The Best Travel Quotations: Words of Wisdom on Your Journey

Wise Sayings About the Pleasures and Perils of Travel

Couple taking in the view.
Jordan Siemens/Taxi/Getty Images

Whether you're a seasoned international explorer or an armchair traveler, sometimes all it takes to inspire a new—or first—journey is a poignant travel quotation. Enjoy these wise words about travel from great minds. You might find the perfect one to get you moving. 

The Journey Begins

  • "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."—Lao Tzu
  • "For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."—Robert Louis Stevenson
  • "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."—H. Jackson Brown Jr.
  • "There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it."—Charles Dudley Warner
  • "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."—Martin Buber 
  • Without travel, "I would have wound up a little ignorant white Southern female, which was not my idea of a good life."—Lauren Hutton

What Is Travel?

  • "Travel penetrates your consciousness, but not in a rational way."—Milton Glaser
  • "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."—Helen Keller
  • "Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries."—René Descartes
  • "Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."—Miriam Beard
  • "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."—Henry Miller
  • "I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine."—Caskie Stinnett
  • "Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."—Maya Angelou

Laughing All the Way

  • "A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it."—John Steinbeck
  • "In America, there are two classes of travel: First class, and with children."—Robert Benchley
  • "To put it rather bluntly, I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel."—Fran Lebowitz
  • "But why, oh why, do the wrong people travel, when the right people stay at home?"—Noel Coward
  • "Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting."—Robert Thomas Allen
  • "Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversations."—Elizabeth Drew
  • "If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel."—Will Kommen
  • "Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned."—Samuel Johnson
  • "Long voyages, great lies."—Italian proverb

Travel Advice

  • "When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money."—Susan Heller
  • "A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving."—Lao Tzu
  • "Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings."—Hodding Carter
  • "He who would travel happily must travel light."—Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay at home."—James Michener
  • "Let your memory be your travel bag."—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • "Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey."—Fitzhugh Mullan
  • "Don’t be a tourist. Plan less. Go slowly. I traveled in the most inefficient way possible and it took me exactly where I wanted to go."—Andrew Evans

Travel Truisms

  • "No matter where you go, there you are."—unknown
  • "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there."—unknown
  • "Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken."—Frank Herbert
  • "He travels fastest who travels alone."—proverb
  • "Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter."—Izaak Walton
  • "The journey not the arrival matters."—T. S. Eliot
  • "No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow."—Lin Yutang
  • “On a trip a man should travel with a companion of equal mind or one who has a better mind/ one had better travel alone than to travel with a fool.”—Buddha

Effects of Travel

  • "They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea."—Horace
  • "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."—St. Augustine
  • "I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."—Mark Twain
  • "A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."—Tim Cahill
  • "Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."—Benjamin Disraeli
  • "We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."— Jawaharlal Nehru

About Travelers

  • "A traveler without observation is a bird without wings."—Moslih Eddin Saadi
  • "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."—Martin Buber
  • "A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent (which I cannot deny myself to be without being impious) will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place."—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • "Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled."—Mohammed
  • "Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions."—Peter Hoeg
  • "The journey is my home."—Muriel Rukeyser
  • "To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world."—Freya Stark
  • "Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else."—Lawrence Block
  • "Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey."—Pat Conroy
  • "I should like to spend the whole of my in life traveling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home."—William Hazlitt
  • "Hitler didn't travel. Stalin didn't travel. Saddam Hussein never traveled. They didn't want to have their orthodoxy challenged."—Howard Gardner

From Literature

  • "Why is it that traveling Americans are always so dreadful?"—From "Dodsworth" by Sinclair Lewis
  • "I hate sightseeing; one old rock is just another old rock."—From the chapter titled "Yachts and Things" in "Answered Prayers" by Truman Capote
  • "Do you think it's so snobbish, to want to see something besides one's fellow citizens abroad?"—From "Dodsworth" by Sinclair Lewis
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.”—From the poem "All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."—From the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
Was this page helpful?