Travel, Traveled & Travelling – What’s the Difference?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Traveling is a pleasant experience. You learn new cultures, meet new people, and taste new food. But is it traveling or travelling? Is it travelled or traveled?

Let me tell you that all four spellings are correct. I’ll show you the difference between traveled vs. travelled and traveling vs. travelling in this guide.

Does Travelled Have One or Two Ls?

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If you read different writing pieces, you’ll notice that the simple past and participle forms of the verb travel are either traveled or travelled. Both spellings are correct. Therefore, travelled can have one or two Ls.

Traveled, travelled, and traveling come from the el verb travel, which means to go from one place to another. But, as a Canadian who mostly writes for a US audience, I get the confusion. 

Traveled vs. Travelled

Now that you know both traveled and travelled are correct, when do you use which?

Traveled is the correct American English spelling. This English variant follows a single L to simplify English words. Other examples of simplified American spellings include humor instead of humour and annex instead of annexe.

Noah Webster of Webster’s Dictionary is a famous person who advocated for traveled instead of travelled. So if you’re American writing for an American audience, let them know you traveled instead of travelled to Europe.

Here are some examples of traveled in a sentence.

  • How many miles had they traveled today?
  • I traveled to Germany last month.
  • The 2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has finally arrived at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City after it was cut down from its home in Queensbury, New York, and traveled 200 miles to the Big Apple. [Today]

Travelled is the British English spelling of the word. This English variant with two Ls is the original spelling of the verb. Travelled is also more common worldwide. For instance, Canada uses travelled because it’s one of the British Commonwealth countries.

Here are some examples of travelled in a sentence.

  • The famous adventurer travelled around the world.
  • He travelled thousands of miles during the presidential campaign.
  • Alex Sullivan, an Everton fan who has travelled to Qatar to support England during the World Cup, told talkSPORT that “we were having a good time, enjoying ourselves.” [Marca]

Traveling vs. Travelling

The rule for traveling vs. travelling is the same as traveled vs. travelled.

We use traveling as the American English spelling, as the linguist and lexicographer Noah Webster recommended. This significant person preferred shorter versions of words, which many Americans instantly followed.

Here are some examples of traveling in a sentence.

  • Rory and I were traveling during her birthday.
  • Our traveling expenses were lower than expected.
  • While traveling with his wife, Roxana, and his two young sons during the offseason, Ellis concluded that he had soured on many aspects of the NBA grind. [Washington Post]

Use travelling as the British, Canadian, and Australian spelling of the present participle form of travel.

Here are some examples of travelling in a sentence.

  • I enjoy travelling with my family every summer.
  • My travelling companion moved to Oklahoma with her husband.
  • As every keen traveller knows, there are a number of checks and research one must undertake before travelling to a new country. [CN Traveller]

Travel, Traveled, and Travelling Summary

While travel is a simple and common English word, its derivative forms can be confusing even for the best English writers. But I hope this guide helped you understand the difference between traveled vs. travelled and traveling vs. travelling.

Remember that traveled and traveling with a single L are the American spellings, while travelled and travelling with two Ls are the British and Canadian spellings.