Here in Ontario, it's one of the busiest days for travel in the year, as the school March break gives many the opportunity to flee our beloved country for somewhere warm.
The word “travel” comes from a Latin instrument of torture (this may come as no surprise if you have squabbling kids in the back seat): the trepalium, from tres (three) and palus (a stake or pointed stick). It doesn't bear thinking about how they used these three-pointed sticks. The French squished the Latin word down a bit into travail, then and now the French word for work (torture to many people, I'm sure).
The English borrowed it from the French in the Middle Ages, also to mean “work”, pronouncing it traVALE. It could also mean “be in labour” (which fits with the idea of torture) as well as “go on a trip”, presumably because that was such an arduous undertaking back then. Eventually, the other meanings of “travail” dropped out of the language, and the word came to be pronounced TRAV'll, and spelled “travel”.
P.S. If you find the English language fascinating, you might enjoy regular updates about English usage and word origins from Wordlady. Receive every new post delivered right to your inbox! If you are not already subscribed, you can either:
use the subscribe window at the top of this page
(if you are reading this on a mobile device): send me an email with the subject line SUBSCRIBE at email@example.com
Also check out my upcoming Rollicking Story of the English Language courses.
Follow me on twitter: @thewordlady