What does round trip mean? Here’s the full explanation with 6 examples

There are all sorts of words and phrases that might confuse people who don’t speak English as their mother tongue when talking about directions and tickets. Today, I want to focus on what people mean when they say “round trip”, and exploring the three contexts in which it will most commonly be said.

What does “Round Trip” mean?

A round trip is a trip where your ending point is the same as your starting point. You will most commonly hear this when buying a ticket, describing a walk, or describing a tour.

Very rarely is a “round trip” a perfect circle. But just like when drawing a circle, your first line will also be your last.

Watch the video: Only 1 percent of our visitors get these 3 grammar questions right... video

When you might hear “round trip”


One of the most common times you will hear it when visiting an English speaking country is when you’re buying a ticket for travel. This could be the train, tube, bus, or even flight.

The idea of the “round trip ticket” is that you can buy one ticket and use it to travel to your destination. And once you’re finished, you can use that same ticket to go back home. Purchasing a “round trip” ticket will almost always be cheaper than buying two one way tickets.


If you ever visit England, you will more than likely spend some time in the British countryside. This is a beautiful place filled with hills, forests, plants, animals. The air is fresh, and the grass is green.

If you just wander off on your own, you will likely get lost. So, the best thing to do is to have a walk-in mind. Most of the time, your walk will be a “round trip”. You will park your car, walk around the countryside, and end up back at the car, without ever going past the same thing twice.

This is an excellent way for you to see as much of the countryside as possible.


And the final time you might hear the phrase “round trip” is when you’re talking about a tour, for example, on a “tour bus” or even a cruise.

When a tour goes on a “round trip”, you will go around a specific area and learn about things on your way. There may even be points on the tour where you will be able to get off and go exploring on your own. But when the tour comes to an end, you will find yourself in the same place that you started.

One Way Trips

The alternative to a Round Trip would be the one way. This might be useful if you don’t plan on going back soon. A one-way ticket is a ticket that you will not be able to return on.

For example, if you are taking the train to a friend but will be driven back, it would make more sense to buy a one-way ticket as you will not be needing the train to get back home.

“One way” is usually only used to describe tickets. You won’t usually hear a walk or a tour described as “one way”.

Why Round Trips are (usually) better than one way trips

Aside from a few rare occasions, most of the time, it will make more sense to buy a round trip than a one way. And when we’re talking about walks, round trips are excellent.

In almost all circumstances, it will be much cheaper to buy one ticket than two. So a round trip is better than two one way tickets.

If you do a walk that isn’t a round trip, you will end somewhere different to where you started. This will give you two options.

1. You will need to walk back the way you came to get to your car.

2. You will need to arrange an alternative form of transport to get back home.

Besides being more convenient, round trips also mean that you pack more adventure into a shorter walk.

Examples of “Round Trip” in six sentences

“Figures 18 to 23 indicate total velocity-increment requirements for round-trip missions from 460 to 780 days with a wait time in orbit at Venus of 200 days”.

“The Mars round trips of interest require values of AV substantially less than that for a lunar round trip.”

“Will sell from Cincinnati to Chattanooga Will sell ( on orders ) round trip tickets at one and one – third times the fare and return for $ 13.50.”

Round – trip rate will be $ 5 . These tickets will be gold only to persons presenting to the agent their credentials as delegates , or certificate of membership in their local Association.”

“This arrangement holds good for all points between St. Louis and St. Paul, Members should purchase excursion or round trip tickets to Minneapolis from St. Paul on the St. Paul & Pacific”.

“It is said that the water used in its condition with respect to scale and mud , or in is a President , who has charge , on the average , of 870 për tɔn – mile of cars for the round trip with the heav- the grate or smoke box arrangements”.

Phrases that use “round trip”

Many phrases use the term “round trip”. These are across several different fields. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.

Round Trip Efficiency

The percentage of electricity which can be put into storage and retrieved later.

Round Trip Engineering

Software tools that synchronise two or more related software artefacts

Round Trip time

The time it takes for data to be sent to a destination plus the time it takes for the acknowledgement of receival to come through to the initial sender.


Next time you buy a ticket and the ticket man says to you, “would you like that to be a round trip?”, most of the time, you will know that the best thing to say would be “yes please”.

When you’re planning your next walk in the countryside, you now know that the best kind of walk to plan will most likely be a “round trip”.

It’s one of those phrases in the English Language that might confuse some non-native speakers. Still, the meaning is basically what the phrase says. A round trip is a trip that takes you around to where you began.