One of the most popular questions we receive at ModelScouts.com is “When a Model Travels Who Pays The Expenses?” Does the modeling agency cover the model’s travel expenses, is it the client, or is it the model? And, the answer is….drumroll please — It depends.
There are several factors that are taken in to consideration when it comes to a model’s travel expenses, such as, a) is the model traveling to a new agency, b) is the model traveling to do a specific job, c) is the model experienced with a full book or are they brand new?
Here are the typical scenarios you may run across where a model’s travel expenses are considered:
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1. TRAVELING TO PERFORM A SPECIFIC JOB
When a client books a model to perform a specific job and the model has to travel to the set location the client is always expected to cover the model’s travel and accommodation expenses. This type of booking is called a “direct booking”.
There are times, but this is rare, that the client may be offering so much money that they will ask the model to cover his or her own travel expenses, again this is rare, and not something a mother agency will usually agree to.
2. TRAVELING TO MEET AN AGENCY FOR THE FIRST TIME
Models on ModelScouts.com are often contacted by top modeling agencies that are interested in having the model travel to meet the agents and bookers in person. These agencies are usually located in the big fashion markets such as New York, Paris, Milan, London and Tokyo. However, many of our models are from small towns across the USA, Europe, South America and Australia. So, who pays for the model to travel to meet with the agency?
If an agency is very interested in the model the agency may pay the model’s travel expenses, and a mother agent will always try to negotiate this on behalf of the model. However, most of the time the model will be expected to cover his or her own airline ticket.
Our advice to models is that if an important agency in one of the major markets is interested in you then the price of an airline ticket is a small price to pay for a career that could potentially earn you hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars per year.
Besides, even if the agency does cover the travel expenses the model will be expected to pay the agency back once he or she starts working.
3. TRAVELING TO WORK WITH AN AGENCY UNDER CONTRACT
Agencies in North America (New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago) and Europe (Paris, Milan. London, Germany) don’t typically cover travel expenses even for models who are under contract with the agency. However, top agencies are always willing to negotiate these expenses on a case by case basis and expenses are something that your mother agency should be trying to negotiate for you. If the travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the agency the model will be expected to pay these expenses back once he or she starts working.
When a model travels to Asian markets (Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei) the agency ALWAYS advances the model’s airline ticket and accommodation expenses. This is one of the reasons the Asian modeling agencies are so popular with new models.
Plus, the Asian market is great place for new models to get tearsheets and build their books. Models are expected to pay the agency back for their travel expenses once they start working, however the nice thing about working for an Asian agency is that if the model doesn’t earn enough to cover his or her expenses they will not be required to pay the agency back out of their own pocket. We love that.
If you have been offered a contract or a meeting with a top modeling agency our experts can help negotiate your representation, travel and accommodation expenses and other important aspects of your modeling career. Simply create your model profile to get started.