Have you ever been to a "Hot Air Balloon" ride? A hot air balloon ride gives you a stunning, bird's-eye view of a large geographical area, not to mention a chance to do something a bit out of the ordinary. Hubby and I are wanted to try and do this fun activity together, but we don't know if we have this in our area. If you plan on taking a hot air balloon, here are some tips that will help you.
Search online or in the yellow pages of your destination to find ballooning companies. (They are listed under "Ballooning.") Even better, ask friends for references, especially if you'll be in an area where ballooning is extremely popular and a lot of companies are vying for your tourist dollars.
Call to reserve your flight. Prices generally start at $150 per person for a basic ride of about an hour. You'll probably pay more if you want a charter flight, or if you add goodies such as wine, champagne or even a full-blown picnic. Customizing your ride will also cost extra.
Ask about packages. Many companies offer half-day trips, all-day trips that include a picnic, or other special packages.
Be prepared for an early start time - most ballooning groups will ask you to be at the launch pad before sunrise, when the wind is light to nonexistent. Adverse weather conditions are likely to cause a cancellation.
Wear clothes that can be layered. The burner for the balloon will often keep the basket warm, even in cool weather, but you should be prepared with at least a light jacket.
Bring binoculars, a camcorder and a camera; make sure you have fresh batteries and lots of film.
Use the restroom before your flight.
Enjoy the view!