What Is Travel Behavior?

Esther Ejim

Travel behavior refers to a concise and purposeful study or analysis of various aspects of travel by people. The scope of this type of study is quite huge and the dimensions are many, it all depends on the particular information that the analyst is trying to obtain through the process of the study. Travel behavior can be used for purposes like finding out which type of transportation people favor most, the reasons why they prefer that mode of transport, the most popular destinations, and the reason why people travel there.

Travel behavior analysts examine the kind of luggage that travelers take.
Travel behavior analysts examine the kind of luggage that travelers take.

An example of a travel analysis is one that is conducted by the officials of a city in order to find out the mode of transportation that the members of the community use the most. The analysis might include a study of the reason for such a preference, as the result of this type of travel study will be used by the city officials for various purposes, including an improvement of the modes of transportation. For instance, if the survey reveals that people prefer to take buses rather than the subway due to fears about the subway’s safety, the officials might have to improve the security in the subway and also reassure people as to its safety.

The purpose of why people travel, such as for leisure, is examined by behaviorists.
The purpose of why people travel, such as for leisure, is examined by behaviorists.

Another aspect of the study of travel behavior is the study of how often people engage in long distance travel from a particular destination. This particular study would include an analysis of the preferred destination and other factors, such as the carbon foot print involved in the travel. The travel behavior analysis would also reveal why a lot of people travel to a particular destination. It could be that these people are immigrants who are traveling to their home countries, it could be that they are simply traveling for leisure, or it could be that they are traveling to that destination for some other purpose revealed by the travel behavior analysis.

Demographic study in travel behavior refers to the study of a group of people in relation to their travel habits. The demographic could be based on a lot of factors, such as the gender of the travellers under study, their race, or their age. It could also be based on their political inclinations, or it may be based on the religion of the group under consideration.

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Discussion Comments


@Mor - My ideal form of transport in a city would be a series of covered, raised bicycle tracks that didn't interact with any other form of traffic. That would be clean, relatively safe and, let's face it, quicker than most other forms of transport in the city right now.


@Fa5t3r - Well, the problem is that travel around cities is extremely inefficient. You just have to look at the traffic jams that people experience every day to see that. I don't know what the solution is though, because almost every option seems to have major flaws in it. Subways work well, but are extremely expensive to implement and upkeep. Trains are fairly vulnerable to delays because they are in the open. And it's difficult to get people to use them. Even when they put a tax on car drivers, people just end up paying the tax rather than give up their cars.


I always thought that cities were more of a blight on the world than people who lived in the countryside, because they seem to do so much polluting with cars and other forms of transport and industry.

But, apparently, putting people in a city is the cleanest way to keep them, because they don't have to travel very far to get to their destinations and they have most of what they need within a close region. So I think that we should be trying to make cities cleaner, but I also think that bigger and bigger cities is not necessarily a bad thing.

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