Dawn, Dusk and Beyond: Making the Most of Your Hot Air Balloon Flight
For most people, taking a flight in a hot air balloon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience—a real moment to be savoured. Even for people who are afraid of heights, there's a certain enchantment and whimsy to a balloon that makes them appealing. Besides, the views are beautiful. But if you really are going to do this only once in your lifetime, you're going to want to do it right. As such, you'll need to know the best time to take a flight, and exactly what to expect.
Day or Night?
Taking a hot air balloon flight is just like climbing an observation tower. You may think it's best to go up during the day, but in many locations, there are also beautiful views to be had at night, with lights twinkling across the horizon. This means you have plenty of options. For very rural areas of natural, untouched beauty, you'll want to ensure you take a flight in full daylight; with no synthetic light, you'll be missing a lot of the detail of the landscape you're flying over, even if the view taken as a whole is still spectacular. Areas with a little more synthetic light can be flown over at night if you prefer—or you could have the best of both worlds by taking an evening flight, enjoying the sunset from the sky itself.
Balloon flights are very reliant on appropriate weather, as there's limited control over the direction of the balloon once it's in flight. Equally, it can be difficult to have the balloon take off in adverse conditions. As such, you should be prepared to be flexible with your flight, just in case the weather requires it to be rescheduled. It's not likely, but it is possible.
Setting Up and Taking Off
If you're thinking of taking a hot air balloon flight as stepping into a basket and flying away, you're missing out on a big part of the experience! Before your group takes their flight, you may join in with the process of setting up and inflating the balloon, and you'll experience exactly how much effort and expertise are needed to get it up into the air. Depending on the type of balloon you're flying in, you may be asked to climb into the basket while it's lying sideways. This can vary, but if you have any limitations with regards to your mobility, you should check with the company you're booking your flight with to ensure you'll be accommodated. Either way, you'll discover a whole lot more than a sensational view.
In short, flying in a hot air balloon is not just a scenic tour in the sky. It's a whole experience that should be taken as a package, and quite unlike anything else. It'll surely be a day to remember, no matter where you're flying