact drone for travel 

Although it is not a very known compact travel drone, the Autel EVO Nano Plus is an excellent little drone we like, with an overwhelmingly positive response from the drone pilot community. 

It’s not the cheapest compact drone, but when you buy the Fly More Kit, you will get many accessories you can take with you on your travels, including two extra batteries.

4. DJI Mini 2 SE

Great Starter Drone
DJI Mini 2 SE
$299.00

Lightweight and Foldable Mini Drone with 2.7K Video, 10km Video Transmission, 31-min Flight Time, Under 249 g, Return to Home, Automatic Pro Shoots, Drone with camera for Beginners.

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02/27/2024 06:01 am GMT

The DJI Mini 2 SE was released in March 2023 and is currently one of the most affordable compact drones for travel and definitely the most affordable from DJI.

Although the Mini 2 SE may have a few missing features and is considered an entry-level drone, it still packs fantastic flight performance.

It’s exceptionally cheap compared to other drones.

Specs

Takeoff Weight: 246 grams
Battery Weight: 82.5 grams
Foldable? Yes 
Size Folded: 138×81×58 mm without propellers
Size Unfolded: 245×289×56 mm with propellers
Max Flight Time: 31 minutes
Have GPS? Yes
Have Return to Home function? Yes
Does it have obstacle avoidance sensors? No
Does it have Active Track or a similar function? No
Camera sensor: 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor
Video Resolution: 2.7k at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60 frames per second
Photo Resolution: 12 MP

✅ Pros

  • It’s the cheapest entry-level compact drone from DJI
  • It packs good flight performance
  • Can fly for a decent amount of time
  • Benefits from essential functions such as GPS, the return to home function, etc.
  • It’s foldable and lightweight, an excellent compact drone for travel; it barely occupies any space in your backpack
  • Weighs under 250 grams and may benefit from relaxed drone laws

❌ Cons

  • Does not film in 4k
  • Does not have any avoidance sensors or an Active Track system
  • The DJI RC is not (yet) compatible with DJI Mini 2 SE

Why we like DJI Mini 2 SE as a compact drone for travel 

If you’re looking for a simple entry-budget drone to take with you on your travels and with excellent flight performance, the DJI Mini 2 SE may be the perfect drone for you. 

5. DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo
$1,299.00 $1,149.00

Drone with 3-Axis Gimbal Camera, 5.4K Video, 1-Inch CMOS Sensor, 4 Directions of Obstacle Sensing, 31-Min Flight Time, Max 7.5-Mile Video Transmission, MasterShots, Gray

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02/26/2024 06:56 pm GMT

The DJI Air 2S is often overlooked as a drone for travel because it’s not the lightest drone, but it’s one with a fantastic video camera that can record at 5.4k at 30 frames per second.

If you’re seeking a compact, proficient drone for your travels with a professional-level quality camera, the DJI Air 2S may be the one.

Specs

Takeoff Weight: 595 grams
Battery Weight: 198 grams
Foldable? Yes
Size Folded: 180×97×77 mm
Size Unfolded: 183×253×77 mm
Max Flight Time: Up to 31 minutes
Have GPS? Yes
Have Return to Home function? Yes
Does it have obstacle avoidance sensors? Yes, frontal, backward, landing, and upwards avoidance sensors
Does it have Active Track or a similar function? Yes
Camera sensor: 1-inch CMOS
Video Resolution: Max 5.4k at 30 frames per second or 4k at 60 frames per second
Photo Resolution: 20 Megapixels

✅ Pros

  • Has a fantastic camera sensor for its price, providing unequaled video footage and photographs compared to similar drones
  • Has an excellent obstacle avoidance system
  • Comes with advanced Active Track 4.0, follow-me mode, and other similar automated functions
  • Can fly for a decent amount of time
  • It’s foldable
  • Has a good O3 long-range transmission system, perfect for long-range flights
  • Good video bitrate at 150Mbps
  • It’s compatible with the DJI RC

❌ Cons

  • Not as compact and lightweight as other drones mentioned here
  • It’s already an older drone

Why we like DJI Air 2S as a compact drone for travel 

The DJI Air 2S, to put it into perspective, is not much heavier than other sub-250-gram drones and is compact enough to be chosen for travel. 

With its camera, you can record videos at a quality and resolution not many drones can, and it is a very performance-reliant drone.

Other compact drones that may be suitable for traveling

Here are a few more compact drones that can be good for traveling.

DJI Mini 2: This is still an excellent and affordable drone! It weighs under 250 grams and packs a good flight performance.

There is not much price difference between the Mini 2 and Mini 3.

DJI Mini 2
$449.00 $374.99

Ultralight and Foldable Drone Quadcopter, 3-Axis Gimbal with 4K Camera, 12MP Photo, 31 Mins Flight Time, OcuSync 2.0 10km HD Video Transmission, QuickShots Gray

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02/26/2024 09:26 am GMT

DJI Mavic 3 Pro: This is the newest DJI drone with three fantastic high-end performance cameras, an omnidirectional advanced sensing system, a hybrid 28x zoom, and a flight time of up to 43 minutes.

However, this drone is not very lightweight, at nearly one kilogram, and is quite costly.

DJI Mavic 3 Pro
$2,199.00

Flagship Triple-Camera Drone with 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad Camera, 43-Min Flight Time, and 15km HD Video Transmission, for pro aerial photography.

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02/27/2024 03:16 am GMT

DJI Avata: Another fantastic drone if you want to get into flying FPV drones when you travel and capture unique types of videos, the DJI Avata is simple enough to learn and set up.

DJI Avata Pro-View Combo
$1,399.00

DJI Avata + Intelligent Flight Battery, DJI Goggles 2 + Battery, DJI Motion Controller.

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02/26/2024 04:16 am GMT

What to consider when buying a travel drone

Now that you’ve seen the best compact drones on the market for travel, you have to choose which one to buy.

Here are some pointers that will help you do just that.

Size

A drone’s size will matter a lot!

Usually, drones with the ability to fold, such as DJI Mini 3 Pro, will occupy very little space in your backpack or even fit in a larger pocket.

Now, the amount of accessories you can take with you is up to you, and how much space in your backpack you can afford to use for your drone and accessories

» MORE: Will a Laser Pointer Bring Down a Drone? (Answered)

Battery life

The battery life of a drone is very important.

Of course, we recommend extra batteries for your drone, no matter how long it can fly, just to be sure you don’t miss the perfect shots you’ve been looking for because of a dead battery.

Built-in camera quality

Nowadays, drones and camera sensors have evolved quite a lot. Drones with larger sensors have cameras that film in 4k with a good photo resolution and dynamic range. Better yet, they’re quite affordable and compact.

Simplicity of use

Another element we have to look for is simplicity of use.

You need the option to take out your drone from your backpack, unfold it, power it on, and fly it.

It would also be good if your drone is beginner-friendly, as not everyone who travels has much experience flying drones.

Incorporated screen remote controller

On our list, a few drones are compatible with a specific remote controller, the DJI RC

 . 

This remote controller has an incorporated screen that eliminates needing a mobile phone when flying your drone.

We need our mobile phones to be charged and ready to go when traveling. You don’t want a drone sucking up the power!

You also don’t need a complex setup and additional OTG cables to connect your phone, phone apps, possible mobile data, etc.

Obstacle sensing

There are quite a few more things that would be nice for a drone to have, such as avoidance sensors to help us avoid unwanted crashes, Active Track with different functions such as orbiting and follow-me mode to be able to capture some unique footage, etc.

Drone automatization has become more budget-friendly, and that includes compact drones as well.