Vacation Rental Guide / Choosing Vacation Rental Software / Booking System for Vacation Rentals

Understanding Booking System Software

A booking system is usually a computerized reservation system designed to store and share information for travel plans that require reservations or events that require tickets. It also provides a place to make transactions for those travels or events online, often allowing guests to reserve directly through a built-in software. There are many examples of booking plugins and solutions that can be used as widgets or add-ons.

Many of the travel reservations made through booking systems are for airline tickets or car rentals. Computer reservation systems (CRS) were originally designed and operated by airlines. Eventually, CRS expanded from only being used by airlines to be used by travel agencies as well. Nowadays, there are options available for anyone who needs or wants to use a booking system on their site. This includes smaller vendors like hotels, vacation rentals, small event hosts, or even restaurants.

Features of a Booking System

Booking systems create an easy way to make a reservation online, from choosing your dates to confirming a reservation with payment. Through the online booking system, information and dates can be displayed clearly and appropriately to all parties involved. They show which dates are already reserved and when reservations are still available to be made. When a booking is made, the system will update to show that space as reserved so other guests can choose a new date or know how many tickets are left.

When guests make a reservation or request a booking, the same calendar they see is shared directly with management. When the company accepts the request, the calendar visible to guests is automatically synchronized. This helps to make processes quick and precise for staff members while allowing guests to accurately review which dates are or are not available at the same time.

Adding Booking System to Your Website

The most important part is adding the booking software to your website. The system should be very visible to guests and ideally be placed on the front page with a clean color palette, with easy-to-use buttons and characteristics. The integrated reservation calendar should be clear and synchronized. The buttons should be simplistic so that anyone can use and understand it. Any potential guest should be able to glance at the calendar and have a clear understanding of the information such as which day is available and which is not.

Before adding this to your site, it is helpful to run a demo to ensure you know how it works and check there are no glitches before launching it live on your site. Set up a few people outside of your company to do a trial run: consider the sort of people who will be making these bookings in real life. Ask a few friends of various ages to see if the system works well for them. Then launch your new site to the public!

Allowing Guests to Make Their Own Reservations

What’s more, it can also allow every guest to make an instant booking – if you would like to use such a feature. Essentially, this means that when a guest books an available room or ticket, it is automatically confirmed as theirs, instead of a staff member having to review the booking and then confirming it. This is particularly useful for businesses in the hotel and vacation rental industry who otherwise receive multiple inquiries per day.

Hotel managers can place the exact number of rooms they have available on any given date into the calendar, with each specific type of room named. With a simple setting switch, the provider can allow a guest to confirm the purchase of any room that is available on their chosen date. If that room is available and the guest wants to reserve it, the staff never has to confirm the reservation. It is accepted automatically and that room will become unavailable for other guests. This removes a lot of customer service work and the integrated calendar will help managers see bookings immediately, and ensure they are always aware of who is coming when.

Perks of a Booking Calendar

The main perk of using a system is the integrated booking calendar. Both staff and guests are immediately in sync with what dates have been booked. Staff can see exactly what guests are arriving when and where. Bookings show up on the calendar for both guests and staff, and allow everyone ample opportunity to plan and arrange their schedules as needed.

This aspect cuts out on unnecessary time spent in phone call hold lines, freeing up customer service time to be spent on other important matters. It also gives the guests a feeling of power over their own schedule. They can open a webpage, view the available dates, check their personal calendars, and discuss with their travel party without having to call the hotel back several times if the dates they hoped for are already booked. Once they have decided on a date, they can book directly online with a simple payment verification through the secure site.

Direct Payment Through Booking System

Booking systems generally come with integrated direct payment options. This allows the guest to complete their reservation directly on the booking website. Payment can usually be made be made using credit cards through a secure payment system, such as a preferred online banking service or a company like PayPal.

Generally, an online banking option will allow businesses to receive payments in any currency. This is especially helpful when dealing with customers from different countries, as it is particularly common in hotels and vacation rentals. This simplifies the entire process for the guest, as they do not have to deal with overpriced currency transfer fees and will appreciate the ease of using their personal credit or debit card from their own country.

Automatic Translation into the Major Languages

Many booking systems allow for translation into all the major languages to assist those making international bookings. Another feat in customer service, this allows for perfect communication between a guest and the hotel or event staff even when there is a vast language barrier. Each party can see the exact same thing in their own native language, including dates and prices. The room for error is made much slimmer, and this allows for far more international travel and communication overall.

There are many reasons to use a booking system. Online software integrates a calendar, payment, and automatic reservations when desired. It keeps management easy for staff and offers expands customer service with features like language and currency directed towards international travelers. It is a necessity for every business hoping to book travel or events online.