If you are someone who travels a lot then you must have an idea of how expensive it can get. Therefore, your first priority becomes to somehow get the best experience of everything while staying on a budget. Looking for affordable things including tech gear seems like the best approach in order to save money for other things like food, travel, and so on. You can find a range of affordable options for drones in the market, but you need to make sure that the one you are getting is the best affordable travel drone that you can get. Although while looking for a travel drone, you should know some of the key features that are a must to have in a travel drone. These features help you with the drone and make dealing with it a lot effortless.
THINGS YOU NEED TO LOOK FOR IN A TRAVEL DRONE
All the things mentioned below are the features that you would always appreciate in a drone no matter for what purpose you are buying it for. However, for a travel drone, these features are mandatory in order to get the best experience out of it.
If you travel often, you would have a clear idea of what a headache it can become to carry your luggage around. Most of the travelers around the world due to the same reason start keeping a minimalistic approach in selecting things they want to travel with, which means a couple of clothes, a pair or two of shoes, and some essentials to make carrying things around easier.
But what about the tech gadgets that are a must for you if you are into blogging, vlogging, or photography? You will have to look for devices that will fit in your backpack and can be carried around without being a burden. The best option that is available for you is the foldable drones that can fold up to the size which can fit in your palm.
These kinds of drones come in the handiest as they can easily fit in your backpack or big pockets of your cargo pants. Thus, portability plays a vital role in looking for the best affordable travel drone.
The next thing that you need to make sure of is that the drone has an affordable price so that you can stay within the budget. Looking for affordable options doesn’t mean that you are looking for low-end options.
With the increase in demand over the last few years, the companies have started introducing affordable options with some reliable near-to high-end features to help you get the experience that you are willing to get. Holy Stone HS 720E is one of the most appropriate examples of such drones.
It is affordable yet you can get a ton of impressive features in it. Therefore look for a drone that enables you to save money and still provide you with your desirable experience.
You don’t want your drone to die in the middle of a trip, do you? Therefore you should keep in mind that solid battery life is one of the most important things to look for while buying a travel drone. A battery life above 15 minutes will do just fine but having a battery life of around 30 minutes will be more reliable. You could always get yourself some spare batteries, but for that, you will have to invest more.
A lot of the intelligence flight modes that the drones feature include the use of GPS. With the lack of GPS, you will be left with a couple to no high-end intelligence flight modes which I am sure you will not want. Therefore, have GPS available will only make things more efficient.
INTELLIGENT FLIGHT FEATURES:
Intelligent flight modes are those features which make piloting the drone a lot easier and more fun. These enable the drone to take control over all the piloting parts meanwhile you can focus on controlling the camera and taking pictures and videos. These modes come in handy especially if you are a beginner and have not or less experience in piloting the drone and controlling the camera simultaneously. Some of these modes include follow-me mode, waypoint mode, orbit mode, and many more.
If you are a traveler so I am sure that you will not want to buy a travel drone just out of your hobby. You will want it to record what you are seeing from a different angle and share it with the world.
And for that you will need a solid camera quality which I assure you, you can get while sating within the budget. To get some reliable 4K camera drone options to check out Best 4K drones under 500.
Looking for a drone that features a 4K drone will be the most appreciable decision, but you could also go for a drone that can record at 1080p, but anything less is not recommended if your priorities lie in photography and videography.
Some of the most reliable options for the best affordable travel drone include:
POTENSIC D85 DRONE
- WEIGHT: 1.15 pounds
- CAMERA: 2K
- BATTERY: 20 min
- RANGE: 1.5 KM
Potensic D85 is a pretty aesthetic-looking drone having a weight of 1.15 pounds. It is a lightweight drone but is not foldable. However, that doesn’t mean it is not portable, its lightweight and already small size make it somewhat handy to carry around.
It comes with detachable legs which are relatively long compared to other drones in the market. These legs provide protection to the camera as the drone comes attached to a camera mount which even enables you to detach the camera and attach your own.
The landing gear also protects the drone while landing as if you are a beginner you will have a hard time landing the drone during the first few flights. The drone has a pretty durable body and is made up of ABS plastic which means that it can survive a couple of impacts quite efficiently.
Moreover, the drone comes with a couple of LED lights attached to it at the bottom of each router. These lights make it easy to fly the drone in low light conditions or at night. Additionally, they also indicate when the compass of the drone is fully calibrated which is important to do before taking a flight.
The camera that the drone comes with has a 2K resolution, but can easily be removed and replaced with any other action camera. These give you a couple of more options to use as you could attach any GoPro of your liking to this drone just all you have to make sure is that it should be compatible with the drone.
The drone comes with a 2K camera, which will provide you with a decent image quality nothing the best cameras can offer, but it will still get the job done pretty sleekly. Unfortunately, the drone does not come attached to a gimbal or any other stabilizer, but the videos still turn out clear and sharp.
The drone also features a bunch of intelligent flight modes which include headless mode, automatic return home mode, follow-me mode, orbit mode, and waypoint mode. The headless mode enables you to move the drone in the direction of where you are facing irrespective of where the nose of the drone is.
This way you will not crash the drone even when you have no idea where the head or the tail of the drone is. The follow-me mode allows the drone to follow the chosen subject around. The orbit mode is somewhat the same as the follow-me mode. Except for following the subject around, the drone starts rotating around the subject; meanwhile, you can focus on taking pictures and videos in both modes.
The automatic return home feature is a safety mode that allows the drone to come back to its launching position in case the drone loses its connection or the battery gets low. Furthermore, the waypoint feature allows you to pave a path on the drone app and the drone will start following the path on its own.
These all are pretty handy features especially if you are a beginner as this way you could work on getting your camera skills better without worrying about piloting the drone. Lastly, the drone comes with dual GPS which means it has both GLONASS and GPS enabled. This provides you a more accurate flight and hovering ability and makes the entire experience better.
Potensic D85 comes with a single battery, which will give you a battery life of 20 minutes, which is fine to work with. However, you could get a spare battery if you want more flight time.
Unfortunately, the battery takes around 7 hours to charge completely from scratch, which is quite a lot of time to charge a single battery. The maximum range that the drone has is 1.5 KM which will do just fine. And the maximum speed that you will get is 36 km/h, which is pretty fast.
The dual GPS works accurately and the camera quality is appreciable, making this drone a fine option to look at if you are searching for the best affordable travel drone.
DJI PHANTOM 3 STANDARD
- WEIGHT: 2.68 pounds
- CAMERA: 2.7K UHD
- BATTERY: 23 min
- RANGE: 1 KM
DJI Phantom 3 standard has the same body as the other Phantom series drones. It comes in white color and has a weight of around 2.68 pounds. The drone does not come with foldable propellers, but it initially has a very compact design, therefore, will not take up a lot of space.
However unfortunately it is not exactly the “throw in your backpack” type of drone; therefore, you will have to carry it around separately. The drone has red details on each of the front propellers and comes attached to a gimbal. The red strips make it efficient to identify where the front of the drone is.
Additionally, the gimbal enables the camera to rotate up to 360 degrees, which is impressive. It also features landing gear that protects the camera from crashing to the ground while landing. It is a very helpful feature especially if you are a beginner.
You will find that the drone also features LED lights at the bottom of each propeller. These lights help in finding and piloting the drone in low light situations and during the night. You will notice that two of the propellers will have a black center and the other two have a white center.
This shows that the propellers are color-coded and the motors that each propeller is using have the same color dot on them for indication. Moreover, you will find the Phantom logo right at the top of the drone. The SD card slot has moved from the gimbal to the camera itself unlike other models of the Phantom series.
It has a body made up of durable plastic and can survive a couple of crashes. Phantom 3 has quite an adequate look and its identical design to other Phantom models makes it stand out amongst other drones.
Phantom 3 standard comes with a 2.7K camera attaches to a 3 axis gimbal, which provides you with pretty smooth clear images and videos. The videos appear sharp and the colors look saturated; however, if you want a better result you could go for the Phantom 3 professional drone that will offer you a 4K video resolution.
The drone comes with several different modes to make piloting the drone more efficient and fun. These modes include one-touch takeoff/landing mode, follow me mode, point of interest mode, waypoint mode, and lastly the course lock and home lock modes. Additionally, one more thing that the DJI go app offers for this drone is the flight log function.
Talking about the modes, the one-touch takeoff/ landing mode enables the drone to land and take off on its own all you have to do is press a single button. This is helpful for beginners who tend to crash the drone a lot while landing/ taking off.
The follow-me mode allows the drone to follow you around and the Point of interest mode is the same as the orbit mode. The waypoint mode allows you to choose a location on the map and the drone will make its own way there. These all are pretty handy features that will help you a lot in flying the drone as well as improving your skills.
COURSE LOCK AND HOME LOCK
Something new that you don’t see in a lot of other drones is the course lock and the home lock. These are very uncommon options in the drone world. However, the home mode is quite the same as the headless mode in which you could fly the drone according to your direction irrespective of where the head or trail or the drone is.
Meanwhile, the course lock mode will make the drone according to where its nose is. Therefore is you are moving the control stick forward, the drone will move forward in the direction where its nose is facing.
One more thing that stands out in this drone’s dedicated app is that it provides you with a flight log function, which basically is like your flight tracker and shows you data of your flight. The data that this mode displays include distance traveled by the drone, its takeoff location, its maximum altitude, and other details about the flight the drone just had.
The drone comes with a battery life of 23 minutes which is pretty adequate to take a decent flight. However, for more flight time you could always get an extra battery.
It takes more than an hour to charge the battery completely from scratch which is still a reliable time. It offers a security run to home feature which makes the drone return to its launching location when the battery is about to die. The maximum range that the drone offers is 1KM which is fine.
Moreover, the drone supports FPV and transmits the video quite efficiently. The 3-axis gimbal makes the image quality a lot more appreciable and allows the camera to rotate up to 360 degrees which means you can get some impressive shots from different angles.
Lastly, thanks to its powerful motors the drone performs appreciably in windy conditions and stays pretty stable. It is a pretty decent drone with some reliable features which sure will provide you with a satisfactory experience.
HOLY STONE HS270
- WEIGHT: 1.31 pounds
- CAMERA: 2.7K
- BATTERY: 18 min
- RANGE: 600 m
Holystone HS270 comes in the color theme of grey and has a weight of around 1.31 pounds. Holystone HS270 is quite a lightweight drone made from high graded polycarbonate plastic, which makes it very durable. It can survive several crashes and impacts, which makes it very beginners friendly.
It has a metallic look to it and looks quite premium. Fortunately, HS270 is a foldable drone, therefore, an amazing option to consider for traveling. You can fold its propellers and place them in your backpack effortlessly without it being a burden on your head.
It comes attached to a 2.7K camera and the holystone logo is at the top. You will find the indication LED lights at each of the propeller arms which help you to fly the drone during nighttime and in low light. This also helps you recognize where the front of the drone is. Look wise it is quite a premium-looking drone and is very travel-friendly due to its lightweight and foldable propeller arms.
HS270 comes with a 2.7K camera attached to it. It can rotate up to 90 degrees and takes some decent quality appreciable pictures and videos.
The camera also features a shock absorption holder which makes the videos and pictures appear vibration-free and smooth. Moreover, the drone supports 5G connectivity as well as FPV.
Furthermore, the drone comes with several intelligent flight modes which include follow-me mode, altitude hold mode, automatic return home, one-touch land/takeoff mode, and custom flight path mode.
The follow-me mode is the same as mentioned in the above drone and the custom flight path mode is the same as the waypoint mode which enables you to choose a location and the drone will start making its way there on its own.
The one-touch takeoff/ landing and the automatic return feature are security features that prevent the drone from crashing or falling which are quite handy for beginners. And lastly, the altitude hold mode allows you to hoover the drone in mid-air while you can take your desired shots.
Moreover, it allows you to lock the drone at a specific height, and you can fly the drone in whichever direction you like while the drone will stay at that same height. These are pretty useful intelligent flight modes that make piloting the drone a lot more efficient.
Hs270 comes with a battery life of 18 minutes which is not the best flight time but it will get the job done. Besides, you could get extra batteries by investing some more money in them.
However, unfortunately, a single battery takes around 5 to 7 hours to charge completely which is a shocker, considering how little battery life it provides.
It has a maximum range of 600 m which is just adequate. The camera quality is reliable and the overall performance is very user-friendly making it an impressive choice for travelers.
This is for sure that you can’t get everything while staying within the budget, but looking for devices that will provide you with a reasonable quality experience will do. All the drones mentioned above have quite impressively reliable features that will make piloting the drone easy and their lightweight makes them easy to travel with. Therefore, if you are looking for the best affordable travel drone, you could consider getting one from the drone mentioned above.