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How much should I be charging for a project with lots of travel and very little actual work?

(8 Posts)
Namechanger2015 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:18:35

Hello freelancers, I could really do with some help to figure out how to charge for a project. I charge per hour for my work, and I have taken on a project for next week:

Sunday: 10h flight (maybe 1-2h work on the plane)
Monday: 4h work, but no work for the rest of the day -- so I have booked some sightseeing trips--
Tuesday: No work, 5h flight, then transfer to a 6h flight
Weds: 4h work
Thursday: 10h flight home

Total flight time: 31h
Travel/taxis/transit time: 7/8h
Working time: 8h

It takes me away for 5 days in total, the client is a good friend of mine and I don't want to take the mick with this, but it basically takes me to 47h of charges for 8h work.

How would you charge for this?

AgentProvocateur Thu 20-Apr-17 22:36:11

I would charge 47 hrs AND travel costs.

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 06:37:25

Thank you! I am starting to think the same - it's a week away from my desk.

Would you charge full day for the Monday? I'll be in a hotel abroad and won't be able to take on any other client work that day.

I'll do my 4h job and then I'll just be waiting for the next day's flight. I'm planning some sightseeing which I will obvs pay for.

Ifailed Fri 21-Apr-17 06:45:03

In the dim and distant past, I've engaged specialist contractors who've had to travel long distances to get here. From memory, we paid for:
1. Travel expenses (agreed upfront what flight class)
2. Actual working time.
3. Time they have 'lost', ie time they could reasonably be expected to be working on another job.
Assuming your normal working hours are Mon - Fri, I would think it's reasonable to charge them for 3.5 days work. However, if Sunday is a normal working day, then 4.5

Veterinari Fri 21-Apr-17 06:51:18

Travel time is work time - it's not like you're doing what you want - you're doing what the job needs you to do. And during that time you can't do other work so you need to be compensated for it.

eurochick Fri 21-Apr-17 06:56:34

Law firms sometimes charge full rates for travel time. Sometimes clients negotiate lower rates for travel time (as you could do work for other clients while on the plane). I'd start at full rates and negotiate if needed as this is a good client.

Shurleyshummishtake Fri 21-Apr-17 06:58:48

Out of interest why are they employing you for this work given you are clearly miles away?

If it is as a favour to you i.e. Someone nearer could do it but you really want the work then I'd scale down travel time costs. If they have asked you as you are the only person who can do it or will do it the best and they are fully aware they will incur additional costs then charge for all the travel time.

Shouldn't you have discussed this with them before committing? The difference between being charged for 8h and 40+h is huge so surely you need to know what they are expecting?

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 07:15:02

They are employing me as I am the best person to do the work - not as a personal favour.

It is usual for them to pay all travel costs etc and I always charge onsite time as well. Im not a lawyer but I do charge full rates and have not got a lower travel fee.

I didn't negotiate or discuss upfront as it's fullY expected and usual practice to cover my travel time on top of working hours.

I think I've had a small wobble as most projects will be 5/6h travel and then 2/3 days of work but the balance seems to be a bit disorted here.

You are all right and I'll charge for the full time I am away for this.

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