Travel World Records
While you’ve definitely heard of the Guinness Book of World Records, you might not know that this famous compilation of world records was created in the 1950s by, yes, the Guinness Brewing Company.
Because all great ideas start over a pint of stout, Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of the Guinness Brewery, conceived of the idea after he got into an argument at a party about the fastest bird-shooting game in Europe. Beaver originally thought a book of world records would not only be a great promotion for Guinness, but would help settle pub arguments before they got physical. Basically, it was an early version of googling.
Fast forward, and there are thousands of world records published in the Guinness Book of World Records — including many focused on extraordinary travel feats. Some are legitimately impressive, and even jaw-dropping, like the fastest time to travel to all seven continents and the longest journey completed barefoot. Others are more bizarre, like the longest birthday ever and the farthest distance skateboarded by a goat.
All, in their way, astound. Here are some of the most mind-blowing Guinness travel records of all time.
(Inspired? You can apply for your own Guinness travel record or attempt to unseat someone else’s achievement.)
Fastest Time to Travel to All 7 Continents
After meeting by chance when they were both volunteer parking attendants at a concert in New Zealand, Julie Berry and Kasey Stewart decided they wanted to set a record by visiting all seven continents in a little over four days.
The duo called their mission 7in72 — as in 72 hours — and while they didn’t quite meet their goal, they still set the record. They ended their journey in Antarctica after traveling for 92 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds, having spent an average of three to six hours on each continent. Though the trip was speedy, they packed in seeing the Pyramids of Gaza, sampling beer in Frankfurt and peering out at the Toronto cityscape from the CN Tower.
Berry and Stewart share another link as well: They are both former reality TV show contestants. Berry was on “Survivor” while Kasey was on “The Bachelorette.”
Youngest Person to Travel to All Sovereign Countries
A lot of travel junkies aspire to travel to a few new countries each year, and some even try to maintain a number of overall destinations equal to their age. James Asquith, who lives in the UK, wanted to do more — so he traveled to all 196 sovereign countries around the globe by the age of 24, making him the youngest person in the world to achieve this feat.
Asquith visited his first country outside of the UK in 2001. Then between 2008 and 2013, he visited the other 195.
Fastest Time to Visit All Disney Theme Parks
If you’re mad about the mouse, you might aspire to eventually visit all 12 Disney theme parks around the world. And if you’re really obsessive, you might try to beat the record of a woman who accomplished this feat in three days.
Canadian blogger and Disney superfan Lindsay Nemeth made her way to Disney destinations around the world in 75 hours and 6 minutes. She began her epic journey in California at Disneyland, then made her way to Florida, Europe, Hong Kong and Japan.
Oldest Person to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Octogenarian Robert Wheeler is proof that you’re never too old to pursue your dreams. Guinness World Records reported that Wheeler became the oldest man to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when he reached the summit in two days at age 85.
Wheeler made it to the top of the tallest mountain in Africa despite having two knee replacements and two shoulder procedures. When things got tough, he turned to inspiration in the form of Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”
And the former professor of psychology isn’t done yet: He plans to attempt the record again for his 90th birthday in 2019.
Longest Barefoot Journey
Who needs shoes anyways? Certainly not Eamonn Keaveney, who set a Guinness World record for longest barefoot journey after walking sans shoes for more than 1,200 miles. The barefoot walk took him a little over two months.
Keaveney was reportedly inspired to complete the journey to raise awareness for Pieta House: Suicide and Self Harm Crisis Centre, in the name of a friend he’d lost.
Longest Journey by Skateboard
Robert Thomson was awarded a Guinness World Record for longest journey by skateboard after skating more than 7,000 miles from Switzerland to China.
If that weren’t enough, Thomson’s journey was part of a larger around-the-world-challenge that involved cycling, sailing, rafting and riding a train. Aside from the train ride, the more than 12,000-mile journey sounds pretty tiring, and the skateboarding was the last leg of the journey. Considering the balance and stamina it takes to stay on a skateboard for any length of time, Thomson’s record is particularly awe-inspiring.
Fastest Time to Cross the Continental United States by Wheelchair
Matthew Eddy — who has muscular dystrophy, uses a ventilator, and operates his power wheelchair with two fingers — set a Guinness World Record for fastest time to cross the continental United States by wheelchair after making the journey in 126 days.
Eddy, who was accompanied by a photographer, his respiratory therapist and a vehicle-support driver, began his journey in Lynn Beach, Mass., and ended in Long Beach, Calif. Taking five days to rest during the trip, he visited 12 states and averaged about five hours of travel per day, often enduring extreme temperatures. It took an additional five hours each day to set up and break down the equipment.
First People to Cross the Atlantic in a Hot-Air Balloon
While businessman and philanthropist Richard Branson is well known for founding the Virgin Group, you might be surprised to learn that he also holds a world record for crossing the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon.
In 1987, Branson and his fellow adventurer Per Lindstrand set out to fly more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Branson told Guinness World Records that he was partially motivated by the need to drum up some press for his new venture, Virgin Atlantic airlines.
The pair reached their goal in 31 hours and 41 minutes. Four years later, Branson got a new partner and set the same record for crossing the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon.
Fastest Time to Visit All Sovereign Countries
While it took James Asquith five years to visit all 196 sovereign countries in the world, Cassandra De Pecol made the journey in one year and 193 days in 2017. Her accomplishment afforded her the Guinness World Record for fastest time to accomplish this goal.
De Pecol undertook the mission in order to raise awareness for world peace and show other young women that they, too, can achieve goals generally only attributed to men.
In order to fund her record-breaking trip, Pecol told Guinness World Records that she slept in train stations, couch surfed, worked as a housekeeper at a bed and breakfast in exchange for room and board, and picked up other odd jobs to stay financially solvent.
First Band to Play On 7 Continents
When U.S. rock band Metallica wrote the song “Wherever I May Roam” in 1991, it’s unlikely that the group knew they would become the first band to play all seven continents 22 years later.
The band set the record in 2013 after an aptly named show in Antarctica called “Freeze ‘Em All.” The concert was put on for 120 scientists and contest winners, and was undoubtedly a bucket-list experience for both Metallica and the concertgoers.
Longest Birthday Ever
Every now and then you have an exceptional birthday that you’d like to extend. Happily, there’s a way to do just that — by traveling across time zones.
German Sven Hagemeier set the Guinness World Record for longest birthday ever when he extended his birthday to 46 hours by jetting across time zones. Because of his time-hopping, Hagemeier reportedly spent most of his birthday in an airplane to keep the sun from setting on his big day.
Despite the amount of time he spent in the air, Hagemeier told Guinness World Records that everyone he met was eager to help him achieve his goal and showed him the sights in record time. His travels took the 26-year-old lifelong Guinness World Records devotee from New Zealand to Australia to Hawaii, where his wife awaited him at the stroke of midnight.
Longest Time Spent in Space
Because being on a space station can be lonely and wreak havoc on the human body, lengthy stints away from Earth are rare. Which makes astronaut Gennady Padalka record-busting 879 days in space particularly impressive.
Padalka accomplished this feat during three visits between 2002 and 2012. He has also reportedly embarked on nine spacewalks, with the longest one lasting six hours. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Padalka’s experience is that he has literally traveled through time — his excessive time in space slowed his internal body clock.
Fastest Circumnavigation of the World on a Bicycle by a Female
Very few people can boast that they’ve traveled around the world; even fewer can claim to have done it in less than six months by bicycle.
In 2012, Juliana Buhring set a Guinness World Record for fastest circumnavigation of the world on a bicycle by a female when she made the more than 29,000-mile trip in 152 days. Buhring reportedly trained for the trek for eight months, and her adventure was not without roadblocks. She became sick in India, encountered wild dogs in Turkey, fought her way through angry birds in Australia, had almost 30 flat tires, and suffered six broken bike spokes. Additionally, her bike required four complete tire changes and three chain replacements.
Buhring made the journey to raise awareness for the Safe Passage Foundation, which provides assistance to young people living in isolated communities often referred to as cults.
Most Casinos Visited
Because the house always wins, it’s a smart idea to limit your casino visits. Unless, that is, you’re visiting in the hopes of setting a record.
In 2002, U.S. resident Edwin Wheeler set a Guinness World Record for most casinos visited when he reached his 358th. Wheeler made the visits over a period of 47 years and visited some casinos more that once, which brought his total number of casino visits to 372, or around eight per year.
Farthest Distance Skateboarded by a Goat
Goats are known for their impressive climbing and voracious eating abilities. But did you also know that they can skateboard?
Happie, a pet goat in Florida, set a record for the farthest distance skateboarded by a goat when she rode her board 118 feet in 25 seconds. Her trip was reportedly derailed by a parking barrier, but she went far enough to give herself a place in history.
Apparently, Happie, known as “Skate Goat,” took up skateboarding on her own with no cajoling from her human parents, which makes her accomplishment even more inspiring.
Dream of traveling for a living? If you put your office on wheels, you can make this fantasy a reality.
That’s exactly what Edd China of the UK did when he created a driving desk that traveled at speeds as fast as 87 mph, earning him the record of “fastest office” in 2006 during Guinness World Records Day. And that's not at all: He also holds the Guinness records for the fastest shed, toilet, bed, milk float and largest motorized shopping trolley. Because, why not?