Travel – trip – journey – voyage

These four words are commonly used when speaking about holidays and vacations. They are also often confused. Here is a guide to the use of these four critical words:


As a noun, ‘travel’ refers to the activity in general and is generally used as an uncountable noun. Example: Travel and music are two of my favourite activities.

‘Travel ‘can also be used as a verb and refers to the activity of moving from one place to another. Generally, people use the mode of transport to express this activity. Example: I travelled by plane to Madrid. = I flew to Madrid.

Sometimes, ‘travel’ is also used as a countable noun in the plural form. In this case, it is often used in the sense that someone has been to many different places during one longer journey. This usage is also rather formal, and isn’t likely to be used much in everyday speech. Example: His travels took to the far corners of the globe.

Trip is a countable noun which indicates travel to and from a place and the duration of travel spent in a place. Some common collocations are: a day trip, a round trip, etc. Example: I took a trip to the coast last weekend to relax.

Journey refers to the actual time spent travelling. It tends to be used in British English more often than in American English. Some common collocations: the journey home, the journey back, the return journey, a spiritual journey, a self discovery journey. Example:
The journey to Rome was long and tiring.

Voyage refers specifically to long distance travel by sea. Example: Many voyages were made to the Indian Ocean during that period.

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Other Common Travel Expressions

Flight is a noun which refers to travel by air. It is similar to the verb fly which means to travel by air. Examples: My flight was delayed in Chicago. – They might fly to London next weekend.

Drive is both a verb and a countable noun. It refers to travel by car or other four wheeled vehicle. Examples: The drive to the coast is beautiful. – Would you like to drive, or should I?

Ride is generally used as a verb, but can also be used as a noun. It refers to travel by bicycle or motorcycle. Examples: Can I ride your motorcycle? – Let’s take a ride on our bikes through the countryside.

Walk, Jog, Run and Sprint are also used as both verbs and countable nouns. They refer to travel on foot. Walking is the slowest, jogging faster, running still faster and sprinting the fastest. Here are some examples that show the different speed:

I walk through the park on a sunny summer’s day.
I jogged three miles last week.
Peter ran the last quarter mile to his home.
He sprinted the final fifty meters to the finish line.

Hike is used as a verb and as a countable noun and refers specifically to walking in the mountains or countryside. Examples: We went on a hike in Mount Rainier National Park last weekend – She hiked 10 miles in six hours.

A synonym is Trek which means journey on foot, especially in the mountains with added difficulty of height, difficult terrain or longer distance. Example: We spent trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas.

This entry was posted in Face2face Intermediate, Lesson 3, Lesson 8, Speak Out Intermediate, Textbook, Unit 10, Vocabulary. Bookmark the permalink.

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