Abstract In this paper we extend the behavioural scope of discrete choice models for leisure activity-travel choices. More specifically, we investigate to what extent choices for leisure activities and related travels are driven by the satisfaction of needs. In addition to conventional attributes (such as activity costs), our regret based discrete choice model incorporates latent variables representing the anticipated level of individual needs-satisfaction by a particular leisure activity. The latent variables are calibrated with the help of subjective indicators of needs-satisfaction associated with the leisure activities. Results show that needs-satisfaction allows us to decompose a substantial share of the unobserved heterogeneity in leisure activity-travel decisions across respondents. Identifying the structural drivers of anticipated needs-satisfaction also enables a better prediction of leisure activity choice.