The best gift for people who love drones might be a drone itself — but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe a real drone is out of your gift-giving budget, or perhaps the drone pilot in your life already has a drone. Here’s the ultimate holiday 2021 drone gift guide, offering a whole lot more than just actual drones.
Gifts for people who love drones can get ridiculously expensive. To no one’s surprise, this hobby certainly isn’t cheap. That’s why, for this year’s holiday 2021 drone gift guide, I broke down gifts by price tag (and ranked them by price), so you can easily gift something for any budget:
Best holiday 2021 gifts for drone pilots that cost less than $10
In need of a Secret Santa gift or a stocking stuffer? Drone pilots will love these gifts under $10:
Here’s a gift that might cost less than a dollar: prints of drone photos. A drone photographer would surely appreciate a printed copy of one of their pieces. Print to the size and quality that fits your budget (and maybe throw in a frame too.
Amazon Photos makes photo printing supremely easy. Simply upload a photo file to their website, select the size and type of print you want, and type in an address. The print will be shipped to your door in a couple days, starting at only fifteen cents! That’s one of the most unique, personal and budget-friendly gifts you could possibly give.
Every pilot needs a drone logbook. These can be useful for recording pilots time and training, tracking progress toward future certificates and ratings, and maintaining currency to stay in regulator compliance.
There are tons of drone logbooks out there, and they don’t have to cost a ton of money either. This is an easy, sub-$10 gift that you can all-but-guarantee will get well-used, is easy to pack and won’t bust your budget.
Drone pilot or not, everyone loves cookies. But drone-shaped cookies are certainly epic! This fun gift can be purchased on Etsy for $7.50.
“The Adventures of Leonardo the Drone” is a children’s book about a young girl named Leah as she enters a photography contest with her drone. It’s got an inspiring message, while also introducing kids to drones. The paperback version is $9.90, or upgrade to the hardcover for $19.90. If you’re on a budget, or just don’t want physical stuff, there’s also a Kindle version for $3.90.
Best holiday 2021 gifts for drone pilots that cost less than $40
Maybe it’s a gift for your cousin, your neighbor, or anyone who you’re trying to stick to a strict budget for. Still delight your favorite drone enthusiast by keeping your gift-giving under $30 thanks to one of these options.
For flying drones in the winter, you’ll likely want to keep your hands warm with a pair of gloves. But since gloves can inhibit the use of your touchscreen (which drone flying often requires), you’ll need Touchscreen gloves. These gloves are budget-friendly and also feature anti-slip palm grip.
Disclaimer: I haven’t actually played this game myself, but I keep seeing it online and it looks like a hoot! The board is in the shape of a drone, and the game itself comes with a real, flying drone. The game is actually a finalist in the 2021 Toy of The Year Awards.
This book is beautiful and inspiring. This book was created by Dirk Dallas, known primarily as the creator of the Instagram account “From Where I Drone.” This 208-page hardcover drone coffee table book containing loads of aerial images, and it’s stunning to thumb through.
Best holiday 2021 gifts for drone pilots that cost less than $100
Believe it or not, you can get a decent, entry-level drone for less than $100. Or perhaps you’re shopping for someone with a drone already. With $100, you have plenty to work with in your budget to get them an excellent gift.
My favorite drone that costs less than $100 is the Tello, a toy drone with a camera made closely with DJI, but by another company, Ryze. It can do some basic stunt flying (like flips) and shoot videos and 5 megapixel photos. It’s also a great educational tool and can teach the basics of how to code.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you need this Star Wars battle drone. This tiny, toy drone doesn’t have a camera, but it can do a lot. It actually battles with other real drones via eye-safe lasers that can be fired at other Star Wars drones, wobbling and vibrating to replicate real hits. If you prefer not to fly, you can keep it on your shelf too, as these highly-detailed, hand-painted drones are an incredible keepsake item too.
Best holiday 2021 gifts for drone pilots that cost less than $500
Remind me to make you my personal Santa. With a $500 gifting budget, you can purchase a solid camera drone, including some of the best camera drones from DJI. With that kind of a budget, here are my top gift ideas (along with some non-drone options).
If you love flying drones recreationally, turn your hobby into a money-making business. The Federal Aviation Administration requires that any commercial drone operator pass its Aeronautical Knowledge Test to earn a drone pilot’s license. You can study for that test via a Part 107 online training course.
My favorite online test prep course is Drone Pilot Ground School — perhaps because that’s what I used to pass the test on my first try. It’s got hours of video lectures, practices tests and a concise cram sheet. While the course is usually $299, use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to save $50 and bring your price down to just $249).
iMovie is great and all, but for advanced editing, you’ll likely want to use Premiere. Then for your drone photo editing, there’s Lightroom and Photoshop. If you’re trying to spiff up your website, you may turn to Dreamweaver. All that to say, drone pilots who use drones for photography or videography will almost always require access to the Adobe Creative Cloud.
Even better, no worries about how you’ll wrap it, or whether supply chain shortages will affect this one. Upon purchasing, you’ll get an email with a link and instructions for how to download it sent to your inbox within minutes. What a great last-minute gift! While pricier elsewhere, it’s just $360 over on Amazon.
If your loved one already loves DJI drones, then they’ll surely love one of DJI’s ground-based cameras too. The Action 2 is a small, waterproof, drop-proof action camera. It’s similar to GoPro, but with its own unique feature called RockSteady 2.0, which is tech that combines Electronic Image Stabilization with complex algorithms to deliver stable, shake-free footage.
This is the best drone you’ll find for the price. In a lot of ways, it’s a stripped-down version of the DJI Air 2S (which is in this guide below), but it’s still a strong pick. It shoots 12-megapixel images and a maximum video resolution of 4K/30fps @100 Mbps.
This tiny drone can fly for 31 minutes at a time, and succeeds outdoors as it’s able to withstand winds up to 24mph (up from just 18 mph previously). At 249 grams, you’re not obligated to register it if you’re simply flying for hobby purposes.
Best holiday 2021 gifts for drone pilots that cost less than $1,000
Wow, you seriously love someone — and with an $1,000 budget, they seriously love you. If your willing to spend up to $1,000, you’re likely going to get someone an actual drone.
This is my favorite overall camera drone out there right now. At $999, the DJI Air 2S perfectly combines wildly innovative tech, a high quality camera, a seamless flying experience, smart safety features AND a reasonable price tag. Features include the ability to fold up for utmost portability, a 1” sensor offering 20-megapixel photos and 5.4K video, and a collision avoidance sensor on the front and back.
This is easily the most crash-proof drone on this list, thanks to six, 200-degree color cameras that can see (and avoid) objects in every direction. It shoots 4K video and captures images at 12MP, making it especially great for filming action sports or other complicated environments.
What are you giving (or hoping to receive) for the holiday 2021 season? Leave your gift lists and wish lists in the comments below!