So… you’ve been surprised with a balloon flight! Time to start thinking about the big day.

Colleen from Magic Freebies UK offers her take on how to prepare for your once-in-a-lifetime experience...

What you need to wear:

It’s important to make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing for the time of year, and the time of day.

First things first, let’s think about your feet. Dig out those wellies or walking boots – as you’ll be landing wherever the wind takes your adventure and depending on the time of year ground conditions can be slightly muddy. High stilettos and tricky-to-walk-in flip flops are best left at home.

Your exciting balloon flight will generally take place in the early mornings and evenings, apart from late October where day flights can take place due to the lower temperature. If your flight is in early spring or autumn, take a pair of gloves to keep your hands nice and toasty.

Wear layers to help protect you from the cold – you can always peel off a jumper or cardigan if you do feel warm up when up high.

Wondering what to wear on your head? Protect your lovely bonce from the heat of our powerful burners and wear a baseball cap, stylish head scarf or some form of headwear.

Overall, it’s best to pick attire that you wouldn’t mind getting a little dirty, as you will be given the opportunity to help inflate and deflate the balloon – a once-in-a-lifetime experience in its own right.

When to arrive:

Note down the time you need to arrive at the launch site after calling your flight line (displayed on the booking confirmation). We have over 100 balloon launch sites around England, Scotland and Wales and all of them have backup sites, so please take note of these details in case your balloon flight changes location due to the weather.

What you need to bring:

Make sure you pack a camera to take some pictures and videos – you might even like to bring a selfie stick on your balloon flight – we love seeing your #FloatFaces, so be sure to post these on social media after your flight.

If you don’t have any binoculars, it will be well worth grabbing a pair. There will be incredible views ahead and you’ll want to take in as much as possible.

What you can expect on the day.

Today is the day! Do you have butterflies in your tummy? Have a tasty breakfast or early dinner, depending on the time of your balloon flight and then set off to the launch site.

You will be greeted and registered, then given a briefing by your pilot about the details of the experience. Next, you will be invited to help inflate the balloon and then away you go – an hour's flight in an iconic Virgin balloon.

Upon landing you will indulge in a champagne (or soft drink) toast and will be presented a certificate signed by your pilot and endorsed by Sir Richard Branson – the perfect memento of your airborne adventure.

Next, you will be invited to help with the deflation of the balloon and then you’ll be whizzed back to your original launch site.

…and last, but not least:

Enjoy every moment of your hot air balloon ride! Float over those places you drive and walk through every day and experience the stunning landscapes from way up high. It’s your chance to make wonderful memories that you’ll cherish forever.