Hot air ballooning might be one of the most unique ways to experience the world around you, taking you above the ground and giving you an expansive view of the sights below. A hot air balloon ride can be an unforgettable experience for both kids and adults alike, so it’s no wonder that it has become so popular across the country.
This guide explains everything you need to know about hot air ballooning so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
What is Hot Air Ballooning?
Before you make your decision about hot air balloon rides, there are a few things you should know. First, hot air balloons are among some of safest forms of transportation in use today, which means that you can relax while flying without having to worry about your safety.
Second, while it’s true that wind is necessary for takeoff and landing, it doesn’t matter how far you go because balllooning uses no fuel!
You don’t even need any training before taking off. All you need is a good sense of adventure and love for natural beauty.
How do Hot Air Balloons Work?
Balloons can fly by heating air in a special chamber and escaping through a small hole in the top. As air is heated, it expands and gets less dense—it weighs less than cooler air.
By taking advantage of that, hot air balloons have no problem rising into the sky! If you look closely at a picture of a hot air balloon, you’ll see burners near its bottom. Those burners allow pilots to control how much heat they add to any given portion of air.
Unlike skydiving or hang gliding, there are no hard safety standards for balloon operators. Some companies require customers to sign a liability waiver before their flight.
Others do not, which can mean that if something goes wrong with your hot air balloon ride, you might have no legal recourse whatsoever. That’s why it’s important to ask about safety precautions when booking a hot air balloon ride and make sure your pilot meets industry standards.
How much does a hot air balloon ride cost?
Of course, your budget will determine how much you spend on a hot air balloon ride. The average cost of a 30-minute private ride is between £200 and £400 per person in most areas, while many companies charge between £175 and £250 for a shared experience with six to 10 other people (plus fuel costs).
Expect 20-minute rides (which can accommodate up to four people) to be less expensive; they usually run around £100 per person. These prices are for one-time rides; they’re higher if you plan on attending multiple events or flying for several hours.
Each company offers different packages—including combinations of transportation, accommodations, meals and more—so you’ll want to look at all of your options before committing.
Where can I go hot air ballooning?
Hot air balloon rides in England, Wales and Scotland can be found throughout spring, summer and autumn. Thanks to hot air balloons’ large size (they’re as big as a house!) and slow speed (they can hover like a helicopter), they’re largely safe – but even so, there are some rules you should follow before climbing aboard.
It’s important that you research where hot air balloon rides are available beforehand so that you know where they operate from. If you have time, contact your hotel or venue of choice well in advance so that staff can inform you about any planned events.