If you have a bucket list, then a hot air balloon ride should definitely be on the list. No word can come close to expressing the incredible feeling of soaring through the Sonoma balloon rides, watching the sweeping views of rolling mountains, the panoramic sight of a sun-dappled landscape, the feel of a whipping breeze engulfing you. These things are better experienced than expressed. If you are in the mood to enjoy a hot air balloon flight, then listed below are tips to find the best service company.
Shortlist the companies
Performing a quick search on the Internet will provide you with a bewildering array of choices. While you conduct the search, keep this fact in mind: there are only a handful of companies that are actually legitimate in the state. Check for the licence of the company, their track record, discern their work history, and ask to see testimonials from previous customers. Conducting an investigation beforehand will give you a clear insight into the credibility of the company.
Balloon ride operators VS Balloon ride brokers
There is a considerable difference between balloon ride operators and brokers. An operator will actually own and control the balloon that you will ride in, whereas brokers will merely direct you to an operator at an additional cost. A broker will sell you gift certificates for the balloon rides and assign local companies to give you the rides. You might feel it is a better, considering you are getting the ride at cheaper prices. However, there is more to it then what meets the eyes. For instance, you may find it difficult to redeem the certificates or have to spend hours together to locate the company that actually offers the rides. Getting a refund is next to impossible. By contacting the operators directly, you will be able to find safe and affordable hot air balloon rides that you have been looking for.
A word of caution – brokers often appear on the top listing of search results through sponsored links. With their huge advertising budget, it is quiet easy for them to mislead clients. Conduct proper research while shortlisting a company.
Determine the number of people going for a balloon ride with you and make the arrangements accordingly. A standard sized balloon basket can easily accommodate 12 to16 people whereas larger baskets will have capacity of holding 20 to 25 people. Make sure the basket is not too crowded and you get a good viewpoint to explore the iconic beauty of nature, otherwise the whole point of the ride will prove futile.
It is crucial to determine beforehand the duration of flight. Depending on the company, they can offer flight either for standard 60 minutes or 90 minutes. It is good idea to go for 90 minutes ride at a little extra cost, as it is virtually impossible to bask in all the majestic beauty that Mother Nature has to offer within 60 minutes.