Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Reader

Matthew Davis, PhD


Travel is an aspect of life that most people will eventually experience in one form or another. Recent studies have demonstrated that one’s motivations for travel can affect their final choice of a travel destination and that there are many factors that influence one’s travel motives, such as age, gender and certain personality traits. The present study was designed to focus on the topic of whether traits such as the need to be in control or one’s tendency towards sensation-seeking behaviors are related to travel motivations, and also to explore age and gender differences in travel motivations. Approximately 180 participants were recruited from undergraduate and graduate courses at a small, private university in California. Volunteers received a link to an online survey which will include various demographic questions and questions regarding the participants’ travel history. In order to determine whether certain personality traits are related to participants’ travel motives, participants completed the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking Scale and the Desirability of Control Scale, as well as a survey about their reasons for travel. It is predicted that the motives of people who exhibit a higher need for control will be motivated to travel for individuality and personal-growth, while people who exhibit sensation-seeking behaviors will be motivated to travel for exploration and adventure. It is also predicted that women will be motivated to pursue travel for social reasons (i.e. seeing loved ones, meeting new people, shopping), while men will be motivated to pursue travel for self-growth (i.e. challenges, developing self-confidence, or pursuing new interests).