Frequently Asked Questions about Hot Air Balloons

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

 

balloons.

The idea of drifting over landscapes in hot air balloons has enchanted

Phoenix Hot Air Balloons – Aerogelic Ballooning

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?

www.AerogelicBallooning.com
Phoenix Sunset Balloons

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.

Check out the pricing here!

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!

Book Now Here!

A Short Course On Hot Air Balloon History

Short Course On Hot Air Balloon HistoryImage result for hot air balloon history

Ever wonder what inspired people to fly through the air in a balloon? You’re not alone! Here’s a short course on hot air balloon history and its pioneers!

People have been taking to the skies in hot air balloons for more than 200 years. And balloon popularity seems to be skyrocketing. With balloons going up all over the world for festivals, private rides, and entertainment, they’re as relevant as ever.

But did you ever wonder how these flying balloons came to be? Wonder no more with this short course on hot air balloon history!

Disputed Beginnings of Hot Air Balloon History

There are reports throughout history of people using hot air to send balloons into the sky. Some of the oldest “hot air balloons” were actually called “sky lanterns” by the Chinese.Sky Chinese Flying Wish Light Lantern

These paper and bamboo lanterns first took to the skies in the third century BC, making them the first type of object to take to the skies via hot air. Another chapter of early hot air balloon history suggests that Nazca Native Americans from Peru were some of the first to use hot air balloons around 700 BC.

Later claims suggest that a small hot air balloon was created by a priest in Portugal named Batholomeu Laurenco de Gasmao in the early 1700s. Russia also claims that a man named Kria Kutnoi flew a small balloon propelled by hot air in the 1730s.

Each of these examples demonstrates an early understanding of using hot air to levitate balloon-like objects. However, none of these early examples of hot air balloons were manned or carrying any cargo.

Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier

That’s where the Montgolfier brothers come in. Jacques and Joseph were living in the South of France working as paper manufacturers when they noticed something interesting.

They noticed that when they burned paper, bits of the paper and ash would be levitated in the air by the flames. While this was actually because of the heat created by the flames, they believed that the fire and smoke created a magic power that could make things float.

They decided to use this power to create something that could fly into the air, thus setting out to create what would be the first true hot air balloons. They created the balloon to capture the heat created, causing the balloon and basket to lift into the air.

To create the heat necessary for flight, the brothers burned a combination of paper, wool, and manure. Good thing we’ve made advancements since then!

On June 4th, 1973 they launched their first large balloon into the air for an 8-minute flight before it landed safely. Well, it was safe until local workers attacked and destroyed the “falling moon” that fell from the sky.

The First Manned Flights

A Sheep, a Rooster, and a Duck

After their success with that flight, the brothers decided it was time to send a balloon into the air carrying passengers. However, for fear of injury or death, they didn’t send any people up a first.

The first aerial flight was taken by a duck, a rooster, and a sheep. The flight was performed in front of King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and a large crowd at Versailles. This 10-minute flight was also successful, and the animals landed safely.

People Take to the Skies

Once the animal-manned flight was completed, they decided it was time to send people to the skies. The first-ever manned flight in hot air balloon history was on November 21st, 1783 in front of a huge crowd in Paris. It’s thought the entire city’s population of 400,000 people were in attendance to watch the first people fly.

The brothers themselves weren’t the ones to fly that day. Instead, they sent their two friends Francious Laurent and Jean-Fran de Rozier. Some people think that the term “pilot” came from one of the first pilot’s names, “Pil?tre.”

The balloon went up to around 500 ft and flew for around 25 minutes. It landed safely in nearby fields.

A New Tradition

Unfortunately, a large, strange-looking contraption landing in a farmer’s vineyard scared the local farmers. They charged at it with weapons, which caused Rozier and Laurent to panic.

In order to stop the farmers from destroying the balloon and harming them, they supposedly promised each of them a fine bottle of champagne. Thus began the tradition of drinking champagne after a hot air balloon flight.

Hot Air Balloon Innovation

These first adventures in aerial flight caused quite a stir around the world. The technology of aviation and hot air balloons was quickly developed.

Many Uses

People didn’t have to burn manure and old shoes to take flight anymore; people discovered how to use other fuels, like hydrogen and propane, to fly hot air balloons.

As the technology improved, the balloons became more grandiose. They were used for entertainment to perform shows and stunts. Some were created to lift people into the air on a throne.

Hot air balloons were even used in warfare, the first time by the French in 1794.

Testing the Limits

People also began to test the limits of balloon technology. They would fly long distances, climb greater heights, and bring more people up in the air.

Jean Pierre Blanchard became the first to cross the English Channel on a hot air balloon in 1785. In 1932, Auguste Piccard became the first person to reach the stratosphere in a balloon (that’s 52,498 feet!).

As technology continued to improve, more extreme trips became possible. In the 1980s, there were multiple transatlantic crossings, the first in hot air balloon history.

One of the biggest achievements in hot air balloon history was in 1999. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first people to fly around the world on a hot air balloon in just 19 days.

Wrapping Up

With the invention of airplanes and helicopters, hot air balloons might not be the most popular form of transportation anymore. But they create the same joy and wonder today that they did when the Montpelier brothers first flew in the 1700s.

Hopefully, you learned something about the interesting history of hot air balloons! If you’re looking to experience a hot air balloon ride or want to know more about balloon travel, feel free to contact us!

1-866-Fly-Tday (1-866-359-8329)

A Guide To Dressing Comfortably For Hot Air Balloon Flights

Dressing Comfortably For Hot Air Balloon Flights

To fully enjoy your hot air balloon ride, dressing appropriately is key. Check out our guide to dressing comfortably for hot air balloon flights.

Before people head up, up, and away in their romantic hot air balloon flights, it’s important to outline the correct dress code.

What you wear to an event such as riding in a hot air balloon really matters.

It also depends on what time of year you wish to participate in hot air balloon flights.

www.AerogelicBallooning.com hot air balloon Phoenix

Read on to discover what you need to wear in order to feel the most comfortable on your journey into the sky.

Outfits For Hot Air Balloon Flights In the Summer

If you plan on riding in a hot air balloon during the summer months, consider the location you take off in.

Are you traveling in an area such as Phoenix, Arizona that is typically warm? You’ll need to dress in the right clothes for that climate.

The higher you travel into the sky, the more likely the weather will change dramatically with the increase in altitude. Even though the weather could feel hot during most of the day, you can experience cooler temperatures as you move through the air.

Make sure your outfit is as flexible as the weather will be. Be prepared for sudden changes in temperature with the right clothing and accessories depending on the location you choose.

Some more accessories to consider taking with you on your hot air balloon flight is a hat and sunglasses.

While the sun is still out blazing away, you will need to protect your skin from the rays that you will inevitably be closer to as you make your way into the air. You don’t want to miss out on getting the most joy from your trip by not bringing the right accessories during the summertime.

Outfits For Hot Air Balloon Flights In the Winter

The wind-chill is something you must consider if you plan on taking a hot air balloon ride during the winter months.

In places such as Scotland where the weather is typically in the lower 50s, you will want to wear a heavy coat and boots. If your trip takes place anywhere near the mountains, you should also consider wearing a scarf and earmuffs for added protection.

There are long dark winter evenings to think about when you travel to a destination that is cold for a hot air balloon ride, too. Watching the sunset over the mountains will be quite the experience to remember if you dress the part. When the sun does start to set, you can bundle up in your thick coats to enjoy the remainder of your hot air balloon ride in a warm and cozy state.

Don’t skimp on the layers because once you are up in the sky, there is no turning back for at least a few hours. It’s best to bring more and slowly remove the layers as the day goes on. You don’t want to be stuck in the sky while the temperature drastically drops!

hot air balloon ride Phoenix www.AerogelicBallooning.com

The layers you wear will be your best approach to handling the switching temperatures in a moderate climate. If the weather is warmer during the afternoon and then changes to feeling a shift in temperature, you can easily remove the winter coat you bring with you.

Keep Your Expensive Clothes At Home

We do not recommend wearing your most valuable items while on your journey through the sky.

As one prepares for their ultimate hot air balloon flights, it’s important to note what types of clothes they decide to put on.

If you are a woman, you may not want to wear a skirt or a dress for your hot air balloon ride as the winds will pick up over time.

Eliminate the stress of holding down your skirt every five minutes and choose some comfortable pants instead. The basket will also pose a potential issue if you have on a skirt or dress when you get in and out of it.

You may be tempted to put on a gorgeous new dress, but we recommend you find an alternative combination that will be acceptable for the duration of your air ride. You could always wear a comfortable pair of dress pants for the occasion.

Save your most expensive items for a dinner out after enjoying one of the finest hot air balloon flights of your life.

Also, no matter what time of the year you plan on venturing out for a hot air balloon ride, we recommend headgear of some type.

Accessories to Bring for Your Hot Air Balloon Ride

Men usually prefer to wear ball caps while ladies will be comfortable in wide brim hats of their choice. Heat will eventually radiate down from the top of the balloon which can lead to an uncomfortable rise in temperature that most people report feeling from time to time.

When it comes to shoes, you also need to be particular about the footwear you have on during your hot air balloon excursion. We don’t want anything to happen to your feet throughout your experience. Preparing for your ride means wearing the right footwear.

As for the correct footwear, we do recommend that you wear closed-toe shoes.

Wearing flat sole shoes is also your best plan because you will be jumping in and out of the basket. Super high-heels are not recommended for this hot air balloon journey. You do not want to trip while exiting the basket.

Creating a problem-free environment will make your trip that much more enjoyable, so leave the heels at home!

Learn More about Hot Air Balloons

If you are interested in learning more about hot air balloon flights around the world, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

We hope that reading this article provides you with a better look at what types of clothing you need to wear during the summer and winter months in order to have the best hot air balloon flights.

Of course, our team is devoted to helping you enjoy the most out of your hot air balloon experience so continue reading more content posted on our helpful blog page!

Or Call Now 480-247-7813

How To Turn Your Hot Air Balloon Trip Into The Perfect Date

How To Turn A Hot Air Balloon Trip Into A Perfect Date

Are you looking for new ideas for a fun and romantic date?
Read here to learn how to turn your hot air balloon trip into the perfect date.

 

Imagine this — it’s a cool, crisp Fall morning. Maybe there’s still a little warmth from summer but the skies are blue and clear.

Slowly, you find yourself floating up into that blue sky. As you look down at the resplendent foliage, you draw closer to your partner.

The solitude, the beauty, the excitement – everything comes together perfectly and you feel closer than ever before.

Seems like a dream, doesn’t it? When you go on a balloon trip, fantasy becomes reality.

The Basics Of A Balloon Trip

If a balloon trip sounds like a perfect date idea but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. We’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about this exciting date possibility.

First, the basics.

A sunrise or sunset flight is most common and gives you the best views. You’ll drive to the balloon company’s headquarters where they’ll take you to the balloon.

Once there, you’ll watch them inflate. Before long, it will be time to climb in the basket and soar into the beautiful sky.

The whole thing takes about 2-3 hours.

Now that you know the bare bones of the experience, we’re going to share with you tips and tricks to make it an incredibly romantic experience.

What To Wear

Since you’ll be up in the sky, it’s smart to bring along a sweater or a light jacket. Layering is always a great idea since sun and wind conditions can affect temperature during the balloon trip.

Ladies, while we always want to look our best, wearing heels isn’t a great idea. Remember, you’ll be walking in a field and climbing into a wicker basket – leave the stilettos at home.

That being said, you’ll want to snap lots of pictures – not just of the beautiful scenery but of yourselves. What better way to remember your special day together?

Dress nicely and be ready for the camera.

Safety First

Nervous about being up so high? Believe it or not, a balloon trip is the safest way to fly.

There are things that can happen during plane rides that don’t happen with balloons. If a plane breaks apart or fuel runs out, it’s almost guaranteed it will crash.

Balloons are very simple and lack tons of complicated moving parts that can fail. Plus, if a balloon runs out of fuel, it will simply glide back down to the ground, like a giant parachute.

That being said, go with a reputable company. Do your research and read other customers’ reviews.

Still a little scared of heights? That’s OK – trying new things together that are a little bit scary is one of the best ways to keep the spark in a relationship!

Price Of Flight

Think a balloon trip is prohibitively expensive? Think again! Most flights average around $90-$250, although it can be more depending on what’s offered.

This romantic ride isn’t as pricey as it seems. Many balloon companies have various options with different price ranges.

For example, some companies will pick you up in a limo, take you to a private balloon ride, and provide roses and champagne.

Other companies offer more modest – but still romantic – options. For example, you can cut your costs by flying with other couples instead of going solo.

You can do as little or as much as you’d like, but no matter what you choose, it will still be incredibly romantic.

Regional Views

Another thing to consider – what do you want to see when you go up? Depending on where you live (or travel to), you’ll have several options.

Fields of flowers, trees changing color in the crisp fall air, majestic mountains in the distance…Which one speaks to your heart?

If you’re going to splurge on an all-out trip, think about the view, too.

Picnic In The Clouds

The ride is going to last a few hours – why not have a picnic among the clouds? Just like the other amenities mentioned, many companies offer light snacks, like cheese and crackers or chocolate covered strawberries.

When you call the company you’re looking to fly with, ask them if they offer anything like that. If they don’t, you might be able to bring your own snacks with you.

Here’s a chance to get creative and surprise your partner.

For example, if your girlfriend loves macarons, bringing them along is a romantic and thoughtful gesture. Does your boyfriend only eat organic turkey jerky? Bring a bag of his favorite brand.

Champagne In The Sky

A balloon trip isn’t the same without the champagne toast.

Some say this tradition dates back to the first days of ballooning. Pilots would have champagne on hand to calm and cajole nervous and frightened spectators.

Now it’s just another wonderful part of your romantic trip! What’s better than bubbles and ballooning?

Extras

Now that you know what to expect from your romantic trip in a balloon, there are a few extras to consider.

Because you’ll be so high up, think about bringing sunscreen. Sure, it might be chilly because of the wind but the sun’s rays are more magnified up high.

Pack a pair of binoculars to really enjoy the view. Not everyone brings them but once you’re high in the sky, you’ll be glad you have them.

Most importantly, remember to just enjoy the moment together. A balloon trip is very peaceful and beautiful.

Use this special moment to just be together and enjoy each other’s company.

At the end, your pilot will bring you down in a field. Make reservations at a nearby restaurant for breakfast or dinner.

Ready To Take To The Skies With Your Special Someone?

A trip in a balloon is definitely special. Don’t you want to share it with the person that has your heart?

Soaring through the clouds, sharing a spectacular view, sipping on champagne…There’s really nothing more romantic!

It’s easier than ever to book a trip. Give us a call today and we’ll set up your special, romantic flight.

Wow the love of your life with a romantic flight through the clouds – contact us today!

The 5 Most Famous Balloon Flights in History

The 5 Most Famous Balloon Flights in History

Hot air balloons come with a fascinating history. To learn more, we’re sharing the 5 most notorious balloon flights of all time.

History can often be defined by a few major events. Related image

Since the invention of the hot air balloon in ancient Chinese history, it’s gone through some major changes to become one of the most recognizable leisure transports in the world.

Now we all take the hot air balloon for granted, even those who consider it a hobby. That’s why we’re looking back at 5 of the most famous balloon flights in history.

First Manned Balloon Flight

After some previous experiments involving a sheep, a duck, and a rooster (but no punchline), the first manned balloon flight took place on 19th October 1783. This first flight was tethered, so it was a stationary adventure.

But the true watershed moment came with the first untethered flight with human passengers. This happened on 21st November 1783. And through a decree of the French king, it was almost a few condemned criminals that had the honor!

Luckily, some more historically-minded heads prevailed. Scientist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and balloon pioneer François Laurent d’Arlandes argued their case and eventually were given the honor to carry out a flight for the history books. They took off from the center of Paris and flew to the suburbs, making a journey of around twenty-five minutes.

The event was witnessed by one of the Founding Fathers of the USA and fellow scientist, Benjamin Franklin. He described the lift off as “most majestic” and described how the adventurers lowered their hats in salute to the watching spectators. Contemporary reports claim that over 400,000 spectators watched the launch. Many had even paid toward the venture!

Unfortunately, de Rozier would lose his life in another balloon endeavor. He attempted to cross the English Channel in 1785. His hydrogen and hot air balloon crashed in the attempt. The first successful crossing had actually taken place earlier that year.

The World’s First Aviation Disaster

Sadly, innovation can’t come without cost.

The world’s very first aviation disaster occurred in May of 1785. There are surprisingly few reports of the incident – most information comes from just two contemporary accounts. But it’s known the crash happened in the town of Tullamore in Ireland. Although the Tullamore area didn’t have its own newspapers at the time, newspapers from other areas reported that more than 100 houses were destroyed in the fires that followed.

It appears the accident was caused by a collision between the balloon and a local chimney. The balloon caught fire and plunged into the street below, setting the roofs of thatched houses alight.

The town of Tullamore still remembers the incident with its emblem, a phoenix, and the yearly Phoenix Festival. The safety of hot air balloons has come on a long way since then. Many lessons from these early incidents have had an impact on balloon designs for centuries to come.

The Hindenburg disaster would become a much more famous example of a balloon disaster. But the Tullamore raised humanitarian questions about the safety of hot air balloons for the first time in their history.

First Long-Distance Balloon Flight

In 1836, Charles Green departed Vauxhall Gardens in the Great Balloon of Nassau. The aim was to reach Weilburg in Nassau. Five hundred miles and 18 hours later they succeeded. The journey set new standards for what balloon flights were capable of. Green’s flight would make the potential of the hot air balloon clear for generations to come.

Green’s balloon was known as the Royal Vauxhall, and later the Nassau. The balloon was famous in its day. Its striped design inspired many artists!

The voyage was so incredible at the time that it was even immortalized in a painting, A Consultation prior to the Aerial Voyage to Weilburgh.

Virgin Balloon Flights later paid homage to this game-changer by flying Green’s great-great nephew across the Cotswolds.

First Solo Trip Around the World Image result for piccard around the world

The world’s first solo hot air balloon trip around the world wouldn’t happen until 2002. In fact, it was the first nonstop circumnavigation of the world in any kind of aircraft. It wasn’t the first balloon around the world, however: that was Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in 1999.

Steve Fossett set off from Northam, Western Australia on 19th June, returning 3rd July, and so spent just over thirteen days airborne.

Fossett’s balloon carried a number of advanced features that showed just how far the technology has come. The Comstock Autopilot kept him at a constant altitude thanks to computer-controlled burners.

But in other respects, things haven’t changed much. Fossett’s basket was about the size of a closet, and he was only able to sleep in naps lasting around 45 minutes, achieving around 4 hours of sleep a day.

These grueling conditions were made even worse by temperatures that were frequently below zero. Even so, Fossett needed to exit the gondola often to check his burners and change fuel. Fossett only had military-style ready-to-eat meals for sustenance.

Fossett’s story also shows that none of these momentous events come easily. He made the attempt five times before his final successful voyage. But Fossett is a balloon pioneer. He was also the first to fly across the Pacific solo, and the first to cross Africa, Europe, and the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

The World’s Highest Concert

Richard Branson and the Virgin company have helped bring the hot air balloon to popular culture. It’s not surprising they should make an entry on this list!

In tandem with rock act The Girls, they set a Guinness record for the highest concert ever in a hot air balloon, along with the highest recorded song. They performed ‘What I Did Today’ at an altitude of 1848m for an audience of just two!

The venture was supported by magazine publication Future Music, and also featured guests such as Andrew Vowles of Massive Attack fame.

The Future of Balloon Flights

We can’t know where the future of the balloon flights will take us. But we do know that the march of progress will help flight enthusiasts smash further records and develop new and exciting balloon technologies.

Be sure to follow our blog for more balloon facts, both past and present!

How to Overcome Your Fear of Balloon Rides

How to Overcome Your Fear of Balloon Rides

Uneasy about balloons rides because your fear of heights? You’re not alone. Luckily, there are several solutions. Here are the best ways to overcome your fear.

Keyword(s): balloon rides

Arizona Hot Air Balloon Ride

Have you ever wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride but the thought of being thousands of feet in the sky fills you with dread?

Does your stomach clench when you’re walking across a bridge? Do you have to avert your eyes when you’re on a roller coaster ride?

The reality is, you’re not alone. Many people have a fear of heights. And by many, we mean 3% to 5% of the American population.

While this is a normal fear, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some great experiences— such as balloon rides.

In fact, it’s recommended that you confront your phobia head on. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how you can overcome your fear of balloon rides.

And how you can get one step further to squelching your fear of heights.

Understanding Acrophobia or Fear of Heights

Acrophobia is the scientific term for fear of heights. So, a person who suffers from acrophobia is afraid of being several feet above the ground.

Like many phobias, your fear of heights could have come about a terrifying experience that involved heights.

You could be anxiety prone or coincidentally had a panic attack. And you just happened to be walking across a bridge.

Maybe one of your parents has a fear of heights and you picked up on their fear when you’d be in an elevator or on a roller coaster.

Or perhaps your fear is innate.

Whatever the cause, it’s understandable that you have this fear. In fact, science reveals why taking balloon rides could be hard on the nerves…

What Science Says

Every person has a fight-or-flight response. If we didn’t have it, humans probably wouldn’t be here right now. It’s what keeps us from getting bit from rattle snakes and attacked by bears.

But what if we can’t run away or fight it? You see, that’s what happens when you’re in the air. Your feet have nowhere to carry you. Which can make us feel out of control.

Also, your eyes search for reference points roughly thirty feet in front to orient your body. When you’re on a balloon ride or skydiving, the reference points are constantly moving.

Especially when skydiving or hang gliding, there isn’t a reference point to orient your body.

Lastly, along these lines, our senses bring in valuable information for our brain and body to assess if this is a secure environment.

These senses include inner ear, eyes, touch, smell, and hearing.

According to this Psychology Today article, if any of these senses decreases, it lessens the ability to reference our body against other objects.

We can then become nervous because we are (subconsciously) aware that this is happening.

It then makes sense why people feel nervous when they’re taking balloon rides or on an airplane.

But what can you do to make you less afraid of heights and enjoy a balloon ride? Read on to find out!

Conquer Balloon Rides with These Tips

Below are practical tips you can use so your balloon ride experience is enjoyable.

Schedule Your Ride Months Out

Schedule your balloon ride a couple months in advance. This will give you time to deal with your fear of heights on a smaller level.

What we mean is that take things slowly. Think of something that makes you feel slightly afraid of heights, but that is manageable

Maybe this is going on an elevator? Or walking up several flights of stairs? Everyone is different.

Rate Your Fear

To find out which situations make you more afraid than others, make a list. For instance, you could list:

  • Walking on a bridge
  • Driving over a bridge
  • Taking a plane ride
  • Skydiving
  • Hang Gliding
  • Riding in a hot air balloon
  • Walking up stairs

Then, rate that situation from one to ten, with one being the least afraid to ten being the most.

If you’re still unsure about the score for each scenario, list or think of some situations where you don’t feel afraid of heights at all.

This could be taking a jog or playing with your dog. These situations would be rated a one. And can help you create a baseline to go off of. (Again, yours may be different.)

Work Your Way Through the List

hot air balloon ride

After rating your list, start at the bottom and work your way to the top. Let’s say walking up several flights of stairs is a six for you.

It’s the lowest rating on your list. Start exposing yourself to this situation and walking up flights of stairs.

Of course, you don’t have to walk up ten flights of stairs in one day. Do this little by little.

Start by walking up one flight of stairs. Check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Do you sense your stomach clenching and your heart rate increasing?

Ride it through. And go up another flight. Then go back down. The next day, go up three flights of stairs. And more and more.

Once you feel comfortable walking up stairs, do a situation on your list with a higher score. Maybe that’s being in an elevator or walking across a bridge.

The truth is, you want to slowly expose yourself to your fear of heights. That way, when you go on the balloon ride, you have confidence in managing your fear.

Confide in Someone About Your Fear

You don’t have to go about this alone. In fact, we don’t recommend it. Talk to a safe person about your fear of heights. Have them go along with you when you walk up those stairs.

They can serve as a source of encouragement and motivation.

During Your Balloon Ride

Let’s say you slowly exposed yourself to your fear of heights. You’ve gained more confidence. But your heart’s still racing during the take-off.

It’s ok. Breathe through it. Squeeze your friend’s or partner’s hand. Focus on something that’s stationary inside the basket for a few minutes.

And then dare yourself to look out at the spectacular view. Feel the wind and the sun on your face. Smell the breeze. Use your senses to not be nervously looking for control.

But to let go, surrender, and enjoy the experience.

We hope this helps you to enjoy balloon rides.

Let us know by leaving a comment!

7 Reasons to Book an Air Balloon Ride This Summer

7 Reasons to Book an Air Balloon Ride This Summer

Do you want to do something exciting this summer? You should go on an air balloon ride. Click here for 7 reasons to book an air balloon ride this summer.

Heat waves have been sweeping the country all summer, especially in the southwest where temperatures are regularly exceeding 100°F.

To beat the heat, people are clamoring for the beach, swimming pools, and anyplace that has air conditioning. If you’re one of those people who feel like these places are now too crowded, take to the empty skies for a relaxing hot air balloon ride.

Getting into a hot air balloon might seem like the wrong choice in the summer but, in reality, summer’s one of the best times to go. The temperature change isn’t as shocking and the days are longer.

Beyond getting away from the crowds, there are so many reasons to book an air balloon ride this summer.

See Things From a New Perspective

air balloon ride Phoenix

Perhaps you think it won’t be interesting to take a hot air balloon ride to see your own city. You see it every day.

However, once you travel high enough, you’ll be struck by the new angles at which you can see your city’s buildings, parks, homes, and roads. You’ll notice things about your city that you could never have noticed from the ground.

Don’t just appreciate the view once you get up there.

One of the most incredible feelings in the world is watching the ground, and all the people on it shrink away from you as you ascend into the sky.

Seeing the world from 1,500 feet gives you a new perspective about how small we are on this planet and our place in it.

Make the Occasion Romantic

romantic hot air balloon ride

A hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to make the outing with that special someone romantic. Watching the sunrise or sunset while snuggled up with your loved one makes saying “I love you” that much more romantic.

Booking a ride on a hot air balloon is the perfect way to keep the romance going on a date or anniversary.

If you’re ready to pop the question to your partner, proposing on a hot air balloon will take their breath away! Proposing on a hot air balloon ride has become increasingly popular as couples are looking to make huge statements when they pop the question.

Take Instagram-Worthy Photos

hot air balloon selfie

If you want photos that will get you tons of likes on Instagram and Facebook, you need to go on a hot air balloon ride. No doubt you’ll want pictures of other hot air balloons around you as a selfie.

Some of the key photos we recommend you take are of the balloon inflating (a process that takes nearly 30 minutes), the balloon ascending (a video would be great, too!), you in the basket, the landscape below, and the sunrise/sunset.

Most people find the camera on their smartphone is sufficient for capturing their hot air balloon trip. However, bringing a point and shoot or DSLR can allow you to capture more detail. Just ensure you have a sturdy camera strap.

Remember, be courteous of other people in the basket. Allow your fellow balloon occupants space at the rim of the basket so they can get their photos, too.

Appreciate the Sunrise/Sunset

Many hot air balloon operators create their schedules to coincide with the sunrise and sunset. The temperatures are cooler during these times, plus the changing light makes the ride more romantic and breathtaking.

As the sun rises, be sure to take in the silhouettes the sun creates in the surrounding landscape and buildings in the city. If you’re in the right position, you’ll be able to take advantage of the early glowing light for your photographs.

Sunset is also considered a golden hour for photographs. In addition to the photos of the colorful sunset, be sure to snap photos of the sunlight dancing over the fields and trees.

Embrace the Silence

One thing few people realize is that hot air balloon rides are quite quiet.

The pilot will obviously use the burner to reach your cruising altitude, but once you’ve reached that height, he’ll shut it off. Once the burner is off, you’ll be amazed at how

Once the burner is off, you’ll be amazed at how quiet and serene it is in the air. You can’t hear the drone of cars or peoples’ chattering.

We’re sure you’ll never want to leave once you’ve experienced that kind of silence.

Do remember your pilot might need to turn on the burner every now and again to regain altitude.

Conquer Your Fear of Heights

If you fear heights, you may be thinking “no way am I getting in that hot air balloon.” However, if you’ve been looking for a way to conquer your fear of heights, a hot air balloon ride might just be what you need.

Being in a hot air balloon involves a slow introduction to heights. The balloon rises slowly, so there’s no jarring realization you’re going too high.

Also, the ride is very smooth inside the large basket. You won’t experience the sensation of feeling like you’ll fall out of the balloon.

Finally, you’ll have the quiet skies and beautiful views to distract you as you float through the sky. How could you possibly think about how high up you are when you can see the landscape for miles around?

Make Some Friends on Your Air Balloon Ride

While some people go on a balloon ride for a romantic experience, others go because it’s something they’ve always wanted to do or because they want to see the world from above.

Going on a ride in a hot air balloon is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people. Visitors will come from all over the country, and sometimes even the world, to go hot air ballooning in other places.

Even if you don’t plan on keeping in touch with the people you meet in your balloon, making those brief connections is what makes us human.

What Are You Waiting For?

Before you know it, summer will have gone, and you will have missed your opportunity for a hot air balloon ride.

If you have questions about hot air ballooning in general or want to make reservations for your balloon ride, get in touch with us.

Are Hot Air Balloons Safe for Kids?

Are Hot Air Balloons Safe for Kids?

Ballooning is a thrilling experience, but are hot air balloons safe for kids? Are children allowed on balloon rides? Here’s everything you need to know.

Keyword(s): are hot air balloons safe

When you think of hot air balloons, the first thing that most likely comes to mind is drifting high in the sky, enjoying the view and exhilaration that comes from the perspective of a bird’s eye view.

While this seems like an event that anyone in the family can enjoy, the reality is that there are some elements of hot air ballooning that might give parents some concern.

That’s why today, we’re exploring the question, “Are hot air balloons safe for kids?”

From height concerns to the burner issue, we’ll explore the different aspects of the ballooning experience, and investigate some of the potential concerns you may have for your pike-sized adventurers.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Heights and Tykes: Anxiety Over Ascension

phoenix hot air balloon ride Danny

Depending on the age of your child, if you’re wondering, “Are hot air balloons safe?” you’re probably thinking first and foremost of the height element.

After all, the average height that a recreational hot air balloon reaches is between treetop level to around 3,000 feet.

By any measure, that’s a substantial distance from the ground! Yet, space below can be magnified to little eyes. Along with worry that your child may become anxious over being so high up, you might fear that he or she will become dangerously fidgety during the ride.

To this end, it’s important to remember that kids around age 6 or younger will most likely be too short to see over the basket. The basket, which is typically made of wicker, will have sides around four feet tall.

Children may also be unable to reach the top of the basket to safely hold on. Ideally, your child should be at least six inches taller than the top of the basket to stay comfortably attached to it.

As such, it’s best to leave them at home or with a trusted confidant while you enjoy these sightseeing trips. In fact, most hot air balloon companies set age 6

as their age limit for flying due to this very reason.

The Time Issue: Avoiding Risky Boredom

Another issue you’ll want to be mindful of when asking “are hot air balloons safe?” is the timeline of the flight.

Most hot air balloon companies will conduct a pre-flight briefing to make sure everyone understands how the flight works, what will occur, and how to stay safe. This is essential to helping everyone involved stay as protected and secure as possible.

This briefing can last between 15 minutes or up to an hour, depending on the duration and level of the flight.

Then, after the briefing, it’s time to hop in! Most flights average around one hour in length.

Young children can easily become distracted or fussy during these time periods. Remember, a hot air balloon ride requires lots of standing!

If a tantrum occurs on the ground, that’s one thing. Yet, if it hits mid-flight, it could become difficult to contain your child inside the basket, especially considering that many regulatory administrations worldwide, including the Federal Aviation Administration, do not allow parents to hold their children during a hot air balloon flight.

Not only could this become distracting to the other flyers, it could also dangerously disturb the pilot.

To this end, if your child is deemed old enough to ride, consider next whether he or she is emotionally mature enough to handle the extended periods of inactivity — and to not just endure them, but to actively listen and understand.

Concern over the Burner: Too Much Heat and Noise?

Another element of the flight that you might not think of immediately, but that deserves attention is the balloon’s burner.

Any discussion of “are hot air balloons safe?” should include an overview of what the burner does, and how a child might react to it.

Put simply, the burner is used to heat up the air that inflates the balloon. It’s typically fired by liquid propane gas.

To control the balloon’s height, the pilot will release some of the hot air from a vent at the top of the balloon. This will cause the balloon to dip slightly as required.

For those who haven’t taken a balloon ride before, the burner can be one of the most unexpected parts of the experience. It’s loud and the flame is significant in size, reaching up to 15 feet in length!

Some adults might find this part intriguing. Yet, it can be especially upsetting for a young child, especially one who doesn’t expect the burner when he or she arrives at the flight.

This could trigger anxiety or other emotional outbursts. These, in turn, could make the hot air balloon experience less safe (and enjoyable) for those involved.

If your child has clearance to come based on age, and you’re sure he or she can stand for a long period of time without complaint, a final consideration should be whether or not your child will be frightened or taken aback by the burner.

Are Hot Air Balloons Safe? Final Things to Remember

Make a Wish balloon ride Phoenix

Your chosen hot air balloon company will be able to better guide you on the age requirements and restrictions for your flight. These tips are shared as general guidelines as you plan your next high-flying adventure.

If your child is age-appropriate to enter the basket, you’ll want to examine the flight piece-by-piece.

As you do so, consider the reaction each part will evoke from him or her. You may also find it valuable to discuss the experience with your child beforehand. This can be a great way to explain everything upfront so there are no unwelcome surprises.

Then, if you’re comfortable setting sail with your child by your side, then enjoy the thrill and make those special memories together!

Take Flight Today: Your Hot Air Balloon Guide and Resource

Are you ready to learn more about how to book your next hot air balloon flight? If so, we’d love to help get you in the air!

We provide a top-quality flight program that allows riders the chance to see their favorite vistas from an entirely new point-of-view.

Whether you’re an individual, family, or group, we offer a ballooning experience for everyone.

Feel free to contact us today and let’s take off together!

What to Wear on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

What to Wear on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Have an upcoming hot air balloon ride on the calendar? It’s important to be prepared to stay as comfortable as possible. Here’s what to wear and not wear!

Keyword(s): hot air balloon ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride Phoenix

Looking at the world from a bird’s eye view in the open air is a very alluring proposition.

The world is yours as you gaze past the clouds from the basket of your hot air balloon.

Suddenly, and startlingly you become alarmingly aware of yourself and your strange new surroundings.

You become particularly aware of what you are wearing, is it right for this expedition?

This stress has caused you to snap out of your daydream, which was at first relaxing and simultaneously exhilarating.

But there’s no need for stress.

To focus on your upcoming excitement and not to sweat the small stuff, check out our list of what to wear for your air balloon ride.

Avoid Skirts and Dresses

While the sights to be had during a hot air balloon ride are majestic, getting into the basket and landings won’t always be.

Depending on the weather and terrain, landings can be rough and baskets can sometimes tip over (don’t worry this is common!).

These are, however, not skirt or dress-friendly conditions.

You will also need to enter the balloon basket itself, and flexible pants would be much more friendly to this proposition.

Plan on wearing pants ideally to enjoy your ballooning experience to its fullest.

Sunglasses

Since your hot air ballooning experience will be outdoors it’s a good idea to bring some sunglasses.

OK, this one might be a little obvious, but easy to overlook.

Also consider the time of day your flight will be.

If you are planning on a sunset or sunrise flight, bringing your sunglasses will help you enjoy the sights even more.

Comfy and Practical Shoes

Air balloon baskets as you may have guessed aren’t too spacious, and chances are you may be sharing your flight with other passengers.

You will likely be standing most of the time so wearing comfy shoes is a great idea.

Plus the whole landing and getting into the basket thing may be a little easier if you wear the proper footwear.

Sandals, high heels, and slip-on shoes are also not the greatest idea.

Sneakers or even boots are the practical choice.

Also plan on wearing good socks, preferably ones that will cover your ankles in case your balloon lands in a grassy field.

Layers

Hot Air Balloon Ride Arizona

It’ll be a good idea to bring some layers for your flight.

The aeronaut (fancy word for hot air balloon pilot) will check the forecast to make sure the conditions are right for your flight, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to guarantee perfect weather.

It won’t necessarily be colder up in the air, but there are other factors as well.

If you’re up before the sunrise, it’ll be colder before the sun and the reverse is true for sunset.

Pay attention to the season and dress appropriately for the weather.

Hoodies, sweaters, and lighter jackets are ideal than larger jackets but if you are in doubt, check with your flight coordinator.

Bring something that you can put on, or take off. It will make your flight a lot more comfortable.

A Hat

A hat will protect your face from the sun and will keep your hair from flying everywhere in the wind.

But they also serve another hot air ballon-specific purpose.

As a balloon rider, you will be underneath the burner.

Some riders have reported a little bit of discomfort from being under the flame. A hat can help combat this and keep you comfortable.

A Durable Camera Strap

Being thousands of feet up in the air is an excellent opportunity to get unique and beautiful photos.

So bringing your camera is just natural.

Due to the sometimes rough nature of landings, it might be a good idea o bring a camera that can handle it like a GoPro or small digital.

Hot air balloon rides are a chance to explore and adventure, not to worry about what you forgot on the ground.

Or if anything you have will end up on the ground.

With this in mind, you may want to wear a good camera strap to firmly secure your camera and ensure you come back home with the photographed memories intact!

Make Sure You Don’t Have to Pee!

Once you are in the air, you’re not going to have a chance to use the restroom for the duration of the flight.

Make sure to use the restroom an adequate amount of times to make sure that you’ll be able to enjoy the view, and maybe not worry about finding a bathroom.

Don’t worry, many hot air balloon crews will celebrate with mimosas or champagne to commemorate a successful flight.

Maybe No Jewelry

While a hot air balloon ride is definitely a memorable occasion, you might want to leave the jewelry at home.

If it’s a special case, maybe secure your jewelry by tucking it in to your shirt.

This will help alleviate any concerns that it might fall out of the basket.

Skip the Blankets

Temperature concerns might prompt you to bring some extra protection.

Good! But stick to wearable ones.

A blanket might seem like a great idea. It would be memorable for a couple, for example. But we want to cut down on extraneous items. Bring a decent coat instead of a blanket.

Schedule Your Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride Scottsdale

If you want to see the gorgeous sites and experience a new altitude for yourself, we can definitely help you out with that.

Schedule your hot air balloon ride today.

Anway, after reading this article, you’re pretty much an expert on what to and what to not wear and bring during a hot air balloon ride. It’s time to use that knowledge.

Go have fun!

Who Invented the Hot Air Balloon?

Who Invented the Hot Air Balloon?

Who invented the hot air balloon and why? In this post, we’re delving into the fascinating history behind hot air balloons. Buckle up!

Keyword(s): who invented the hot air balloon

Hot air balloons rides have long been a whimsical way to enjoy an afternoon.

Taking a ride in one can be exciting, fun, even romantic. But have you ever thought about where hot air balloons come from? They’re so much more than just a recreational activity.

Who invented the hot air balloon, and why? In this post, we’re delving into the fascinating history behind hot air balloons. Buckle up!

Who invented the hot air balloon?Image result for montgolfier

The Montgolfier brothers got the idea for the hot air balloon during an evening sitting by the fireplace.

It was 1782, and Joseph Montgolfier looked into the fire. He wondered aloud to his brother, Etienne, “What force made the smoke and sparks rise?”

Joseph made a small bag out of silk. He held the open end over the fireplace, and the bag inflated and floated in the air. What they had discovered was isolated hydrogen.

Hydrogen is the lightest of all gases. It’s even lighter than air. That allows it to lift certain objects off the ground, like the silk bag.

After this discovery, the brothers were inspired to use this knowledge to invent a balloon that could fly on its own.

The first launch of the hot air balloon

The brothers designed a larger, circular version of the silk bag. They attached a big, yet light-weight basket to the bottom, creating the first version of the hot air balloon.

In 1783, they launched this balloon off the steps of Versailles for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. A rooster, a duck, and a sheep were loaded into the basket.

The balloon floated 1,500 hundred feet in the air. After 8 minutes, a rope tied to the basket pulled the balloon and the animals safely back to Earth.

Now it was time to launch the first human into the sky!

October 1783 marked the first flight of a human

The simple answer to who invented the hot air balloon is the Montgolfier brothers. However, scientist Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier, had a big hand in helping.

De Rozier assisted in the first launch of the farm animals. He volunteered to go up himself a few months later. Tethered to a rope, De Rozier and the balloon floated in the sky for 15 minutes.

A month later, De Rozier safely flew in a hot air balloon for 20 minutes without the rope. Two years later, he was finally ready to take a more ambitious trip.

In 1785, De Rozier and a partner set out to cross the English Channel in their hot air balloon. Unfortunately, 20 minutes after takeoff, the balloon exploded. Both men were killed.

Later that year, John Jeffries and Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully crossed the English Channel.

After these flights, technology for balloons quickly improved

Word spread around the world about the incredible hot air balloon. Scientists and engineers worked fast to improve the design.

Thanks to this hot air balloon craze, the helium filled party balloon was also invented around this time.

In 1793, the first flight of a hot air balloon in America was accomplished by Jean-Pierre Blanchard. Blanchard flew from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.

Hot air balloons had finally made it to the US. They would end up being a helpful tool for the army during several wars.

Hot air balloons had been used in war since 1794Image result for hot air balloon for war

Since it was Frenchmen who invented the hot air balloon, it’s fitting the French were first to use it in war.

It was 1794 during the French Revolution. A tethered hot air balloon was flown into the air. From this view, the man in the balloon could watch the Austrian troops. They used the information he gathered to fight them. The French won this battle.

This use of a hot air balloon resembles how the military today uses drones.

America didn’t use hot air balloons for war purposes until The Civil War. Scientist and inventor Thaddeus Lowe convinced Abraham Lincoln to start The Balloon Corp.

Lowe was named the Chief Aeronaut of The Balloon Corp in 1861. Seven balloons were used to spy on the Confederate Army. Eventually, the Confederates tried to create their own balloons.

Hot air balloons were later used in World War I & II.

Steadily from here on, hot air balloon designs became more sophisticated.

In 1932, a hot air balloon made it to the stratosphereImage result for stratosphere hot air balloon

A Swiss scientist, August Piccard, designed a new hot air balloon. Instead of riding in a basket, this balloon had a pressurized aluminum ball. Piccard, along with his friend Max Cosyns, took a ride in Piccard’s invention. They flew into the stratosphere, flying over 52,000 in the air.

Piccard and Cosyns set the record for the highest balloon flight. However, other scientists quickly broke their records. New records were being set on a regular basis.

It wasn’t until 1935 that someone sets an altitude record that was hard to beat.

Captain Albert Stevens and Orvil Anderson set the record. They flew their helium gas balloon, Explorer II, 13.7 miles into the sky. They held on to their record for 20 years.

This was a big milestone. Experts say this flight later paved the way for space travel.

This record was broken in 1955. However, another interesting altitude record was set in 1960.

Captain Joe Kittinger sets an altitude and parachuting recordRelated image

Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger flew his hot air balloon 19.4 miles into the stratosphere. In a pressurized suit, Kittinger parachuted to Earth.

His hot air balloon record was broken a year later. However, his parachuting record still stands.

Captain Kittinger’s parachute jump brought the history of ballooning full circle. In the 1790’s, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier modernized the design of the parachute.

During one of the first manned balloon rides ever, he used a silk parachute to jump from a falling balloon.

The technology of De Rozier and the Montgolfier brothers has certainly come a long way!

Did you learn anything about the history of hot air balloons?

Hot air balloons are often looked at as just a leisure activity.

But it’s nice to know who invented the hot air balloon, as well as its interesting history!