Recently we looked at how to manage appointments in WordPress. The tools covered in that guide are excellent for handling the booking of sessions that last a few hours or a specific timeslot, however there is another type of booking that you might want to take on your website and that is for reservations that span multiple days.
So today, we are going to look at the best solutions for taking a multiday reservation on a WordPress site. The purpose of the reservation could cover many services such as hotels and accommodation, hotels, vehicle rentals and events.
The Best Reservation Plugins for WordPress
If you want to add the ability to take reservations for durations of longer than a day, then this selection of free and premium plugins should provide the solution to your problem.
This plugin is available in both a free and a premium version, allowing you to take it for a test drive without having to commit to paying the €119 license fee that covers use on one site. The features of the two versions can easily be compared on the developer’s website and it’s easy to see that this is a feature packed option for taking bookings on your WordPress site.
While the plugin has been designed for booking rooms and accommodation, it can easily be repurposed to cover other items such as car rentals, events, conferences or any other occasion that spans multiple days.
The front and back ends of this plugin are well designed making it easy for both clients and admin users to get to grips with quickly. The reservations overview screen shows you how easy it is to see the status of your inventory, whether that be rooms, vehicles of services.
While the forms that your customers use to make their reservations aren’t highly stylised, they are functional and get the job done without too much fanfare.
This is a popular free bookings and reservation plugin for WordPress with over 47,000 downloads and a 4.3 out of 5 rating from users.
Booking System (Booking Calendar)
This is another free plugin that makes it very easy to accept reservations from your WordPress site. Payments can only be taken via PayPal which shows its limitations against some of the premium options. However, by using PayPal, your customers can still make credit card payments through this plugin.
The end user interface is really good and your customers will have no problem making a reservation using this plugin. Customers can make a reservation by entering dates, using the date picker, or by clicking on the calendar directly.
When setting up the calendar and the dates of availability, different days can have different prices, to cover peak and low peak dates. The number of slots that can be booked can also be defined, ensuring you don’t overbook any of your offerings. The actual booking form is very easy to use and straightforward although not particular eye catching.
This is a powerful free plugin that allows you to book days as well as just hours and has an impressive list of features.
Booking System Pro
This is the pro version of Booking System that comes with a $25 price tag and is available from Code Canyon. As well as all the great features of the free version, this plugin comes much more visually appealing forms and calendars.
With this plugin users can check the availability using the calendar view before deciding to make a booking enquiry using the form. Alternately, they can just go ahead and enter their preferred dates and see the results to determine availability.
As this plugin allows the creation of unlimited booking calendars, it is ideal for managing multiple properties or services on one site. It is also possible to set discounts depending on the number of days that are booked and set a minimum and maximum amount of days per booking. Hour bookings are also supported along with morning and afternoon checkouts.
Sirvoy Hotel Booking Service
If you don’t mind paying a monthly fee to use the cloud-based hotel booking service from Sirvoy, you can use their free plugin to integrate this online reservation system with your site. It’s an ideal service for anyone managing reservations for hotels, B&Bs and other forms of accommodation online.
Sirvoy comes with a wide range of professional features that help elevate their service above the scope of the plugins covered here. It includes hotel management software for your front desk, statistics and monitoring and the ability to offer your rooms on the world’s leading booking websites. However, the frontend calendar and bookings forms are far less modern, attractive and easy to use than some of the premium and free plugins covered here already.
While the functionality of this service isn’t offered by a standalone plugin, the free plugin does give you and your customers access to all the features of the service via your website. Unlike the other plugins covered here, the booking information isn’t stored on your WordPress site but on the Sirvoy service, giving you another system to manage.
If you can afford the subscription fees then this premium hotel booking service is a great choice for your business in terms of the extra features access to their network provides.
- Another popular online booking system that can be integrated with WordPress is the Checkfront service.
WordPress Hotel Themes
Another option for handling bookings in WordPress, especially for those offering accommodation and hotels is to go with a theme designed especially for this task. There are many WordPress hotel themes available and they are ideal for anyone starting a new site or prepared to overhaul the appearance of their website, in order to offer an integrated booking service for their customers. Keep an eye out for a forthcoming round up of the best hotel themes for WordPress.
Most of these booking plugins that allow you to take reservations in WordPress, tick many of the boxes for what is required for a simple online booking system, which spans multiple dates. However, they do lack some of the advanced functionality that is offered by other online booking services such as Checkfront and Sirvoy.
If you don’t want to pay regular or a relatively high one off price for the ability to take bookings via your WordPress site, then the plugins here that don’t integrate with a third party service are the best option, despite offering less features.
This definitely seems to be an area of website functionality that is underserved by the current selection of WordPress plugins, so it will be interesting to see how the market responds to this in the near future.
Image credit: calendar