Going to the Grand Canyon by helicopter is one of life's greatest thrills. What's better, there's a way to get a fantastic rate on your seats. The trick? It's all about the timing.
What on earth does that mean?
Well, as many in the industry know, the travel industry is seasonal. In the case of the Grand Canyon, summer is the popular time to go and winter is the "low season."
Now here's the interesting part. In order to fill seats from November through February, tour operators drop the price. Tour operators drop tour prices From November to February in order to entice customers to buy tickets. That's a smart move. But more interesting is this:
Purchase a flight now for 2014 and get the ridiculously low 2013 winter rate.
Of course, this requires some planning on your part but by taking action like this you can save big bucks on all aspects of your trip (e.g. hotel, shows, etc.).
What happens when you have a change of plans? And that's a great question. Just be sure to book your tour with a reputable company that offers a solid cancellation policy.
You can actually find companies that let you cancel up to the day before your tour is set to depart. Further, if there's a weather issue, the best companies will reschedule your flight for the next available time or later that week or refund you money.
Grand Canyon helicopters depart from Las Vegas and Grand Canyon, AZ (actually, there are two names for it: Tusayan or South Rim). Flights leave most every day of the year. There are usually no flights on Christmas Day.
Las Vegas helicopters take off from The Strip or from Boulder City. If you take a Strip departure, you'll pay more because it's more convenient. Thus if you are on a budget, I recommend you go the Boulder route.
Vegas tours are in two varieties, air-only or landing. The former is the cheapest option and the latter the most expensive. I like the basic air tour, especially if you want to quickly sample the canyon. However, my preference is for landing tours. Why? Because you get to land at the top or bottom, exit the aircraft, and experience the canyon from the ground up. My particular favorite is the one that lands at the bottom.
But what makes a Vegas landing tour so special? Helicopters can fly below the rim and land on the bottom. This is not allowed anywhere else in the canyon.
The South Rim is noted for its spectacular beauty. Vegas helicopter can't reach this destination, but there is an airplane tour that makes the trip in less than one hour.
Most air tours to the South Rim are aerial-only and none of them fly below the rim. The 50-minute flight is the best option since its flight path takes you over almost the entire National Park. In my opinion, that's how you do it!
This information is for you if you're planning a trip to the Grand Canyon in 2014. Although it may seem like a long time off, go ahead and buy your tickets now at the off-season rates and save a bundle over buying them at the peak-season rates. The difference in ticket prices is quite significant. So are the savings.