A RedBalloon gift is not just for Christmas

At Christmas, there is always a quandary as to what to get people who have everything they need. My problem was compounded by the fact that I was buying for my Mum. She is visiting from the UK and I did not want to burden her with a heavy item she would have to lug back home.

My wife was also desperately trying to think of a gift for her Uncle, a native of Melbourne. In the end the solution was right in front of me. What was unique, special and also attractive to people of a more mature year? I didn’t think they wanted to Sky dive, Zorb or Bungy Jump, but I knew that they would enjoy something that they would remember for the rest of their days and not just until the end of Christmas Day.

Ballooning was the answer. It is one of our most popular experiences we have for obvious reasons. It was exciting, not run of the mill and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

The Ballooning experience we plumped for was the ride over Melbourne
This ticked all the boxes. My Mum had never been ballooning before and whilst my Uncle in law had, he had never floated over his home town and seen it in such a majestic way.

On Christmas day morning, with my kids going present crazy, we presented them with their vouchers. I can honestly say that the appreciation and smiles from the pair was a treat to behold.

As my Mum’s window of opportunity was small and my Uncle in law does not possess a computer, I had taken the liberty of redeeming the vouchers earlier in the month so that they were booked for a flight shortly after Christmas.

(Top tip: If you are ever buying an experience for someone who does not have a computer or is not comfortable using the thing, then I suggest doing a bit of after-gifting assistance. Logon to our site and on their behalf do the redemption for them. Takes two ticks and can avoid a lot of frustration.)

It was an early start and they rendezvoused at the Hilton in Melbourne’s CBD for a pre-dawn check in.

Once they had arrived at the launch site and the Balloons were inflated this is what my Mum had to say:

“It was a rather overcast morning and the wind speed was very low, but we drifted silently and gently towards the city, going this way and that, up and down. The views were lovely and the sense of peace complete. It went by all too quickly.”


“When you look back, do you say, “oh yes – that was the Christmas of 09 when you gave me (e.g.) a tool kit” or do you say, “…the balloon flight Christmas: that was 09 – I’ll never forget it!” “

My Mum’s final comments say it all. At Redballoon we aim to offer people cherished memories which can be enjoyed forever, not, as is often the case, a gift which finds itself in the back of the cupboard or under someone else’s Christmas tree the following the year.

Happy New Year.

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  1. kate
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    How cute Ben! I did this same experience with my boyfriend for our 6 month anniversary and it was so peaceful. You wouldn’t pick Melbourne to be the most picturesque city to float over at 5am but it is glorious!

    We still look back on that day fondly, as i’m sure your mum will.

  2. ben
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Hi Kate,
    Thanks for your kind words. My Mum is still going on about it now and thinking of her next flight.
    All the best,

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