Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Travel Expenses for Jewelry Instructors

I’ve been invited to teach classes around the US, because I teach a unique skill (!) and wonder how travel expenses are calculated. One school wants to know how much I need. Say the class is in July. How do I know what airfare will cost and how or when do I book a flight that may not be refundable?

Do most instructors quote some kind of a flat rate? I’m set up as a business, by the way. I also love teaching.

Air Flight costs? My honest answer to this is an ongoing concern for me.
Get to your favourite travel-agent & discuss (in person) what your needs
are in times, date to teach and reimbursements from that school. BEWARE of
time changes length of flights, jet-lag. You must charge for your time in
If you need to rent a car, you are not to pay for it out of your
own pocket. Have everything signed and put into a contract, keeping your
copy at your office/home. In case of cancellation of a class, get
cancellation insurance!!!
I have a flat rate, that can be negotiated by how close they are to my
home/base…If I have to go to the West coast from Toronto…there has to be
a definite extra in day fees!!!
Are you going to ship your tools via FedEx? Why drag all of your tools
with you
​, g​
round ship them ahead of time!
Remember, that “travelling & teaching” can wear you out. I’ve been doing
this for ONLY 16 years!!!
Hope this helps you, and good luck, your adventure in teaching is a
fantastic route to take…look how many students will learn from you now?
Gerry Lewy


Most of my life has been spent in industry, and possibly the accepted business approach regarding instructor’s business travel may be worth considering as an option:

Example Requirement: Customer facility in Miami requires an engineer from Jewelry Jewels Co. in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on site to train maintenance staff in speed control techniques for assembly line #4. Instructor is to bring models and tools for the training.

Industry Method and/or Policy Agreed Up Front and Written Into Your Quote: All travel and business expenses will be billed to the customer at cost. Travel time is billed at x% of standard rate.

Since all travel expense is billed at cost to the customer, no travel estimating or guessing is required. Only the cost of your time to teach and to travel as copies of actual receipts are submitted for billing or reimbursement. Although I would suggest that some caution be considered regarding one’s choice and travel planning. Three nights in a Quality Inn in Miami would be fine however, billing the same three nights in the Ritz Carlton, South Beach would be considered a bit much. Also, a flight booked two weeks in advance would be fine for payment however, not making airline reservations till the day before at triple the cost is not going to work. Creating an internal policy guideline or Travel Allowance"sheet is an easy solution just be certain to add a note that some variance will occur based on geographic location.

So, for a typical three day school, billing would look about like this:
Travel time to school = 1.5hours x (60% of $50 per hour);
Three days teaching = 3 days x 8 hours per day x $50 per hour;
Travel time home = 1.5 hours x (60% of $50 per hour;
Actual shipping receipt for models and tools to site;
Actual shipping receipt for models and tools home;
Actual hotel bill;
Actual restaurant receipts;
Actual cab fare receipts;
Actual receipt for copying of class handout manuals;

You can decide what other incidentals you might want to bill for, just give it some thought . I do hope this provides an optional way to consider for the billing of instructor’s travel .

And many thanks to all of the Orchid contributors. I have learned and continue to learn from you each day.

Bob A. DeMarcki

Travel and living expenses should be based on actual costs supported with receipts. They should be invoiced after the fact and independent of your instructional preparation, presentation and followup time. What you charge for travel time is up to you and your customer. Remember that the travel cost is more than just getting you there, you need get your “stuff” there too. Don’t skimp on daily food and lodging expense. How you choose to live should be up to you, not your customer. As long as they are actual and reasonable expenses, and are supported by receipts, everyone should be happy. Once these expenses are understood up front, there should be no surprises. I did this for years and learned the hard way how to avoid surprises. Good luck…Rob

Hi! Good question.

For airfare in July, just pick any airline with your intended travel time to get an idea. At Metalwerx, I setup travel expenses for instructors which provided airfare, equipment shipping to and from the class, plus lodging. This is all reasonable for the skill you provide and it has worked beautifully for Metalwerx and other schools that have adopted this template. I learned my lesson the hard way when Boston had its Democratic Convention and placed a 25 mile safety perimeter around the city. It was the year after the 9/11 bombing and Logan Airport was checking luggage both outgoing and incoming from flights. My entire Summer with the Masters Program bombed and because we paid for the airfare at the time, I nearly lost the school.

Airfare can be tricky, as betting on selling all the classes out is risky. You can minimize this risk by purchasing travel insurance every flight you make. For $27 it is a win to win for both you and your host. Find out what the limitations of your insurance that you can buy through Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. This is a good time to check with your own insurance company and see if there is another company that will cover your flight. Even if it is up to $50 or $75 each time, it is still cheaper than the flight itself.

Good luck! What are you teaching?


The post was from ME1. You might want to resend.


Karen: My question regards teaching a pearl carving class for the Florida Society of Goldsmiths. They wanted to know what I charged for travel and I didn’t know where to begin. Thank you all for suggesting travel insurance and mentioning time zones, by the way.
I am actually also teaching for you at Metalwerx, but know you handle those arrangements.

Also, I’m going to try to change my ganoksin name from Me1 to something little less ego-centric(!)

Great. Glad the info was helpful. Just be clear, I no longer run Metalwerx. Lindsay Minihan has been the Director for many years and is wonderful to work with. Enjoy your time there!

Karen Christians
Western Avenue Studio, #506
122 Western Ave.
Lowell, MA 01851