Life satisfaction is an important indicator of wellbeing and successful ageing, while boosting life satisfaction in later life has long been a policy and service challenge. Based on a questionnaire survey with 415 Chinese older adults aged 60 years and over in Hong Kong, this study examined how older adults' travel motivations influenced their travel actions and how the travel affected their life satisfaction using structural equation modelling. A proposed ‘travel motivation–action–life satisfaction’ model showed an acceptable fit with the data. It was found that travel motivations stimulated older adults' travel actions, while their travels further contributed to greater life satisfaction. The findings of this study indicated the need for improved knowledge and understanding of older adults' travel preferences and requirements, and highlight the importance of enhancing awareness among professionals and service providers about the benefit of travelling in enhancing life satisfaction of older adults.