To see the look of wonder and intrigue on a childs face as they stare at a Hot air balloon up close is truely beautiful. They are impressionable and fascinated by new experiences; to be educated and entertained.
Travelling with children can have it's challenges. We want to make your experience with Global Ballooning as enjoyable as possible, for all involved.
For this reason, here are the basic safety tips to remember when flying with your kids, throughout the 3 stages of the flight tour:
Throughout the entire tour, it's important to keep an eye on your children at all times. Follow all safety instructions given by your pilot and ground crew on the day.
There are clearly marked allocated areas on the launch field which are SAFE to stand within and areas which are unsafe. See below image.
This time of the morning is still very dark and can be extremely difficult to see people and especially little bodies. Keep an eye out for moving vehicles and stay within the designated safe areas.
To inflate the balloons, some adult passenger assistance is required to help hold the balloon envelope in position whilst the air is being pushed in with the fan. For the kids this is a perfect opportunity to simply marvel at the sight of the balloon being inflated right before their eyes.
Have your camera ready & phone charged up for those family selfie's, making memories to share forever. The inflation itself takes about 20 minutes, then it''s time to climb into the basket and UP UP AND AWAY you go, sailing into the sky.
The pilot will allocate your child to be next to you (or between parents/ guardians if more than 1 adult is attending). You will all be in a nice, comfortable position with amazing views all around you.
The flight duration is approximately 1 hour, there aren't any seats in the basket so make sure you are all wearing comfortable shoes to stand in for the duration of the flight. And of course, DRESS WARMLY with many layers & hats/ beannies, even in summertime the mornings can be quite chilly.
This is a great time to help educate your child/ren about the science behind gravity, weather conditions, altitude, cardinal directions and terrain, as a few examples.
The flight experience wouldn't be complete without asking our friendly pilots a few questions as well, like what are some landmarks they can point out, the history of ballooning, how do you become a balloon pilot? what time do they have to wake up in the morning? (too early!).
The fun isn't over just yet...
Coming in to land the balloon, there are rope handles within the basket to hold onto- tightly.
Bend your knees and place your back up against the cushioning in the basket. For little ones, they need to do the same and you can link arms with them so they don't move around too much and again position yourself next to them nice and snug.
It's very important to listen for specific instructions from your pilot before disembarking the balloon basket. Keep your child close to you, within arms reach and do not allow them to go running off.
Here's the fun part...when it's time to roll up the balloon envelope, this is a great hands on experience which children of all ages. Similar to rolling up a sleeping bag & stuffing it in it's case, the balloon pack up is much the same, but on a larger scale.
Everyone needs to help to push on the balloon, forcing the air to escape to make it easier to put in the balloon bag. Then it's back into the bus and off to breakkie! Yum Yum :)
Main post image: @MelbourneMinor
Children between the ages of 6-12 years are permitted to fly in a hot air balloon with an accompanying adult guardian. Under the age of 6? Unfortunately they will just need to wait a few years to enjoy this amazing experience.
Yes, all passengers need to complete a waiver form on the morning of their flight. Your pilot/ crew on the day will provide these to you and travellers within your group.
Restrooms are available at the meeting point only and breakfast venue after the flight. For the balloon launch, flight, and landing, no restroom facilities will be available.
Please ensure you and your children use the restrooms before the balloon flight as it could be a few hours without a restroom.
by Erin Tucci