5 Facts About Flying Balloons Everyone Thinks are True

If you are a fan of flying, as ardent as perhaps Sir Richard Branson is, then you probably know what’s true and what is not about flying balloons – from their shape, features, mechanism and possibilities.

Hot air balloon

Some people, however, have a pretty romantic or naïve idea of balloons, which lets them believe some myths. While we can’t blame them for falling in love with the idea of flying, we want to share with you some popular facts that most people think are true. But are not!

Don’t spill the beans

Many people believe that a balloon flying up in the skies is the perfect place to propose. What? No, please don’t! When you are up in the skies you can’t speak about matters of such gravity, because the only think you can hear is the roar of the hot air burner. So, unless you are a brilliant mime artist, hold your peace at least till you touch down.

Air sickness

Air sickness is a perfectly normal condition in healthy people, making them feel bad or even lose their lunch during the flight. While many people believe that closing your eyes might alleviate the situation, they are all wrong – closing your eyes or trying to sleep during a balloon flight (what a waste!) will only aggravate the symptoms as this results in a conflict between the eyes and the vestibular system. So, keep your eyes wide open.

One-way ticket to open space

Can a hot air balloon leave the Earth and off it go into open space? Nope! As with all machines capable of flight, hot air balloons aren’t able to fly beyond the atmosphere. Felix Baumgartner‘s epic jump from the edge of space took place with a sliiiightly different balloon. So fear not, you can’t leave the earth with a hot-air balloon.

Balloons give wings

Popular myth has it that a bunch of helium-filled balloons can easily lift a kiddo off the ground. While a little bum might not be safe with as many as a thousand balloons attached to it, the myth busters prove that any number of balloons that a kid can feasibly lay its hands on can’t take it to the skies.

Shape of the shapes

Some people think that a balloon cannot stay aloft unless it’s in the traditional teardrop shape. In fact, there are many forms and sizes such as a castle, a ball, a popular shape from Angry Birds and what not. If you are a fan of special shapes, you can see many unusual balloons during international balloon fiestas, or during the Festival of Ballooning.

Unusual shape balloons

Now you’re super prepared to take to the skies. Don’t forget that in the UK as well as in most European countries, you need to hold a Private Pilot’s Licence in order to fly a hot air balloon. Although it might seem like a perfect retreat in nature’s splendour, please, don’t improvise with your granddad’s balloon and make sure you hold a licence.

Have a nice flight!


Baby On Board or How To Survive Travelling with a Child

Travelling with kids can be pretty stressful as well as fun. Flying with babies or very small children is twice as challenging. Here is a short guide on how to survive your first flight with a baby or small kids on board.

Flying Child

If your kid flies for the first time, and if they are able to understand you, make sure that he or she knows what will happen step by step. Tell him about the trip to the airport, what will happen there – that you are going to bring your suitcases, check in, watch the planes take off and touch down before you board. When a kid knows what’s ahead of them, they find it easier to cope with the new situation.

If your child is reluctant to embrace new situations, tell them a funny story about flying by plane. Kids are always eager to experience positive and exciting emotions, so telling them about an exhilarating event on the way, will most certainly help them look forward to the day of the flight.

Now, what about kids that cannot understand speech and explanations. Babies can sense adults’ emotions very well. They are like radars of our moods. So, before the flight, make sure that you are well rested so that there is as little anxiety as possible. For this purpose:

  • don’t leave the packing of your suitcases for the very last time. This will create a lot of stress that the baby will feel;
  • let your toddler or baby take part in the packing if possible; boxes, suitcases and pleasant, as much as it can be, fuss can become an exciting game;
  • sing songs imitating the drone of planes;
  • show them images or models of planes – something that they will see a lot on the next day.

Non-stop flight Vs. Connecting flight
Kids’ moods change like the weather, and even more quickly when they have to wait in long queues, when among lots of people, and at a place where they can’t run free. To minimise the agitation resulting from the very length of the flight, try and pick up a direct (i.e. non-stop) flight whenever it is possible. Night flights are also a very good choice, as kids doze off on the plane pretty often, worn out by the day.

Touchdown and Takeoff

On Board

Take-off and touchdown are the two moments when kids might feel uncomfortable. There are several things to help you avoid unpleasant situations:

  • put the baby / kid to sleep
  • breastfeed him / her or give them the dummy
  • let the child look out of the window
  • bring their favourite toy on board

On Board Alone…

Children can travel on their own, which requires a fee for the additional attention that the ground and onboard crews have to pay to your kid. Usually, a child can travel by plane on their own when they are at least 5 or 6 years old, depending on the airline company. Most airport authorities require a special declaration signed by both parents that the child is going to travel alone, plus contact details of the person who is picking them up at the destination airport.

This is pretty much what you need to know when you plan your trip with a child. Bon voyage!


A Flight of Fancy: Curious Facts About Flying by Plane

Travelling Plane

“Window or Isle?” This is the most common phrase you here upon check-in. Oh yes, if you are an experienced traveller, you might think to ask for specific area on the plane – close to the doors, to the toilet, at the front or at the rear. But this is pretty much what you can choose from when you depart. But there are much more curious facts about flying that we want to share with you.

Skyscanner asks a curious question: “Who you don’t want to sit next to?” As many as 35% of holidaymakers say that the most unpleasant situation is to sit next to a person with unpleasant body odor. Obese trippers are a “no-thanks!” for a fifth of frequent passengers, while babies come next.

Another survey, looking to find the sexiest pronunciation you can hear during a flight, states that French is the sexiest of all, followed by Gaelic, Italian, English and Russian. Wonder which the least sexy are? Well, if you speak in Greek, Portuguese or Indonesian, you might want to keep silent…

The rudest tourists are believed to be the English. They are considered unpleasant travellers because of their traditional lack of interest in local cuisine and beverages, and a very weak desire to explore the local traditions or learn some survival phrases in the local language. Among the most preferred tourists are Norwegians, the Japanese, Australians and the Swedish.

The biggest tips come from Americans…

As many as 4% of wanderers have deliberately attempted to go through the control check with liquids exceeding 100 ml.

Photos of friends on Facebook is still No. 1 trusted source for information about vacation destinations.

Contrary to the common belief that the web limits our offline communication, as many as 45% say that they travel more thanks to the opportunities web platforms such as Couchsurfing.

Finally, when you travel by plane chances are that someone might try to hit on you. As many as half of explorers say that they flirt during flights, and some 10% of voyagers state that they have started a long relationship with a person they’ve met in the skies. Specialists claim that such decisions are often based on alcohol, height as well as the carefree mood taking hold of us in expectation of a vacation.

No surprise – a whopping 95% of globetrotters want to mark their name in the informal Mile High Club of those who have had sex onboard of a plane.