VOCABULARY: Travel, Journey or Trip? What's the difference?

British culture photo. Vintage English gentleman on the beach with a group of people on deckchairs

To travel is, of course, a verb but not normally a noun unless it is in a literary context e.g. Gulliver’s Travels (a book by Jonathan Swift), or a long, extensive tour. 


In everyday English, we would refer to travelling by saying a journey, or a trip, the difference being that a trip talks of the whole process of going, doing what you do, and then returning. 


A journey is used more to refer to the journey itself, although often there is little difference. Compare the following: ‘The journey was rotten. The fat man who sat next to me snored all the time.’ ‘The trip was great, we managed to do everything that we had intended.’  


To journey is an archaic verb not used now. To trip exists but it has a completely different meaning; ‘to fall over an object’; ‘He tripped  over the step and spilt all the drinks.’ 


To voyage only refers to a long journey made at sea.

Graphic with picture of a vintage TV showing a scene from a Typical English cafe.

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