Frequently Asked Questions about Hot Air Balloons
Are you interested in taking a hot air balloon ride, but still have questions? We’ve got the answers here to commonly asked questions about hot air
The idea of drifting over landscapes in hot air balloons has enchanted
passengers since the late 18th Century.
Today, you can take off in a hot air balloon in almost any major city in the country.
So, it’s on your agenda, you’ve psyched yourself up, but you’re unsure of all the right things to say to a representative when you’ve found one.
Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll give a rundown of some of the most frequently asked questions about hot air balloons you might just be asking yourself. Read on to educate yourself and become prepared for your own enchanting balloon ride!
Hot Air Balloons: What You Need to Know
If you don’t have the answers to these questions already, be glad you’ve found this article! These topics will prepare you for what to expect from your hot air balloon ride, making the excursion pleasurable and stress-free.
1. How Does It Work?
Hot air from a type of adjustable torch (called a burner) underneath the balloon fills the material. Because hot air rises naturally, it lifts the balloon, and whatever is attached to it, into the sky as far as it can.
Usually, a type of basket or bucket, nearly car-sized, goes under the balloon for passengers to ride in.
2. Is It Safe?
Well, as with any excursion, you should definitely check the ratings, credentials, and history of the hot air balloon company you choose to go with.
Hot air balloons are subject to FAA regulations just as planes and helicopters are. The company should have some verification of this on their website along with how many years they’ve worked in the business.
But all of that aside, hot air balloons operated relatively safely for passengers hundreds of years ago. And we’ve only improved safety measures since then!
3. What Are the Physical Requirements?
You have to use your absolute best judgment when choosing who goes in the hot air balloons. While the trip will be very different from a roller coaster, a lot of the restrictions are similar.
It’s usually a rule that women who are pregnant should not take to the skies. The changes in altitude, the excitement involved…it’s just not an ideal place.
Children under five are usually not allowed to go up, either. You’ll have to check with the company to see what the age/height restrictions are.
Besides that, the ride will consist of standing for hours at a time. Only allow people in on your trip who are capable of standing on their own for hours at a time.
4. How Long Do the Balloons Stay In the Air?
It all depends on the company you choose to fly with, but an average hot air balloon ride could take you somewhere between 3 and 4 hours.
Not all of that is spent in the air, however. You probably will get an average of an hour in the air but will have to arrive early for safety instruction and paperwork.
The time before will be spent with the crew clueing you in on how to board the balloon, what to do when landing and exiting, and what to expect from the trip.
5. What Time of Day Should We Book a Reservation?
Most (if not all) hot air balloons take off either early in the morning, to catch the stunning sunrise, or close to sunset to get a similar view. (These morning and evening landscapes have been the favorite of balloonists for a while now).
You can search for images on the internet to get an idea of the differences between each of these times of the day. From there, though, it’s all about your personal preference.
Maybe you just aren’t a morning person, and that’s fine! Morning balloon rides will have you arrive and begin your ascent in the air well before the sun comes up. Keep that in mind.
For evening rides, you’ll probably have to arrive 2 to 2.5 hours before sunset to get your training and get in the air in time.
6. What Should We Wear?
Of course, this depends on the climate of the area and the time of year that you choose to have your balloon ride.
Here are the facts though: morning and evening rides will be chillier than the rest of the day, so you may want some warm outer layers.
However, you’ll want to be able to shed outer layers easily if things get too hot. In the basket, you’ll be underneath and not too far away from the heat source, which keeps things toasty.
It’s common for hot air balloon tour companies to ban sandals, flip-flop type of open-toed shoe on the ride. The hazards are too many, and there wouldn’t be a lot of comfort in them anyways.
7. Can We Bring a Camera?
You’d better! The sites you’ll see are one-of-a-kind, and you’ll want to remember every bit of it that you can.
However, a camera falling from that height can be a big liability. You’ll have to check with your tour company to see if they have any restrictions on size or security of personal cameras.
8. How Much Does It Cost?
Hot air balloons aren’t cheap vehicles. And besides that, the companies have to ensure the passengers as well as the captain and crew. You’ll also be paying for the entire, multiple-hour process of training you as well as the excursion.
And obviously, the price will fluctuate depending on the company you choose in the end.
You can expect to pay somewhere around $100-$200 a person. That’s just a general price, though, and you should check all price variations with your tour group before booking.
How Can I Book a Reservation?
Give a ring to your company of choice or drop onto their website for details and possible reservation openings (something like a calendar of dates and times to choose from).
And when you want more professional insider advice, check out our blog articles!
Have you recently (or memorably) gone up in hot air balloons? Let us and other interested future-passengers know about your experience in the comments below!