A Helicopter Ride on Kauai, Hawaii

As much as I love love love to travel, I’m not one of those people that enjoys scouring countless websites looking for the best deal, I don’t get fare alerts on my favorite destinations, I don’t know the best place to comparison shop a flight, and I don’t cut coupons.

Whew. (that confession has lifted a weight off my chest)

Honopu Arch, Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Honopu Arch, Na Pali coast

With that being said, I’m not made of money and I don’t like to waste it, but time is money for me. Living in Italy I sometimes use travel agents (gasp!) to book flight/hotel combos (Istanbul & Berlin are examples of travel agent trips, as well as Thailand) because I prefer to spend the majority of my time focused on what I’ll do, eat, and see while I’m there instead of how I’ll be getting there.

Most of the places I want to visit have spent months or years on my “To See” list and when it comes time, I have a budget in mind already. If I find a solution in that budget, I go!

Thus is how Hawaii happened this summer. I didn’t have a traditional honeymoon, or any honeymoon, when I got married, and so we toyed around with the idea of going to Hawaii years later. I put this call for help on the Ms. Adventures in Italy Facebook page and got some great suggestions, but my mom ultimately sent me a few package options in my budget. Less than 24 hrs later, we were booked for Kauai. (If you’re curious, we went through Costco for a flight/hotel/car rental)

My good friend has a condo in Princeville that he rents out (definitely check it out – it was unavailable when we were visiting, so be sure to book early!) on Kauai so I had wanted to visit for years. I had been to Maui twice and enjoyed those trips but was looking forward to visiting “the Garden Island” and the supposedly quieter atmosphere.

It was exactly what we wanted – fewer tourists and very few crowds, very green, and plenty of relaxing and beach. At the airport on the way home, we even got a celebrity sighting when I ran into Evangeline Lilly (Kate from LOST) with her newborn and husband.

What more could you ask for?

Ha'Ena near Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
Ha’Ena near Hanalei Bay

The definite highlight of the trip was our helicopter ride, which I strongly encourage everyone to try on the island. So much of the island is completely unreachable via car that you really get to see the island this way.

Doors off helicopter ready for takeoff, Kauai, Hawaii
Doors off helicopter ready for takeoff

Manawaiopuna Falls (from Jurassic Park), Kauai, Hawaii
Manawaiopuna Falls (from Jurassic Park)

We chose the doors-off version of the helicopter ride (you are strapped in) and I couldn’t have been happier. Not only did you really feel “in” the experience, you didn’t have to worry about reflections or angling for great shots. PS: for the future, the right side of the helicopter on average gets better views, though he often does a complete 360 in place for those “money” shots.

Doors off helicopter ride, Kauai, Hawaii
Doors off helicopter ride

Kauai from the helicopter ride, Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai from the helicopter ride

We went on the helicopter ride on our second-to-last day, and I think if we’d had a little more time, and of course money, we would have booked another helicopter ride immediately. Props to Inter-Island helicopters – not only did we feel safe, their pilot was an expert tour guide and gave us a ton of great information. We wished it was longer!

Two waterfalls on Mt. Waialeale, Kauai, Hawaii
Two waterfalls on Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest places in the world

Below, a little video I made about some of the things we saw – fish while snorkeling, a double rainbow, and some video from our helicopter ride. Big thanks to Kodak Italia who gave me the PlaySport video camera which I used for all of the filming – my review of the camera will be going on my tech blog, When I Have Time, very soon.

Click through to see the video or go directly to my Kauai break video:

Disclosure: Nothing to see here. I didn’t receive compensation from any of the companies mentioned in this post. I received the Kodak video camera for free.

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    • Ms. Adventures in Italy says

      @Sonia – I haven’t been to Oahu since I was a teenager and didn’t see much of the island that trip, so maybe I’m due – I will definitely want to do a helicopter ride :)

  1. Breezy says

    We too took the helicopter tours with interisland and absolutley loved them. Kauai was absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing. It has been 2 year since we have been and I miss it.

  2. says

    Wowee!!! That looks like FUN! Altough the picture of your foot over the edge makes me sqeamish! Eeek! I’ve never been to Hawaii and would LOVE to go there someday! What a cool experience!

    • Ms. Adventures in Italy says

      @Jenn – I don’t have a problem with heights but perhaps others might prefer having the door there :) You should definitely do it.

  3. rowena says

    Hats off to you Sara, and I mean it in a big way. I can’t, WON’T get in a helicopter anymore because the first two trips was a total stomach dister (will not go into detail). I used to get comp’d for travel activities when I worked on Kauai and the boat tours I could handle, but put me in the air and oh no no no!

    Glad you both finally got to do a proper honeymoon!

  4. says

    Kaui is gorgeous and the fewer crowds make it a different type of vacation than Oahu. It is most definitely the place for waterfalls as your beautiful photos show. Our only regret was we weren’t able to dive that time due to weather, although we did get in a couple of days of snorkeling.

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