Christmas is less than a week away, and you might have a dronie in your life in need of some last-minute Christmas gifts. Sure, it might be too late to order a drone in the mail and have it arrive in time for Christmas. But there are plenty of other gift ideas that don’t require online shopping — and some of them are even free or cheap.
Here are my best last-minute Christmas gift ideas for dronies:
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.
While Amazon Photos makes photo printing supremely easy (you simply upload a photo file to their website, select the size and type of print you want, and type in an address), those might not ship in time. Though, you can also head to some Walgreens, Target or Fedex, and they can print out photos instantly, or within a few hours for you as well.
This gift idea is unique, personal and budget-friendly.
Drone landing pad ($15-17)
Here’s a gift that’s super affordable and should apply by Christmas: the Ruggard drone landing pad.
Ruggard offers two sizes, and both are on sale over at B&H Photo. The 22″ version is $10 off, down to $15 (from $25), while the 30″ version is an even bigger $18 off, down to $17 (from $35).
And both of these pads are currently in-stock as of publication time and able to be shipped within two days. If you place an order of $49 or more, shipping is even free.
These touch screen gloves are super affordable — and this particular brand ships quickly. If you’re really shopping last-minute, you might need to head to a brick and mortar store. Luckily, you can typically find touchscreen gloves at most major big box retailers like Target or Walmart.
Touchscreen gloves are imperative for drone pilots in the winter so you can keep your hands while still being able to use your touchscreen (which drone flying often requires).
Given that this is a digital gift, no shipping delays or supply change shortages will be a problem here. Gift your favorite dronie the gift of knowledge!
If you have a loved one who flies drones for fun, they can turn their 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. To pass that test, I recommend enrolling in a Part 107 online training course like Drone Pilot Ground School. Their digital offering includes hours of video lectures, practices tests and a concise cram sheet.
While their basic FAA testing course is usually $299, you can use coupon code DRONEGIRL50 to save $50 and bring your price down to just $249).
If you’re willing to spend more, Drone Pilot Ground School offers more robust and comprehensive offerings that include phone support and full-on flight training.
In a very similar vein to Drone Pilot Ground School is DARTdrones. Once again, this gift doesn’t demand any sort of shipping, nor does it require wrapping.
Their Part 107 test prep courses make for a fantastic digital gift, and can be done on your own time. And, if you want to gift something a bit more interactive, DARTdrones offers that too. There’s also virtual versions of both Part 107 Test Prep and Basic Flight training, but those ones are held live.
And for drone pilots seriously seeking to up-level their skills, consider one of the more advanced live (yet still virtual) courses including an Inspections workshop, which teaches experienced Part 107 pilots how to safely and effectively maneuver their aircraft in order to gather and analyze aerial inspection data.
Here’s another idea of a digital gift that’s incredibly valuable.
For drone pilots who take photos or videos, they’ll want an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, which is a suite of software including Adobe Premiere for video editing, Lightroom and Photoshop for photo editing, and Dreamweaver for website design.
This gift is super last-minute friendly. Once you check out, you’ll near-instantly get an email with a link and instructions for how to download it sent to your inbox within minutes. It’s discounted to just $450 on Amazon. That’s more than 30% off the usual $660 list price.
Other Christmas 2023 drone deals that are too good to pass up
Here are a few other INCREDIBLE deals. Unless there’s some sort of Christmas miracle, you’re unlikely to actually get these delivered by Christmas. However, if Santa gave you some Christmas money that you’re looking to spend, or you’re okay exchanging belated Christmas gifts, consider these awesome drone deals:
This decked out kit usually costs $1,226, but it’s more than $100 off at just $1,099. In fact, according to B&H Photo, this is their top-selling drone kit. But perhaps it’s a little too popular for its own good. It’s temporarily out of stock, with expected availability within 7-10 business days.
This deal is best found at B&H Photo — and is far better than similar offerings elsewhere. For example, the $1,099 version of the DJI Mini 4 Pro kit sold by Amazon gets you the Fly More Combo but nothing more — meaning no bonus memory card or landing pad kit. However, if you DO want a DJI Mini 4 Pro and need it by Christmas, buying it on Amazon is your best bet, as free two-day shipping is an option.
According to B&H Photo, this is the retailer’s best-selling ‘budget pick’ drone. It’s always under $500, but right now it’s an additional $40 off, down to just $449.
With the DJI Mini 2 SE comes a more affordable version of the Mini 2. It offers 36 mph flight speed, up to 6.2-mile OcuSync 2.0 video transmission, QuickShots and panorama intelligent pre-programmed flight modes.
While it retailers for $1,259, Amazon is offering an incredible $280 coupon, which is applied at checkout, for this drone kit, the Autel Robotics EVO Lite+ Premium Bundle. That’s an incredible deal, putting it below the milestone $1,00 price point at just $979 once the coupon is applied.
What ideas do you have for a last-minute Christmas gift for a drone pilot? Share your thoughts (including items you’d actually want!) in the comments below. Who knows? You could help another Santa out!