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Published by at March 22nd, 2024 , Revised On March 26, 2024

Traveling Vs Travelling: Differences & Examples

Some variations in the English language can be confusing to writers. One such variation is traveling vs travelling. This blog discusses the significant differences between these seemingly identical words. Let’s explore further. 

DefinitionThe act of journeying from one place to anotherThe act of journeying from one place to another
Examples– I enjoy traveling to new countries.– He is travelling around Europe.
– Traveling can broaden one’s horizons.– She loves travelling by train.
– Many people dream of traveling the world.– They are currently travelling in Asia.
– She has been traveling for three months.– Travelling is an enriching experience.

US vs Australia 

The key distinction lies in dialectology, the study of regional variations in a language. Here’s where the “one L” versus “two Ls” debate comes in:

  • American English: In the United States, “traveling” reigns supreme. This preference stems from Noah Webster’s influential dictionary, which aimed to streamline American spelling by eliminating redundant letters. E.g. labeled vs labelled

Example: “I’m traveling to Japan next month to experience its rich culture.”

  • Australian English: Across the pond, “travelling” is the standard, just like modelling.  Australian English generally retains more conservative spellings, reflecting its historical connection to older forms of English. 

Example: “We’re travelling through the Scottish Highlands on a hiking trip.”

The influence of British colonialism has led to “travelling” being the preferred spelling in many former British colonies, including:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • India
  • South Africa

However, the world of English is dynamic. American English continues to gain global influence, and some Commonwealth countries might use “traveling” interchangeably.

When To Use “Traveling” Or “Travelling”

So, which spelling should you choose? Here are some helpful guidelines:

  • Target Audience: If you are writing for a primarily American audience, “traveling” is the safest bet. Conversely, “travelling” caters better to Australian and Commonwealth readers.
  • Publication or Platform: Many publications and online platforms have established style guides. Adhering to their guidelines ensures consistency and professionalism.
  • Personal Preference: If you have a strong preference for one spelling over the other and your audience isn’t a major concern, feel free to stick with it!

Other Variations

The “one L” versus “two Ls” debate extends to other related words as well:

  • Travelled vs. Traveled (past tense): Follows the same pattern as “traveling” and “travelling.”
  • Traveller vs. Traveler (noun): Matches the corresponding verb form.

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Examples Of Traveling Vs Travelling

1. Verb formI will be traveling to Europe next month.She enjoys travelling to different countries.
2. Noun formTraveling broadens one’s perspective.Travelling can be an enriching experience.
3. Present participleThey are currently traveling across South America.He was seen travelling through the countryside.
4. Past participleTraveling requires patience and practiceShe has travelled extensively throughout Asia.
5. Gerund form (used as a noun)Traveling is an essential part of her job.Her passion for travelling inspires others.
6. Adjective formThe traveling circus delighted audiences.The travelling salesman visited multiple towns.
7. Adverbial useShe travels quickly from one place to another just for her love of theatres.He travels extensively for work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both “traveling” (US) and “travelling” (UK & AUS) are correct spellings. The choice depends on regional preferences. “Traveling” is more common in the United States, while “travelling” is common in British-influenced regions.

In Canada, the preferred spelling is “travelling,” following British English conventions. However, it’s worth noting that both “traveling” and “travelling” are commonly understood and accepted in Canadian English.

“Traveling” and “Travelling” are spelled differently due to regional language variations. “Traveling” is the standard American English spelling, while “Travelling” is the preferred British English spelling. These differences reflect historical linguistic developments and preferences.