There is no better way of seeing Honolulu, than by helicopter. The ability to get a birds-eye view of this stunning island is breathtaking. Such an experience.
The Blue Helicopter Group was highly recommended by a local. She reassured me the pilots were not only experienced, many ex-military. I just hope these ex-military were not in the Army payroll department or driving Army tanks. Regardless, I took the recommendation and instantly booked.
We were picked up from the hotel early. The mini-bus was full of excited tourists. Mostly American. I assumed this type of tour would be popular with the hoards of Japanese, however it’s the Australians, Americans, and English who indulge in this type of adventure.
Arriving at the airport there were a number of interesting procedures we followed. We walked single file through brightly colored witches hats, our weight and height were taken. I was hoping my weight warranted a seat next to the window. Looking at the other passengers, I considered myself to be the lightest of the group. I started to panic. Does this mean I will be wedged in the middle of the overweight, sweaty couple?? Or will I be sitting next to the pilot and the controls? The latter is more appealing.
We watched a safety video, which was different from what I was expecting. There was no brace pose, or what to do if the helicopter crashes into the hillside. Yes, I have seen far too many action movies.
The safety video focused on unlatching the seat belt, how to activate the life jacket and information on the floatation devices on the outside of the helicopter.
What happens if we tumble into the ocean at great speeds? Not sure the floatation devices will activate in time. Perhaps the brace pose would be useless in this case. I decided not to ask these questions. Would not want to hold up the group. The overweight, sweaty couple already looked apprehensive.
Carrying my iPhone, camera and a bottle of water we walked single file to the helicopter. In seat order. I was seat number four. Fortunately, this was the lucky seat positioned next to the window. Not sure how that works. The other three passengers in the back were considerably larger than me. Maybe I was going to offset the person in the front. I certainly was not going to question it. I had the prized window seat.
Once tightly strapped in, we took off. Straight up. Fantastic!!! The vibrations could be felt from under the chair and throughout the cabin. The views were amazing. I was excited.
The ability of the helicopter to swoop low and follow the curves of the mountains was magic. I was surprised at how close we were to the tops of the mountains and waterfalls.
To get the most out of your helicopter adventure, you need to do the following;
I assumed I would be fine in a helicopter. Goodness, it’s not as bad as a turbulent air flight or a cruise through Sydney Harbour Heads. This was a helicopter.
How wrong I was.
I am assuming the pilot wanted to add some excitement for the adolescent child, in the front seat. We were swooping, flying side to side and then traveling up. Fast. The child was overjoyed. Screaming in delight. The other passengers were clinging to the handles. As for me, I instantly felt sick. That was it for me. I tried to look straight ahead at the horizon, yet it kept moving. There was no hope.
With a gush of wind, the helicopter moved to the left and so did the contents of my stomach. Thank goodness the sick bags were easily reachable. I vomited for most of the flight.
To prevent travel sickness here is what to do;
- eat a very light breakfast
- make sure you have a bottle of water handy
- wear the travel bands which have the acupuncture beads
- take travel sickness pills before the flight
- Barley Sugar sweets are great to have on hand
There is nothing worse than not being prepared and missing out on the enjoyment of the trip
Wear dark clothes
The helicopter has large windows. It’s important to wear dark colored pants and a long sleeve shirt. This will stop the glare reflecting on the window and you will have clear photos. There is nothing worse than having the reflection of your bare legs in all your photos.
I would take a small camera as well as your iPhone. When the memory card runs out of your camera you have your iPhone handy. It is surprising how many photos you will take. There are too many great opportunities for capturing those moments.
Length of the trip
The helicopter rides are offered in three different time duration. 30mins, 45mins, and 60mins.
Most people select the 45min trip. However, adding an extra 15mins ensures you are able to see more of the island and you have the time to explore the waterfalls. Defiantly invest in the 60min trip. You will see more and it is well worth it.
Taking a helicopter ride around Honolulu is such a bucket list item. Make sure you are in dark clothes, have a camera and a bottle of water. And most importantly ensure you are well prepared with travel sickness aids.