Are you thinking about taking your first hot air balloon ride? As a surprise for his 30th birthday, I took my hubby on a hot air balloon ride for the first time and it was amazing. We got there at the crack of dawn excited for a new adventure, and somewhat unsure of what it would entail. It was definitely beautiful, a little scary and above all else, a unique and wonderful experience! But, before you check this item off your bucket list, read over these five hot air balloon ride tips for first-timers.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

1. This is a very weather dependent activity.

If it is too windy or too hot you may not get to take off. I was told when making a reservation that we may have to reschedule if weather didn’t cooperate. Being a control freak, and hoping to make this a birthday morning surprise for my hubby, this stressed me out quite a bit – thankfully, my constant prayers for good weather were answered!

Hot Air Balloon Ride

2. Watching the balloon inflate is really fun!

I hadn’t even thought about this part beforehand, so I was surprised by how exciting it was to get to see the balloon get set up for our ride. Watching a roaring fire inflate the colorful fabric to create a flying vessel is kind of amazing… and also a little bit scary, “so that bag of hot air is going to keep us from falling to our deaths?… ok!?!” But once we were floating around in the beautiful blue sky, I wasn’t afraid at all!

Hot Air Balloon Ride

3. The views make the ride.

Make sure you pick an area with great views… that is the best part. Luckily, we were in the beautiful Colorado Springs area – with Pikes Peak and other mountains in the background, beautiful open spaces, creeks and even some wildlife. As photographers, we were in love with the views! It was a truly unique experience. The great guide even snapped a few of us too!

Hot Air Balloon Ride

4. The landing can be a little bumpy.

As we began our descent, the pilot warned us that it might be a bit bumpy, but we had a pretty smooth landing since the wind wasn’t very strong. Apparently, bouncing a few times before finally coming to a stop is common.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

5. The basket usually tips over when you land.

And… we were in a cow pasture. In order to let the balloon deflate, they let it tip over during landing. Luckily, there were four separate compartments in the basket so we weren’t all squished together too badly. We also managed to miss all of the cow poop in the field we landed in… success! After we climbed out of the basket, we participated in a champagne toast with some snacks to celebrate a great ride!

Hot Air Balloon Ride

For our hot air balloon excursion, we found a great deal on LivingSocial.com for Adventures Out West. We really enjoyed the pilot who made us feel safe and helped us have a great time (he offered to take a picture of us while up in the balloon and also hopped out to get the cute picture of us all when the basket tipped over). At the end, we got a little hot air balloon patch and certificate of accomplishment for this fun adventure! A fun memento for an awesome day.