Travel Fees Outside of the Contract

I’m somewhat newly inspecting in Maui and have some agents on neighboring islands booking me which brings up an interesting topic - travel fees to get to the inspection. Airplane tickets, airport parking and car rental typically run between $300-$400 dollars and I’ve been charging $500 additional (I know I should be charging more for my travel time but I’m new here and generally happy to get the work). Anyhow, I’m thinking of billing outside of the inspection contract so things like my cancellation policy don’t apply. I tell people I need the $500 up front before I’ll make reservations but so far have just lumped it in my main agreement.

Do any of you have travel expenses to certain jobs and, if so, how do you handle it?

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I think it is reasonable to ask for travel expenses up front.

"Non-refundable travel fee due at booking. Inspection fee due blah blah blah "

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Travel fee’s are a separate ‘Line Item’ on my Invoice, which they always get ‘up front’ attached alongside my Agreement. All requirements for unusual travel fees are spelled out in the Agreement.

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Just Curious Matt, How do you go about carrying Inspection tools on an airplane? Especially a ladder?

Nothing is outside of the contract.

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Great question… a ladder is the one thing I have to verify is on site ahead of time. As much as I hate trusting someone else’s I do it anyway. Also, I’ve yet to see a house over one-story. I’m sure they exist but on the island of Lanai where I’ve gone a few times there’s a bunch of 1930s single story Bungalows.

My travel backpack is my carry-on and holds my laptop, camera and fragile things. I just use a standard roller carry-on for everything else. It’s full but I can fit it all in there… even my coveralls!

I’ve taken the ferry from Maui but last time got super seasick so that’s out. The ferry port on Maui is also 3X the drive as the airport from my house here and parking is cheaper at the airport. All in it’s roughly $40 more for the plane but MUCH quicker… and no getting seasick. I’m flying over on a Cessna 208 on Tuesday. I think it’s +/- 8 seats… LOL. I’m guessing my Alaska Airlines 100K Gold Status isn’t going to get me anything!

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Boy that’s a chore to have to carry around but it makes sense. It must be interesting inspecting those kinds of structures.

I’m taking a long 9 hour ferry ride across the Adriatic sea to Italy from Greece this summer. I also tend to get a bit sea sick. Some one recommended Dramamine to me for sea sickness. Hopefully it will do the trick.

Have a safe flight Matt :sunglasses:

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i was on a snorkeling trip in belize a couple years ago and got very sea sick for the first time. I didnt have dramamine on me, but someone on the boat with had a joint on them (decriminalized in Belize, as well as Italy).

No exaggeration at all - I took a couple hits and was back to feeling completely normal in about 60 seconds. It was shocking how well it worked. Other people on the boat even noticed how quick it worked and said something about it.

My captain was much cooler about it than your captain would probably be, but fyi. Its without a doubt very effective medicine for nausea.

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I’m thinking a 9-hour ferry ride will be on a fairly large boat that will move a lot less. I do much better on those. This ferry was a pretty small (+/- 50 feet) and it sways/rocks/bounces A LOT. I’ve always been very subject to motion sickness (ALWAYS carsick as a kid) but mid-size boats are the worst. Planes used to be a problem but over the last few years I’ve flown a lot and am pretty much over it. One trick with Dramamine is to take it preventatively rather than waiting to get sick. I’ve had much better results when I pop one or two 20-30 minutes beforehand. It does make me a bit tired but that’s usually pretty brief and well worth it.

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They knock me out! My family keeps urging me onto a cruise. They say the boat hardly moves, but the last thing I want is to be miserable for a week in the Caribbean.

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Tell them to enjoy, and that you’ll fly down and meet them there!
(And yes, you will leave the same day they do)!
:wink:

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Matt, I like your question. I just have it in the agreement,50% down, if canceled I keep the dp… What I wonder is - what is a good profit margin? What is a good percent that I am I looking for? for example: I did an inspection for a hotel buyer. My fee covers: hotel two nights, three days of food, rental car, and incidentals, so all expenses paid for. I come back with $10 in the good. Now some would say, well you got an all expense paid trip for the weekend how lucky are you! Well 10 isnt too much but I went for free. But same scenario and I come back with $800 in the good… Wow $800 and everything was covered and I went for free… So what is the formula or profit margin that I am supposed to be using in this circumstance?

Lol, I am a frequent user of Dramamine myself. Planes, boats, amusement park rides, backseat in the car, even just spinning in a circle a few times makes me ill. My wife has been asking for years to go on a cruise but I just don’t want to take Dramamine the whole time.

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If you look at the ingredients of Dramamine, it’s mostly consist of ginger root. I took ginger root for years for my “indigestion/heartburn” which works wonders. Didn’t realize until recently that it’s pretty much one in the same. Compare prices between the two for an FYI…

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I’ve built travel expenses into some projects back in Oregon and it seems it usually comes down the what the market will bear (and how much I want the job, etc.). I get a project every couple years from a government housing agency to do WDO/WDI inspections on low-income housing projects. The places are usually a couple hours from home so I build in a couple nights of a motel and maybe some meals. The fee I’m able the charge is pretty good and then some money on top of it makes it a good deal for sure. I guess this whole island-hopping thing is a bit different in that I’m new in Hawaii and happy to be getting some work so I’ll take less money for it.

Made it! Pretty fun flight. I highly recommend commuter flights as opposed to big airlines if you have the choice. I literally pulled up and parked 50 feet from the ticket counter. No TSA bs… it’s like taking a bus.

Also, some pics of what +/- 1 million dollars buys you on a remote Hawaiian island.


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Nice, Matt! :+1:

Bit, crappy house, eh? :flushed:

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