1.Search online or in the yellow pages of your destination to find ballooning companies. (They are listed under "Ballooning.") Even better, ask friends for references, especially if you'll be in an area where ballooning is extremely popular and a lot of companies are vying for your tourist dollars.
2.Call to reserve your flight. Prices generally start at $150 per person for a basic ride of about an hour. You'll probably pay more if you want a charter flight, or if you add goodies such as wine, champagne or even a full-blown picnic. Customizing your ride will also cost extra.
3.Ask about packages. Many companies offer half-day trips, all-day trips that include a picnic, or other special packages.
4.Be prepared for an early start time - most ballooning groups will ask you to be at the launch pad before sunrise, when the wind is light to nonexistent. Adverse weather conditions are likely to cause a cancellation.
5.Wear clothes that can be layered. The burner for the balloon will often keep the basket warm, even in cool weather, but you should be prepared with at least a light jacket.
6.Bring binoculars, a camcorder and a camera; make sure you have fresh batteries and lots of film.
7.Use the restroom before your flight.
8.Enjoy the view!
Don't worry about falling out - the basket will not sway very much.
Book early if you are planning a trip to a popular destination.
Although balloons generally go where the wind takes them, there should be a ground crew (or "chase" crew) following your balloon as it flies. This crew is usually in touch with the balloon pilot by radio.
Even though you may be prone to motion sickness, people seldom get airsick on a hot air balloon. If you are concerned, take a dose of motion sickness medication before boarding.
Warnings: If you have a deep-seated fear of heights, you may want to reconsider this activity.