We recently took a much anticipated trip to the Hawaiian islands. After four days on Maui, we headed to Kauai, which had been high on my list of must-visit destinations for years. Kauai has so much to offer, but I was most excited about its beautiful and diverse landscapes. Kauai is the home of Jurassic Park after all! And, we were lucky enough to take a helicopter tour over the beautiful island. These are the reasons I loved our tour in the sky and why taking a helicopter with kids is a fun (and safe) activity!
Select the right tour operator
We flew with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for our helicopter tour of Kauai. Other than being a great company with excellent reviews, we selected them for their Eco-Star helicopters. The Eco-Star is a new model that is spacious, and most importantly, ultra quiet. We weren’t sure how Jimmy would react to wearing headphones and needed to be sure there was no way he could damage his hearing if the headphones fell off (or if he refused to wear them).
Our experience with Blue Hawaiian was fantastic. They were so professional and the helicopter was very comfortable. Plus, our captain was friendly and hilarious so we really enjoyed our ride with her. Before selecting your tour operator, look at online reviews, helicopter models, and if you have small children, check for safety factors like sound levels inside the cabin.
Prepare your kids for the flight
Let them know where you’re going and prepare them for the flight. For Jimmy, we showed him pictures and videos of helicopter rides before the trip. He’s young, so we wanted to make sure the intense experience wouldn’t frighten him. It’s very loud and windy boarding the helicopter since the propellers are going when you’re getting on. Kids will also need to wear a life vest, which can make them uncomfortable. And you won’t be able to bring any drinks or food on.
There are plenty of factors that will keep your kids out of their comfort zone so it’s important to prepare them and get them excited. It’s going to be a ton of fun, just make sure everyone knows what they’re in for!
Bring the right camera equipment
In most cases, I like to over-prepare with my camera equipment. But if you’re taking a helicopter tour, I would advise the opposite. First of all, even in the most spacious helicopters, there isn’t enough room for a great photo, so your phone camera will be enough. And second, you’re going to get a ton of window glare for any photos outside, so your cell phone should be fine for that too.
But, you’re obviously going to want some great photo or video to remember the event by, right? When you’re selecting a tour operator, make sure you can get a copy of a video from your trip. We paid $40 after our trip and got a full video of our 60-minute flight, including video of the outside sights and interior views of us in the cabin. And since it was all shot on professional equipment, there’s no shaking that you’d get if you shot the footage yourself.
Sit back and enjoy!
Remember, you don’t go on helicopter tours every day and most tours are less than 60 minutes long. For many people, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event so make sure you don’t miss a second. We absolutely loved taking a helicopter with kids and I’m so glad we did it. If I could change one thing, I would have spent less time taking pictures and more time being in the moment!
Have you ever taken a helicopter with kids? Tell us where in the comments!