If you have a hot air balloon ride planned or are giving one to someone as a gift, then you might be wondering what to expect; how high the balloon will go, what you will see, safety, and what to wear. Here's our guide on what to expect, and how to have a thoroughly enjoying and exhilarating ride!
Firstly, be prepared for an early start! Get an early night the evening before and take into consideration the time it will take you to get to the site, because balloon rides typically start at sunrise due to the wind and thermal conditions being much calmer than later in the day. Most places will allow you to take part in the balloon's preparation, and it is at this time that you can ask any questions you may have and take photos.
What to Wear
What you wear is very important when on a balloon ride. Wear comfortable outdoor clothing for the time of year and time of day. If it's winter - wrap up warm and have plenty of layers. If it's summer - wear summer clothes but take a light jumper. You will not be allowed to board the flight wearing heels or open toed shoes. You may also be advised by the company to not wear shorts or skirts.
You will be asked to leave all handbags and rucksacks on the ground, as they will take up space needed for passengers. You will however, be allowed to take hand-held camera equipment.
Health and Safety
The company you are flying with will explain all of the safety instructions to you before the flight. However, to ride a balloon you must be physically capable to stand for an hour, climb in and out of the basket, and be able to withstand any jolts from landing impact.
Remember that your flight is dependent on weather conditions, so don't be surprised if your flight is cancelled due to winds that are too high, or any sign of rain. The company should arrange for it to be re-scheduled if it is cancelled. Always call up the company the day of the flight before you leave home to make sure it is still going ahead.
What You Will See
Everything! You will be able to see for miles, and people often describe it as tranquil yet exhilarating. The balloon will typically go up to about 3000 feet, but you may go higher depending on the weather conditions. It will be a fantastic experience and one you will never forget!