Traveling or travelling? Which is the correct spelling?!
Traveling is one of the most popular activities in the world. It can take many forms, from going on a weekend getaway to taking a luxurious vacation abroad. Despite its popularity, there is still some confusion surrounding the correct spelling of the word.
So, before you start writing your packing list and set off on your travels, let’s explore the difference between traveling and travelling and look at which spelling should be used.
Traveling Vs Travelling?
Traveling or Travelling? When it comes to the English language, there can be quite a bit of confusion in regards to spelling. While many people use “traveling” when writing in American English, “travelling” is more common in British writing.
As DoTEFL is a website dedicated to teaching English and traveling via TEFL, it only feels right that we clear up any confusion about the correct spelling of traveling (or should I say travelling?). After all, it’s a question that gets asked a lot and spelling is an important part of English grammar.
Who knows, knowing what form of spelling to use for traveling may even help you if you decide to teach English abroad. So, what’s the answer?
Firstly, the spelling of both words is correct, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when deciding which one to use.
The first difference between traveling and travelling is geographical location. American English typically uses “traveling” while British English opts for “travelling”. So, if you’re an American writer, “traveling” will generally be your go-to choice; if you’re British, then “travelling” should do the trick!
However, you also need to keep in mind your audience. If you’re writing for an American audience it would make sense to use “traveling”. Whereas if you’re writing for an English audience you’d want to opt for “travelling”. In my case I am an English writer but our website has a larger audience in the U.S. so I have used the spelling of traveling with one ‘l’ here.
Where is Traveling Used?
Traveling is used when the author is writing in American English or writing for an U.S. audience.
Where is Travelling Used?
Travelling is used when the author is writing in British English. However, the audience isn’t just confined to Britain here.
There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth, which is an association of countries across the world historically connected to the British Empire. They all use the British English spelling of “travelling” with two ‘L’s. This includes Commonwealth Countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
So, if you travel across the U.S. border into Canada you go from being a traveler to a traveller!
Can you use a mix of traveling and travelling?
It’s best to avoid using a mixture of the two spellings, even if your audience is unclear. This is because you should always be consistent with your grammar throughout a piece of writing.
You should also be aware of this if you ever use a grammar checker to go over your work. For example, if you write in British English but the grammar checker is set to American English, you may find yourself inadvertently making corrections from “travelling” to “traveling”. If this does happen, make sure that you don’t accidentally only change half by mistake!
Should you change travelling to traveling?
The answer to this question comes down to your audience. You have to write according to what your audience understands and needs. If they are a British English audience you should keep “travelling”. If the audience uses American English then you’ll want to consider changing it to “traveling”.
On this site we predominantly use the spelling “travelling”. However, if there are articles that are mainly read by our audience in the UK we will use “travelling”.
For whatever piece of writing your doing, the key thing is to choose a spelling and stick to it. Consistency is the key.
And, if you want to avoid the traveling Vs travelling conundrum altogether you can always get creative. For example, instead of writing “I like travelling”, you could write “I like to travel”. Or, instead of “I’m a traveler”, you can just use “I travel”.
Traveler or Traveller?
The same rules apply for the spellings of traveler or traveller and traveled or travelled. If you’re using American spelling go with one ‘L’ but if you’re writing for countries that use British English conventions go with two ‘L’s!
Conclusion: The Road Less Traveled?
When determining whether to use “traveling” or “travelling” it is important to consider your audience and understand that language conventions may vary from region to region. “Traveling” is more commonly used in the United States, but in nearly all other English-speaking countries, the spelling of “travelling” is preferred.
With this in mind, you should write for the needs of your audience. Where you are from should be secondary to where your audience is from, as it they who you serve and seek to provide value to.
What about you, do you use traveling or travelling? What were you taught in school? Let us know in the comments and continue to enjoy your travels!
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