Online bookings are a simple and convenient way to offer your facilities directly in the store. This includes Overnight bookings. Oversee all your bookings in one place and offer your clients a seamless online booking experience.
How it Works
1. Configure Overnight Bookings
Click on a facility to edit, and scroll to the Online bookings section:
Apply a check mark to Allow clients to book this facility in your store. This opens a new section of settings to configure your online booking.
Choose Overnight bookings as the type of bookings that occur at this facility.
Check-in/check-out indicates what time the reservation begins and ends.
Min duration allowed for a booking (optional): What's the min. number of days a client needs to book? Let's say 2 nights is the minimum duration allowed. If a client selects March 25th as their check-in, the reservation automatically extends to March 27th, meaning the client can't check-out before then.
Max duration allowed for a booking (optional): A client's reservation cannot exceed longer than the maximum duration specified.
Buffers (optional) can be added if a day or more is required for cleanup and/or setup in-between bookings. The buffer isn't included in the client's reservation, but other clients can't book the facility online during a buffer.
You can choose a minimum amount of notice required before booking a facility. If the min. amount of notice is 60 minutes, clients can only book slots that start no sooner than an hour before the reservation.
You can choose how far in advance participants can book a facility. If you specify 3 months, then clients can book slots happening no later than 3 months from the current date.
Facility rules (optional): Rules you add here appear on the facility's booking page.
Price schedule: We strongly recommend you use a 'per day' price schedule.
👉 Do you know there are other types of online bookings and pricing options? Each one has its own characteristics, but not all are suited for overnight bookings.
2. Reserve an Overnight Booking in your Store
Admins and clients can book facilities online from the Facility Bookings page in the store. When a facility has overnight bookings enabled and is linked with a 'per day' price schedule, it shows as a price $/night in the store.
Here's how it works:
Clients may choose to use filters to help find the availability they are looking for. When searching with a date range, facilities online with an overnight availability (within the range) appear. A facility will not appear if it's unavailable (e.g. facility is already booked or the facility is closed).
Facilities that don't support overnight bookings won't appear when filtering with a date range that extends more than one day, since only overnight booking facilities can be booked for more than a day.
Below, the Amilia Dance Hall is only eligible for bookings by the hour and cannot be booked overnight. This means it does not appear in the results when searching a date range that extends more than one day.
After clicking on a facility, date reservations can be made. Only overnight booking facilities can be booked for more than a day. A client can't book a date in the past.
Let's examine the reservation above and how the facility was configured:
We can tell the facility allows for overnight bookings and a 'per day' price schedule is assigned. Therefore, we see $75.00/night.
The check-in date is March 25th. Notice the calendar automatically highlights the two following days and additionally limits (i.e. greys out) the date selection? This is a result of the minimum duration allowed for a booking being set to 2 nights and the maximum duration allowed for a booking being set to 5 nights. If the client reserves March 25th, they must book until at least the 27th (2 nights) and can't stay longer than March 30th (5 nights).
Before clicking 'Reserve', verify the Arrival (check-in) and Departure (check-out) dates and click on the 'Price details' to view how the total price is calculated.
👉 A price schedule can include different price periods, meaning certain days or hours of the week are priced differently than the base price. Keep in mind that while the base price is featured in the store, clients can click on the price details to see if different price periods are applied.
3. What to Expect after an Overnight Booking is Purchased
When an overnight booking is purchased in the store, SmartRec updates the facility's calendar, and an invoice is created in the client's billing tab. You can even be notified by email when an online booking has been made! Only admins may cancel an overnight booking by canceling the invoice in the client's file.
Below, an overnight booking reservation starts on April 8th and ends on April 13th:
In the Facilities>Calendar subtab, click on the booking to see the reservation's payment status and view the invoice in the client's file.
Admins can view the invoice in the Client Billing subtab. Clients can view their invoice in the Billing subtab of their user account.
Admin view Client view
Clients can't book a facility in the online store if a reservation is pending (e.g. a booking is in someone's cart or a facility rental contract is pending approval), a reservation has already been made, an activity is taking place at that location, or the facility is closed. Unavailable dates are greyed out. In the example below, the dates between April 8th and April 12th are unavailable since another client has already booked those dates and will check-out on April 13th. As per the facility's configuration, another client can check-in as of April 13th.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When configuring a facility for online bookings, there are 3 types of bookings to choose from. What is the difference between each type?
The type of booking determines how clients can book your facility online. Price schedules should be tailored to fit the type of booking you choose for the facility.
📆 Hourly bookings: The facility can be booked in increments up to an hour. Clients choose the duration of the reservation, followed by an available time slot. The administrator can configure a min/max duration permitted for a booking. Clients cannot book overnight. We recommend using the 'per hour' pricing type.
📆 Overnight bookings: This is the only type of booking that allows clients to book a facility overnight in the store. Clients choose their check-in and check-out date but must book at least one night (or more, depending on the configuration). We recommend using the 'per day' pricing type. Overnight bookings is the only type of booking that displays a $/night when paired with a 'per day' pricing type.
📆 Block bookings: This type of booking allows you to configure time blocks to define which days of the week are available, including the time of day and the length of time permitted per booking. Clients cannot book overnight. We recommend using the 'per hour' pricing type, as SmartRec calculates the final invoice amount based on the hourly rate and the number of hours in the time block.
2. When should I use hourly bookings vs block bookings?
Choosing when to opt for hourly bookings vs block bookings depends on how you want clients to book the facility in the store. Let's recap the differences between hourly and block bookings:
Clients can book the facility in increments (up to an hour) depending on how the administrator configures schedule availability.
Clients must book the facility for predetermined blocks of time.
Hourly bookings allow an administrator to configure availability by the hour (or less). Clients can't book outside of a facility's opening hours.
Ex: Say your facility closes at 6pm. An availability at 5pm can't extend pas the facility's closing time.
Time blocks allow an administrator to define the time and length of bookings regardless of the facility's opening hours.
Essentially, time blocks open up the facility for those hours, even if the facility is normally considered closed.
Ex: Say your facility normally closes at 6pm. You can create a time block that starts at 5pm and ends at 8pm.
Clients choose the date, followed by the length of time they wish to book by clicking on the 'Duration' drop-down on the facility page in the store. They must respect the min/max duration allowed for a booking.
Clients cannot choose the length of time to book. They must respect the length of the block booking. They simply choose a date and then the block of time.
Can include buffers in between bookings to prepare the facility for the next visit. Clients can't make reservations during a buffer period.
You can't include buffers in between block bookings.
Ask yourself the following:
Do you want to let clients decide how long they want to book a facility for? If so, use hourly bookings.
Do you want control over how long a client can book a facility for? If so, use block bookings.
Are you open to offering bookings beyond the facility's opening hours? If so, use block bookings.
Are buffers needed in between bookings to prepare the facility for the next visit? If so, use hourly bookings.
3. Why is it recommended to use a 'per day' pricing type for Overnight Bookings? What other pricing types are available?
Price schedules indicate how much is charged when a facility is booked. One pricing type can be assigned per price schedule. SmartRec offers 3 pricing types:
Per hour: Charges the client an amount for every hour the facility is reserved. A 'per hour' pricing type works well with hourly and block bookings. It isn't recommended for overnight bookings as you can imagine how costly it would be if the client were charged for every hour of their overnight stay!
Per day: Charges the client an amount for every day the facility is reserved. When paired with overnight bookings, the $/per day is displayed as $/night in the store. If a 'per day' pricing type is used with hourly and block type bookings, only the 'per day' rate is charged, regardless of how many hours are in the reservation.
Flat fee: Charges the client a flat fee, regardless of how long the facility is reserved. It can be used for hourly and block bookings but ignores how many hours are in the reservation. It is not recommended for overnight bookings, since the flat fee is charged regardless of how many days are included in the overnight reservation.
4. Can I assign more than one type of booking to a facility?
You can only select one type of booking per facility available online in your store. A facility with hourly bookings occurring can't offer overnight bookings at the same time.
However, if you have a facility that is equipped to handle daytime and overnight bookings, you may create a parent facility that accepts one type of booking and create a child facility that accepts another.
For example, say you have a campground that can be booked for a few hours during the day, but you also want to offer the option to book it overnight. In this case, you would create a parent facility for your campground using an hourly or block booking type. You may want to use a per hour or flat fee pricing type. This facility would be used to accommodate your daytime bookings.
To accommodate your overnight bookings, create a child facility for your campground and select the overnight bookings type. If a client searches for availability using a date range, the campground that permits overnight bookings (child facility) will show up in the search results.
Both calendars will update in unison, meaning if a slot is booked in the parent facility, it cannot be booked in the child facility and vice-versa.
Let us know if you use this option. We'd love to hear your feedback!
5. Can I get notified when an online booking has been made in the store?
Yes! Choose which email notifications to receive in the Email preferences subtab.