Are you searching for the best drone for travel? Have a read through my DJI Mini 3 Pro review and see why it gets my vote.
On my recent Pacific Coast road trip, I broke down and bought a drone. It was very much a rushed decision and purchase – something I never do. Still, as I quickly found out, I landed on the best drone for travel. Here’s why.
In This Post...
My Drone Experience
Now, this isn’t my first time using a drone. A couple of years ago I borrowed a friend’s DJI Mavic drone on my cross-country road trip. For those unaware, this is one of their higher-end models. Not being my own drone, I was very intimidated by using it. I worried about crashing it so used it sparingly. About a quarter of the way into my trip, my confidence grew and I got a bit more daring testing out the tracking feature. Things were going great until I crashed it into a bridge. 🤦
So Why Did I Buy a Drone?
If you think that this experience scared me off you would be correct. I was convinced that my joy ride flight meant I was buying a new drone for my friend. Clearly, I wasn’t meant to have such high-tech and expensive toys.
On top of that, I found that the drone was very loud and drew attention. Despite what you may think from reading my blog, I hate drawing attention like this. This kept the drone in the bag for the bulk of the trip. When I did use it, I found it a bit cumbersome to set up. Although super slick and innovative, you had to connect your phone to the controller which felt like it took longer than needed.
Based on this, why did I end up buying a drone? FOMO really.
When not crashing it into a bridge, I did get some great footage on that first trip. Fast forward to just before heading down the Oregon coast and I kept thinking about the shots I could get with a drone. I was taking my new Tesla Model Y and kept thinking about the clips I could get driving on the beach or through the tall trees at the Avenu of the Giants. With this in mind, I reluctantly reached out to my friend again asking if I could borrow his drone, with a caveat of avoiding bridges of course 😉 He agreed however we were not able to connect before leaving. Turns out, this was for the best.
Why I Bought the DJI Mini 3 Pro
Crashing the drone into the bridge is largely part of why I went with a DJI drone. Aside from being an industry leader, I was blown away that, after clipping the bridge and losing connection, the drone hovered in place before returning home and landing. I was convinced it was at the bottom of the St.Lawrence river but as I drove back across the bridge and regained connection I found that it was safely back at the starting point. This gave me confidence in the tech.
Still, I didn’t love how loud the Mavic version is and the attention it drew. That’s when I discovered the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
I couldn’t sleep the night before heading out on my Pacific Coast road trip and lay in bed contemplating if I should buy a travel drone. That’s when I came across the fact that larger drones (over 250 grams) require a licence to fly in most regions. Drones under that, do not. That’s when I stumbled on the DJI Mini 3 pro. At 249 grams, it falls under the restrictions. On top of that, it was reportedly very quiet meaning it draws less attention.
Aside from its size, its specs are very similar to the Mavic I borrowed. It shoots 4K video and has tracking and collision avoidance tech built in, all at a fraction of the size and cost. Had I picked up my friend’s drone, not only would I have had a large bird that was loud and made me uncomfortable, I likely would have been violating some operator laws along the way!
DJI Mini 3 Pro Features
With this new-to-me-information, I decided to pick up a DJI Mini 3 Pro on the way south. Although I likely paid a premium because I bought in the states (I also missed out on Black Friday Aeroplan promotions ;( ) I quickly fell in love with this very capable drone. Specifically its…
As mentioned, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is smaller and quieter than the larger Mavic series. I didn’t appreciate or realize just how much smaller until unboxing it. This thing can literally fit in the palm of your hand!
Although I was on a road trip where space was less of a concern, I couldn’t help but think about easily packing this travel drone on my upcoming trips to Africa and Asia. Stay. Tuned.
Along with its compact size comes a much quieter experience. Again, I had read that the DJI Mini 3 Pro was quiet but it wasn’t until taking off for the first time did I experience just how quiet it really is. Once off the ground and in the air, the drone is audibly gone. This is HUGE for me and has made me much less self-conscience about flying it. This alone makes it one of the best drones for travel.
The other thing I love about the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the RC controller. Now, this is an upgrade over the normal controller but I found it super easy to use. Without having to fiddle with connecting your phone, it is super fast to get the drone connected in the air.
Same Features as the Higher End Models
The other great thing about the DJI Mini 3 Pro is that, although almost half the price as the larger models, it still has several of the same great features. This includes tracking where you can select a subject (vehicle, person etc…) and have the drone follow. It also has quick shots and master shots which essentially are automated patterns that the drone will fly and record. This makes capturing unique shots very easy.
Lastly, the DJI Mini 3 Pro has the ability to flip the camera vertically. This is meant for influencers who use TikTok and is not something I am really concerned about, but maybe should be. I have started an account for myevtrips and will be testing out some videos there.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Limitations to Consider
With its smaller size and cheaper price points, there are some negatives to consider with the DJI Mini Pro 3. For one, it is much more susceptible to strong gusts and can make your shots shakey. It’s rated up to 19mph-22mph wind speeds. This can limit when and where you can fly so keep this in mind.
That said, I would not be comfortable flying in strong gusts anyway. I did experience some strong winds along the coast but all my footage is buttery smooth so the gimble clearly performs well on the DJI Mini Pro 3.
The other downside to consider is the lack of sensors compared to the larger Mavic models. The DJI Mini Pro 3 does have Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing however is limited to forward, rear and downward-facing sensors. This means that anything above won’t be detected and can result in you hitting trees branches or other obstacles if not careful. Still, I did test out the collision avoidance while on this trip and it performed great. No bridge collisions here!
DJI Mini 3 Pro Accessories
As mentioned, I purchased the DJI Mini 3 Pro with the RC controller. I also purchased the Fly More Plus Kit. This gets you two longer-lasting batteries, a charger, spare blades, and a carrying case. I highly recommend this add-on as it makes transporting the drone easy. Also, extra batteries are needed as flight time is ~30 minutes. Having a couple on hand makes it easy to continue flying on the go. The charger connects via USB-C which made charging in the car easy as I travelled down the coast.
I also recommend a high-end micro SD card to ensure 4K video is captured without skips.
The Best Travel Drone?
Although I just got my DJI Mini 3 pro, I am convinced it is the best drone for travel. Thanks to its compact size and high-quality camera capabilities, travelling with it and getting fantastic shots is a breeze. It’s also INCREDIBLY quiet meaning it will spend less time in the Fly More travel case and more time in the air.
Stay tuned for more clips through my Instagram channel.
What say you?
Thoughts on this DJI Mini 3 Pro review and why I think it is the best drone for travel?
Let’s hear it!
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NOTE: I was not sponsored or provided complimentary gear for this DJI Mini 3 Pro Review. I do use affiliate links for the products listed in this post. This helps me fund this site and continue to provide travel content.
As always the experience, opinions, and thoughts on why I think it is the best drone for travel are my own.