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Unread 08-09-2018, 04:15 PM
Team6928 Team6928 is offline
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How do you handle travel costs?

How does your team handle travel costs? Does it come from your budget, or do the students pay for their rooms/food?
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Unread 08-09-2018, 04:33 PM
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

A combination. When we went to St. Louis in 2015, the booster club and team paid for the bus, gas/mileage for the truck we borrowed (owned and driven by a team mentor) and some other incidentals. Students and mentors were responsible for an amount which essentially covered their part of the room and shared meals, plus buying their own additional meals and incidentals. This is also the general plan if we raise enough to do a second regional this year.
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Unread 08-09-2018, 06:24 PM
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Dezion Dezion is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

Each team member pays $10 per event they attend. This typically goes to food for lunches on both days of competition. Travel, rooming, etc is all covered by the team funds. Team members are responsible though for paying for their dinner (wherever they choose to go) after the first day of competition.
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Unread 08-10-2018, 07:00 AM
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346CADmen 346CADmen is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

Appreciate responses to this question may not include some pertinent information.

Responses will differ for teams in district model to those who are not. As well as non-district teams who attend one regional vs teams attending more. A team with one regional in their home town hasnít much to compare to a team who must travel 3 or 4 hours to get to a local district competition.

That said, our team travel is all on the individual team members. The only restriction is students must have passing grades. We are blessed currently with a mentor who excels at organizing the trips, making them exciting and keeping costs low.
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Unread 08-10-2018, 07:00 AM
Dan Katzuv Dan Katzuv is offline
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FRC #5987 (Galaxia in memory of David Zohar)
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

In our competitions in Israel, we go to two districts. One of them happens in our city, so we sleep in our homes. In the second district, which is a bit further, we sleep in the workshop of another team or in the classrooms at their school. If we go to the DCMP, the team pays for accommodation in a nice B&B hostel. The team pays for food but sometimes we pay for ourselves.

If we go to Championship, we arrange everything together but every student/mentor pays for his own traveling. However, we do collect some money from each person to buy stuff which is for everyone (lunch, tickets for places, etc.). The Ministry of Science and Technology in Israel may agree to partly sponsor the travel for each team.
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Unread 08-10-2018, 09:12 AM
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Justin 5553 Justin 5553 is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

As a european team, the travel costs are huges and represent the majority of the team's budget. We attend to one regional per year and hopefully champs, which has been the case for the last two years.

The price of each trip is over $1300 per person (plane, hotel, food, metro tickets and all that stuff included).
We usually get enough sponsoring to ask the students and mentors "only" $450 per trip (that is a lot but compared to what it actually costs I consider it reasonable).
So the team pays for most of the travel costs, which represent the vast majority of the annual budget. Everyone gets the opportunity to go to the regional (as long as they can pay the $450 bill) but only the most useful and deserving members are offered the trip to champs (still as long as they can pay another $450, which begins to make a lot of money).

This system is subject to discussion and often controversy in the team due to the large amounts of money involved (we have to get a total annual budget of over $120k for a 25 people team) but that is the way it was this year. 2017 was the first time we went to champs and we were not financially prepared to it so it was kind of a mess to find all the money needed, especially since that year, everyone in the team was offered the trip ("offer" still means with the $450 participation)

This budget is the main reason that prevents us from attending multiple events.
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Unread 08-11-2018, 04:33 PM
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

We are in a District. The team will subsidize travel IF we have the money. If we don't have the money it is up to the student to pay the partial or full cost.
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Unread 08-11-2018, 04:40 PM
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Jon Stratis Jon Stratis is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

We have a travel fee associated with our travel event. It includes hotel, travel, and some meals, but other meals are everyone for themselves. For example, we may have dinner at a pizza place, and order pizzas ahead of time with the reservation, so the students don't bring money for that. But if we stop on the bus ride, we'll try to pull in some place with several fast food options and let them get what they want.
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Unread 08-12-2018, 02:05 AM
tcjinaz tcjinaz is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Katzuv View Post
In our competitions in Israel, we go to two districts. One of them happens in our city, so we sleep in our homes. In the second district, which is a bit further, we sleep in the workshop of another team or in the classrooms at their school. If we go to the DCMP, the team pays for accommodation in a nice B&B hostel. The team pays for food but sometimes we pay for ourselves.

If we go to Championship, we arrange everything together but every student/mentor pays for his own traveling. However, we do collect some money from each person to buy stuff which is for everyone (lunch, tickets for places, etc.). The Ministry of Science and Technology in Israel may agree to partly sponsor the travel for each team.
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Unread 08-12-2018, 01:06 PM
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

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Originally Posted by tcjinaz View Post
Glorious, live with your creations on the road,
Tim
Thank you for your contribution to this thread. Iím sure the original poster will really take your advice on helping them with travel costs and put it to good use.

Going back to the main point, we find having students drive with parents rather than chartering a bus saves a lot off the bat. Overall fundraising surplus can go to students in financial need, helping them out there. If youíre looking for sponsors, telling them what you put their money towards might help too - ie help us fundraise to travel vs just give us money in general. Feel free to DM me if you have any questions
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Unread 08-12-2018, 05:42 PM
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

Our team attends two regional competitions, and for the past couple years, has also had the privelage of qualifying for the Houston Championships.

As a school affiliated team, there are some legal restrictions. We cannot have students pay for competitions because they fall under the field trip umbrella. Neither can we require students to pay to be on the team (we request donations, but cannot make them a requirement for being on the team or traveling with the team). We also cannot just say that we only have x many slots and "arbitrarily" select students to qualify for champs (it never was, but some students/parents always think it is).

We do a good amount of fundraisers, wrote to get a lot of sponsors, and provide students with a great experience that has made the school district want to give our team a lot of money. We are able to cover all students hotels and transportation to both of our regionals.

Championship funding varies, in 2015 and 2018, the school district paid for all 40-50 students, and in 2017 we took a smaller group of students and asked for donations from sponsors and families.
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Unread 08-13-2018, 01:00 AM
PeterK PeterK is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

Background:
We are school based team but organised and mentored by parents, not an official school co-curricular. School is happy with us and supports us in a number of ways.

Our regional is in Sydney, about 2 hours by plane from Adelaide.

We require parents to attend the competition with their kids and pay all the travel costs.

Another local community based team follows the same rules.

Money from sponsors is used only for robots and registration fees.
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Unread 08-13-2018, 02:23 PM
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy4201 View Post
Our team attends two regional competitions, and for the past couple years, has also had the privelage of qualifying for the Houston Championships.

As a school affiliated team, there are some legal restrictions. We cannot have students pay for competitions because they fall under the field trip umbrella. Neither can we require students to pay to be on the team (we request donations, but cannot make them a requirement for being on the team or traveling with the team). We also cannot just say that we only have x many slots and "arbitrarily" select students to qualify for champs (it never was, but some students/parents always think it is).
We are in a similar situation for funding travel. The team pays for all travel expenses. We get substantial parental contributions, but we make clear that the funds are to pay ALL team operations, that parents are NOT required to contribute, and that whether their student travels has no linkage to their contribution.

We believe that a co-benefit of this policy is parents cannot try to claim that their students deserves to travel and/or deserves a "better" position because they contributed funds. We know of at least one team currently in turmoil in another state due to overly ambitious parents trying to intervene into team matters on this basis.

Unlike 4201, we treat our team like a varsity sport, with a limited-size travel team. We have a clear set of travel team criteria described in our team handbook.
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Unread 08-13-2018, 04:52 PM
simpsonboy77 simpsonboy77 is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

My team uses the school district's buses for events that do not require hotels. Those aren't even paid for by the team, the school covers that. And food they buy is on them, and they can bring if they so choose.

For further events, such as worlds, the team will subsidize based on our financial situation. If possible we will pay for all travel and hotels. We also limit the number of students who come. The drive team and captains are automatically in, from there it is based on how many hours they attended at meetings. I'm not 100% fond of that being the metric, but that is the deal we have with the school administration.
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Unread 08-13-2018, 05:55 PM
ngreen ngreen is offline
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Re: How do you handle travel costs?

The travel is pretty much subsidized for each student. A local grant is aimed at making it affordable for any student, regardless of financial situation. And we raise enough from sponsors, grants, and fundraisers for that, for now.

Students have to complete 50 build hours to travel, which is pretty unsubstantial but at least shows a little effort. Most that traveled this last year lettered with more than 100 build hours.

We are loosely connected to our school and they've been generous with loaning vehicles and paying for that cost, so we use that to get to regionals with mentors and parents driving.

We manage food cost build serving lunchmeat sandwiches and other relatively cheap meals for lunch. We have had parents subsidize meal costs for the team, otherwise we may asks for some meals to be covered by the students themselves. We often do pizza at the hotel one night. Last year, we had a night with fried chicken and sides and another with other deli grocery store meals, which I think was better, cheaper, and easier for the team than going to a restaurant. The hotel let us hang out in the conference room for our meeting and meal. We pick a place with a continental (or better) breakfast. Often they'll open breakfast early for competition days if we ask about it.

Including registration cost, we spent ~$5.5k for the local regional (1 hour) and ~$11k for a distant (10 hour drive) regional last year. That is with 14 students traveling. The nearby regional we don't stay at a hotel, which a big cost savings.

We've traveled to two regionals the last 3 years, because of a Monsanto grant, and all of have been >10 hour drives (Denver, Huntsville, and Milwaukee). We have to stay an extra night (or possibly 2) with that long of a drive. We have went early and toured the Harley-Davidson plant and the US Space and Rocket Center (and got caught in a blizzard in Goodland, KS). These experiences have been life-altering for the students on the team and brought them really close together.

This year, there will be a strong consideration to only go to local events, with 3 to pick from. I'm not sure what we will do. There are also moderately close regionals in OKC, Iowa, and St. Louis. However, the drive time isn't as strongly tied to the cost for us to travel currently, other than extra hotel stays (with drives over 9 hours).
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