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    • cazs
    • By cazs 20th Sep 16, 9:06 PM
    • 456Posts
    • 155Thanks
    cazs
    Hot air ballooning
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:06 PM
    Hot air ballooning 20th Sep 16 at 9:06 PM
    Appreciate that this is a bit of a niche question but need to get a nice wedding gift and this might be a bit more memorable than a toaster.

    So thinking of getting hot air balloon experience - has anyone done this and can say a particular company was good or bad. I know there's several gift experience companies that you can book it through but any pointers would be helpful.

    Thanks
Page 1
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 20th Sep 16, 9:09 PM
    • 3,623 Posts
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    Caroline_a
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:09 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:09 PM
    You need to check that the recipients are ok with heights - personally I wouldn't thank you for it!
    • meer53
    • By meer53 20th Sep 16, 9:19 PM
    • 8,212 Posts
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    meer53
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:19 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:19 PM
    It's not something i would appreciate either ! It's a very personal thing to do.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 20th Sep 16, 9:44 PM
    • 1,504 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:44 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:44 PM
    Also it can be a pain in the bum to organise especially if the weather starts to turn.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 20th Sep 16, 9:56 PM
    • 10,995 Posts
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    zagfles
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:56 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:56 PM
    Yes in the UK it's very weather dependant, and so tends to be quite expensive as they have to cater for frequent postponements. It's really something best done in a country with more reliable weather.

    Great experience though, and it's not as scary for people scared of heights as other altitide experiences as the basket is quite high and it's very relaxing, still and quiet when they turn the burners off and you just float.
    • cazs
    • By cazs 20th Sep 16, 9:59 PM
    • 456 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    cazs
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:59 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 16, 9:59 PM
    Also it can be a pain in the bum to organise especially if the weather starts to turn.
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    I think you normally get a year or so to use it so not so much worried about that.

    I am not particularly aware of a fear of heights - it's tough to think of something really nice that isn't quite mundane.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 20th Sep 16, 10:21 PM
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    suki1964
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 16, 10:21 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 16, 10:21 PM
    Years ago before they built the big wheel on the Thames , there used to be a tethered helium ballon.

    So the kids wanted to go on it

    So we went

    I'm totally petrified of heights plus have vertigo

    It was the worst 30 mins of my life

    Never ever again would you entice me on a balloon

    Oh and yes when the wheel opened I went on that as well. No where near as bad as that balloon
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Lily-Rose
    • By Lily-Rose 20th Sep 16, 10:34 PM
    • 1,940 Posts
    • 6,239 Thanks
    Lily-Rose
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 16, 10:34 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 16, 10:34 PM
    Appreciate that this is a bit of a niche question but need to get a nice wedding gift and this might be a bit more memorable than a toaster.

    So thinking of getting hot air balloon experience - has anyone done this and can say a particular company was good or bad. I know there's several gift experience companies that you can book it through but any pointers would be helpful.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by cazs
    You need to check that the recipients are ok with heights - personally I wouldn't thank you for it!
    Originally posted by Caroline_a
    I think you normally get a year or so to use it so not so much worried about that.

    I am not particularly aware of a fear of heights - it's tough to think of something really nice that isn't quite mundane.
    Originally posted by cazs
    Sounds like a lovely gift, but I agree that you will need to fish a bit to find out if it's something they'd want. I had one for my 45th birthday and absolutely loved it. It was one of the best experiences of my life. However, my hubby said he would rather poke his eyes out with a needle than do it!

    My balloon flight was bought via VIRGIN; sometimes it's best to go direct to them as if you go to WH Smiths or something - it will cost you about 25% more. You get a voucher to give them, and THEY book it at a convenient time for them. You do normally get 9 months to a year to use the voucher. There is a fairly decent chance that the day they book it will be OK weather. If not, they can postpone.

    But yeah, do check with someone first, if it's what this couple would want. Not everyone likes the same things.... eg; if someone ordered a strippergram for me, I would HATE it and would run a mile, and would never speak to that person again! I cannot think of anything worse than a sweaty naked man flapping his bits in front of my face!

    Some people would feel the same about a hot air balloon flight. A fear of heights is a very powerful phobia.

    Oh one last pointer, there is a weight limit on it, usually 17 stone. So if either one of the couple - or both - are fairly obese, it may not be the best idea to book a balloon flight, as they won't be allowed on it!
    Proud to have lost over 3 stone (45 pounds,) in the past year! Now a size 14!

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    • AnnieO1234
    • By AnnieO1234 20th Sep 16, 11:43 PM
    • 1,627 Posts
    • 2,444 Thanks
    AnnieO1234
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 16, 11:43 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 16, 11:43 PM
    We went direct with one in Cornwall but were able to transfer to a local (ish) one in Derbyshire although ended up back in Cornwall the following year. Absolute pain in the rear end with false starts up to and including wifhhe balloon in the field.

    The in air experience is amazing but the landing can leave a lot to be desired (we crashed into a field leaving massive dents with a sideways basket, we had run out of land). Oh and you're expected to help pack away the balloon too.

    The baskets aren't easy to get into either.

    Definitely an experience, I'm glad we did it but I do not think I would do it again personally. Xxx
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 20th Sep 16, 11:46 PM
    • 4,319 Posts
    • 9,726 Thanks
    itsanne
    I'm absolutely hopeless with heights, getting dizzy as well as disliking them, but had no problem at all in a hot air balloon flight. I loved it, as did OH who hadn't been too bothered one way or the other beforehand. However, as others here have shown, not everyone would appreciate it, so it might be worth checking that the couple st least don't hate the idea rather than presenting them with a surprise.

    We were lucky and managed the first date booked, but others had had several flights cancelled because of the weather.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 20th Sep 16, 11:54 PM
    • 11,966 Posts
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    onlyroz
    My mum bought us a Segway ride for Christmas a few years back and that was brilliant.
    • pollyanna24
    • By pollyanna24 21st Sep 16, 3:25 PM
    • 3,426 Posts
    • 3,957 Thanks
    pollyanna24
    My daughter wants to do the hot air balloon thing, but then she's only 7, so don't think she'd be allowed. I agree with other posters that it sounds rather scary, I think she has visions of what it's like in cartoons!
    Pink Sproglettes born 2008 and 2010
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    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 21st Sep 16, 4:04 PM
    • 8,104 Posts
    • 9,801 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Also wouldn't thank you for it!


    I'd be too scared I would die.


    (Not scared of heights.)
    Nor would I appreciate a wind tunnel experience, a couples' bungee, a go on a Segway, or anything like that. They may love it! Hopefully you know them well enough to be sure.


    You could always get them a night away, or a lovely dinner for two (or both). There are some great Groupon/Living Social/Wowcher type deals out there.


    I bought our friends a nice meal in a local posh restaurant for their wedding present.


    Jx
    2016 wins: ESPA gift set; jumper; lip balm x 2; kitchen scales; perfume; shoes; theatre tickets; Champagne; books; After Eights; Diet Coke; Molton Brown duo; fish slice; travel set
    • tea lover
    • By tea lover 21st Sep 16, 4:08 PM
    • 7,354 Posts
    • 32,918 Thanks
    tea lover
    The last wedding present I bought was afternoon tea for the couple in the hotel where they got married. They've booked in to go on their first anniversary

    Which I realise wasn't the question at all!
    • dirty_magic
    • By dirty_magic 21st Sep 16, 9:47 PM
    • 882 Posts
    • 1,477 Thanks
    dirty_magic
    I really enjoyed ours! If you buy through buyagift I think they can swap if they don't want to do it. We booked to do something else with them and we could have swapped it, anyway.

    It's not scary at all, but it's not really as romantic as people think because there are a lot of people in the basket.

    I like tea lover's idea if they're getting married somewhere nice.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 21st Sep 16, 11:03 PM
    • 4,462 Posts
    • 6,421 Thanks
    Kynthia
    I highly recommend Buyagift over any other experience company as they make it so easy for recipient to change to something they prefer. I believe it can be done online with no fee unlike other companies. Good customer service too.

    A lovely wedding gift we received was chocolate making class for two. I wouldn't like hot air ballooning due to the height.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • psychopathbabble
    • By psychopathbabble 22nd Sep 16, 2:24 PM
    • 5,814 Posts
    • 38,751 Thanks
    psychopathbabble
    If they really don't want to do it, they can redeem the voucher for something else usually... Just check that the company you Book with allow that to happen.

    Became Mrs Scotland 16.01.16 Became homeowners 26.02.16 Baby due 04.11.16


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    • gizmo111
    • By gizmo111 25th Sep 16, 6:01 PM
    • 2,261 Posts
    • 4,108 Thanks
    gizmo111
    Groupon have an offer on currently - use Quidco as well work out at £175 for a virgin anyday champagne flight for 2, cheapest I have seen anywhere.
    Mama read so much about the dangers of drinking alcohol and eating chocolate that she immediately gave up reading.
    • cazs
    • By cazs 25th Sep 16, 8:14 PM
    • 456 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    cazs
    Many thanks all, taking into account the number of people who said they'd to be too scared to do it, I went the 'safe' route and ordered a 'getaway' experience instead the other day.
    • indesisiv
    • By indesisiv 26th Sep 16, 3:02 PM
    • 3,283 Posts
    • 12,127 Thanks
    indesisiv
    Also wouldn't thank you for it!
    I'd be too scared I would die.
    (Not scared of heights.)
    Nor would I appreciate a wind tunnel experience, a couples' bungee, a go on a Segway, or anything like that. They may love it! Hopefully you know them well enough to be sure.

    You could always get them a night away, or a lovely dinner for two (or both). There are some great Groupon/Living Social/Wowcher type deals out there.

    I bought our friends a nice meal in a local posh restaurant for their wedding present.
    Jx
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    This goes to show just how hard it is to buy gifts for people .. I would hate for someone to buy me a dinner ... but the segway and a wind tunnel experience sound great.
    Not so keen about the bungee and the hot air balloon though.

    Many thanks all, taking into account the number of people who said they'd to be too scared to do it, I went the 'safe' route and ordered a 'getaway' experience instead the other day.
    Originally posted by cazs
    Glad you got it sorted
    'Getaway' sounds like a great compromise.
    “Time is intended to be spent, not saved” - Alfred Wainwright
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