COVID-19’s been a nightmare for a million and one different reasons. But if you’re an avid traveller, like me, then the lockdowns, quarantines, and border closures of the last 12 months have been downright disastrous!
Are you suffering from a bad case of itchy feet and want a way to indulge your travel cravings?
Well, until COVID dies down and the real-deal becomes possible again, a handy stopgap might be learning more about it! Whether you prefer adventures by sea, air, road or foot, there’s always something new to learn about travel.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of fun facts about travelling.
From the historic and thought-provoking to the silly and offbeat, there’s something for everyone in here. So pour yourself a hot brew, settle down on the sofa, and explore the wonderful world of travel, right from the comfort of your living room!
50 Fun Travel Facts (Fun Travel Trivia)
Let’s get right into it! In no particular order, here are 50 interesting and fun facts about travelling. Enjoy!
1. Travel Makes You Smarter
As you take in the sights, smells, and sensations of a new destination, you’re doing more than making memories. Travel experiences are known to prompt your brain to think differently and more creatively too!
You’re also creating new neural pathways, which can help refine your problem-solving and reasoning skills.
2. Travel Can Strengthen Your Heart
When you carry extra tension around, it negatively affects more than your mental health.
That stress can also take its toll on your heart, making you more prone to cardiovascular incidents. In fact, researchers found that men who skip an annual vacation have a 30% greater chance of suffering a heart attack.
The good news? Vacations can help lower that risk! One study found that after only a day or two away, nearly 90% of people reported lower stress levels.
3. Tourism Keeps the Economy Churning
Did you know that one in 9 American jobs depend on tourism? In the U.K., the travel industry alone offers nearly four million jobs.
The next time you book a trip, keep this fun travel trivia in mind and know you’re contributing to your local economy!
4. Paid Vacations Vary By Country
Besides the U.S., every developed country in the world extends at least one legally required paid vacation day or holiday to its employees.
The most generous country? Austria, which has a legal minimum of 22 paid vacation days per year, on top of 13 paid holidays!
5. Couples Who Travel Together
Studies show that couples who take the time to travel together report heightened feelings of intimacy.
While you may bemoan your significant other for failing to ask for directions, there’s no denying that going on an adventure together can reignite that spark!
6. France is the Top Travel Spot
Forget Turks and Caicos, Italy or the California coast. More travellers flock to France each year than any other destination on Earth.
7. The Longest Flight Was Around 30 Hours
That last red-eye you took might have felt like it took all day, but records show that the longest commercial flight was actually around 30 hours!
The “Double Sunrise” service, provided by Qantas, took travellers from Australia to Sri Lanka. It started in 1943 but ended two years later. Now, the longest option is the Singapore-to-New-York route, provided by Singapore Airlines.
8. The Shortest Flight Can Take Under a Minute
We’d suggest just walking, but you can’t exactly do so when you’re travelling from Westray Island to Papa Westray Island.
These two locales are part of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, and the flight between them is only 1.5 minutes! It can last under one minute in good conditions.
9. You Won’t Rub Elbows in Greenland
Greenland gets the distinction of being the least densely populated country in the world! With only 0.03 people per square kilometre, you’ll have plenty of personal space.
10. More Than 20 Million People Travel by Train in India
On a daily basis, you’ll find around 23 million passengers riding the train in India.
Need a point of comparison? That’s roughly the total population of Australia! The country’s complex railway network is a powerful and important part of its infrastructure.
11. The Most Expensive Airport Taxi Is $235
Experienced budget travellers know to avoid airport taxis at all costs, but you’ll especially want to steer clear of the cabs at Narita Airport in Tokyo!
According to reports and comparisons, the airport-to-city ride will set you back around £191, or $235, one way. Consider backpacking across Japan for a much more economical experience.
12. It’s 2014 in Ethiopia
Who says time travel hasn’t been invented yet? When you visit Ethiopia, you can step back seven to eight years!
Well, not exactly, but the country does follow a different calendar than most of the world. The difference is due to a gap that exists between the Ethiopian calendar and the Gregorian calendar.
13. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Is the World’s Busiest
Move over Heathrow. Sit down LAX. Each year, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport welcomes more than 110 million travellers. That makes it the busiest passenger airport in the world. Even if you don’t have a plane to catch, this sounds like a great place to people watch!
14. China Has One Time Zone
Forget jet-lag! Even if you travel from one end of China to the other, you’ll still be in the same time zone!
This is true despite the fact that the country has five distinct geographical zones and is similar in size to the continental United States.
15. Flying Over the U.S.? So Are More than 60,000 Other People
Flying might feel like a singular experience, but the reality is that at any given time, there are roughly 61,000 people flying over the United States.
16. Pilots and Co-Pilots Must Eat Different Meals
Before a flight, you won’t find the pilot chowing down on the same cuisine as the co-pilot. In fact, it’s standard protocol for the two to consume different foods before assuming their positions.
Why? If one experiences food poisoning or can’t leave the bathroom, the other must be capable of taking over.
17. You Can’t See the Great Wall of China From Space
Despite what you may have seen in the movies, you can’t make out the Great Wall of China from space.
Even if you get as close as Low Earth Orbit, you’d still need extra magnification to see it with the naked eye. Just one more reason to reconsider your SpaceX passage!
18. The Great Ocean Road Is a War Memorial
Does your bucket list include visiting the iconic Great Ocean Road along the coast of Victoria, Australia?
One of the most sought after drives in the world, this stretch is actually the largest permanent war memorial in the world. Built by soldiers, it was designed to honour those who died in WWII.
19. You’ll Find the Longest Recognized Country Name in the U.K.
Talk about a mouthful! If you’re planning a trip across the pond any time soon, you’ll need to know the official title of the U.K.
The longest in the world, it’s: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland!
20. Travel Makes You Happier Than Money or Gifts
It might sound cliche, but the money you spend on travel is actually more rewarding than any material good you could buy.
Researchers at Cornell University proved this fact in a recent study. Use interesting travel facts like this to encourage your next adventure!
21. Sudan Outranks Egypt in Ancient Pyramids
You might associate Egypt with those towering wonders, but while you’ll find around 100 there, you can experience more than 250 in Sudan!
Built by ancient Kushite rulers, they were developed between 2500BC to 300AD.
22. Bangkok Is the Most Visited City
Move over, London and Paris. Bangkok is consistently recognized as the most visited city in the world!
Nearly 23 million tourists travel there annually to take in the unique and vibrant culture.
23. Monaco Is Smaller Than Central Park
The entire principality of Monaco spans only 0.78 square miles. This makes it roughly three-fourths the size of New York’s Central Park!
Still, it packs a powerful punch into its diminutive footprint. Here, you’ll find some of the most stunning beaches, gardens, and museums in the world.
24. The World’s Tallest Sandcastle Is in Germany
Planning an island getaway to enjoy some fun in the sun?
As you pour sand into your plastic bucket, keep this in mind: The world’s tallest sandcastle was recently erected in Germany! After two years of attempts, the towering giant reaches nearly 18 metres to the sky.
25. Smoke Lines In the Sky Are Water Vapour
Have you ever looked up and wondered why smoke was trailing out of an aeroplane? Turns out, those contrails are actually water vapour!
If the line is short, you can expect low humidity and fair weather. If it’s long, an impending storm could be on the way.
26. The World’s Largest Swimming Pool Is In Chile
Love the idea of relaxing poolside after a long day of sightseeing? If so, you need to book a getaway to The San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile!
Holding a whopping 66 million gallons, it’s the largest in the world!
27. Las Vegas Has The Most Hotel Rooms in the World
It’s easy to find a place to stay at the Entertainment Capital of the World! While Las Vegas doesn’t have the largest number of hotels, it does have the greatest quantity of hotel rooms.
You can take your pick from more than 152,000 choices!
28. Coins in the Trevi Foundation Go to Charity
A visit to Rome wouldn’t be complete without tossing a few coins into the famed Trevi Foundation. More than $3,500 worth is flung into the water every day!
When you add your two cents, you can rest assured they’re going to a good cause. At the end of each day, the money is collected and shared among various local charities.
29. Russia Boasts The Largest Hotel Room
Planning a big group getaway? Why not go all out and reserve a spot at the world’s largest hotel room?
This honour goes to the Izmailovo Hotel in Russia, which features a room that can accommodate you and more than 7,500 of your closet friends.
30. Papua New Guinea Is the Most Ethnically Diverse Country
One of the greatest parts of travelling is exploring new cultures! You can really immerse yourself in this experience when you visit Papua New Guinea.
Heralded as the most ethnically diverse country in the world, it’s also the most linguistically diverse. Here, you’ll encounter thousands of different ethnic groups, each with their own language and customs.
31. Canada Has the Most Lakes in the World
Itching to cast a line on the water? You’ll have no shortage of places to do so when you book a trip to Canada.
This sprawling country has the most natural lakes in the world, comprising 50% of the Earth’s total share. You’ll have three million different ones to choose from when you visit!
32. The Tallest Mountain in the World is in Hawaii
No, it isn’t Mount Everest.
Mauna Kea, located on the island of Hawaiʻi, is actually a dormant volcano. It spans more than 32,000 feet high from the seafloor and is nearly twice the base-to-peak height of Everest.
If you visit, take along these mountain puns and jokes to add a little humour to the experience!
33. You Can’t Open an Aeroplane Door
Some of the most interesting facts about travelling centre on your time in the sky. Take this myth, for instance. It might be the stuff action movies are made of, but thankfully, you can’t open the door of an aeroplane mid-flight.
This is due to the amount of pressurized air that’s contained within the cabin. This seals the door shut against the aircraft frame.
34. The Liberty Bell Has a Typo
It’s one of the most visited spots in all of Philadelphia, but don’t look too closely at the Liberty Bell.
If you do, you may notice that the state name is incorrectly spelled as “Pensylvania”! It’s also spelled this same way in the Constitution, though scholars explain that both spellings were considered permissible at the time.
35. Canada Has the Most Educated Population
Pretty bright, eh?
Studies reveal that 50% of Canada’s population is educated at the post-secondary level, making it the most educated country in the world.
36. South Dakota Has Four Times as Many Cows as People
With a cow-to-people ratio of 4.32, South Dakota takes top place as the most bovine-heavy state in the U.S.
If you’re visiting, plan to stop for plenty of cattle crossings!
37. Travel Gets Your Creative Juices Flowing
Feeling inspired and free-spirited after a recent adventure? No, you aren’t just delirious from the long flight!
Researchers explain that travel increases your level of creativity and can encourage you to think more positive thoughts!
38. Naples, FL is Never 100 Degrees
It gets warm in Naples, but you’ll never have to melt in 100-degree heat!
The hottest temperature on record in the Florida city was 99 degrees Fahrenheit, which it reached in September 1986. Other cities that share this designation include Buffalo, NY, and Eureka, CA!
39. Looking For a U.S. Royal Palace? Honolulu Has One
The only royal palace in the U.S. is located in Honolulu, HI.
Located downtown, the Iolani Palace stands as a symbol of Hawaiian independence. Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, the palace served as the home of the state’s last reigning monarchs, King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Lili'uokalani.
40. More than 25% of Costa Rica is Protected Land
Costa Ricans are serious about land protection and preservation. If you go, you’ll find that more than one-fourth of the land has been set aside as parks and reserves.
This is a valiant effort from the government to safeguard the land against deforestation and logging.
41. Happy Face Spiders Only Live on Four Hawaiian Islands
Don’t let their cheerful appearance fool you. Happy face spiders, so named for the yellow and black pattern on their abdomen that resembles a smiling face, are actually pretty creepy and crawly!
Fortunately, they aren’t prone to biting, nor are they poisonous. Plus, you can only find them on four Hawaiian islands: Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii!
42. More Than 50 Pieces of Luggage Are Lost Every Minute
Every 60 seconds, around 56 individual pieces of luggage go missing.
The good news? Thanks to improvements in tracking technology, airlines are 70% less likely to lose your bags now than they were 10 years ago!
43. Travelling West to East Amplifies Jet Lag
Jet lag is pretty miserable no matter where you go, but it can be worse if you’re heading east.
Scientists explain that this is because the move requires your internal clock to advance, rather than delay. This is a physically demanding shift that can upset your natural circadian rhythm.
44. Admission to Disney World Has Skyrocketed
Want travel fun facts that will make you long for days gone by? When Disney World first opened in Orlando, FL in 1971, one general admission ticket was just $3.50!
Now, you can expect to shell out more than $100 per day, though the park has expanded and improved exponentially over the years.
45. Grand Canyon Mail Is Delivered by Mule
As you look out across the wide expanse of the Grand Canyon, it can be easy to forget that there is a community living within it.
For this small group of people, the only way to receive their mail is via mule. That’s right: Hooved carriers bring packages and letters into the canyon six days a week, following a trek that takes hours each time.
This is recognized as the only mail-by-mule route still standing in the U.S.!
46. One-Third of Your Taste buds Are Numb When You Fly
You aren’t imagining things. That deli sandwich really did taste different!
According to science, about one-third of your tastebuds become numb at high altitudes. For this reason, tomato juice is flavour-enhanced to make those in-flight Bloody Marys taste as great as possible.
47. You Lose Eight Ounces of Water With Every Hour You Fly
Pack that water bottle full and remember to sip it while you fly!
The elevation causes the air around you to become drier, which also contributes to chapped lips and flaky knuckles. You lose eight ounces an hour, so multiply that by your fight time to calculate your total water loss.
48. The Island of Yap Uses Rocks as Currency
Located in the Caroline Islands in the West Pacific Ocean, the island of Yap is recognized as a state of Micronesia.
Here, residents still use rocks as currency. Each rock’s value is derived from its size and history. While you can now use U.S. dollars for everyday purchases, rocks are mainstays at most ceremonial transactions, including weddings.
49. Disney Parks Keep All Trash Cans Within 30 Feet
Legend has it that Walt Disney would visit his theme parks and observe visitors as they littered. He estimated the number of steps they took before threw their trash on the ground, and estimated it to be around 30.
Today, you’re never more than 30 feet away from a trash can any time you visit any Disney Park.
50. Travelling Can Make You More Attractive
One of the most interesting and fun travel facts? One study showed that people who travel extensively are viewed as more attractive than their non-travelling peers.
Another poll found that eight in 10 people find a potential partner more attractive if their online dating profile mentions travel. Consider this another reason to get your passport ready!
Enjoy These Interesting Facts About Travelling
You learn something new around every corner when you let wanderlust lead. These 50 facts about travelling reveal that there’s still so much to discover!
As you let your intuition guide you, where will you end up in 2021 (if/when COVID-19 finally goes away)? Get inspired and add to your collection of travel knowledge with this list of the 20 greatest explorers of all time!