For the last 14 years, Kelle has been the Vice President of Florida Jet Charter. She has over 25 years of experience in the industry.
The Florida Everglades is one of the most beautiful locations to see when you visit the state. If you're not a fan of going on a long airboat tour and having to deal with the humidity, bugs, and alligators, one of the best ways to enjoy the sights of the Everglades is by helicopter tour. It will also give you an appreciation for the scale of the Everglades in a unique, safe, and comfortable manner. Here's how you can get the most out of your Everglades helicopter tour.
Pick the Right Time
If you want to add something extra special to the tour, you should try to book a time for the tour just before sunset. Being able to see the brilliant colors of the sunset cascading over the Everglades can be a magical experience. It also happens to be one of the most in-demand times to book a helicopter tour, so if you really want this you'll have to book it further in advance or on less popular days (mid-week, not during peak travel season, etc). If you try to book in advance, make sure you research the estimated sunset times for when the tour will happen — not at the time you book the tour.
Ask About the Length
If you look up reviews for helicopter tours, even for locations other than the Everglades, one of the big reasons for disappointment is that the tour was too short. A good helicopter tour will be around 30 minutes, but some can be as short as 15 minutes. It can depend on the tour company or the time of year. If you want to make sure you get your money's worth on your helicopter tour in Florida, then do your due diligence and ask the company how long the tour will be before booking anything in stone.
The last thing you want when going on the tour is to be uncomfortable the whole time, so you can't enjoy the sights. Pick clothing that isn't loose, do NOT bring a hat, and make sure what you wear is appropriate for the season and temperature when you're going. You should ask the company if their helicopters have air conditioning or not, as that can also affect how you should dress. In fact, you can ask for advice from the helicopter company as it gets closer to your tour date, these are the people who would know best.
Check the Weather
If you want to make sure that you get a tour that is not canceled or ruined by the weather, you should do your research. First, if the main reason for your trip is a helicopter tour of the Everglades, make sure you do not book your trip during hurricane season. Secondly, check the weather forecast a week or so before you leave. Pick a day with no forecasted rain or inclement weather on the day of, before or after your trip, and book your tour.
Research the Company
The last bit of due diligence you should do is researching the tour company on something like Google or TripAdvisor. If you see that a company has a bunch of negative reviews recently, avoid them like the plague. You can also check for positive reviews that give praise to specific employees by name, especially those who were said to go above and beyond for the customers. That way when you book a time with the company, you can try asking for them by name to make sure you get the best experience. Lastly, many aircraft companies also have testimonials right on their website, so be sure to check these out too.