First Hot Air Balloon Ride: Ultimate Preparation Guide

If you´ve never been in a hot air balloon, you likely have several questions and thoughts about the experience. Hopefully, this article will provide you with some answers. Embarking on your first hot-air balloon ride is an exhilarating adventure that promises breathtaking views and unforgettable memories. Whether you’re soaring over scenic landscapes or floating above picturesque towns, this unique experience offers a new perspective on the world below.

Proper preparation is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable flight. In this guide, we’ll provide essential tips and insights to help you prepare for your maiden voyage, covering everything from what to wear to what to expect during the flight. Get ready to lift off and make the most of your first hot-air balloon adventure!

Hot Air Ballooning is Among the Safest Air Travel Methods

It is natural to be worried about stepping in a small cage and gaining hundreds – or thousands – of meters in altitude. While it might seem nerve-wracking, it is one of the safest ways to travel the skies.

The number of fatal accidents and the share of accidents that lead to serious injuries is also low.

Two factors make hot air balloons safe:

  • Trained pilots. In virtually all countries, pilots are required to have a license. To obtain a license, they must go through rigorous training.
  • Weather. Unlike airplanes or helicopters, a hot air balloon pilot will only fly when the weather conditions are good. Take-off is done early morning or before sunset when the wind is at its lowest point.

The Best Time to Fly

Most rides will take place during summer and spring. While flying in wintertime is safe (and potentially a very exciting experience), it can get very cold in the cage. It is cold by take-off and will get progressively colder as you gain altitude.

With that said, a lot of people recommend flying in wintertime. The light and the view of nature are something else. Landing and take-off can be easier since using farmland that the owner does not use during the cold months is possible.

The information above is from the Swedish website The experience can vary between different countries and areas.

General Tips

Here are some general tips for preparing for your first hot-air balloon ride:

  • Dress Appropriately: Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing. Layers are ideal as it can be cool in the morning but warm up during the flight. Avoid open-toed shoes and opt for sneakers or boots for safety.
  • Check the Weather: Hot air balloon rides are weather-dependent. Keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared for possible rescheduling.
  • Arrive Early: Arrive at the launch site early to allow time for check-in and a safety briefing. This also gives you the chance to watch the balloon being inflated.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Light: Drink plenty of water before your flight but avoid heavy meals. A light snack is advisable to keep your energy levels up without causing discomfort.
  • Listen to Your Pilot: Pay close attention to the pilot’s instructions during the pre-flight briefing and throughout the journey. They are trained professionals who prioritize your safety.
  • Bring a Camera: Capture the stunning views and memorable moments, but ensure your camera or phone is secure to prevent it from falling overboard.
  • Relax and Enjoy: Feeling nervous before your first flight is normal. Take deep breaths, relax, and enjoy the unique experience of floating gently through the sky.
  • Prepare for Landing: Follow the pilot’s instructions for landing positions and be ready for a potentially bumpy landing. Bend your knees slightly and hold onto the basket’s handles.

With these tips, you can make the most of your hot air balloon adventure and ensure a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable experience.


Can you sit down in the cage?

Generally, no. You will have to stand for the entire ride. They usually last about an hour or so.

Why don´t pilots fly in the middle of the day?

Pilots generally take off a little after sunrise or a little before sunset. The wind is at its lowest point, making the ride safer.

How big is a hot air balloon?

It varies. Typically, they are between 18 and 25 meters tall and about 17 – 18 meters across.


Your first hot air balloon experience is sure to be a remarkable adventure, filled with awe-inspiring views and the serene sensation of floating through the sky. By following the preparation tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable flight, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the magic of the moment. Remember to dress appropriately, stay calm, and trust your pilot’s expertise. With the right preparation, your maiden voyage in a hot air balloon will be a memorable journey you’ll cherish for years. So, gear up, take a deep breath, and prepare to soar into the skies on this unforgettable adventure!

About the author

Leave a Comment