A word's intrinsic, literal sense, excluding its overtones and shades of meaning (cf. Connotation). While we listed various connotations of 'travel' above, the denotation (from Webster's dictionary) is "to go from one place to another; to make a journey or journeys".
The literal dictionary meaning(s) of a word as distinct from an associated idea or connotation. Sidelight: Many words have more than one denotation, such as the multiple meanings of fair or spring. In ordinary language, we strive for a single precise meaning of words to avoid ambiguity, but poets often take advantage of words with more than one meaning to suggest more than one idea with the same word. A pun also utilizes multiple meanings as a play on words.