When putting together a touring budget for a grant application, it can be difficult to accurately predict all the touring costs you may encounter, especially when you may be building the project budget up to a year or more in advance.
Flights and accommodation are one of the biggest known expenses and there are a few tips that can assist in budgeting for these items.
- Do not budget for the cheapest flight you can find, or flights that are discounted due to a current sale. When you go to book flights, that bargain flight that you budgeted on, may no longer be available.
- Research a couple of airlines and find the average cost for the flights you require. A good tool for this is webjet, where you can see multiple service providers and the costs for each flight.
- Look at flights that include baggage allowance in the cost of the flight.
- Remember that there are fees and charges when you go to pay, as well as a credit card surcharge. Add between $20 - $40 more than the cost of the flight into your budget to account for those additional charges. Most grants will not accept a general contingency for travel and accommodation so it's a good idea to include a bit extra on each flight.
- When your tour is confirmed, it is best to book your flights as early as possible.
- Accommodation should be between 3 star and 4 star, and one person in each room (as per the Live Performance Award for employment on tour).
- Accommodation booking websites (where you can compare and book accommodation online) is a great way to gauge the variety and average cost of accommodation in a town. If known, enter the dates you will be in that town into the search engine, as some communities have peak periods due to local events that will inflate prices (school holidays, agricultural shows, large sporting events etc).
- Similar to flights, budget on the average prices available - not on the cheapest, or the most expensive accommodation you can find.
- For major cities, the choice can be overwhelming and you may like to limit your search to accommodation in close proximity to the performance venue. Whereas for regional communities, you may need to contact the local council for advice on where to stay.
- Consider if you have a tour vehicle that needs parking at the accommodation and check whether parking is included, or an additional cost.
- If staying longer than one week in a single location, the accommodation should contain cooking facilities and be serviced once a week.
- When your tour is confirmed and you are booking accommodation for a group (of five or more), you may be able to negotiate with the accommodation provider to get a group booking discount.