If you have never been on a hot air balloon, you may be wondering if this type of adventure is for you.
Although hot air balloons are seen in the sky with airplanes and other flying machines, they don’t quite work the same way.
If you have some concerns about the speed of the hot air balloon, you can rest assured.
In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about the speed of a hot air balloon ride and what it is like to be in one.
How Fast Can a Hot Air Balloon Go?
A hot air balloon will go as fast as the wind it is flying in.
The amount of wind determines a hot air balloon’s speed.
This is why there are restrictions as to when a hot air balloon can fly.
If the wind is more than about five miles per hour, the hot air balloon pilot will very likely start to cancel trips.
Hot air balloons do not do well in windy conditions.
There are lots of different things that can go wrong, and people can get badly hurt.
Most of the time, the wind forecast will be thoroughly researched before your hot air balloon takes off.
Essential wind forecasts are going to be needed for the time your hot air balloon should take off and the time it should land.
If the weather for the takeoff seems to be fine, but the landing has 20-mph winds, then the hot air balloon will not take off.
Most of the time, hot air balloon flights will take off for sunrise or sunset.
Why Do Hot Air Balloons Take Off in the Early Morning and at Sunset?
It is a known scientific fact that the weather at sunrise and sunset is much calmer.
Hot air balloon companies know this is the case, and they schedule most of their flights for these times.
Many people think the reasoning behind this is that sunrise and sunset are great things to see while flying.
This is undoubtedly the case, but it is more about the weather than it is about the view.
Going on a hot air balloon ride is a great way to get beautiful pictures of the sunrise and sunset.
If you are going on a ride in the middle of the day, it is very likely because the weather where you live is calm during the middle hours of the day.
Most hot air balloon pilots will not schedule flights at this time because they know the probability of having to cancel is very high.
How High Can a Hot Air Balloon Go?
The hot air balloon will usually fly from a few hundred feet up to a few thousand feet in altitude.
It depends on the wind gusts that day and what you are looking at as far as the weather is concerned.
A hot air balloon pilot works to find the best wind pockets to give the people on the hot air balloon a great ride.
At different heights, the wind could be five mph or two mph.
To give people a good view of the surrounding area, the hot air balloon will go up and down.
This is not at all common.
It was a record.
If you are going on a hot air balloon, you will undoubtedly be up high and above your surroundings, but it is nothing like being in an airplane.
For people who might have issues with heights, the hot air balloon is quite high up, but because the speed is so slow, it makes it much less scary to take it all in.
Are Hot Air Balloons Dangerous?
Speaking of scary things, you may wonder how dangerous a hot air balloon is.
Many people think flying in a basket several thousand feet above the ground is extremely dangerous.
In reality, riding in a hot air balloon is safer than taking a car.
Part of the reason hot air balloons are so safe is that they are only taken out during ideal conditions.
When you think about driving or flying, the pilots and drivers are not going to be that restrictive when it comes to weather.
For hot air balloons, pilots have no choice but to be very strict about the weather and the conditions.
The most unsafe part of the hot air balloon ride is the landing.
There are times when landings can be a little rough and result in a few bumps and bruises, but it is not usually enough to cause any serious injuries.
Of course, there are exceptions to this.
It is a good idea to make sure the hot air balloon company you are using is very well experienced and has excellent reviews.
Most of these companies have been around for many years and have highly trained hot air balloon pilots in place.
It is also essential you do your part to keep the hot air balloon ride as safe as possible.
Make sure you follow all directions given to you by the company and the pilot to make your ride as safe as possible.
Do Hot Air Balloons Fly in the Rain?
A hot air balloon can stay afloat in the rain for a limited period, but it is not recommended.
A hot air balloon requires a specific temperature, usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, to operate correctly.
When it rains, the temperature of the balloon will be cooled down.
When the balloon cools down, the pilot will need to heat it back up with propane gas.
Of course, there is only a limited amount of propane gas on board the balloon.
Without heating the balloon, the cooler temperatures will cause it to descend rather rapidly.
Not only will the pilot have a lot more work cut out for them, but they will also be using a large supply of the propane that is on board.
When the propane starts to deplete itself, the hot air balloon will no longer fly.
An excellent hot air balloon pilot can adapt to these situations and find a place to land the balloon so there are no issues.
However, this is part of why flying in the rain is not recommended.
Another problem with flying in the rain is that the passengers will undoubtedly get wet.
In almost every situation, a pilot is going to cancel the flight if rain is expected.
If you think the sky looks perfect and your hot air balloon ride gets canceled, you can almost be sure there is rain somewhere in the forecast.
It can get very frustrating when you have a hot air balloon ride canceled, but you should be delighted that the company takes your safety seriously.
What Is the Landing Like in a Hot Air Balloon?
One of the most unknown and unpredictable parts about flying in a hot air balloon is the landing.
If you have been considering taking a ride on a hot air balloon, but the landing has you a little nervous, we can certainly understand.
When going for a hot air balloon ride, the landing is the most challenging part.
For most people, this is going to end up being a very smooth process where the basket comes down to rest entirely on the grass.
You have to remember that you are going at such a slow pace, the hot air balloon just barely needs to touch the ground to stop.
Although you may feel a slight bump, it will undoubtedly be nothing like what it feels like when riding in a plane.
Now, of course, there can be complications sometimes.
If a gust of wind picks up right as you are supposed to land, this could result in a bumpier landing.
It could be slightly uncomfortable, but most hot air balloon pilots will tell you that this is quite rare.
How Much Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Cost?
The cost of a hot air balloon ride is going to vary greatly depending on the time of the day, time of the year, and location of your ride.
If you are looking at a prime location during peak season, you may end up paying the closer to $400–$500 per person.
There are other times during the year when a ride could only cost $100 per person.
Hot air balloon rides tend to last for different periods.
Since they are not all the same length, the price will vary as well, depending on how long you are up in the air.
People often think hot air balloon rides are expensive, however, when you consider what you get for your money, they are not all that bad.
The price of a hot air balloon and the costs of maintaining the company and keeping reputable workers employed will add up very quickly.
When you pay for a hot air balloon ride, the amount that makes it back to the owner will probably be a very small percentage.
If you want to find a deal on a hot air balloon ride, you should consider going during the week.
The weekday rates seem to be much cheaper because people are working during these hours.
There are also specials sometimes for groups of four people to go all at once.
If you can find another couple to share a hot air balloon ride, it could end up saving hundreds of dollars.
This is a great choice to be able to participate in this experience but still save some money.
Do Hot Air Balloons Fly in the Cold?
If you live in a climate where the weather is only warm for part of the year, you may be wondering about a hot air balloon flight in the colder weather.
Hot air balloons can fly in the winter. You need to make sure you are appropriately dressed for the occasion.
In the wintertime, the air is sometimes clearer, and you can get a better view than you would during the warmer months.
This is certainly one benefit of flying in the cold.
Another great reason to go in the cold is when the leaves have fallen off the trees, you can see more animals and have a more unobstructed view of the land.
Indeed, if everything is covered in snow, this could potentially change the view you get as well.
As far as the ability of the balloon to fly in cold weather, there is no issue as long as the propane can heat to the proper levels.
What to Wear for a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Now that you have a better understanding of all that goes on while on a hot air balloon ride, you may be all ready to sign up.
After you do book your ride, make sure you are adequately prepared for the day.
There are a few helpful things to know about what to wear for a hot air balloon ride.
Don’t wear skirts or dresses because you will have to climb in and out of the hot air balloon basket.
Also, you must make sure the pants you are wearing are comfortable and allow you room to move.
Sometimes a basket can tip over when it lands, and you may find yourself climbing out.
Most of the time, this is common and won’t result in injury, but there could be an embarrassment factor if you can’t climb around the way you need to.
Another thing to make sure you wear are sunglasses.
When you are up in the sky, you are going to want a clear view of the world around you.
This is much harder to do with bare eyes than it is if you have sunglasses on.
You will want to enjoy this view as much as possible and not be squinting.
Another great idea is to wear layers.
Chances are your hot air balloon ride will be early in the day or later in the day.
These are the times when temperatures could change.
If you have layers on, you know you will always remain comfortable.
When it comes to shoes, it doesn’t matter what type of shoe you wear as long as you can climb in and out of the basket with ease.
Lastly, although this is not wardrobe related, it’s a good idea to make sure you use the bathroom before your ride.
Some hot air balloon rides will last several hours, and those will be an uncomfortable few hours if you don’t prepare yourself ahead of time.
Hot air balloon rides are a lot of fun, even if they don’t go very fast.
This is not a ride you will take if you are looking to fly through the sky at a fast rate of speed.
Hot air balloon rides are comfortable, they are calm, and the views you get are going to be unmatched.
Not many people would want to be flying at 100 mph and missing the view in front of you while you whip around the sky.