What is the difference between Travel and Trip?

These two words frequently confuse learners of English.

A quick explanation that is valid for most situations is the following:

Travel – a verb (the action)
Trip – a noun

Susan’s husband isn’t in town at the moment; he is on a business trip. He travels to many different countries. Susan met her husband on a trip to the Bahamas.

Travel – to go from one place to another
Trip – a journey that is often for a short period of time.

NOTE: There are some exceptions to the general rule above.

Travel can also be a noun when it refers to the act of traveling.

  • Travel is difficult in that part of the country since there are no paved roads.
  • Travel broadens your mind.

Sometimes Travel appears in plural form and in that case is normally preceded by a possessive adjective (my travels, his travels etc.)

  • She has had many adventures in her travels.
  • I have never seen any as strange as that in all of my travels.

Trip can also be a verb though it has a completely different meaning.
To Trip – to accidentally stumble and almost fall while walking or running, usually after catching your foot on something.

  • He didn’t see the cat and he tripped up.


Trip vs. Journey

A trip usually refers to traveling to a place and returning back to where you started.
A journey usually implies traveling from one place to another (not necessarily returning to where you started). It sometimes refers to the length of time taken to go from one place to another.

  • They went on a journey through South America that lasted 6 months.
  • It is a three-day journey by train.

Some more uses of the word Trip

A day trip usually refers to a tourist activity that occupies your entire day.
A business trip is when you travel for business reasons.
A round trip means to travel somewhere and return to place of original, there and back (= a return trip)

Summary Chart

The difference between Travel and Trip in English

What is the best trip you have ever had?

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