Travel, trip, journey, voyage?

Let’s talk about some words that are easy to confuse – ‘travel’, ‘trip’, ‘journey’ and ‘voyage’.


This means to go from somewhere to somewhere else. It’s most commonly used as a verb:

  • I travel to work by bus.
  • We travelled all around India.

We also use ‘travelling’ (sometimes with ‘go’ or ‘do’) to talk about the activity of going to new places:

  • I love travelling.
  • She went travelling for a year.
  • He spends most of his money on travelling.
  • They don’t do much travelling these days.

‘Travel’ can also be a noun. In this case it means ‘the general activity of going to new places’. We also use it in expressions like ‘a travel agency’.

  • Travel is easier than ever now.

We don’t say:

  • How was your travel?
  • It was a good travel.


A journey is the distance or the movement from one place to another. It’s usually a noun. We don’t usually use it when we walk or cycle somewhere.

  • The journey to Japan took 15 hours.
  • How was your journey?
  • The journey to Scotland from London is very quick by train.
  • The journey to work takes twenty five minutes.


Trip is a noun that means going somewhere to do something and coming back. We often say ‘go on a trip’. A trip usually includes more than one journey. We have different kinds of trips, like business trips or day trips (a day trip means you go on the morning and come home in the evening of the same day).

  • We went on a trip to Spain. (This includes two journeys – one from London to Spain and one from Spain to London.)
  • They went on a day trip to the beach.
  • Are you going on many business trips this year?
  • The trip was really fun.
  • How was your trip?


We hardly ever use this word now. It means a long journey by ship or in space, often not for pleasure.

  • A voyage round the world used to take months.

If we want to tell someone to enjoy their holiday, we usually say ‘Have a good trip!’.

If we hope that the person’s journey to wherever they are going will go well, we use ‘Have a good journey!’.


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