We have a concept of 'parent units' and 'sub units'. The Parent unit is the single rentable item. Like a property, apartment, chalet, motorhome, pitch etc. The parent units will have all the detail, such as minimum occupancy, description, thumbnails and booking rules assigned against it.
The sub unit sits underneath the parent unit to help you quickly create multiples of the same thing. Campsites use this where they have grass pitch named as the parent unit, and then 100 sub units underneath it. The sub unit will look at all the controls you set on the parent unit.
Go to Setup > Configuration > Units > Select the Category > keep ‘parent unit’ displayed to add a new parent unit.
To create a new Unit, press New Unit. To make a change to an existing unit, double click on the green Unit bar to open it.
If you want to adjust any setting on the sub-units (pitches) > choose the unit.
This is where you can name your unit. You can make the unit active or inactive. You can also make it visible to the public online or only to you in the admin area.
If you tick online, the unit will display to the public. If you only have admin area ticked, then only you can make bookings on the unit.
The unit type is where you can indicate what it is you are selling. This isn't displayed anywhere for the guest, just an admin reference.
Naming your unit
Once you have created your unit and named it, save it and then go on to populate all of your advanced rules into the other tabs.
Tips for naming your units:
If you are setting up cottages or unique glamping accommodation, give them their individual names at this point (see below).
If you are setting up camping pitches or a series of glamping units or static caravans that are a type with the same rules for each one, you will at this point name your pitch type, under which you would then have a series of sub-units (so you don’t then have to create a unit for each pitch individually). Typical unit types for camping would be Grass Pitch, Pitch with Electric and Hardstanding, for example. Statics might be named Willow 2-bed, and glamping units might be Bell Tents or Pods under which you will then set up 10 sub-units, for instance.
Tip: you can drag and drop your unit bars if you wish to reorder them.
Tip: if you see a red circle with a cross in the unit bar (as above) this means there are as yet no bookings against it and you can therefore delete it if you need to. Once the unit has a booking history, the red circle disappears as you cannot then delete the unit. If you need to make changes once you have bookings on a unit, please talk to us at Anytime.
Numerous rules which apply to your unit are controlled from this tab.
The main rules to set here are the minimum and maximum occupancy levels for your unit here and the numbers of party members inclusive in the price.
The minimum occupancy (the minimum number of people who can stay in it) is usually 1.
To set your maximum occupancy (the maximum number of people who can stay in your unit, often 6) just click on the number you want to allocate using the two drop downs – occupancy (online) and occupancy (admin area).
Note that you can set a maximum occupancy online and another one for admin area. This means that while you can show a max occupancy number online, you can have some leeway behind the scenes, eg. if you set it to one more in the admin area, you can choose to squeeze in an extra guest on a z-bed, on request.
You can also include the number of bedrooms your unit has, if applicable.
Under the details tab you can also set the Party Members Inclusive In Price against the unit. This is often used by campsite owners, as an example, where they want to sell a pitch and include two people in the base cost, regardless of whether they are adults or children. They would then configure their Party Members section of the admin area so that the system knows to add a price for additional party members booked onto the pitch.
The Unit Type (Singular) and Unit Type (Plural) affect what appears in search results and should be filled in.
Further Details Web Address – if you’re planning to have a search widget (a bit of code which allows users to search for a particular kind of property on dates of their choice, which is displayed on your website) this can provide a further link in the search results to more information for the property or unit (see below). Insert the URL of the full property/pitch details here.
Anything you put in Pet Friendly and Bedroom Descriptions will also appear on your search results.
Whatever you type in here shows on the search results, and also, if you hover your mouse over the unit name in the Availability Chart, this description will show up. Try to keep your descriptions short and succinct.
Thumbnail (Photograph & PDF) tab
This is the image shown in the search results. The image size needs to be under 4096 pixel in width and less than 5MB. Click on the space saying ‘no thumbnail’, select your picture, open it and the picture will download here. NB. let us know if you want to upload more than one thumbnail as you can display up to four images but typically we only show one.
Your images should be no more than 4920px by 3264px (16MP)
Lots of additional options. Used to enable the enquiry form, hide units from showing up in a pick list and choose the type of availability.
- Availability Type. By default, every unit will be ‘on’ or ‘off’ and equals one. You can turn the unit into:Occupancy Availability: Reduce by Party Size – where the unit can continue to take bookings until it reaches a total number of people (this is often used for Bunkhouses/Hostels and this mode will ignore the base cost and charge by the party member instead. If the customer clicks to book the entire unit, it will then ignore all the party member pricing and charge the unit pricing instead)Booking Availability: Reduce by Each Booking – where bookings can continue to be placed onto the unit until it reaches a total number of bookings. Both of these are great for campsites who do not have designated pitches in favour of running as an open field where people can pitch where they want. Time Availability – to be used where the unit is no longer a 24 hour thing, but something that that can be booked by the time from 15 mins upwards. See ‘how to create a time-based activity’ article.
- Default Availability level. Change this number if you choose either Occupancy or Booking Availability in the option above. For example, if you have a field that can take up to 100 people, then choose Occupancy Availability and set this level to 100.
- Take enquiries only. If this feature is enabled your customer will not be able to book online, they will only be able to make an enquiry. This is good if you are just starting out and don’t want to jump straight into taking online bookings, or if you have a large property and you want to vet people who want to stay. The information taken here from a customer will show up under Lists > Enquiries.
- (Multi-Plot Functionality) This option is switched off by default, you will need to contact us to enable this feature. Multi-plot functionality makes the unit the ‘thing they are bringing’ and then it will only show the appropriate sub-unit (pitches) that are suitable. Great for those who have pitches only suitable for tents and not caravans, for example.
- Enable cut off period – a particularly useful optionBy default, the system will only allow the online customer to book 48 hours in advance. So if it’s a Monday, the customer can’t book and show up till the Wednesday. If you tick ‘enable cut off period’ you can determine how soon before the date they can book (another option ‘cut-off period’ will appear with a drop down of choices). Be careful! If you select book today it will mean your customer could essentially turn up 10 mins after making the booking!
- Hide Sub Unit – another particularly useful optionThis prevents your customers from choosing the sub unit (e.g. a specific pitch) when booking, allowing the system to allocate them automatically and you to move them around!
- Restrict Sub Unit. If you enable this, you can control whether the customer is able to choose their sub-unit – but only if their length of stay is a certain number of nights. Many campsites use this to allow their customers staying seven for nights or more to choose their pitch when they book online, but if someone wants to stay for six nights or less, the system will automatically assign the booking onto the next available sub-unit behind the scenes.Once this setting is ticked under Units, you need to go to Rates to complete the controller.
Ticking this box enables a new drop down option in the rates section within the daily pricing called ‘Length of Stay for Sub-Unit Pick-List’. Following the example above, you would set this to 7 (see below screenshot), giving the online customer the ability to choose their pitch for a week’s stay or more, and leaving you able to move around very short bookings to free up availability.
Show Pitch Size: Enabling this will display the unit name (and size in brackets next the name) on the pick-list in the booking process. The size is stored and pulled across from the Options tab under the individual Sub-Unit (see below).
Show Pitch Occupancy: Enabling this will show the occupancy level on the sub-unit pick-list on the booking process. Like Pitch Size, this is controlled at the sub-unit level but under the Details tab (see below).
- Not Chargeable (Hide Payment Gateway). This allows you to accept free bookings, if it’s an event, for example. If you do not want people to pay for this unit using the Payment Gateway assigned to your account, you can switch it off by ticking this.
- Auto Confirm. If you do not want to have to confirm every booking on this unit as it comes in, use this function. Enabling this will mean that every online booking will not appear in the Dashboard under ‘New Online Bookings’ and will not be highlighted in pink for you to check on your Bookings list. The system will automatically confirm the bookings coming in.(The following three options are search widget related)
- Hide Category & Unit (Booking Process After Widget). Ticking this box means that you can hide the category and unit in the rest of the booking process to prevent the customer changing their minds about which unit they are booking.
- Hide Visual Calendar (Booking Process After Widget). Ticking this box means that you can hide the availability calendar in the rest of the booking process to prevent the customer changing their minds about which dates they are booking.
- Hide Length Of Stay (Booking Process After Widget). Ticking this box means that you can hide the length of stay in the rest of the booking process to prevent the customer changing their minds about how long they are booking for. They can only book what they originally choose on the widget.
If you take a deposit payment, use this tab to set the rules for the emails going out asking for balances to be cleared.
Enable the balance reminder email by ticking the box if you want this email to go out automatically a certain time period before the guest’s arrival.
Then, if you want your deposit to be paid at least 30 days before arrival, set the balance payable (days before arrival) to 30. This triggers when the ‘balance overdue’ email goes out if the customer hasn’t paid the balance on their deposit yet.
The balance reminder email (days before arrival) triggers when the ‘balance reminder’ email goes out. You can set the reminder email to go out a week before the balance is due, for example.
If you don’t want this to happen automatically, you can push these emails out manually under the Email Status & Log tab against a booking (see below).
iCal Calendars tab
You may wish to share your availability with an external website calendar using iCal. This is the most common way to share availability without the need for an API (application program interface) and is typically used for Airbnb.
This is a free field area where you can input your own notes relating to the unit.
This functionality is not typically switched on as standard so please contact us if you wish to enable it.
It is used if you want to change your occupancy rules at particular time of year. In the example below you can see the seasonal tab as it has been activated. We have set the occupancy to a minimum of 4 and with no party members included in the base cost for the whole of the summer holidays.
Search Filters – only relevant if you’re planning on using a search widget
A search widget is a bit of code which puts a search for facility on your website, allowing users to search for a particular kind of property on dates of their choice.
- Pet Friendly. If you enable this, and you have sub units, a new question will appear in the booking process which asks the customer ‘Are you bringing a dog?’, then this will show all the sub-units that are marked as pet friendly will appear. It will also show as a pet-friendly unit on a search widget on your site.
- Romantic. This is a filter that can be used on search widgets to show units that are classed as a romantic stay.
- By The Coast. This is a filter that can be used on search widgets to show units that are by the coast.
- Large Property. This is a filter that can be used on search widgets to show units that are suitable for large party sizes.
This functionality is for our cottage/property customers. Use this if you want your search results widget to give the option to filter by location. The Cornwall category is pretty well-developed as we have set up many regions and towns for Cornish self-catering agencies. Only we can add towns here at Anytime Booking so if you would like us to put any on for your to use, please feel free to contact us.
If you are a camping business selling pitches or if you are selling a type of accommodation of which you have more than one (eg. identical static caravans, bell tents or glamping pods) you will now want to create Sub-Units.