Publication Detail

Exploring the Self-Reported Long-Distance Travel Frequency of Millennials and Generation X in California


Research Report

3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program

Suggested Citation:
Berliner, Rosaria M., Lisa Aultman-Hall, Giovanni Circella (2018) Exploring the Self-Reported Long-Distance Travel Frequency of Millennials and Generation X in California. Transportation Research Record 2672 (47), 208 - 218

Long-distance travel research is limited because of the lack of robust data and the complexity of defining a long-distance trip. The patterns of infrequent long-distance trips are poorly understood especially compared with the better studied (and understood) local daily travel patterns. This study contributes to filling that gap by investigating the factors that affect the frequency of long-distance trips of Californian millennials (18–34 years old, in 2015) and members of the preceding Generation X (35–50 years old, in 2015). Data collected with an online survey administered in fall 2015 are used to study the mobility of these age groups. The survey collected information on several travel-related variables, including the number of long-distance trips (defined as trips longer than 100 miles, one way) made by various modes during the previous 12 months. The authors estimate six negative binomial regression models of long-distance travel separated by purpose (business or leisure) and mode (overall travel versus air). The study explores the relationship of long-distance trip formation with several sociodemographic, land use, and attitudinal variables. Consistent with expectations, individual income positively affects the number of long-distance trips made by each individual. Among the attitudinal variables, the individuals who are adventurers, have higher “variety seeking” attitudes and are more interested in adopting new technologies are found to make a larger number of long-distance trips. However, those who prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores rather than online are found to have lower levels of long-distance travel.

Key words: long distance travel, millennials, Generation X, survey