Haidar Mirhadi from Iran writes:

What is the difference between these words all concerning travel:

? Thank you.

Roger Woodham replies:

It's 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.

We 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.

journey (noun)

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 time:

  • 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 horseback.

trip (noun)

A trip usually involves more than one single journey. We talk about day trips, round trips and business trips. We make journeys 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 trip to Malaysia and Singapore.

  • The trip went well. It was an old car, but we didn't break down in four weeks of travelling
      expedition (noun)

An 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 expeditions when you go in search of fish which are not easy to locate or catch.

safari (noun)

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.

cruise (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.

voyage (noun)

A voyage is a long journey, not necessarily for pleasure, on a ship. 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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