The Bartlett School of Planning


A comparative analysis of determinants, characteristics, and experiences of four daily trip types

Hook, H., De Vos, J., Van Acker, V. & Witlox, F. in Travel Behaviour and Society, Volume 30, Pages 335-343

5 November 2022


The positive utility of travel (unrelated to the destination) and travel satisfaction have been discussed in travel literature, but a research gap exists in comparing if and how travel benefits might differ among commuting, shopping, leisure, and undirected trips (those without a destination, undertaken for the purpose of the trip itself). By specifying the varying benefits of each trip type (or determining whether there is a variation), the positive utility of travel can be better understood, potentially identifying strategies for improving travel satisfaction and, in turn, subjective well-being. This paper considers these four trip types (commuting, shopping, leisure, and undirected) by evaluating differences in beneficial aspects of travel (improving physical health, improving mental well-being, enjoying scenery, and social contact), travel satisfaction, and characteristics (mode, distance, duration, frequency) among 1122 daily travel trips using survey data (n = 332) from Flanders, Belgium. Results indicate that, 1. though taken least often, undirected trips are the most important to physical activity, 2. undirected and leisure trips are most associated with positive utility of travel, and 3. trips to a leisure destination are the most satisfying. This investigation offers information regarding how experienced utility might differ when considering the context of the destination, and how satisfaction with different trips might relate to overall well-being.

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