How Much Does it Cost to Hot Air Balloon? And is it Worth It?

Admiring the land from up above has always been on my bucket list. So I decided to celebrate my sister’s college graduation in style. I booked us a thrilling hot air balloon ride over the Lore Valley (France), starting from Amboise. I was worried about the price so I did a bit of research.

How much does it cost to hot air balloon?

The prices range from $70 (Laos, Asia) to $600 (Switzerland, Europe) per person. In the USA, rides are cheaper than the ones in Europe or Africa, having prices between $100 and $300 per person. The average cost of a ticket worldwide is $250.

For this money, the company will make sure that your experience is one of a kind.

Once bitten by the bug, it is impossible to stay away from this amazing means of transportation. There is more to it than just entertainment and a few shivers. The liberation you feel up in the air gives you a buoyancy boost to last for several months.

So what to do if you are hooked?

Find new locations and types of sceenery. Traveling is a healthy kind of addiction.

4 Astounding Hot Air Balloon Rides in Europe

Europe can be a bit pricey when it comes to this type of entertainment, but the fantastic views are worth every single cent.

You should include on your list:

  • The Alazani Valley which is located in picturesque Georgia. For the price of $138 or €120, you get an aerial perspective over Tbilisi, the capital city, and its surrounding region.

  • A 3-hour ride over breathtaking Barcelona. This adventure will cost you around $190 or €120.

  • Tuscany which is world famous for its hills covered in vineyards. For the pleasure of marveling at the Italian landscape, you must take out of your pocket around $279 or € 242.

  • A tour over Dimitrov, Russia to enjoy the mysteries of the ruins belonging to a long forgotten civilization. For this amusement, you have to pay $499 (€ 433 or £214).

4 Magnificent Balloon Tours in Asia

The biggest continent on Earth has countless routes for visitors seeking for a less conventional way of having fun.

Try not to miss:

  • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) at sunset; for $230 or € 200 you will get an excellent sight over temples and idyllic countryside.

  • Jaipur (India) or the Pink City; its splendor will make you fall in love with it forever; the trip costs $440 (€382 or £338).

  • A four-hour tour in the Northern part of Thailand; you will take off from Chiang Mai and fly over lush jungles and centuries-old temples; the trip plus the champagne breakfast cost $370 (€382 or £284).

  • Bali with its rice fields and unique tangled vegetation; the tickets are $117 (€101 or £90) per person.

4 Awe-Inspiring Balloon Trips in Australia

Famous for its sandy beaches and surfing waves, the southerner continent has lost of surprises for tourists. The aerial views are just one of them.

You should include on your itinerary one of the following air rides:

  • The Yara Valley which is renowned for its rich-flavored wines and mild slopes; a 12-hour ride with gourmet meals and hotel pick-up costs $420 (€365 or £323).

  • Alice Springs while the sun comes up in the sky; this four-hour trip takes you over the desert and gives you the chance to take photos of the unique wildlife

  • Melbourne and its urban landscape made of skyscrapers, modern architecture, and stadiums; to enjoy its serene beauty you must pay $352 (€306 or £270)

  • Brisbane which takes you over both city and countryside regions; this romantic escape is preferred by couples; the gateway will cost you around $ 242 (€210 or £186).

4 Stunning Hot Air Balloon Rides Around the World

It is time to include on your travel list at least one aerial tour. Here are our top recommendations:

  • Serengeti National Park

    Located in Kenya; the skillful balloon operators will take you over vast grasslands where animals run free; the sunrises are surreal and the breakfast spots are carefully selected; the price of $500 is a bit high, but you do get the chance to see a lion “reigning” in its natural habitat

  • Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa offers flying rides above Sun City for the price of $345 (€300 or £265); sunset is the best moment to take hundreds of jaw-dropping pictures

  • Las Vegas by dusk for $168 per person; you will see the casinos and the desert area around the city in a new perspective


  • Cappadocia (Turkey)
    It’s the ultimate escapade for a holiday up in the skies; the strange rock formations beneath give you the impression that you float over alien terrain; a 3-hour ride is about $200 (€173 or £153).
    Believe me when I tell you that few things can be compared with the exhilarating feeling of being on top of the world.

How does a hot air ballon work?

These devices lift themselves from the ground because the air inside the balloon is heated up. Thus, it weighs less than the air outside.

If you see a hot air balloon on the ground, it means that the air inside is cold.

The balloon takes off when the ascending force and the weight have equal values.

Preparing this means of transport for a flight, it is not an easy task. The crew must pay attention to all steps and procedures. First, they take a burner and attach it to the basket. The balloon envelope comes next. The team lays it on the ground and inflates it with an enormous fan.

When the balloon takes shape, the crew releases the burner flame into the envelope. After approximately 15 minutes the device elevates. The pilot maintains a steady flame to make sure that the nacelle is off the ground.

The landing process is more complex and takes a bit longer. To bring a balloon safely down, one needs a wide, open space without electric wires in close vicinity. The descent takes place progressively to avoid a rough collision with the land.

A hot air balloon consists of three important parts:

  • the balloon also known as the envelope; it is made of nylon which withstands rain, wind, and other natural phenomena; it has a one-end opening named “the mouth

  • the basket or the nacelle is the place where passengers sit; it is attached to the fabric part with resistant metal cables

  • the burner can be considered the engine of this flying machine; you will always find it at the mouth of the envelope

Is it safe to travel in a hot air balloon?

The answer is a definite and outright “yes”. With a skilled pilot, high-quality equipment and right weather, you have nothing to fear.

Accidents are rare and most of them are the cause of carelessness and amateurism. Minor injuries might occur in case of a bumpy landing.

To avoid harmful situations, pilots and operators have to comply with several rules:

  • all passengers must fasten their safety belts while landing

  • only licensed and experienced staff is permitted to fly the balloons

  • weather changes must be observed in real time

  • pilots have to be assisted by a ground team

People who maneuver a balloon go through extensive training sessions and serious exams. They attend classes in light aircraft. Instructors supervise their practice sessions.

Remember to check the company that provides the balloon tour. Read reviews, ask questions and do not rush into offers that seem too good to be true.

When is the best time to take a hot air balloon ride?

sunset in a hot air balloon

 

Most operators fly hot air balloons at sunset or sunrise. They do this not only for the tourists’ delight but also for safety reasons. At these times of day, the temperature and the wind are more stable. When the sun comes down, the surface wind is calmer than at dawn.

Most balloon rides are scheduled between April and October. You can also fly during winter, but the weather may spoil your fun. The best conditions for a flight include clear sky, light winds and not a single drop of rain.

What kind of weather is dangerous for balloon tours?

All pilots have the duty to analyze the weather forecast before taking off. If any risks are involved, professional will not take off, no matter how much you insist.

Here is what to look after before starting your flying trip:

  • Strong winds may affect the balloon and deviate it from its established route. Plus, they influence the landing processes, making it rough.

  • Fog and mist are factors of poor visibility.

  • Rains and storms must be avoided at any costs. Remember that it is forbidden to take off even when there is the slightest chance of a downpour.

  • Temperature is also a significant factor. Balloons float when their temperature is 140 degrees above the outside one. During boiling hot days it takes more time to prepare the whole mechanism for a liftoff.

How to dress for a flying excursion?

The obvious advice is to select your clothes considering the time and the location of your flight. Keep in mind that weather might change and it is better to be prepared.

As a rule of the thumb, you should wear:

  • casual or sports clothes

  • comfortable shoes as you have to stand on your feet the whole journey

  • a baseball cap or a hat

  • a scarf

  • sunglasses

Avoid:

  • dresses and skirt because you must get in and then out of the basket

  • tight clothes

  • high heels

Choose fabrics that will keep you warm and absorb sweat. Windproof clothes might be a wise option.

What items to take up in the air?

Balloon baskets have limited space. It is true that some can accommodate up to 16 people, but they were not built to transport freight.

Our suggestion is to put just the essentials in a handy backpack:

  • a camera to take professional photos or record the event

  • a bottle of water

  • paper napkins or tissues

  • a snack if meals are not included in your package

  • a light jacket

Motions sickness is not a problem when it comes to this vehicle. Balloons float so the flights are swift. There are no sudden movements nor abrupt change of directions. You can take your medication with you if this makes you feel better.

What is the age limit for children?

Children over 6 can join their parents for this kind of adventure. Those who are under this age are not tall enough to look over the basket. The standard one has around four feet tall. Your child should be six inches taller than the edge of the basket to enjoy the view.

A hot air balloon tour offers you an intense flying experience. The land is close and you can feel the breeze caressing your face. For several hours you will forget all about your worries and problems. Relaxation and wonderful memories are worth spending money on.

If you like a bit of adventure have a look at our adventure bucket list

 

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