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In this Hotel Booking update post, we’re taking a closer look at the new awesome features we’ve added to the plugin version 3.9.0. They are aimed at helping you better automate the process of taking the properties out of booking based on specific guest-driven actions.
In particular, we added two new rules focused on improving the flexibility of the booking plugin. You can find them via the Bookings > Booking Rules menu on your WP dashboard:
- Advance reservation rules (a booking window): the minimum and a maximum number of days available for booking before and after the check-in and check-out dates. In other words, it’s the period of time between the reservation is made and the actual check-in.
- Buffer time rules: an extra time that is added automatically to the already booked dates (confirmed reservations). In the COVID-19 realities, this option might be especially helpful; it allows you to perform any extra cleaning or sanitizing procedures before your client arrives and after they depart.
Let’s now exemplify these new plugin options.
Advance reservation rules (booking window)
Navigate to the Minimum Advance reservation menu, where you can set the minimum number of days before a booking can be made based on the current date. In simple words, here you can set in how many days from the current date a guest can arrive (place a booking).
For example, if I set a 15-night minimum advance reservation rule, the property availability calendar will display those 15 days as unavailable from the current date, so I can book dates starting from the date that falls on the 16th day only:
As for the Maximum Advance reservation menu, here you can set the maximum number of days allowed for future reservations. Let’s illustrate it with a 40-day maximum advance reservation rule:
On the front end, we can see that the property becomes unavailable for booking on the 41st night from the current date. Guests can see the reason why the property is unavailable by hovering over unavailable days in a calendar.
As you see, you can apply any of the new rules to all or individual accommodations/seasons.
Booking buffer rules
The new buffer time rule is a pretty good way to automate the addition of extra time you need to get the accommodation prepared for the next guest.
The buffer time can be set in nights only and it’s automatically added before and after the arrival and departure dates of confirmed bookings. If, for example, one night is enough for you to complete all procedures, you can set the buffer time rule to 1 night:
The booking buffer time is visible for guests in the availability calendars, meaning guests can’t book those days.
For example, one guest booked accommodation for one night from Dec, 5 till Dec, 6. With the Buffer time rule on and set to one night, the plugin will automatically block out one extra day before and after these dates so that another potential guest will see the property as unavailable from Dec, 4 till Dec, 7 in the availability calendar:However, if you navigate to your admin bookings Calendar, you’ll see only two actual booked days from Dec, 5 till Dec, 6, while the buffer time is marked by a grey color (it’s visible on hover).
Booking buffer & booking window video tutorial
Update the Hotel Booking plugin to version 3.9.0 to start adding more booking rules
Get the most out of the new plugin version by updating Hotel Booking to 3.9.0 – automatically add extra booking buffer to the confirmed reservations, set maximum and minimum days allowed before and after their reservation, and enjoy the new level of the plugin management flexibility! Feel free to send your questions and suggestions – we’re always ready to make the plugin better – and, actually, the best – WordPress solution for rental property needs.