Learn English – What’s the difference between the words “journey”, “travel” and “trip”?


As they always were interchangeable in an article, I just want to know the difference.

Best Answer

  • Travel (uncountable n.) and travelling are used to mean the general activity of moving from place to place. You do NOT say "a travel". When we use it as a verb, we talk about how we travel to work; abroad; school, etc. And we might mention the means of transport, e.g. "I travel to school by bus", "They travelled on foot". As a noun, travel or travelling is often collocated with holidays. We say: ‘I love travelling’ or ‘He had fond memories of his travels to India’, in those cases it is not interchangeable with journey. source

(i) We decided to travel by car. We travelled through France and into Germany.
(ii) When I finished college I went travelling for six months. source

  • trip, n. is often said when going out somewhere; it could be taking a short holiday, or travelling some distance for business purposes, and staying at a hotel overnight; very often it is a short journey abroad. We often say: a business trip; a weekend trip; a day trip, and a school trip. But you can also ‘take a long (plane/road/boat) trip’ to somewhere.

  • journey, n. is usually a long trip of some kind; it can be any kind of trip, but the implication is that it may be arduous and discoveries might be made along the way. You can also talk about your journey to work, if the distance is particularly long, time consuming or wrought with delays such as; roadworks, heavy traffic, etc.

The trio has been in Oman for the last two weeks preparing for the journey.

As we set off on time we were warned that the train would be late into Liverpool Street - the estimate was 30 minutes. That was an under-estimate thanks to two problems familiar to rail travellers - at first a points failure at Bethnal Green which was going to add to the delay and then a signal failure at Romford which added to the delay still further. We got to London just after 11— a three-hour journey which normally takes 1 hour 54 minutes. source

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