Travel and Feelings

  • Tommy Gärling
Part of the Applying Quality of Life Research book series (BEPR)


Frequent observations showing that travel influences satisfaction with life suggest that transport policy making and planning would increase society’s welfare by taking this influence into account. To do this requires detailed knowledge of how travel influences satisfaction with life. Two routes of influence have been proposed and empirically confirmed, one through the facilitation of out-of-home activities that are important for satisfaction with life, and the other through reducing negative feelings caused by hassles associated with daily travel. The latter route is the focus of the chapter. A theoretical framework is proposed that makes quantitative predictions of the impacts of transient feelings (emotional responses) on enduring feelings (mood) with consequences for well-being during and after travel. Positive and negative emotional responses are assumed to be evoked by both transient critical incidents (e.g. disruptions) and non-transient factors (e.g. noise) during travel. Numerical experiments illustrate the quantitative predictions of changes in mood during and after travel for both types of evoking factors. It is also shown how emotion regulation may moderate effects of transient factors as well as how hedonic adaptation and desensitization associated with non-transient factors may affect mood after travel. The conclusion is that measurement of mood at different points in time should be a valuable complement to or sometimes a substitute for retrospective self-reports of satisfaction with travel that are likely to be more susceptible to systematic errors.


Travel Satisfaction Feeling Emotional response Mood Emotional well-being Theoretical framework Numerical experiment 



My co-authored research reported in this chapter has been financially supported by grant #2014-05335 from the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems awarded to the SAMOT VINN Excellence Center in public transport at Karlstad University, Sweden. I thank the Editors for their research collaboration as well as comments on the chapter. I also thank Michael Ståhl for assisting me with the numerical experiments.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GothenburgGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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