15 little-known reasons why a drone is a good gift

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When you are looking for a great gift for someone special in your life – a drone can be a great option! From the excitement of learning something new to becoming part of a new community of friends with a common interest – buying a drone for someone can be a bloody fantastic gift! Here are 15 reasons that will answer the question “Is a drone a good gift?”…if you are looking for the short answer it is YES!

A drone is a perfect gift for someone who is curious about the world and wants to see the world as they have never seen it before! From learning new skills to becoming part of a new community a drone offers more than a flying experience:

  1. It’s cool tech
  2. Educational
  3. Skill building
  4. A new way to view the world
  5. Be part of a new community
  6. Become a better photographer
  7. Get a new qualification
  8. Start a side hustle
  9. It is fun
  10. It gets you out in nature
  11. Stand out on social media
  12. Get a cool shot of your house
  13. See wildlife up close
  14. Make new friends
  15. Start something new

Let’s take a moment to look at all of these reasons in a little more detail – some might not be what you expect…

It’s cool tech

It never ceases to amaze me of the impact flying a drone has on people. Flying a drone around and seeing it up close for the first time always makes people say “WOW, that’s cool”. There’s something quite special about seeing a lump of metal, plastic, and electronics “come alive” and disappear into the distance.

For most people, it is the fact that just a few years ago laptops and digital cameras were only just becoming a common part of everyday life makes sending a consumer-grade product whizzing off to capture amazing photos – just plain cool.

The sound, lights and photographic results of a drone flight are the things that make it feel like we are living in the future. Even when reviewing my footage on a large screen and sharing it with my friends I get a sense of awe. Something that used to require a helicopter and expensive camera and stabilization set up and now be achieved with something that fits quite comfortably in a backpack.

It’s a great gift because of this ultra-cool factor. No matter the size of a drone – they are all very cool!

Educational gifting

Drones are quite the learning experience! Getting a drone as a gift is more than the flying – there’s a load of learning to be done too!

From learning the fundamentals of why and how a drone flies, learning why a battery lasts as long as it does to troubleshooting every problem that arises before, during, and after a flight – there’s just so much to learn!

It can even be an engaging way for people to learn to code – they get to see a real world application of what programming can do! One of the front runners of drone technology for education is the Robolink CoDrone lite. This business’s mission was to encourage students to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math in an engaging way.

Check out this video where you can see how the CoDrone encourages students to build and code a drone:

There’s no doubt in my mind that a drone is a perfect gift for raising the curiosity of anyone about the world! Drone technology makes learning fun again!

Skill building

The one thing that really makes me love drones is the fact that there are so many varied skills that you can decide to learn and focus in on. It’s one of the unique ways to balance introverted tech and programming options with creative art outcomes.

Some of the skills that can be learned with drones are:

  • Electronics – you can build a drone from the ground up by understanding how each of the electronic components works together to keep it in the sky and flying in a stable way. building a drone involves soldering and wiring – does that sound like fun to you?
  • Engineering – building a drone takes a fair bit of engineering to get right. Beyond the electronics, a whole range of engineering decisions needs to be made. Where will the battery sit? What power should the motors be for the weight of the drone? Where will the arms attach to the body? The best thing is you get to fly this thing at the end!
  • Programming – Do you want your drone to do some automated actions? Learning the programming language Python can be a little bit of a chore. But when you see your work soaring through the skies your code very literally comes alive!
  • Racing optimization – drones are so much more than cameras that can fly. If racing sounds like an idea of a good time to you – optimizing your drone for speed could be the skill for you! It’s the inner StarWars fan in everyone what want to build their own PodRacer – or is that just me?
  • Flying skills – Sending a drone into the sky is scary – until it becomes second nature for you. There are a number of flying skills you must mater for any time of drone flying you do! Want to become the best pilot at doing a particular type of flying?
  • Photography/Videography – want to get better at photography or filming videos? Drones give you a pretty amazing canvas to work with. Even some places that I send my drone overlook rubbish from the ground – but from above they are magical. Are you able to capture that magic?
  • Photo and video editing – the skills you can learn from gifting a drone don’t stop when you land. Taking the footage you have captures and color grading it, trying different filters and editing it always helps! That is a whole skill in itself!

Which skills on that list do you think your gift receiver would like to work on! There’s no reason they couldn’t work to biuld more than one!

A new way to view the world

Do you need to find a gift that knocks someone out of their stupor? Do you want a gift that gives someone a new way to view the world? Drones are incredible for that!

If you are looking for a new way to view familiar places – a drone will give you a perpective on the world that is hard to get with any other safe hobby – sure skydiving may do it too, but its far riskier!

If you want an added immersion factor you can opt for a first person view goggle set up that will place the drones view directly in front of the person flying. I can’t think of anything cooler than that!

Be part of a new community

There are so many awesome communities online and in each city that you’d be hard-pressed to find a city without a drone club.

If you live in a smaller city – maybe you could start your own and grow a community of people who like to get out and about to fly drones.

Become a better photographer

They say that creativity is improved with good subject and inspiration! Well, I can’t think of a better place to find inspiration than mother nature!

Even the simplest of photos look great when taken as an aerial shot! If you live near a beach there are just so many places where you can grab some incredible shots. Even cityscapes look incredible from above. Sometimes the best shots I have taken are from going straight up and looking straight down.

There’s only one thing stopping your gift receiver from improving as a photographer – a drone!

Get a new qualification

If you are buying a gift for the sort of person who love getting new qualifications – consider packaging up a drone with a drone flying course.

Quite often the drone flying course will result in accreditation that will allow you to fly where others cannot and remove some of the weight limits on drones.

If you are looking for that one thing that involves skill and a certificate maybe a drone is the perfect gift!

Start a side hussle

You can actually earn money with drone flying! If you find that you want to give a gift that has the potential to earn some money too – drones may be the perfect gift for you! You can earn money a few ways with a drone:

  • Drone as a service – take photos or footage for people
  • Sell your prints – frame your best photos for sale!
  • Upload your footage onto a stock footage service and earn a passive income source
  • Become a certified drone pilot and freelance to a range of companies

It may seem like a silly idea but the commercial opportunities with drones are nearly endless. Check out my other blog on who buys drones for more ideas on how you could potentially turn this gift into a side hustle!

It is fun

Okay, this one is very subjective but I feel like there is a drone flying style that is fun for everyone!

For me, fun is safely taking off, recording some awesome footage and taking some awesome photos, and then returning safely to my take-off spot. There’s my version of fun! My drone has a sport mode that I have never used!

However, I know that for most that can seem a little bit boring. It may be that your idea of fun is racing through the trees at breakneck speed to try and beat a lap time, It may be that your idea of fun is much more filled with risk and adventure.

No matter what you want to get from flying your drone – there will be a drone and flying style that you will find fun. You just always have to fly within or a little bit outside of your limits!

What do you think the gift receiver will find more fun? Whizzing through the air or slowly and mindfully taking photographs? There’s no right or wrong way to fly a drone – just fun ways to do so!

It gets you out in nature

This is one of the best reasons for owning a drone – in my opinion.

I was so worried that owning a drone would take away quality time with my partner as we explored new places together on the weekend. Nothing could have been further from the truth!

The good thing about drone photography and filming is that you are always looking for the perfect place to fly your drone! This has encouraged up to explore new places. Places that we wouldn’t have otherwise been willing to travel too- you know, just that little bit too far way.

It has encouraged us to throw the drone in a backpack and go for a hike to capture some awesome footage at the top of a mountain. It has encouraged us to actually record out trips out and about – creating memories that we can look back on in the future.

If your gift receiver already ventures out into the wilderness or need that extra reason to get them in the car – the promise of a drone flight way be the little bit of motivation that they need!

Stand out on social media

Have you got someone in your life that’s social media obsessed? Can’t get them off Instagram or Facebook. Want to get them off their phone but still want an activity they can “show off” online? Look no further than drones!

Social media is a very noisy place. Standing out for the right reasons is what will set you apart from the crowd. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want a cheeky look at the drone footage I collected. With the right editing or filters drone footage is perfect for attracting online attention.

Lifestyle bloggers and influencers eat your heart out! Drone footage will add a whole new dynamic to your feed!

For parents – this just maybe the one thing that’ll get them off their phone and into the real world – if only for the likes!

Get a cool shot of your house

The one thing I love about drones is the unique aspect that it can give you on the world. Even on places and things that are so familiar – like your home.

As long as you don’t live too close to an airport or controlled airspace – you don’t even have to leave your home to get awe-inspiring shots. Sending your drone up over the top of your house will give you a Birdseye view that you almost certainly haven’t seen before. Unlike Google – you can zoom right in on your roof!

Seeing your home from above can give you that little sense of belonging!

If your gift receiver is a little bit cheeky – their imagination will run wild with all of the things they could get up to in their own backyard! How about a game of drone hide and seek?

See wildlife up close

During my years with a drone – I’ve never been so close to nature!

I initially bought a drone to add some interest to my LinkedIn vlog and YouTube channel. What started as just another way to add some shot variety quickly became an obsession with capturing wildlife! Over the years I have over the top of dolphins, I’ve been through a flock of birds! All resulting in some incredible shots!

If you are looking for a drone specifically for filming for taking photos of wildlife – zoom and low noise will be your friends. You do not want to scare away any of the animals that you are trying to record. The best drone will be one that allows you to capture the animals in their natural environment performing their natural actions!

If you have a little David Attenborough in your gift receiver that you want to tease out- a drone will be the perfect gift for them!

Check out my other blog on the best drones for filming wildlife – click here.

Make new friends

There are two main ways that I have made new friends while owning a drone:

  1. While flying my drone people come up and ask questions – this is by far the nicest way that I have met new people. Flying a drone can be a little noisy – and this attracts people to you! In Australia, the law states that you have to fly 30 meters away from people. That is sometimes easier said than done as people want to come over and speak to you! Nonetheless, I will always stop and answer their questions – even when I want to capture some great shots and the battery is running low. It’s my way of giving a little something back!
  2. Joining other drone enthusiast groups – When you move to a new place or you want to make some new friends joining a common interest group is perfect. Drone flying groups exist in nearly every single country and city in the world. If you want to know where yours are, check out a website like meetup.com. Having a common interest breaks the ice like nothing else. I’ve always found that there’s very little awkward silence when you know that any drone topic will be well received!

Start something new

Flying a drone for the first time is the beginning of a special relationship with flying. I still remember my first flight – in a school sports field (away from anything I could crash into).

Little did I know at the time it would lead to this blog…the awe and excitement of flying a drone is a perfect catalyst for starting something new. You just have to be open to ideas and want to share your passion with the world. Maybe you’ll start an awesome YouTube channel, maybe you’ll start your own blog or community group. Maybe you want to escape the rat race and sell your own drone and aerial photos online…

There really are so many opportunities that stem from getting your first drone – this may be the seed that they needed to grow something new!

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a Drone pilot, Writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV (ABC Documentary) and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones.