Travel and subjective well-being : a focus on findings, methods and future research needs
Faculty of Applied Economics
Faculty of Law
Transport reviews. - London, 1981, currens
, p. 421-442
Subjectively experienced well-being has recently attracted increased attention in transport and mobility studies. However, these studies are still in their infancy and many of the multifarious links between travel behaviour and well-being are still under-examined; most studies only focus on one aspect of this link (i.e. travel satisfaction). In this paper, we give an overview of studies concerning travel and well-being, focusing on results, methods and gaps in present research. We suggest that travel behaviour affects well-being through experiences during (destination-oriented) travel, activity participation enabled by travel, activities during (destination-oriented) travel, trips where travel is the activity and through potential travel (or motility). The majority of empirical studies to date have been based on hedonic views of well-being, where pleasure and satisfaction are seen as the ultimate goal in life. They have paid little attention to eudaimonic views of well-being, which emphasise the realisation of ones true potential, although this form of well-being can also be influenced by travel behaviour. We also argue that longer-term decisions, such as residential location choices, can affect well-being through travel. Travel options differ between different kinds of neighbourhoods, which can result in different levels of (feelings of) freedom and consequently different levels of subjective well-being. Since studies at present only show a subset of the travel behaviourwell-being interactions, we conclude the paper with an agenda for future research.