Everyone is familiar with hot air balloons. They have been the subject of movies and one very special balloon even got Dorothy home in the Wizard of Oz. Few of us, however, have had the chance to actually fly in one. That’s a shame too because it is easy to find a company that will take you up for your very first hot air balloon flight. All you need to do is select the type of hot air balloon ride that you would like to experience and you are up up and away!

A typical hot air balloon ride will start at daybreak since the air currents are their most stable at this time of day. In some areas you will find rides available at sunset as well. Your flight team will consist of a pilot and the ground crew. It’s the pilot’s job to run the show but the ground crew is extremely important as well. They will help the pilot prepare the hot air balloon for take off, follow along the ground while you are in the air, help pack up the hot air balloon after it lands, and transport everyone back to home base.

Most hot air balloon rides will take place at 2,000-3,000 feet above the ground. This is the perfect altitude for getting a whole new perspective on the landscape around you. In fact, it is much the same view that the birds have as they are floating above the treetops. You will travel at the same speed as the wind which makes for an extremely gentle and peaceful ride. You will not be using the help of any mechanical propulsion devices so there is nothing to disturb you either with sound or with movement. It is for this reason that even people who typically experience vertigo or motions sickness can enjoy a hot air balloon ride.

Most companies that provide hot air balloon rides sell vouchers that are a wonderful gift. When you give the gift of a hot air balloon ride you will be giving someone very special a once in a lifetime opportunity to look down on their home country from a totally new perspective.

Hot air balloon rides are a popular choice for romantic excursions. It is not uncommon to find gentlemen proposing to their lady while drifting along with the gentle breezes, a spectacular sunrise in the background. You will even find actual marriage ceremonies taking place in the gondola. But hot air balloon flights are not just for lovers. Children as young as six are welcome to board the basket and get their first taste of air travel. Hot air balloon rides can make for a wonderful experience for the entire family.

If you have already tasted hot air balloon travel and you decide that you would like to get a little deeper into the experience you can take advantage of hot air balloon school. When you attend an accredited academy you can study to be the pilot or you can learn what it takes to be a member of the ground team. Many people who decide they want to immerse themselves in the sport start with ground crew and work their way up to pilot.

Regardless of how involved you want to get in the sport of hot air ballooning, you can find a local company that can create the experience you are looking for–for one time flights through pilot certification. So let yourself go.