Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ballooning Adventure Tours in Rajasthan

You've ridden in tour buses, walked on guided tours, and floated along on river cruises. When you're yearning for something new, try looking up. Hot air balloons are quickly becoming the preferred mode of tourism in India, particularly in the desert state of Rajasthan. Unlike planes, balloons are elegant and silent-the perfect way to witness a new, ancient culture.

No matter where you go ballooning in Rajasthan, you'll see the state from a whole new perspective. In Jaipur, for example, you can appreciate how the city has been laid out according to the ancient Hindu principles of Vastu Shastra, a system of design based on directional alignments. The sophistication of the city's layout was far ahead of its time, particularly considering it was founded during an age of war and conflict.

Gliding above Ranthambore's famed Tiger Park gives you the opportunity to capture some truly unique photos of the park's abundant wildlife including tigers, leopards, striped hyenas, deer, macaques, jackals, and so much more. An ancient fort also lies at the heart of the park, and hot air ballooning provides a unique panorama of this heritage site.

Countless palaces and temples await discovery in the city of Udaipur, also known as the Venice of the East. Drift above the romantic gardens and lovely lakes of the city once called home by Rajasthan's royals. Whether you're a historian, adventurer, or nature lover, Rajasthan's diverse balloon tours will appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Balloon tours in Rajasthan don't start up in the air. These deluxe tours begin when you're picked up from your hotel and taken to the launch site. Enjoy light refreshments as the crew prepare the balloon for take-off. Internationally experienced pilots are the guides on your balloon adventure. Relax as your balloon slowly ascends over forts, glides over lakes, and circles ancient palaces. If you've never seen India from the air, this unique perspective can be a life changing experience.

A variety of tour packages available for every taste and purpose. For example, the romance package includes champagne, flowers, and more. You can even hang a special message from the balloons. Can you imagine a more romantic or clever way to propose? Or consider combining several small tours into one unbelievable aerial tour. When it come to touring India by balloon, the sky is truly the limit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Long Do Balloons Stay Inflated?

Balloons are a classic choice for party decor. But the sight of half-deflated, withered balloon bouquets can be a drag. With a little planning---and some careful timing---your balloons can look fresh as long as you need them to.

Balloon Types
Balloons come in two main varieties: rubbery balloons made of a substance called latex, and foil balloons made with Mylar. Latex balloons, which are more porous, allow air to escape faster, and therefore don't stay inflated as long as Mylar balloons do.

Balloons can be filled with either air or helium. Helium has smaller molecules than air---that's what allows it to float---and the smaller molecules are released from the balloon faster, causing the balloon to deflate more rapidly than an air-filled balloon would.
Time Frame
Though many factors can influence the inflation time of a balloon, The Fun Ones, a party rental company in Chicago, estimates that an 11-inch latex balloon inflated with helium will remain in the air for 18 to 24 hours. An 18-inch foil balloon filled with helium, the company says, could stay up for three weeks.

Air-filled balloons can retain air for much longer, often remaining inflated for weeks or months.
Other Factors
Size plays a major role in the inflation time of a balloon. A 16-inch helium-filled latex balloon can remain filled for up to 30 hours, while a 9-inch balloon can stay afloat for approximately 8 hours.

The quality of the latex balloons also plays a role. The higher quality they are, the less air the balloons allow to escape and the longer they remain full.

The temperature and humidity on the day of an event can also affect balloon inflation. Cold weather particularly can cause molecules to shrink and make balloons smaller, while hot weather can speed up molecule movement and cause air to escape from balloons more quickly.
What You Can Do
To help prevent your helium-filled latex balloons from falling, you can treat the inside of them with a material called Hi-Float before inflating them. Hi-Float coats the inside of balloons to prevent air from escaping and can increase float time by one or two days.

In addition, buy the highest-quality latex balloons you can find, and avoid under-filling them. The less air they have to begin with, the more quickly they will wilt. Tie a tight knot in the inflated balloons to prevent any extra air from escaping.

If the weather is going to be particularly hot and humid, opt for larger balloons with a longer float time to make up the difference.
If you'll be using balloons for an event, use conservative estimates for their inflation time, and wait as long as possible before the start of the event before inflating the balloons. That way, you'll be sure not to have droopy decorations at the end of the party.