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Online Bookings 2 weeks 4 days ago #1654

Hello all,

Just wondering on opinions in relation to online booking systems for campsites…

We are sometime lastminute.commers when it comes to getting away for a night or two, mostly depending on work schedules and the weather of course.

We have noticed quite a few of campsites do not have an online booking system and rely on emailing or phoning the site teams to check on availability and make a booking. 

Online booking systems obviously come at a cost and I’m sure most campsite owners are eager to keep costs down for themselves and their customers, and that is welcomed.

But other sites have great systems (Lynders in Portrane, Dublin is one we have used lately) which was great being able to check last minute rather than waiting on responses via email or for planning outside of reception hours, or even travelling to a site that’s first come first served basis, especially if it’s a good distance away. 

We have of course the option of wild camping somewhere using one of the parking apps available, but sometimes it’s nice to get the chairs out and meet other campers.

Just curious to others feelings on this..


 
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Online Bookings 2 weeks 1 day ago #1655

Interesting topic. I am definitely on the fence with this one concerning one option over the other.  I think I would prefer a hybrid option....  let me explain
On the one hand, I hate not being sure of a pitch before I set off. I have a caravan so wild camping or pub stopovers are not options for us. I love Galway (as an example) but seriously, I would not set off on that journey without the security of knowing that there is a pitch available for me when I get there. As you referred to the 'first come, first served' basis - it would not work for us. So in the case of Galway, I'd love a booking system.
On the other hand, some sites take bookings without a deposit and tend to be booked up as soon as the booking engine is opened for the year. Still, if you rock up to the gate (purely taking a chance), there is always the possibility of some or even a few not turning up. The reason is that they block book sites because A). it allows them to decide where to go on any given weekend and b), it doesn't cost anything as there is no deposit involved.
So my feelings are that I would like a booking system for all sites but with a deposit system. That way, if you are going to book it and pay a deposit, the chances are that you are going to go and unless you are extremely flush with money, you are not going to book multiple sites with deposits to lose for those that you don't go to.
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