We are conducting user interviews with some of our existing customers that use our travel app to book their trips. One thing we are exploring during these interviews is what kind of information or media might trigger a need to travel among customers.

At the moment we have phrased a question, as something like this

"Do you recall any information or media that may have triggered a need that inspired you to make travel plans"

it's still early but from the few responses, seems we are not getting the answers we are looking for. I'm wondering if we are asking the right questions, or as these mental triggers are unconscious, would they be even able to recall this.

How could ask a better question to understand what triggers a need for our customers to travel?

2 Answers 2


In a general sense, I would see that as a closed question, it has a yes/no answer.

There's a big difference between me asking you "Can you remember what you had for dinner last Friday" and "What did you have for dinner last Friday?" (crummy example but you get the idea!

I would suggest asking a more open version of the question, similar to that provided by @Adriano, using Who, What, When, Why and How terms.

Where do you find inspiration when you want to travel?

How do you decide when you need to take a holiday?

When you're booking a holiday, what type of if information do you use to help you make a decision?

If you wanted to travel, how would you look for inspiration about locations?

Note the last two whilst being open, are also specific to something, booking a holiday and locations. You might get more usable responses if you target specific areas you're interested in finding out about, but ask open questions.

Alternatively, if you want really specific answers, stick with the closed approach but really focus the question:

Which travel websites do you use the most?

If you had to pick from a printed holiday brochure, speaking to a travel agent in person or browsing a holiday website, which would you choose and why?

The first of the questions above is looking to find out about similar competitors, the second is asking from a closed set of options, but then expands to try to find out what the motivation is behind choosing that option.


When you got the inspiration to travel, what media were you using? What information were you consuming?

Perhaps a question like this would allow the interviewed to focus on the moment they decided to travel.

  • Yep. People are more likely to remember media relating to actual trips they''ve made.
    – PhillipW
    Jan 21, 2021 at 16:28

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