A Travel Cost Roundup

My books on display at Another Read Through in Portland.

I promised y’all a roundup of everything I spent on my thirteen-day book-and-teaching tour (plus vacation!), and I just finished putting together this ENORMOUS CHART:

Pre-trip expenses
1 bag of Huel (contains 15 meals) 28.58
4 sundresses 75.96
1 Mary Poppins necklace 20.66
1 sunhat (that I never ended up wearing) 14.95
Pre-trip subtotal 140.15
Seattle
Flight, CID-SEA 289.30
3 nights at Hampton Inn 939.33
Cake, wine, and La Croix for Phinney Books reading 42.57
Food 66.82
Sundries 11.54
Bus/metro 20.00
Seattle subtotal 1,369.56
Portland
Bolt Bus, Seattle to Portland 17.00
Lyft from bus stop to my friends’ place 39.00
2 nights staying with friends 0.00
Food 47.72
Sundries 30.55
Printing/shipping a box of books to Another Read Through 270.70
Portland subtotal 404.97
Juneau
Flight, PDX-JNU 230.82
Checking the box of books from PDX to JNU 25.00
4 nights at Westmark Baranof Hotel 780.99
Food (includes 3 bottles of water) 86.70
Sundries 16.43
Shipping the remaining books to my apartment 19.32
Taxi, Baranof to JNU 23.20
Juneau subtotal 1,182.46
Anaheim
Flight, JNU-SNA 5.60
Taxi, SNA to hotel 55.25
3 nights at Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel 558.54
3 day Disneyland tickets, 1 park per day plus Maxpass 310.00
Food (includes 13 bottles of water) 254.82
Sundries 10.76
Souvenirs 16.15
Lyft, hotel to SNA 23.00
Flight, SNA-CID 289.30
Lyft, CID to apartment 17.00
Anaheim subtotal 1,540.42
GRAND TOTAL 4,637.56
Total transportation 1,009.47
Total hotel 2,278.86
Total food 484.64

A few notes about the chart:

All of the book-and-teaching expenses, including flights, ground transportation, hotels and a percentage of the food costs, are tax deductible. That’s roughly $3,500, which makes me feel a little better about that huge final number — although to be honest, I don’t really feel bad about the costs of this trip. I knew it was going to be expensive, and I also knew I was going to enjoy it. I love teaching and reading and visiting friends, and when I set my out-of-office message before I left, Google reminded me that I hadn’t been out of the office since March 2017. (In other words, the vacation part of this trip was long overdue.)

I spent a lot of money on hotels, but I also used those hotel rooms as offices during the day — because, except for the Wednesday/Thursday/Friday I spent at Disneyland, every other weekday was still a workday, and having my own quiet space in which I could write articles and do administrative work was essential.

Phinney Books ordered copies of The Biographies of Ordinary People from IngramSpark, but the other bookstores I visited sold on consignment, which meant I was responsible for printing/shipping my books and getting them from store to store.

Most of those “sundries” are bottles of chewable Airborne, which run around $9 a pop and include three days’ worth of tablets. Still, if they keep me from getting sick, whether because they’re legitimate or because I love placebos, I’m happy to buy them. I also bought some stuff at a Walgreens in Anaheim that I immediately threw in the trash because the woman who rang me up was visibly ill — like, fever and shakes kind of ill. (This says more about our terrible work culture and lack of paid sick leave than it does about my germophobia, btw.)

You can tell when I gave up on refilling my aluminum water bottle in hotel bathrooms and started buying water from vending machines and convenience stores. I don’t know about you, but bathroom sink water always tastes a little weird to me. It’s like I’m drinking old toothpaste residue.

I also earned some money on this trip, although I haven’t gotten the final numbers from the bookstores yet. It’ll be somewhere around $200 in book sales and exactly $322.50 for the two classes I taught — which means that I did lose money on this trip, but that was always part of the plan. Book tours are about connecting with readers and booksellers more than they’re about turning a profit, after all.

Plus, if you follow my self-publishing roundups on NicoleDieker.com, you’ll remember that it took me three years to spend more than I’ve earned from publishing The Biographies of Ordinary People Vols. 1 and 2, and I’m hoping I can sell enough books to erase my current deficit by this time next year.


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