late 14c., "to journey," from travailen (1300) "to make a journey," originally "to toil, labor" (see travail). The semantic development may have been via the notion of "go on a difficult journey," but it also may reflect the difficulty of any journey in the Middle Ages. Replaced Old English faran. Related: Traveled; traveling. Traveled (adj.) "having made journeys, experienced in travel" is from early 15c. Traveling salesman is attested from 1885.