Do you contribute to support team travel expenses?

KatieKatie Charlotte, NCMember

I found the thread related to tipping paddlers and boat captains, and have a question along a similar but slightly different vein... I know that any time we take on the challenge of a big swim we invest a good amount of money into the expenses of commissioning a boat captain, swim application fees, and our own travel. For support crew members that are not part of your immediate family (spouses/partners, children, etc.), do you help to cover a portion of their travel expenses- i.e. hotel costs, dining or even flight expenses? Or is a thank you and post-event celebratory dinner the standard?

Planning a big swim (for me it's Catalina this year) feels a bit like planning a wedding- putting lots of small details into place to complete a much larger 'event'. I'm not putting together any sort of invitation or formal announcement for this one, but for those I'd like by my side for this adventure, should I anticipate assisting them with a portion of their travels?
Thanks all for weighing in.

Comments

  • When I did the EC, I paid for both the plane ticket and hotel for my crew member (other crew member was my husband). Same when I did 20 Bridges. I paid for her hotel and train ticket. I did not pay for dining, although we would sometimes treat her if we were all out together. Oh, and also a small gift each time!

    Katie
  • KatieKatie Charlotte, NCMember

    @slknight thank you for sharing your approach. This is my first really big one where I feel like I'll need a crew (beyond my husband or parents) by my side and I was thinking that some form of contribution to their travel would be wise, especially if I'm asking them to do this for me.
    General guidance seems to be to select crew members wisely, so I really need to hone in on who can read me and support me the best vs. who just wants to come along for the fun (not that that is a bad thing, it's just different).

  • Copelj26Copelj26 ChicagoMember

    For swims that have involved travel, I have covered flights, gas, hotel etc. for kayaker

  • SoloSolo B.C. CanadaMember

    A good crew is worth their weight in gold, in many ways.

  • LynnkubLynnkub Charter Mem​ber

    This is a large part of why I don't do big travel swims, I just can't afford it. When I did 20 Bridges I got the hotel room and had the good fortune of my crew member having a 100 year old grandmother in New Jersey that was on her itinerary. While that was not an excuse for me NOT covering her plane flight, we ran with it. I do what I can otherwise.
    Having been crew, I have had plane flights covered and road trip expenses footed. It is easier for me to be crew and help this way. <3

    KatieBunCathyInCA
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    For my Issyk Kul swims and my two Swim the Suck swims, I paid all expenses for all my crew. Not too expensive for Issyk Kul with my 5 or 6 crew (depending upon year), but thankfully I only had 1 (2012) and 2 (2018) crew for Swim the Suck.

    I also bought t-shirts for all support for my Issyk Kul swims. Again, it was cheap in Kyrgyzstan, so I was able to affordably buy 20 t-shirts.

    I wouldn't do a big swim and ask for crew without also paying.

    Copelj26

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMember

    IronMike said:
    For my Issyk Kul swims and my two Swim the Suck swims, I paid all expenses for all my crew. Not too expensive for Issyk Kul with my 5 or 6 crew (depending upon year), but thankfully I only had 1 (2012) and 2 (2018) crew for Swim the Suck.

    I also bought t-shirts for all support for my Issyk Kul swims. Again, it was cheap in Kyrgyzstan, so I was able to affordably buy 20 t-shirts.

    I wouldn't do a big swim and ask for crew without also paying.

    This will be a major concern if I'm trying to do the EC one day, unless my commodore of my sea scout group (an active sailor who is residing in the U.K. after retirement) can become my crew.

    IronMike
  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member
    edited January 7

    I've flown out a crew member to Switzerland and paid for the hotel. I've also been flown out to crew, for which I've been exceedingly grateful, as my budget is limited. On both of my recent USA swims, I've been incredibly lucky and grateful to have local crew members offer, who wouldn't allow me to pay them. What awesome people!

    If anybody is looking for experienced crew for the EC, I'm ready and willing if available and don't require any sort of payment. Have campervan, will travel. I love watching people get there.

    IronMikeSolorlmBogdanZcourtneypaulkCathyInCA
  • BogdanZBogdanZ Bucharest, RomaniaMember
    edited January 8

    I think the discussion is about crew that has not communicated a price, as business and you paid for the service.

    For my Lago D'Orta swim, although we had the possibility to rent a kayaker for 50 EUR, I had a friend flying from UK, for 3 days. This is more about friendship than financial match.
    He had paid his flight. He took swimming and kayak lessons in UK.
    Although our financial capabilities are MUCH different and he would have assisted even if he paid in full, we covered all the rest: kayak equipment as gift, airport pick-up, kayak rental, accomodation, touristic attractions entries and food. I am forever in gratitude for his effort and I don't think I can put a correct price for his support.

    For Rottnest, my paddler is also interested to kayak to Rottnest, first time, is a local who has offered to accomodate us and don't take money for the accomodation/ kayak effort. He will be our host and guide for several days.
    We will pay for food, ferry transport, gas, event merchandise as memory, some sweet adventures like diving in a shark tank package :) which are far from cheap. Again, math is not the right path, we built a friendship, he tries to make the experience a memorable one and on our end we are trying to cover as much as possible - in the end, I hope we will both have wonderfull memories. The communication has never been around the price per effort.

    IronMikeBridget
  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    IronMike said:

    I wouldn't do a big swim and ask for crew without also paying.

    You need crew, just say so. . . :) I keep a tent in my car most of the summer. Work can be flexible.

    I flew my son up to paddle for me, and I offered to fill the boat fuel tank, etc., and stock the boat for crew- but everyone said they were going to BYOB/food. I got really lucky that friends were willing to help. NOT something I expect in every swim. And last summer, when a friend and I did a relay, our crew was mainly friends supporting the cause, and they all not only helped, they donated. My fellow swimmer and I did give gifts and certificates. Everyone seemed happy.

    KatieBunIronMike
  • KatieKatie Charlotte, NCMember

    I love swimming people. I just wanted to get a sense for what general practices were for crew members and you all exceeded that request. Thanks all, this is really helpful.

    KatieBunBogdanZIronMike
  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMember

    Oh gosh, this is an expensive sport which I absolutely can't afford unless I max out all my credit cards, or win lotteries. As you all know, it is basically impossible to train for 4 or 5 hours every alternate day while holding a standard full time job, so if I need to do such challenge, I have to change my job to part time in the winter before the challenge, and start to live off my savings, and the travelling expenses (including return flights, accommodations, food & supplies, cost of training, etc.) can easily exceed the accreditation, observer and pilot fees.

    Most of my friends who do kayaking can't even afford to travel to Europe on his own (but I have travelled to Europe 7 times last year, funded mostly by gains in derivatives market).

Sign In or Register to comment.