- Mar 9, 2015
Keep in mind also that it's only 7 weeks out and we don't have any other prospects for that weekend. I really was shaving travel to the bare minimum in order to hopefully pickup a date at full rate. A lot of guys will discount this situation, just to try and win the booking.
I had a client once tell me they were not going to pay the $95 travel fee I was adding to her Sweet 16 party. ...This was back in February 2009. Things were very slow, and I was hungry for work, she had agreed to pay an extra $30 as she felt that was fair at the time. I agreed to just take the $30, and keep a gig booked. The $30 roughly paid for my tank of gas at the time, and I probably only burned about a half tank to do the gig. It was the recession, and any gigs I could get booked, I did not want to lose over remedial travel costs. ...It was about a 1 hour and 50 minute drive each way to do that one.
The only other time a customer refused to pay travel fees was to a wedding out in Bluemont, VA. I did not really want to drive that far anyway, so I let the prospect go. I wasn't willing to do the gig without additional money for travel. That was 2 years ago. The prospect refused to go outside of their budget to book me for their wedding, so it was what it was.
I look at travel as a built in cost almost, and also tax deductible anyway. If I have to really consider taking gigs that are really far away, then that means I am failing at attracting enough clients in my normal service area. If things are slow, or it's the off season, I would not charge for travel, and just eat the costs myself. Now if a hotel room is absolutely needed, then I would just ask for accommodations, but if I'm charging enough already, I wouldn't make it a deal breaker because earning $1,000, and spending $100 on a hotel room and maybe $50 on fuel is better than sitting at home earning zero.