I agree. Include it in whatever fee you normally would quote. As for travel over a certain distance… I generally say upfront that I play weddings within a certain area for no extra fee. This area covers several cities within a close driving distance (I will drive about 1/2 hour-45 min for no extra charge). I just figure that I should charge my hourly rate for lessons if I have to drive a long distance. So, just throwing easy numbers out there, if I charged $25/hour and it would be a two hour round trip, I would tack on $50. Only once have I had someone request that I drive a really long distance for a wedding (2.5 hours one way) but it was because I was a relative of a distant friend of theirs.
Is that reasonable/unreasonable? I don’t know. But it works for me. I don’t get too many complaints about it because I am upfront about it. If it is a problem then I suggest someone closer to their wedding location. The way I do my fees is pretty simple compared to the other harpists in my area. One lady breaks hers down so much that sometimes she ends up playing for free because all of the other things that go into her fee. She does everything to keep the price under $300, and sometimes that means she plays for free. It’s really complicated and I don’t understand why she does that. I mean, why does the client need to know that travel is $30, and loading the van is $20, and cartage around the venue is $75, and playing outside is $50, and blahblahblah. Quote a price for the whole package, and keep it simple.