9 of the Longest Journeys You Can Take Around the World

iStock
iStock

Sometimes, you just want to stretch your journey out as long as possible. So try putting some of the world’s longest journeys on your bucket list. Whether it’s a 17-hour flight or a 740-step escalator, here are nine extra-long rides you can take to make your vacation superlative.

1. THE WORLD’S LONGEST BRIDGE

China’s Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, part of the high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai, stretches more than 102 miles long over the Yangtze River Delta. However, only a little over 5 miles is over open water. 

2. THE WORLD’S LONGEST BRIDGE OVER WATER 

If bridges over land seem a little passé, China also hosts the world’s longest bridge over open water. The 26.4-mile-long Jiaozhou Bay bridge took the title from the longtime record holder, Louisiana’s Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, in 2011. But after complaints from Louisiana that the Jiaozhou Bay bridge cheated by using curves to increase the length, Guinness deemed Lake Ponchartrain Causeway the “Longest Bridge over Water (Continuous)."

3. THE WORLD’S LONGEST ESCALATOR



Image Credit: A.Savin via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

While there are several competing claimants to tallest, one of the best is the escalator in Moscow’s almost 30-story deep Park Pobedy station: It has more than 410 feet of moving stairs, with 740 steps. The ride is about three minutes long. In the Western Hemisphere, travelers have to settle for the D.C. Metro’s Wheaton Station escalator, which stretches 230 feet [PDF]. 

4. THE WORLD’S LONGEST NONSTOP FLIGHT

The Australian airline Qantas currently runs a nonstop flight between Sydney and Dallas-Fort Worth. It traverses almost 8570 miles and takes nearly 17 hours on the westbound flight. But Emirates might be poised to take the title away, with a planned nonstop route between Dubai and Panama City that will cover 8580 miles and take as long as 17.5 hours. Service starts in February

5. THE WORLD’S LONGEST SUBWAY SYSTEM



Image Credit: Shanghai Metro

Shanghai’s metro system is just over 340 miles long, the longest city subway network in the world. However, Beijing plans to expand its subway system to about 406 miles by the end of 2016. (At 600 miles, Seoul’s system is considerably longer, but it’s run by multiple operators over a large area.)

6. THE LONGEST POSSIBLE NEW YORK SUBWAY RIDE ON ONE SWIPE

New York City-based public radio station WNYC pegs the longest possible subway ride on one swipe as a 155-mile journey underground between the Bronx and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Going from Wakefield-241st Street to Far Rockaway requires 54 transfers, and only the most intense subway lover would ever want to complete it. (For reference, you could travel between the same points with one transfer over the course of two hours, but brevity is not the point here.) 

7. THE WORLD’S TALLEST ELEVATOR RIDE


Image Credit: iStock

One of the biggest issues facing architects trying to build mile-high skyscrapers: current elevator technology can only go so high. The world’s tallest conventional elevator ride right now is inside Dubai’s 2717-foot Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. To get to the tower’s highest floor, you have to take an elevator almost 1655 feet straight up, reaching top speeds of about 22 miles per hour. The building’s emergency elevator is even longer—it travels nearly 1900 feet. 

8. THE WORLD’S LONGEST STRAIGHT ROAD

The longest dead-straight road in the world is Highway 10 in Saudi Arabia, at 162 miles long. In second place is Australia’s Eyre Highway, a 90-mile stretch without a curve in sight. Bring a few particularly gripping podcasts to listen to, because there won’t be much else to pay attention to. 

9. THE WORLD’S LONGEST TRAIN RIDE

According to Guinness, the longest train journey is the 6346 mile semi-regular Moscow, Russia to Pyongyang, North Korea route that takes almost eight days. This route is not currently approved for Westerners to enter North Korea through, though, so most people have to make do with the nearly 5780 mile Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine
Letsfit/Amazon

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains
Eclipse/Amazon

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
JALL/Amazon

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Philips/Amazon

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket
Baloo/Amazon

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band
Philips/Amazon

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Worst Drivers In America Live in These 15 States

Life of Pix, Pexels
Life of Pix, Pexels

No matter how many times you've been cut off on a road trip, anecdotal evidence alone can't prove that a certain state's drivers are worse than yours. For that, you need statistics. The personal finance company SmartAsset compiled data related to bad driving behaviors to create this list of the 15 states in America with the worst drivers.

This ranking is based on four metrics: the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven in each state, DUI arrests per 1000 drivers, the percentage of uninsured drivers, and how often residents Google the terms “speeding ticket” or “traffic ticket.”

Mississippi ranks worst overall, with the second-highest number of fatalities and the second lowest percentage of insured drivers. This marked the third year in a row Mississippi claimed the bottom slot in SmartAsset's worst driver's list. This year, it's followed by Nevada in second place and Tennessee in third. You can check out the worst offenders in the country in the list below.

Some motorists may be more interested in avoiding the cities plagued by bad driving than the states. These two categories don't always align: Oregon, which didn't crack the top 10 states with the worst drivers, is home to Portland, the city with the worst drivers according to one quote comparison site. After reading through the list of states, compare it to the cities with the worst drivers in America here.

  1. Mississippi
  1. Nevada
  1. Tennessee
  1. Florida
  1. California
  1. Arizona
  1. South Carolina (Tie)
  1. Texas (Tie)
  1. New Mexico
  1. Alaska
  1. Louisiana
  1. Alabama
  1. Oregon
  1. Arkansas
  1. Colorado