the right time of year to talk about travel as the holiday season
is now beginning in most countries north of the equator.

travel/travelling (nouns)

Travel is the general term to describe going from one place
to another. We can talk about someone’s travels to refer
to the journeys he makes:

  • His travels abroad provided lots of background material
    for novels he wrote.

Travelling is also a general term which refers to the activity
of travel:

  • Travelling by boat between the islands is less tiring
    than travelling by road.
  • I don’t do as much travelling as I used to now that
    I’m retired.

Travel often crops up as part of compound nouns.
Compare the following:

  • Make sure you keep all your travel documents safely.
    You can obtain your travel tickets from the travel agents
    in the High Street if you don’t want to order them over the Internet.
    Some of you may suffer from travel sickness. Air travel
    may well give you a bumpy ride. If you don’t have a credit or
    debit card, make sure you take plenty of traveller’s cheques
    with you.


often use travel as a verb:

  • I
    love to travel during the summer holidays. This year I
    plan to travel all around the Iberian Peninsula.


A journey
is one single piece of travel. You make journeys when you
travel from one place to another. (Note that the plural is spelt
journeys, not journies):

  • The
    journey from London to Newcastle by train can now be completed
    in under three hours.
  • We
    can talk about journeys taking or lasting a long
  • How
    long did your journey take? ~ Oh, it lasted for ever. We
    stopped at every small station.
  • We
    occasionally use journey as a verb as an alternative to
    travel, although it may sound a bit formal or poetic:
  • We
    journeyed /travelled between the pyramids in Mexico on


A trip
usually involves more than one single journey. We talk about
day trips, round trips and business trips. We make
usually, but we go on trips:

  • I
    went on a day trip to France. We left at 6.30 in the morning
    and returned before midnight the same day.

  • The round-trip ticket enabled me to visit all the major
    tourist destinations in India.
  • Where’s
    Laurie? ~ He won’t be in this week. He’s gone on a business
    to Malaysia and Singapore.
  • The
    went well. It was an old car, but we didn’t break down
    in four weeks of travelling

expedition is an organised trip whose purpose is usually
scientific exploration of the environment. You go on expeditions,
just as you go on trips.

  • Numerous
    expeditions to The Antarctic have ended in disaster.
  • Are
    you going to join the expedition up the Amazon this year,
    like the one Tom went on last year?
  • Less
    dangerous and less adventurous are shopping expeditions
    when you are hunting down particular goods or bargains and fishing
    when you go in search of fish which are not easy
    to locate or catch.


A safari
is a trip or expedition to observe wild animals in
their natural habitat in Africa, usually. You go on safari
to safari parks. In days gone by, you might have worn your
light cotton safari suit for this purpose:

  • His
    one ambition in life was to go on safari to Kenya to photograph
    lions and tigers.

(noun and verb)

A cruise
is a holiday during which you travel on a ship or boat
and visit a number of places en route. When we cruise, this
is exactly what we do:

  • They
    cruised all around the Mediterranean for eight weeks last
    summer and stopped off at a number of uninhabited islands.
  • My
    parents have seen nothing of the world so are saving up to go
    on a world cruise when they retire. They are hoping to
    take a trip on the cruise liner, the QE2, in 2004.


A voyage
is a long journey, not necessarily for pleasure, on a
. We don’t talk about voyages very much in the present time,
but historically they were very significant:

  • His
    second voyage (1493 – 96) led to the discovery of several
    Caribbean islands. On his third voyage (1498 – 1500) he discovered
    the South American mainland.
    (Christopher Columbus, the great explorer)

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