The Better Guide to Reservation Management Software for RV Parks and Campgrounds

reservation management software

These days, bookings for RV parks and campgrounds, among other hospitality services, come from a variety of different places. Most people, at least at first, book accommodations through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). These online service providers aggregate different accommodation providers through easily searchable listings, making finding the perfect vacation spot accessible and easy. 

On the other hand, guests are calling in, sending direct booking requests, and walking in to book accommodations. With bookings coming in from so many different sources, it’s even more important to have a solution in place that organizes and keeps track of them, or you risk losing information, having guests showing up for a booking that isn’t ready, or worst of all, having to contend with unexpected double-bookings.



Reservation management software that centralizes and organizes all of your bookings, regardless of where they came from, is the solution. With a centralized booking management system, you can not only keep better track of incoming reservations, but you can also set up different automation triggers to schedule tasks, send notifications, request payments, and much more to save you administrative time. 

In this guide, we explore reservations management software from the ground up, including why it’s important, different reservation program types, benefits, and much more. 

What Is Reservation Management?

Reservation management is exactly how it sounds—managing incoming reservations for your campground or RV park effectively. To do so, accommodation providers use reservation management software, which is an essential tool, often cloud-based, that allows you to organize incoming reservations from different sources as well as their associated tasks.

How Can a Reservation Program Help My Operations?

Using reservation management software helps streamline your operations, saving you time and money. Specifically, implementing this software allows you to:

  • Streamline communications. One great feature of reservation management systems is that they are able to streamline communications through automation. For example, with Newbook, you can set up triggered automations where once a guest makes a reservation, a task is scheduled to do a once-over on the campsite at the right time to ensure that it’s prepared for the guest’s arrival. 
  • Centralize property management. Property managers are busy individuals, especially if they are managing multiple locations at once. Reservation management software like Newbook centralizes your operations so that you and your team can find the information needed through a secure but democratized system.
  • Reduce administrative strain. By having a clear flow of processes take place from the time a guest books to the time they arrive, as well as automations reducing the need for manual input along the way, you can save significant time spent on administration. Instead of having to manually send an email or SMS to a guest reminding them to pay, for example, the system can do it for you.
  • Add self-service options. Significant savings can be achieved by allowing your guests to make their own changes to their reservations, including changing dates, adding services, upgrading their site choice, and more. Newbook offers online booking software in addition to reservation management, which allows guests to have more control over their vacation experience and make some changes to their reservation without having to wait to speak to a representative. 
  • Take advantage of self-service check-ins and outs. With campgrounds and RV parks, guests may arrive or leave at any time of the day. To prevent having to schedule a staff member to the present in the front office to support after-hours arrivals, reservation management software enables self-service check-ins and outs. This is not only more convenient for the guest, but translates to significant cost savings for you with regards to staffing. 

Why Is Using a Booking Management System Important?

Aside from the fact that a booking management system helps you effectively organize incoming reservation requests from different sources, including OTAs and direct, it also helps save your business time, money, and booking headaches. 

For example, let’s say you own a campground and don’t have a booking management system in place. When a booking comes in, you not only have to manually update your availability calendar, but you also have to go through a checklist of tasks that need to be completed before the new guest arrives: a campsite once-over, ensuring that the existing guest in that spot checks out in time, setting expectations on arrival times, taking the payment or a deposit for the reservation, and more. Now imagine that you get 50 reservations in one day because it’s peak season. It would be a full-time job and a half in and of itself just dealing with the management required to ensure that every step in your process is conducted in a timely manner and accurately. Human error will definitely end up being a factor eventually, leading to double bookings, campsites that aren’t ready for guests, and overall frustration and confusion for yourself and your guests.

Let’s take the same scenario and add a booking management system to the mix. With this software, essential steps in your reservation management process can now be automated, streamlining your operations, reducing stress, and eliminating human error. Plus, when your availability calendar is automatically updated on all connected platforms (most reservation management software offerings provide this feature once a booking has been made, including Newbook), you’re eliminating the possibility of double bookings. 

With automation taking over many of the tedious manual tasks with bookings, you can focus more on delighting your guests and other high-value tasks. 

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Newbook is your all in one reservation management software. Talk to us today to learn how you can improve operations and increase bookings for your business.

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Features of a Reservations Management System

features of reservations management system

A wide range of features of reservations management systems cater to the unique needs of these outdoor accommodation spaces. Key features often found in these systems include:

1. Online Booking

Giving potential guests the flexibility to make a direct booking online through your website is essential. A good online booking system should integrate with your website via a plugin and offer customizations so that you can match the booking engine to the look and feel of your website. 

2. Site Maps Provided During Booking

Detailed maps of your campsites as well as visual representations of the campground itself, including amenities and natural features, are important to help guests choose the campsite that suits their needs best. With Newbook, you can add extra requirements like RV size, hookup availability, and more to help guests narrow their campsite choices accordingly.

3. Availability Calendar

An availability calendar with real-time updates across all your distribution channels is an essential feature of a reservations management system. With automatic updates, you can always ensure that the right dates and available campsites are displayed no matter which distribution channel a guest uses to create a booking

4. Customizable Rates

It’s not unusual for campgrounds or RV parks to provide long-term accommodations in addition to short-term stays. In some cases, people may even have permanent units on sites that they use like a vacation home. Allowing for different rate types and the ability for guests to pay on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis is important. Some systems, like Newbook, support automatic invoicing to remind long-term guests when they need to pay their next bill.

5. Integrated Payment Processing

Secure payment gateways that support multiple different types of payments (credit card, debit, PayPal, etc.) are important to accommodate the payment preferences of different customers. Plus, integrated payments make it easy to handle deposits and refunds. 

Types of Reservation Management Systems

There are a variety of different types of reservation management systems available on the market. These different types of systems are outlined in more detail in the table below:

Type of Reservation System SoftwareDescription
Global distribution system (GDS)Acts as a middleman between a travel agent and a central reservation system, with the ability to showcase a property’s available inventory and rates so that agents can make the right purchases on behalf of travelersUsers have access to specially negotiated prices and site types that may not be available on OTAs or other distribution channelsIdeal for targeting international travelers
Online booking engine (OBE)Allows direct bookings through the accommodation provider’s websiteOften offers integration with multiple different payment gateways (as is the case with Newbook)Customization options for branding, upsells, campsite maps, and required information from guests are available (Newbook included)
Central reservation system (CRS)Allows reservation data from various properties to be organized in one areaStreamlines distribution across different channelsHelps manage inventory and booking tasks
Channel managersEffectively manages inventory across multiple OTAsOffers real-time availability updates to eliminate the potential for double-bookings (Newbook included)Maintains pricing consistently through automatic, real-time updates 

Typically, reservations management software will include all of the above features, with the exception of the GDS, which isn’t a common inclusion. 

Benefits of Reservation System Software for RV Parks and Campgrounds

better guide to reservation management software

Reservation system software for RV parks and campgrounds offers a multitude of benefits that significantly improve operations and enhance guest experiences. Here are some key advantages:

1. Efficient Booking Process

Regardless of the channel the guest uses to book, reservation management software ensures that the booking process is easy and efficient. Because the software centralizes bookings and utilizes automations, it’s also more efficient for the accommodation provider to handle every booking appropriately with the right assigned tasks. 

2. Centralizes Guest Management

Reservation management software, when integrated with a property management system, helps maintain a database of guest information, including preferences and booking history. This helps with future targeted marketing campaigns and offering personalized services.

3. Real-Time Inventory Management

Provides complete visibility into available sites, amenities, and additional services like rentals and ensures accurate inventory management and maintenance scheduling. Plus, the software can integrate with OTAs so guests always have the latest information with regards to available sites. 

4. Data Analytics and Reporting

Generates insights and reports on essential metrics important for outdoor accommodation providers, such as occupancy rates, guest demographics, seasonality, pricing, and more, allowing owners and senior staff members to make better, more informed business decisions and plan for the future. 

5. Integration Capabilities

An inter-connected tech stack is essential for ensuring seamless information transfer between systems and ensuring data remains accessible and non-siloed. The right integrations can also enhance the functionality of the reservation management software.

What to Consider When Choosing a Reservation Software System

When you’re looking for a reservation software system for your accommodations business, it’s important to keep the following considerations in mind:

1. Price vs. Features

Before purchasing any software, it’s important to compare different solutions in terms of their price versus the features they offer. Making a list of essential features you can’t do without, such as real-time updates and channel management, is important so you can narrow down your choices. Using software comparison websites is a good way to, at a high level, directly compare different solutions that have similar features so you can determine an average price that’s fair and appropriate for the solution you’re looking for. 

2. Scalability

As your business grows, the reservation program that you choose should be capable of growing with you. If you’re envisioning business growth, it’s vital that your campground management software can scale accordingly. Many software-as-a-service providers have adaptable pricing models, including tiered structures or rates based on users. Examining how these pricing models align with your business expansion plans is crucial. Also, evaluating the effectiveness of administrative tools and security features becomes crucial when dealing with various user types. Many software providers incorporate strong security measures like multi-factor authentication and single sign-on to ensure user safety and authentication reliability.

4. Ease of Use

If any software you purchase for your business isn’t easy to use, then not only will your staff likely be resistant to using it, but you’ll also have to spend more time and money on onboarding and training. Reservations system software that’s accessible, provides a straightforward user experience, and makes integrations and connections easy is extremely valuable. However, be aware that any new software is going to have somewhat of a learning curve, and this may differ from employee to employee depending on technical ability. 

5. Data Security and Backups

Things happen, so ensuring that your important data is secure and able to be backed up so you can get your business back up and running as soon as possible is essential. 

SaaS enterprises specializing in reservation management software must ensure robust backup provisions for their clientele in the online realm. Given the prevalent use of cloud-based solutions, secure backup solutions from trusted providers like Amazon Web Services, Google, or Microsoft are often what these companies use to ensure that sensitive data can be easily backed up while still remaining secure. With Newbook, all data is stored on US soil using Amazon Web Services. 

Cloud Reservation System vs On-Premise Reservation System

When you’re choosing reservation management software, one of the things you might consider is whether you want a cloud-based system or on-premise. Each offers its own pros and cons. The differences between these two approaches are compared in the table below:

Cloud Reservation SystemOn-Premise Reservation System
Accessible anywhere with an internet connectionMay be accessible from a mobile device either through an app or browserOffers flexibility and ease of updatesOften comes with subscription-based pricing and additional fees for various services but at the benefit of not having to worry about manual maintenance, updates, or securityInstalled on computers at the premisesNetwork traffic is handled by servers that either the accommodation provider purchases and sets up themselves or through remote server space (which the accommodation provider also has to purchase and pay a monthly or annual fee)Any updates, maintenance, and security related to the operation of the program is handled by the user, often leading to increased IT and development costs

When it comes to flexibility and ease of use, going with a cloud reservation system versus an on-premises option is preferred for the vast majority of campground and RV parks. Going with a cloud-based option ends up being the cheapest and easiest option 100% of the time, as the accommodation provider doesn’t have to deal with backend maintenance and processes relating to security, data storage, updates, and more. 

How to Increase Bookings With Reservations System Software

Increasing bookings with reservation system software involves leveraging its capabilities to enhance customer experience and streamline the booking process. One of the most important and effective ways of doing this is to take full advantage of the software’s ability to help manage OTAs.

Accommodation providers need to utilize both direct bookings and OTAs to be successful. Typically, guests booking with an OTA will choose a hospitality provider for the first time because the OTA increases that business’s reach through carefully curated search terms and filters. However, once a guest has a good experience with a place, they are more likely to book directly the next time. This is when the accommodation provider can entice the guest with upsells, special promotions, discounts, and more to keep them returning to book directly rather than relying on OTAs. 

Listing with multiple OTAs and ensuring that pricing and listing displays (including descriptions and images) are consistently updated and as consistent as possible throughout different platforms is essential for accommodation providers to attract more bookings. 

Why Newbook’s Cloud Reservation Software Is the Best Option for RV Parks and Campgrounds

reservation management software

Newbook provides a comprehensive campground management solution that streamlines operations and enhances efficiency across your campground. This all-inclusive system comprises:

  • A centralized reservations system that allows seamless management of multiple locations from a unified platform
  • Channel management software
  • Property management software
  • Integrations with existing technology stacks and online travel agencies (OTAs) to attract new bookings

Furthermore, Newbook prioritizes customer relationships, treating them as collaborative partnerships. Starting from the initial onboarding process and continuing with ongoing support, our dedication ensures customers maximize the advantages of our software and services.

Our investment in robust infrastructure, leveraging Amazon Web Services, ensures secure data storage within US borders. Advanced encryption, threat anomaly detection, penetration testing, and other cutting-edge security measures guarantee the utmost protection for your data and your customers’ information.

In terms of reliability, Newbook exceeds industry standards with an impressive 99.99% rating. While the difference in percentage might seem negligible, the breakdown reveals a significant contrast:

  • 99% equals an annual outage of 3 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes.
  • 99.99% translates to an annual outage of only 52 minutes and 35 seconds.

This slight difference in percentage actually substantially impacts reliability, underscoring Newbook’s steadfast commitment to minimizing disruptions in your business operations.

Final Thoughts on Reservation Management Systems

Effective reservation management stands as a cornerstone for the success of RV parks and campgrounds.

These software solutions revolutionize how outdoor accommodation spaces function by centralizing bookings from various sources, streamlining operations, and offering features like online booking, site maps, real-time availability updates, and integrated payment processing.

When choosing reservation systems software, it’s important to remember to keep in mind price versus features, scalability, and ease of use to aid in selecting a solution that will work for your hospitality business. 

Newbook’s cloud reservation software, with its essential features, reliability, security measures, and customer-centric approach, solidifies its standing as an exceptional solution tailored to the unique needs of RV parks, campgrounds, and other accommodation providers. 

To learn more about Newbook and how the software can help improve your business, reach out to us today.

Easy, efficient, reservation management

Newbook is your all in one reservation management software. Talk to us today to learn how you can improve operations and increase bookings for your business.

Request a Demonstration

Request a Demonstration

Subject to Newbook’s Privacy Policy, you agree to allow Newbook to contact you via the contact details provided for scheduling and marketing purposes.
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