Do you love adventure when you travel? Have you ever wanted to take hot air balloon rides when you are visiting a new place but unsure about them? Last summer I went on my first hot air balloon ride in Arizona with Hot Air Expeditions courtesy of Visit Phoenix, and many people have asked how the experience was.
Normally I am a lounge-by-the-resort-pool type of traveler, but lately I have become more adventurous. Last year I cave kayaked in the Channel Islands, did a ropes course plus zip lined on a cruise ship, went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, rode a horse through the Garden of the Gods, went whitewater rafting and took a hot air balloon ride in Arizona.
Even though there were moments of fear before and during all of these adventures, the best thing was the feeling of accomplishment.
Out of these experiences, many people have asked how scary was the hot air balloon ride. I am going to tell you about hot air balloon rides and what you need to know.
Are Hot Air Balloon Rides Safe?
Before the ride even got started our group received safety and also technical information about the balloon. Make sure to ask any questions you have during this time as well as see the balloon and basket first.
I was nervous and a bit scared since I had no clue what to expect about the ride. Asking questions definitely made me feel more comfortable and secure about getting in the hot air balloon.
My first hot air balloon experience was completely magical thanks to Hot Air Expeditions.
How Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Work?
I felt Wizard of Oz-esque vibes from the moment I climbed into the oversized, wicker basket.
The basket is a lot deeper than I realized, but they provide steps and a hand to help you get into it safely. Once you are inside and the ride begins, be prepared to feel some heat as the operator gets the flames going so the balloon can take flight. Then you simply watch as the world below you grows smaller and smaller as you float away.
During the time we soared way up in the air over the Sonoran Desert my fears floated away. I bravely reached my hands out of the basket as I excitedly pointed out the beautiful sunrise, waterways, mountains, and more below us.
Despite the 100 degree Arizona temps, even in the early morning, there was a calm cool breeze that seemed to encircle us in the sky. Our pilot was not only knowledgable about the balloon itself, but also with the area he was showing us around from up above.
Post-flight we were treated to a delicious breakfast in the desert along with champagne.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Here are some things you need to know:
- My first piece of advice when it comes to hot air balloon rides is you MUST, especially if you are in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona area, use Hot Air Expeditions for your ballooning experience. Every post-flight includes a lovely meal right in the desert complete with champagne.
- Wear closed toe shoes. You will thank me as you’re climbing into and out of the basket. Having shoes securely on your feet will make the ride that much more enjoyable.
- Try not to let a fear of heights hold you back from taking a hot air balloon ride. Once you are up in the air and enjoying the incredible sights, your worries will fade away. You will be in awe thanks to the 360 degree unobstructed views a hot air balloon ride treats you to.
- I am giving you this important warning that you may want to bring a hat to keep your head cool. I didn’t realize how hot your head can feel each time the pilot activates the propane burners throughout your flight.
- Take a camera, in addition to your cell phone, along with a telephoto zoom lens if you would like to get really good pictures of the beautiful views. I took my favorite Canon camera and a 75-300mm lens which allowed me to closely capture the mountains, sunrise and the brilliantly green colored cactus on the hot air balloon in front of us during our flight.
The last thing about hot air balloon rides and what you need to know is to just go and fly.
There was an 80-year-old woman in our basket and she said although she was nervous, once she got up in the air she never wanted the adventure to end.
Visiting Arizona and need more things to do and unique places to stay?
- 7 Reasons Hyatt Scottsdale Resort is Where You Want To Stay
- Why You Need to Stay at Sanctuary on Camelback Resort
- Horseshoe Bend and How To Experience it in Two Ways