Can I Get Motion Sickness From a Hot Air Balloon?
If it’s your first time going up in a hot air balloon and you get motion sickness, you might be avoiding your trip due to the risk of you getting sick.
Hot air balloons will unlikely give you motion sickness, this is due to the fact they move smoothly without turbulence or rocky movements, in fact, for people who suffer motion sickness they can be recommended.
We’ve composed a small guide below that will discuss what triggers motion sickness, why a hot air balloon is smooth, some other common illnesses as well if they are safe.
What Triggers Motion Sickness?
So as we can ease your mind about hot air balloons and motion sickness, let’s get into what actually triggers it, to begin with, and why hot air balloons don’t cause sickness.
Motion sickness typically stems from a conflict of your senses, it’s when your body thinks you are stationary but your senses such as your sight and hearing think you are moving, this confusion inside of your brain leads to you feeling sick.
A hot air balloon in comparison to a car or boat, for example, goes much slower, so motion sickness is highly unlikely, due to the fact you can fly a hot air balloon in weak winds the chances of turbulence are reduced too.
What Do If You Get Motion Sickness On a Balloon
If you are one of the rare unlucky people who do get motion sickness when up in a hot air balloon, don’t worry, there are some tips and tricks you can try to eliminate the sickness when you are in the air.
- Do not have a heavy meal beforehand – Only have a light snack before flying if you think there would be the risk of you getting motion sickness.
- Look at moving objects – One way to reduce motion sickness is by looking at moving objects, this reduces the conflict between stationary and movement in your senses, do not focus on the horizon line.
- Stay calm – Do not panic if you feel sick when on your hot air balloon, simply notify the pilot and they will likely land the balloon if sickness is likely, laying down might also help if there is enough room in your basket.
Why Are Hot Air Balloons So Smooth?
The only real turbulence one might feel when on a hot air balloon is the take-off and landing, these balloons remain smooth in their movement thanks to the low-speed wind, many people compare the experience to the feeling of floating it’s that relaxing.
What About Other Illnesses & Hot Air Balloons?
Motion sickness is not something to worry about when flying in a hot air balloon, but what about other illnesses? Can you go on a hot air balloon when you are pregnant for example?
- Fear of heights – If you suffer from the fear of heights, then hot air ballooning might not be a great idea, however, if you still want to fly, this is said to be a good activity to try to bust your fear with since you are going slow and don’t get that vertigo feeling.
- High blood pressure – People with high blood pressure can go on a hot air balloon with their doctor’s approval.
- Pregnancy – It is not recommended that pregnant women go on hot air balloons.
- Epilepsy or heart condition – People with epilepsy or heart conditions should not go on hot air balloons for their safety.
Are Hot Air Balloons Safe?
Hot air balloons as a whole are very safe to fly with, with a low number of incidents occurring each year, they are slow and designed with safety in mind, just make sure you choose a reputable company with an experienced pilot for your journey and follow the procedures for taking off and landing.
Important Things To Know Before Going On a Hot Air Balloon
If it’s your first time going on a hot air balloon, you might have a lot of questions before you fly, so to help you out, we’ve listed the most important things you need to know and prepare yourself for before your experience in the sky.
- Get friendly – Baskets of hot air balloons can become cramped depending on the group you join for your experience, expect to make new friends!
- Prepare for landing – Landing a hot air balloon is not always a smooth experience, the basket could potentially land on its side.
- Expect a high price – Hot air ballooning is not a cheap experience, expect to spend anything up to $500 per person depending on the season and location.
- Dress right – Hot air ballooning is not always cold, but during the winter it will be, so bring layers just in case.
- Bring a camera – The views will be spectacular when you are 2000ft in the air, take a go pro or camera for the experience, make sure it has a bag for you to put it for landing however to avoid damage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Air Balloons & Motion Sickness
Who shouldn’t ride a hot air balloon?
We would not recommend people with epilepsy or a heart condition to fly in a hot air balloon without doctors’ approval, pregnant women should also avoid flying.
Will a hot air balloon ride give me altitude sickness?
It is not likely to experience any altitude sickness when flying in a hot air balloon since you will not be climbing higher than 2000-3000ft.
Do you experience turbulence in hot air balloons?
No turbulence is felt when flying in a hot air balloon since your going at low speeds in low winds, the only bumps which might be felt are during take-off and landing.
Overall, there is a very low chance of motion sickness when flying on a hot air balloon since you will be going at low speeds without the conflict of senses you would get with a car or boat, ballooning is relatively safe for anyone unless you have specific illnesses such as a heart condition or pregnancy.
Even for people with a fear of heights, ballooning should be okay for you without any ill effects.
I’m Annie, a twenty-something year old girl who loves hot air balloons. So much so, that I have a full time job as a Flight Instructor and it is all I love talking about. Something about being up there in the elevated altitudes helps all my stresses float away!