What is a vacation rental calendar?

A vacation rental calendar is a tool that helps vacation rental owners and managers track and manage bookings and availability. Modern vacation rental calendar apps can seriously simplify the management of a rental property, by displaying important information in a clear, simple and easy-to-use format.

Some vacation rental booking calendars are designed for specific platforms, like the built-in tools on Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com. Others, like the Little Hotelier vacation rental calendar app, are designed to bring all the information from different booking channels together in one place, replacing multiple rental calendars with a single master calendar. 

Why is it important to use vacation rental calendars?

It is important to use vacation rental calendars because they present booking and availability information in a format that is clear, convenient and easy to digest. Modern rental calendar apps also pull data from the appropriate sources and present it to you automatically, without you needing to lift a finger.

From there you can control bookings, pricing and availability directly through the calendar, tweaking room rates, blocking or opening up dates, and viewing booking information in a click or two. All of the most important information for your rental property is right there, ready to be viewed and adjusted.

Little Hotelier: more than a vacation rental calendar

Connect your vacation rental calendar to 450+ booking channels simultaneously with Little Hotelier, while enjoying a world of direct booking, channel management and front desk functionality.

Learn more

Vacation rental calendar app vs manual calendar or template

If you don’t currently use a vacation rental booking calendar or rental availability calendar for your property, you probably rely on a manual calendar, template or spreadsheet. But there are a couple of major issues with taking a manual approach:

Inaccuracy

No matter how careful you are, you’ll write the wrong number or hit the wrong key from time to time. Unfortunately, manual methods are prone to human error, and that single mistake can lead to booking confusion or incorrect charges.

Inefficiency

Manual methods are labour-intensive. Managing a rental property is a time-consuming task at the best of times, and when you force yourself to maintain a manual booking calendar or spreadsheet, you reduce the time you can spend on higher-value tasks, like enhancing the guest experience.

Keeping it up to date

It can be difficult to avoid double bookings when you maintain a manual calendar. You might receive a booking overnight without realising, then get a call first thing in the morning from a guest who wants those same dates. They’re marked as available, so you book the second guest on top of the first and are then forced to deal with unhappy guests who have been put in an awkward situation.

Vacation rental booking apps like Little Hotelier are designed to solve each of these problems, by automatically updating themselves in real-time, using data straight from the appropriate sources.

Vacation rental calendar

How does a vacation rental booking calendar work?

Vacation rental calendar apps place clever technology in an easy-to-use package.

In the case of Little Hotelier, our vacation rental calendar is capable of seamlessly connecting to 450+ booking channels, including the main vacation rental players like Airbnb, major OTAs like Booking.com and Expedia, a complete suite of niche OTAs, and Little Hotelier’s direct booking engine (which allows you to accept direct bookings through your website).

When a new booking is made on any of these channels, it is placed in the Little Hotelier calendar straight away. The booked dates are then instantly and automatically made unavailable across all your other booking channels.

This same technology allows you to instantly update pricing and availability across all your channels whenever you please, by simply updating the information in the Little Hotelier calendar.

How to implement a hotel availability calendar

Ready to make the switch to a rental availability calendar? Here’s how to implement a tool for your rental property.

Step 1: Install your tool

Follow the instructions to install your chosen rental calendar app on your computer or phone.

Step 2: Set it up

Once installed, add all your property details, such as room options, calendar availability and rates, so that the calendar reflects the realities of your property.

Step 3: Connect to your booking channels

If you choose your app wisely, it will connect to all the channels you use to take bookings, from OTAs like Airbnb and Booking.com to direct bookings through your website. This means that the app and booking platforms can talk to each other, ensuring your calendar automatically updates whenever a booking is made. Establishing these connections is generally a simple process—it usually involves signing into your booking channel accounts via your calendar app.

Step 4: Manage your property

The final step is to start using your new calendar tool! If you choose Little Hotelier, you’ll gain access to all the support you need, whether by finding the answers yourself in our sprawling Help Centre, or speaking to our dedicated support teams.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).