How far in advance do you take bookings?

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JBloggs

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How far in advance do you take bookings? 1 year out or do you go beyond that? Do you find you have issues with bookings made that far in advance?
A couple of the issue bookings I have that far in advance #1 - a wedding or honeymoon, they forget where they booked or booked multiple places. #2) plans change, life changes by then 3#) credit cards need to be current - I won't charge the deposit that far in advance, I will end up refunding it usually and b) don't feel right doing it a year in advance.
With my new rez prgm I have it set for 8 months out. You can specify how many months out 6, 7, 8, 9,12 etc. In the old pgrm it was 12 months - so for example when we had a special event weekend, a guest would book online for the next year before I was ABLE to change the rates and make a 2 night min on my end, it messed me up every year. Until the exact day had passed I could not update the 2 night min - and while I was still serving breakfast someone would book the next year. (This was not often, just for this event weekend twice a year)
 

Morticia

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I can go as far out as I want. Right now my rates go out until Jan 3 or 4. I usually update the next year every quarter so I'm a little late right now. But I have reservations for next year on the books already. Out into July I think. If someone wants to book that far out, I put a note in their rez to contact them in Jan of the year they booked to reconfirm. No deposits. I've done the Jan emailing every year now and it has worked out well. This year someone canceled a room, but I had 7 months to make it up.
Because the software lets me go out as far as I want, I do all of the pricing and 2 night mins in advance so I don't have the problem you mentioned unless I plain old forget.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I will do 1 year in advance and it's mostly repeats who want to book out that far. If it's someone I don't know, I still will take a deposit. I'll e-mail a reminder about the reservation 6 months prior to their stay and will make sure at that point that I have a current credit card and I will charge a deposit for my repeats at the 6 month point.
We used to waive the deposit for repeats, but once the economy turned about a year and a half ago, the only time we got burned, it was by a repeat (twice this happened). Since then, it's a deposit for ALL guests. It has worked out well.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I can go as far out as I want. Right now my rates go out until Jan 3 or 4. I usually update the next year every quarter so I'm a little late right now. But I have reservations for next year on the books already. Out into July I think. If someone wants to book that far out, I put a note in their rez to contact them in Jan of the year they booked to reconfirm. No deposits. I've done the Jan emailing every year now and it has worked out well. This year someone canceled a room, but I had 7 months to make it up.
Because the software lets me go out as far as I want, I do all of the pricing and 2 night mins in advance so I don't have the problem you mentioned unless I plain old forget..
Welcome back!!
 

Joey Camb

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Our furthest ahead is September 2011 as it is for a really busy time in Harrogate (National Barber Shop Singing competion) and they are dead set to all stay with us. But we confirm 6 months ahead as well by email or phone in case they change their final numbers.
 

white pine

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Our furthest ahead is September 2011 as it is for a really busy time in Harrogate (National Barber Shop Singing competion) and they are dead set to all stay with us. But we confirm 6 months ahead as well by email or phone in case they change their final numbers..
Harmonic Hair-cutters in Harrogate! How Heavenly!
 

Joey Camb

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Our furthest ahead is September 2011 as it is for a really busy time in Harrogate (National Barber Shop Singing competion) and they are dead set to all stay with us. But we confirm 6 months ahead as well by email or phone in case they change their final numbers..
Harmonic Hair-cutters in Harrogate! How Heavenly!
.
They sing for us in the lounge and stuff its beautiful
 

white pine

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Our furthest ahead is September 2011 as it is for a really busy time in Harrogate (National Barber Shop Singing competion) and they are dead set to all stay with us. But we confirm 6 months ahead as well by email or phone in case they change their final numbers..
Harmonic Hair-cutters in Harrogate! How Heavenly!
.
They sing for us in the lounge and stuff its beautiful
.
Wish I could be there to hear it! Am familiar with vocal competitions in Wales-- even have some CDs!
 

YellowSocks

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My software only lets me do 12 months, but I will take them as far out as someone wants to make them. So far I have one room booked for graduation 2011 and the whole house for graduation 2013.
In the case of the event weekend and the two night minimum I would contact them when I processed the reservation and tell them there's a two night min.
=)
Kk.
 

swirt

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Being for sale...we're only doiing 60 days in advance. :(
 

JBloggs

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Okay not how far CAN YOU TAKE bookings, how far DO YOU take bookings? Obv you can take them til the cows come home. How far in advance do you take them, comfortably?
 

Morticia

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Okay not how far CAN YOU TAKE bookings, how far DO YOU take bookings? Obv you can take them til the cows come home. How far in advance do you take them, comfortably?.
Joey Bloggs said:
Okay not how far CAN YOU TAKE bookings, how far DO YOU take bookings? Obv you can take them til the cows come home. How far in advance do you take them, comfortably?
As far out as someone wants to make them. I used to get a little itchy at first because the PO's had booked out grad weekend 3 years in advance and left me no info. Now that it's all info I get, I have bookings into July of 2011 and it's ok with me. We have a lot of guests who book next year on their way out the door.
We don't get any more 2-3 year out bookings. That's probably good.
 

Bigbid

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I think we use the same rez software and I set mine for 3 years out. We have people who purchase play tickets for the same week year in and year out and they want the same rooms here at the inn. Since the rez program shows past and future bookings on the guests screen, when they check in I can confirm the reservations for the upcoming years and they always add a year on to it. Sounds like it could be a problem, but good software is the trick.
 

Highlands John

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Okay not how far CAN YOU TAKE bookings, how far DO YOU take bookings? Obv you can take them til the cows come home. How far in advance do you take them, comfortably?.
I'm happy to take bookings as far in advance as people want, but I do take a deposit and it's not refundable (ok, I'll be reasonable about that, if for example they cancel in January for August when I know I can re-let the room I'll refund).
We have a few big events near us and people are always trying to book well in advance for those. Rockness is a weekend music festival in a field down the road, usually 35,000 people, they'll start phoning days after the event for next year. The Loch ness marathon is another that people want to book well in advance, and Hogmanay (New Year).
In reality 1 year ahead is usually the maximum people want.
 

gillumhouse

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I will not go more than 1 year now. Between planning to put the B & B on the market and "time marching on", I am to the point of taking one year at a time and hoping to get to finish the year.
 

Copperhead

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One year ahead tops. In the past few years I have noticed a trend that more than 1/2 will cancel that book more than 3-4 months ahead, and usually cancel just in last few days prior to their cancel date. I account these last minute cancellations as those that either book 2-3 places or hope to get closer in as cancellations start trickling in.
I am keeping my eyes open here for any ideas to make this easier on me...
 

Morticia

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One year ahead tops. In the past few years I have noticed a trend that more than 1/2 will cancel that book more than 3-4 months ahead, and usually cancel just in last few days prior to their cancel date. I account these last minute cancellations as those that either book 2-3 places or hope to get closer in as cancellations start trickling in.
I am keeping my eyes open here for any ideas to make this easier on me....
Have an extended cancel policy for long-range bookings? 1 month out if they book over a year in advance, or whatever number works for you?
 
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