10 Unbelievable Travel Facts

We've rounded up some of the weirdest and most interesting travel facts that you won't believe are true.

1. The first female flight attendants in 1930 were required to weigh less than 115 pounds.

The original flight attendants were all male, and the first female attendant was only hired by United Airlines in 1930 - she was a nurse called Ellen Church. Other airlines followed suit, but guidelines for application were stringent: stewardesses had to be under 115 pounds, between five foot and five foot five and unmarried (they were fired if they got hitched!).

2. You can lose around 1.5 litres of water during a three hour flight.

This dehydration is caused by the humidity inside the plane, which is generally at a level of 10 to 20 percent (compared to the 30 to 65 percent in a normal indoor environment). Dehydration can cause dry skin, itchy eyes and even problems with breathing. It also means that we're more at risk of catching airborne viruses as our airways may well have dried out and have less moisture to stop the germs getting in. The solution is to keep drinking water, moisturise, use a nasal spray and avoid caffeine and alcohol.

3. QANTAS still has the world's best safety record.

Australia's famous airline Qantas is consistently rated the world's safest airline. Mentioned by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man as the "airline that has never crashed", Qantas recently came out leader by world's safest carrier by aviation safety analysts

4. Indonesia has the most volcanoes of any country.

If you want to avoid the possibility of being marooned by another ash cloud caused by a volcano eruption, you should think twice about Indonesia. Statistics vary but it is said that it has 176 active volcanoes. Krakatau erupted to great effect in 1883, and Mount Tambora is recorded as having the most violent eruption in recorded history in 1915. Kelut and Merapi on Java are the most active volcanoes, with Kelut erupting more than 30 times in recorded memory, and Mount Merapi over 80 times!

5. You will not be able to enter certain countries with an Israeli stamp in your passport.

Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Kuwait and Sudan do not recognise the State of Israel, which was established by the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948. They will therefore deny you entry if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport, even if your trip to Israel was years before. However, Israel now no longer stamps passports at entry or departure, but give you a piece of paper which you need to keep until you leave the country.

6. Tipping is an insult in Japan.

In Japan, tipping is not part of their culture, and can be seen as being rude. Sometimes there will be a tipping jar or envelope which indicates tipping is acceptable. If you do give your recipient the tip in an envelope, don't wait around for them to open it. The exception are western five star hotels where tipping is now accepted.

7. Each plane is hit by lightning once every two years, on average.

But it's nothing to worry about, Patrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential, says "Once in a while there's exterior damage -- a superficial entry or exit wound -- or minor injury to the plane's electrical systems, but a strike typically leaves little or no evidence." Lightning strikes normally occur soon after take-off when the plane is still beneath the storm clouds.

8. Crocodiles are over 150 times more dangerous than sharks.

Crocodiles, fresh or salt water, are one of the deadliest creatures you can meet...even if you are in a boat. Keep arms and legs out of the water and stay vigilant. Dusk and night time are hunting hours for these creatures and need extra care.

9. Bedbugs are the most common insects travellers will come into contact with.

Bedbugs inject an anaesthetic when they bite you so you probably won't feel anything; however some people are sensitive or allergic to the chemical and will break out in a rash of itchy red spots. This can cause raised welts that can last a couple weeks before clearing up. Bedbugs can live in clean environments as long as they have a host to feed off. You can take your own sheet and pillow case, but this still does not guarantee your bed will be bug-free. If you take your own towels and bedding be sure to get them washed regularly.

10. In 2013, 17.86% of flights were delayed.

You can minimise the likelihood of getting delayed by choosing nonstop flights whenever possible (even if paying more), researching weather patterns (e.g. avoiding a change in an area during hurricane season), flying in the morning before a backlog can develop, choosing to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday when there is less traffic and avoiding holiday periods like Easter and half term.

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Paula Gardner

Paula Gardner is the Press Officer for Essential Travel. Paula is big Italophile and loves many things about the country: its rich red wines, strong cheeses, creamy gelato, passionate people and lyrical language. Paula has been learning Italian for four years but is still shy about speaking it. On a career break inn her 20s she travelled the world, visiting every continent, but travel now tends to be to European cities. Apart from just about anywhere in Italy, other favourites are Lisbon and Palma in Majorca. Sicily is top of the bucket list.