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Homer, Alaska 2017

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Question about Caravans and Albuquerque Balloon Fest

I have a very long bucket list. 

For years I have wanted to go to the Albuquerque Balloon fest. Now that we are full timing, I am definitely looking at going for the 2015 fest next October.  For me, once a decision like that is made, it is never too early to start planning, and or making reservations.

I have been looking at several Caravan companies, and at the Escapee's, and FMCA as well as just going it alone.  I know in the long run, you get what you pay for. The Escapee's seem to do a dry camp HOP. FMCA connects with the Fantasy Tours company, and I read about another company called Adventure Caravans.  Each has it's own draw. 


As of now, we are not inclined to dry camp. I hate running, or listening to others run generators. 5 - 8 days of dry camping does not turn me on.

Adventure Caravans is the more expensive than Fantasy, but it seems to offer the more. 

Has anyone had any experience, either with the Balloon Fest, or with a Caravan deal? 
 Like I said, I know you get what you pay for, I'm just wondering what we want. To me it seems like going with a professional company is much like taking a cruise. Sometimes I like to be taken care of. Sometimes I don't need it.

If you don't want to put your advice in the comment form, please feel free to email.  

7 comments:

  1. I don't really understand the part of your question about caravans. I also have the Albuquerque Balloon Festival on my list of places to see. Not next year but when we are done at Amazon. I have looked at some of the various campground options but we will probably stay right there at the festival itself. It's pretty expensive as we wouldn't do the boondocking option but I would just consider this as a one time splurge, just for the whole experience. I just looked at the website and they are already taking reservations for 2015. www.balloonfiesta.com

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  2. I did the Escapees HOP thing in 2008. We were packed in like sardines, but so is everyone else. I only ran my generator in the evening for a couple of hours for TV and computer stuff. My rig at that time did not have an inverter.

    The highlight of the whole thing for me was actually taking a balloon flight. I made that reservation almost a year in advance. It was thrilling!

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  3. I also found a few blog posts about attending the festival...

    http://independenttravelcats.com/2013/09/26/attending-albuquerque-balloon-fiesta/

    http://nancysroadtrip.blogspot.com/2014/10/albuquerque-balloon-fiesta.html

    http://runningdownourdream.blogspot.com/2013/10/albuquerque-international-balloon-fiesta.html

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  4. We went in 2010, on our own. The only difference in parking was, the caravan people were four rows ahead of us. It was very quiet at night. There isn't much to do in the daytime there (balloons are early morning and evening), so you drive your car to things to see and be back late afternoon for the evening activities. We had a nice time. They are very organized for parking your rigs. We made reservations in March for October. No problems planning the trip ourselves.

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  5. We did the Balloon Fiesta this year. We stayed at Enchanted Trails RV Park and took the Unser Crossing
    Shuttle to the Balloon Fiesta. We went at night for the Glow and in the morning for the Mass Ascension. This is more cost effective and the shuttle takes you right into the Park. If you do not stay on the Fiesta site you have more flexibility to do other things in the Albuquerque area missing the Fiesta traffic.

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  6. We stayed right at the end of the fiesta grounds. It was dry camping but they had a truck that brought water and another that would pump out the tanks (both for a fee). The advantage to this location was that you could see the balloons from your RV, you could walk to and from the grounds at any time, there was no additional fee to enter the grounds like you have when staying elsewhere and you even got a free newspaper daily. We had balloons that almost touched our roof on occasion. We thought that this was the best location for us although it was fairly spendy.

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  7. Look for a Blog called Kissack Adventures. She was just at the Balloon Fest in Albuquerque. Here is the link to her blog:http://kissackadventures.blogspot.com/

    Please be careful on the road.
    Rex

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