When I decided to book my trip to Oahu, one of the first things that I thought about doing was a helicopter tour. So, I immediately took to the internet to do some research. It didn't take long to find multiple companies offering helicopter tours. Each of them received excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. But after doing my internet research, I had a hard time justifying the cost ($250 or more person). So, I left for Oahu without a helicopter tour planned.

Having stayed in Waikiki, and having a balcony with an ocean-view room, I was able to see the helicopters flying by on a regular basis. Seeing the helicopters only made me want to take a helicopter tour even more. So, on a whim, I pulled out a travel guide I picked up at the Honolulu airport and found a coupon for a helicopter tour and made a call. Within 45 minutes of my call, I was in a van on my way to the airport.

Upon arriving to the airport, we were greeted by staff who immediately began to weigh each of the passengers. After each person had been weighed, one of the staff members was left to do the safety briefing while the others prepared the seating arrangements for the helicopters. This particular company utilized smaller helicopters so, each party had their own helicopter. After the safety briefing ended, we were asked to place any bulky personal items in a drawer for safekeeping and then put on our life vests. We were then brought to the lobby to wait for the helicopters to be prepped.

About five minutes later, we were escorted to a golf cart where we were then taken out to the awaiting helicopters. The staff was kind enough to take a picture of each of the parties with a helicopter in the background before walking us to our helicopter. Each person is seated one-by-one where the staff assist with seat belts and provide brief instructions on how to use the headsets to communicate. We were also introduced to our pilot, Eric, who went over communication prior to taking off.

Having never flown in a helicopter before, I wasn't sure what to expect. But as the helicopter rose, any reservations I had quickly went away. Immediately, I was overtaken by breathtaking views which kept getting even better as the tour went on. If you have the chance to take a helicopter tour with the doors off, do it! It is absolutely the best way to take a helicopter tour. I had my camera out the entire time in an attempt to capture the breathtaking views, but the pictures simply don't do it justice.

To end out tour, Eric, flew us over Pearl Harbor taking the same route the Japanese actually flew. Although it was a somber way to end the flight, it capped off an amazing 45 minute flight. 

Just as quickly as I was on my way to the airport, I was back in the van headed back to my hotel. As we drove back to the hotel, I couldn't wait to share the pictures I had taken. It was, without a doubt, the highlight of my trip and something I would not hesitate to do again.

I would highly recommend taking a helicopter tour if you get the chance. As always, it is best to do research and book in advance. There are many different companies who offer tours and each has multiple tour packages. Some even include a DVD of the flight. So, you should easily be able to find one to fit your budget and must-have views. Even if you have to splurge a little, it will be well worth it.

For more on my travel adventures, check out my blog at www.getoutandhavefun.com.