Summer is peak season for travelers as they explore, sightsee and take a break from the everyday. With that in mind, we came up with a list of 15 different words for travel.
If you’re traveling for pleasure, chances are you’re going on a trip. Derived from Middle Dutch trippen, meaning to skip or hop, this is an apt choice to describe a shorter or temporary excursion.
Although the two are generally interchangeable, if a trip is a short travel experience, a vacation usually refers to a longer break. It stems from the Latin vacare, meaning to be (blissfully!) unoccupied.
Many of us associate holiday with its origin: the Old English hāligdæg, meaning holy day. In modern times, to take a holiday is to experience a break from the norm. For example, “Are you taking any holidays this spring?” The word is also used as a verb, particularly by Brits, as in, “We’re going to holiday in France.”
This elegant word refers to a short stay. In fact, many people will refer to taking a “short sojourn.” While the jour relates to the French word for day, the traditional roots of this name are the Latin terms sub, meaning under, and diurnum, day. Perfect for describing a quick trip or stop as part of a longer journey.
Another ideal name for short recreational jaunts, this Latin-inspired word stems from ex, meaning out, and currere, to run. In modern times people will use the word excursion for something as simple as a trip to the grocery store, but its traditional application was related to travel.
The opposite of excursion in many ways, an expedition is a longer trip that’s taken for a specific purpose such as research, science, exploring, or war. It comes from the Latin expeditio, with a slightly off-kilter definition meaning to set out with aggressive intent.
While many words for travel are inspired by leisure, treks are defined by work. You might associate treks with traveling on foot, which, given its ties to the untamed wilds of Africa and early 19th century South African Dutch roots in the word trekken, is a logical connection.
Despite the lighthearted tone of this word, globetrotters are impressive travelers, considered to frequently journey around the world. To globetrot essentially means you’re stamping your passport more times than there’s room for, as in “They’re home for the winter after globetrotting through Europe.”
If you’re traveling by sea or in space, you’re going on a voyage. Apart from the unique geographic connotations of this word, voyages are also considered longer trips, which makes perfect sense as the word is derived from the Latin viaticum, referring to provisions for a long journey.
Stemming from the Old French term jornee, meaning a day’s travel or a day’s work, any jetlagged traveler will tell you it’s been a journey to get to their destination. The word has slightly spiritual connotations today, and is typically ascribed to epic adventures with unforgettable destinations.
Staying in a place is one thing; exploring it is another — in which case you’ll likely use the word tour to describe your adventures. Tour is also the preferred choice for describing a multi-stop travel experience, coming from an Old French word of the same spelling, meaning turn. On an even more niche level, sightsee has a similar definition and refers to seeing the attractions a destination has to offer.
This exotic word is often associated with an animal-spotting travel experience in Africa. The origin is actually Arabic — safara, which the Swahili people used to describe traveling in general.
Traditionally speaking, this term referred to a pilgrim’s journey, with ties to religious expeditions or crusades. In today’s world, however, we use this to highlight any trip where the destination is historically significant on a personal or global level. For example, one might take a pilgrimage to their ancestors’ birthplace, a revered monument, or a holy ground.
This term was coined by a New York-based reporter in the 1950s to describe the upper class, known for their international travel excursions. Today it’s also used as a verb to describe high-end, enviable, or luxurious travel experiences, as in, “She’s jet setting around the globe for work right now.”
Sometimes traveling is all about where you’ll end up – for example, to camp or stay. Another similar example is summer, which is also applied to where you’ll be residing for the warm months, as in, “We always summer in the Hamptons.”