SHERELL

Thanksgiving will soon be here. If you'd like to spend the holiday doing something more exciting than eating and drinking, then consider going on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. There is no better way to see the Canyon than from a helicopter and there are plenty of tours and options available when you depart from Vegas. These tours fill up fast during holidays, so if you want the best deal and confirmed seats, you need to book your tour in advance.

Helicopter tours out of Vegas go to the West Rim only because the South Rim is too far away for the choppers to make the round trip. The flight path from Vegas to the West Rim passes right over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, so you get a great view of them from the air. When you book your tour, you can choose a landing tour or one that just flies over the Canyon. You'll have to pay more for a landing tour, but if you can afford it, you should go for it because you'll get the chance to have some adventures you'll never forget.

About The Landing Tours

My favorite tour to recommend is the Champagne Picnic tour that lands on the Canyon floor where you can enjoy the picnic and then explore the area on foot. This particular tour is one of the most popular helicopter tours to the West Rim, so the seats fill up fast, in fact, the tours often sell out three days ahead of time.

You can add other adventures to this tour too, such as a boat tour along the scenic Colorado River. You'll appreciate the view from the river as your boat wends its way along the base of the towering walls. Another fun add-on is a helicopter flight to the top of the rim so you can walk on the Skywalk. In case you don't know, the Skywalk is a huge viewing platform that hangs over the edge of the Canyon for about 70 feet. You'll have a spectacular view of the Canyon, and you can peer through the glass floor all the way to the Canyon floor 4000 feet below you.

Choose Your Helicopter

In addition to choosing your tour and add-ons, you'll also have to choose the type of helicopter you will fly on. Do that by booking a standard or deluxe tour, and here are the differences between the two. AStar and Bell Rangers are used on standard tours. While these are dependable and safe helicopters, they are not modern or designed specifically for sightseeing. You will have a great view on the standard choppers, but you may still want to upgrade to a deluxe tour for a better tour experience.

Deluxe tours fly on EcoStar 130 helicopters. These helicopters are designed for the ultimate sightseeing experience, and you'll see why. Your flight will be much quieter in an EcoStar, and the cabins are 20 percent larger than the older model choppers, so your flight will be more comfortable. The best thing about flying on an EcoStar is that it has a massive 180-degree viewing window that gives you the best panoramic view possible during your flight. In addition, every seat has a great view since they are arranged stadium style.

More Benefits

The standard tours take off from an airfield in Boulder City, which is near Vegas. It takes about 30 minutes for the shuttle to get from The Strip to Boulder City. Deluxe tours on the other hand, take off from the Vegas Strip, and you'll be picked up and taken back to your hotel in a limousine rather than a standard shuttle bus. The deluxe tour makes your Vegas trip and Canyon tour even more enjoyable since you'll feel like a VIP with all the nice perks. Plus, the deluxe tour comes with a flyover of The Strip, so you get an impressive view of the attractions, resorts, and neon lights of the city.

Buy Your Tour Early

Just remember, these tours sell out because they are so popular. Try to get your seats locked in two weeks ahead of your tour. This not only secures your seats, it also helps you get the lowest price on your tour. By using your credit card and buying the tour online, you get to use the low Internet rate and you'll get instant confirmation of your purchase. It's possible you'll save up to 35 percent when you buy online and that adds up when you're buying seats for your family.

Celebrate A Unique Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for taking a quick getaway to Vegas. Forget about spending Thanksgiving stuffing yourself and napping on the couch, take a helicopter tour of the Canyon instead! Just go online to buy your seats and be sure to do it soon. While a landing tour is highly recommended, there are so many tour choices available, you can pick the one that suits your budget and interests, so you can have a fantastic time at one of America's most beautiful natural landmarks.

Grand Canyon expert Keith Kravitz recommends these South Rim helicopters along with these Las Vegas flights during Thanksgiving holiday week: http://www.grandcanyonhelicopters.org/las-vegas/