English Vocabulary

travel, trip, journey ....

I hesitate quite often when I have to use one of these words when e.g. describing part of or a holiday/vacation.

If I am living in “A” and have spend my holidays in “B”

Journey seems to me, to be only the movement from point “A” to point “B” and/or vice versa and maybe small movements when staying in “B”
The journey to “B” was awful. It lasted more than fifteen hours without the possibility to have a halt.

Travel seems to me, to be the fact to have been in “B”
In (during) my travel to “B” I have get to know very interesting people.

Trip seems to me, to be a kind of small travel.
While staying in “B” we had a trip to a nearby island.

Living in Belgium I would say a trip to Amsterdam, not a travel, but I am not sure if I would say a travel or a trip to Ushuaia.

Does anyone have the right explanations ?


  • Dear Antonio,

    The issue you put at stake is quite interesting and I hope some well informed people will provide explanations.

    I'd just add some details:

    Journey comes from French "journée". At first, as you said, it applies to move of a certain distance, duration of at least 1 day.
    Note that a journeyman is a worker by the day.
    But in the common everyday talking, some people use journey for travel or trip.
    A voyage by ship overseas is nothing but a journey.

    Travel comes from French "travailler". Originally it was a move from home to a workplace.
    Travel (accord. same diction.) : to go on as if on a trip or tour.

    A tour is a journey for business or pleasure in which one returns to the starting point. Since, tour operators set up tours for people going away on holiday and getting back home after.

    Trip (from Middle French "triper", to tread) generally sticks to smaller journeys or travel. One never speaks of trip for a travel that takes several days. A trip is always a "single" round on a business errand or vacation tour.

    See you, Antonio.
  • Hi Gee(*)

    Thank you very much for these explanations that make clearer the meanings.

    (*)Not being sure your real name is known I keep the nickname


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