Common English Words For Travel Ep 250

Every Adept English lesson will help you learn to speak English fluently.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 2070 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 11 min

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Common English Words

A lot of English language students confuse these common English words: travel, travelling, trip, journey, tour, voyage, cruise. So let’s find out why and listen to these common English words being used correctly.

Understanding the difference between synonyms is very important. Especially when you study a foreign language! Make sure you listen & learn in today's podcast and don’t forget to listen to the lesson several times until you are sure you can understand every word.

Adept English has a course which covers the 500 most common English words and it’s available here Those 500 English words make up 80% of all English conversations and written articles. So focusing on these words is a super efficient way to boost your understanding of any English conversation.

The idea behind the course is that there are several interesting audio stories written using only the 500 most common English words. By listening to these stories repeatedly will help you hear the words being pronounced by a native English speaker. You will also hear the words being used in context, over and over, so your brain will store them in your longer term memory, ready for you to use more automatically and improve your English language fluency.

Most Unusual Words:


Most common 2 word phrases:

use the11
you might10
to use8
English words7
a trip7

Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: Common English Words For Travel

Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. I hope your English language learning is going well. Maybe this summer, you’ll get some practice because you’re visiting a different country and there will be opportunity to use English to communicate? Great, if you get that practice. And if you don’t, well just make sure that you’ve got some Adept English to listen to, wherever you are.

Words associated with travel

So thinking about summer travel, what about a lesson on words associated with travel today? One of the ways in which English is hard is that there are so many words which have the same meaning. Or rather almost the same meaning – perhaps I should say a similar meaning. ‘Similar’ means ‘almost the same’. But there are subtle differences in how we use the words. Take for instance the words travel, trip, journey, voyage and cruise.


How to use the word ‘travel’

So you’re probably familiar with the word ‘travel’, T-R-A-V-E-L? So there’s the verb ‘to travel’ and there’s the noun ‘travel’. The noun travel is one of those ‘uncountable nouns’ - nouns you can’t count. It’s like water or air, or sand, or oxygen. We use the word travel as though you’re talking about a substance. You wouldn’t say ‘two waters’ or ‘an oxygen’. And travel is the same. So you might say ‘I enjoy travel’ or ‘travel broadens the mind’.

So we tend to use the word travel to refer generally to when we move around geographically. So as a verb, we ‘travel to and from work’ or ‘we like travelling to different countries’. Or as a noun, ‘My travel with my job is mainly in the UK’. Or ‘travel is more difficult in London with a baby’. So it’s a very general term.


A photograph of a man holding a baby you cannot tell the gender of the baby. Used to help explain English grammar she, he and they.

©️ Adept English 2019

How to use the word ‘trip’

If you use the word ‘trip’, T-R-I-P, it means something slightly different. Unlike travel, it is a ‘countable noun’, so you can say ‘I took two trips last summer’. There is a verb ‘to trip’, but that means something different. If you trip on the stairs, it means you catch your foot and you possibly fall down – not the same meaning at all. But as a noun, ‘a trip’ usually means the whole experience of going somewhere, doing something and then coming back. That’s a trip. So for example, I did a podcast recently on our trip to Legoland – we travelled there, we went round and we came back. You might talk about ‘a trip to the cinema’ or ‘a trip to India’ - so it can be minor or major trip! And the word trip is usually associated with pleasure. You’re ‘having a jolly’ as we say. You go on a trip to enjoy yourself.

How to use the word ‘journey’

So what about ‘journey’, J-O-U-R-N-E-Y? Journey on the other hand means a single instance of a moving from one place to another. And it’s not necessarily for pleasure. A journey can be any mode of transport, on foot, or by car, where you drive from London to Manchester. If you’re doing that, heaven help you on the M6! It could be a train journey of several hundred miles or a journey by tube of just one stop. A journey is a single movement from one place to another. So ‘journey’ can be used in a mundane, ‘every day’ sort of way e.g. ‘My train journey to work was disrupted by cows on the line!’. Or ‘The journey from Portsmouth to Southampton takes 45 minutes’.

There is also a verb ‘to journey’, so you could say ‘I journey to work on the tube every day’, but that’s quite formal. People are more likely to say ‘I go on the tube’ or ‘I use the tube every day’. ‘I journey’ makes it sound more like a biblical journey! So journey can be used in the grander way, or to mean a philosophical journey. We are all ‘on our individual journeys through life’, you might say! So it could be a ‘spiritual journey’ or a ‘learning journey’ perhaps. In a sense, you’re on an English language learning journey. So it’s used in an abstract way too. Journeys can have a known end point, a known destination. Or you may not know where your journey will take you. Think about the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings – it’s a long journey and you don’t know where it’s going to end up!

Buy an Adept English Mega Podcast Bundle

Just pausing there to remind you to have a look at our Adept English course pages, if you haven’t done this already. If you would like to hear English conversation, but with its meaning explained in detail, made easy for you to understand, then our Course One: Activate your Listening does just this. It’ll help your fluency even more than the podcasts. You can buy it and download it straight away. And there is over 5 hours listening time – so it will really help you progress!

How to use the word ‘voyage’

What about the word ‘voyage’? Strange spelling here – it’s V-O-Y-A-G-E. Well, a voyage is a big journey, usually by sea. And there is a noun ‘a voyage’ or a verb ‘to voyage’. And again, like some uses of ‘journey’, a voyage can be used to mean something epic or grand, maybe a bit heroic – say like Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey – that’s a voyage. Or we might say ‘Titanic on her maiden voyage’. A ‘maiden voyage’ means the first ever voyage. If you’re not making a long journey by sea, then the only other time that you might use the word ‘voyage’, is for space travel. ‘These are the voyages of the starship Enterprize’ - you might know that sentence if you like Startrek!


How to use the word ‘cruise’

What about the word ‘cruise’, ‘C-R-U-I-S-E’? Well, a cruise usually means holiday travel because if you cruise, it implies a trip that you’re taking for pleasure. If you cruise, you’re moving, but you’re not going top speed, you’re not in a hurry. So the word ‘cruise’ is usually associated with going on a big ship, a cruise liner. There’s the noun ‘a cruise’ and the verb ‘to cruise’. So you might ‘cruise the Adriatic’ or ‘cruise the Norwegian Fjords’. A cruise usually means going by boat, for pleasure. So a cruise may last a number of days and you sleep on board the boat or the ship. Or a cruise could mean a trip in the afternoon, when you’re on holiday, you cruise along the coast, taking in the sights.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

Two other places where you might hear ‘cruise’. One of them is if you’re on a plane. Your pilot might say ‘And we’re going to be cruising at an altitude of 32,000 feet’. ‘Altitude’ just means ‘height’. ‘To cruise’ is not the way normal passengers would talk about being on a plane. Most people would say ‘I’m flying’ or ‘I’m taking a flight’. Only pilots say ‘cruising’. The other time when you might use this verb is if you’re in your car and you have ‘cruise control’. This means that you can set the speed of the car – it just stays driving at the set speed. That’s called ‘cruise control’.


Anyway, I hope that this helps your understanding of the differences between these words. So travel, journey, trip, voyage, cruise – and I guess I added ‘flying’ and ‘flight’ in there, right at the end. Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

PS: Many people are on Holiday

You might notice that the podcasts and articles go out at different times over the next couple of weeks. We will get them out on Monday and Thursday, as we usually do but because of a few people travelling on these days, we will see them get posted at strange times of the day.

If anything changes we will inform you all via a Facebook: post and possibly on Twitter:

If you follow us on YouTube: You might have noticed we recently passed the magic 1,000 subscriber mark! Whoop! Hurray! We had hoped that people would enjoy using the customised English closed captions on screen with the audio and it seems quite a few of you do. We have lot’s of ideas and you can expect more videos from us.

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