Travelling in Different Cultures

Traveling refers to the transfer of people from one place to another, usually by land, air, sea or snow. Travel is also the movement of humans between geographically distant places. Travel can be accomplished by foot, bike, car, train, plane, bus, train or any other means and is one way or round trip traveling. The type of travel we do depends on our purpose for going there. For example, a vacation trip is usually intended to include seeing places on vacation, whereas a business trip may include traveling to meet with clients, or to give presentations at work.


Traveling is a common occurrence in everyday life. Most people will travel at some point in their lives to visit friends or family, or to earn a living. The terms “travel” and “traffic” are often used interchangeably, although there are clear demarcations between the two terms. In most cases, the word “travel” describes the act of proceeding from one place to another, while “traffic” describes the actual movement of individuals through space. In the context of travel, traffic refers to the actual movement of automobiles or other vehicles, while “travel” typically refers to the overall concept.

The two words traveling and traffic pertain largely to the act of driving a vehicle. A road trip on the US highway is actually referred to as “trailing traffic” rather than “driving.” Similarly, when you discuss traveling, traffic refers to the actual movement along a route. Thus, when discussing the topic of traveling, it’s appropriate to use the words “travel” and “traffic” to collectively describe the subject matter. However, some speakers prefer to refer to travelling as merely “the act of going,” whereas “the act of driving” is more apt to use the term “travel.”

In British English, the term “travelling” is usually associated with the phrase “going abroad” rather than “being abroad.” This is because the term “travelling” was already in use before “going abroad” was introduced. Still, many British speakers do tend to use the term “travelling” in phrases involving international travel, particularly when mentioning a long journey, such as a trans-Atlantic flight. In this sense, “travelling” can mean moving from one place to another.

In American English, “travelling” can also mean “striving to make the trip worthwhile,” as people started to refer to long journeys in this way. Early 19th century Americans began referring to long journeys by wagon as “the grand tours.” Over time, as America became more urbanized, the use of the term “grand tour” came to include trips to major cities within the country, as well as very long trips outside of the country (such as ones from England to Canada). By the end of the 20th century, however, the grand tour had lost much of its meaning as most people travelled within America.

In British English, “travelling” means traveling by car. American English, on the other hand, prefers to use the phrase “journey” or “traveling.” There are variations between the languages, but the preferred spelling is “travelling.” The differences may be due to historical events between the English used by each country before, during, and after World War II.