How to Sync your Airbnb Calendar with VRBO & Booking.com

How to Sync your Airbnb Calendar with VRBO & Booking.com

Most properties, especially those managed by full-time property managers are more often than not listed in more than one online travel agency. This is mostly to ensure that the property is accessible to more than one target audience, therefore, increasing your chances of getting a booking.

While it seems to be a good idea to have multiple OTA listings for the same property, it is important to ensure that the same property or unit is not booked multiple times for the same date. To do that the calendars of all the OTA must be linked to each other. This article guides you to sync calendars from Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com to each other.

The Perils Of Trying To Manually Sync Calendars:

Manually sync calendars At the initial stages, manual syncing via Excel spreadsheets might seem like a good idea but as the heading suggests, you can only try. This is mostly because information gets outdated soon and as a full-time property manager, you will most probably not have the time to manually update spreadsheets. Attempting to manually synchronize bookings could soon be the same as not having any synchronizations as it is only natural to give up soon resulting in a mess in calendars and bookings, resulting in risking an overall negative customer experience

Synchronizing Airbnb, VRBO, And Booking.com Calendars Through iCal.

Calendars can easily be synced through the iCal calendar sync functionality. Set up connections between the three vacation rental sites and enjoy peace of mind.

What Is An iCal Connection?

An iCal connection is a tool used to synchronize multiple calendars together. You can use it to sync multiple calendars to the same property in one space effectively keeping properties from being overbooked or having multiple bookings for the same dates.

For example, when you connect your Airbnb and Booking.com calendars and a guest makes a booking on Airbnb for a particular date, those dates automatically become unavailable on Booking.com. If the booking was made via Booking.com the dates get blocked out on Airbnb.

How To Find The iCal Link On Airbnb

Follow the steps below to access the link in your Airbnb host dashboard:

  1. Click on the “Availability” tab on your Airbnb host dashboard
  2. Scroll down to the sync calendar section
  3. Click on the “Export Calendar” section to find your property’s individual iCal link for Airbnb.
  4. Copy the iCal link in the window that opens to sync with other calendars.

Note: you will also find the “Import Calendar” option just above the “Export Calendar” option. This is where you will paste in the iCal links from VRBO and Booking.com when you find them

How To Find The iCal Link On Booking.com

The Booking.com iCal link can be found when you log in to its extranet. Follow the steps below to get to your property’s unique iCal link on Booking.com.

  1. Click on the “Rates and Availability” tab.
  2. Go to the Calendar screen.
  3. Right under the name of the property (e.g.: Blue Lagoon Villas) find and click on the “Sync Calendar” option. -If you have multiple units on the same listing the “Sync Calendar” option will appear next to the room name (e.g.: Master Bedroom) and Room ID.
  4. Click “Export Calendar” to see your unique iCal link.
  5. Copy the iCal link to sync with other calendars.

Note: you will also find the “Import Calendar” option just above the “Export Calendar” option. This is where you will paste in the iCal links from other calendars

Another point to note is that Booking.com automatically disables calendar sync if you have a channel manager connected

How To Find The iCal Link On VRBO

The steps listed out below will help you find the iCal link on the VRBO property dashboard:

  1. Select the “Calendar” tab.
  2. On the drop-down that opens select “Reservations”.
  3. The “Reservations Calendar” window will open.
  4. Click the “Import/Export” option on the top right corner of the window.
  5. Click on “Export Calendar” to access your properties iCal Link for VRBO

Note: you will also find the “Import Calendar” option just above the “Export Calendar” option. This is where you will paste in the iCal links from other calendars.

How To Sync All Three Calendars With The iCal Links

Now that you have the iCal links to your property in all three booking engines simply follow the instructions below to sync their calendars

Step 1 Open all three calendars and find your iCal links

__Step 2 __

Copy Airbnb iCal link

  • Paste Airbnb iCal link in Booking.com “Import Calendar”
  • Paste Airbnb iCal link in VRBO “Import Calendar”

__Step 3 __

Copy VRBO iCal link

  • Paste VRBO iCal link in Booking.com “Import Calendar”
  • Paste VRBO iCal link in Airbnb “Import Calendar”

__Step 4 __

Copy Booking.com iCal link

  • Paste Booking.com iCal link in VRBO “Import Calendar”
  • Paste Booking.com iCal link in Airbnb “Import Calendar”

__Step 5 __

Save your settings in all three calendars.

Congratulations! You now have the calendars of all three booking engines synced to each other reducing the chances of having your property being overbooked.

What Are The Downsides Of Syncing Calendars Through iCal?

The downside of syncing calendars this way is that the API used to sync your calendars does not update in real-time. You might find that you have to refresh the calendars for each property every time a booking is made for the booking to get updated in other calendars. You might also have to risk delays from 30 minutes up to 2 hours for calendars to get updated. These delays are built in to prevent too many requests from being made in short periods of time.

While this delay may be okay during some periods a lot can happen during these delays especially during peak seasons with the chances of more people looking to book your property. The solution is to use vacation rental software that offers communication.

Synchronizing Calendars Using A Vacation Rental Software

Synchronizing calendars The most effective method to synchronize various booking engine calendars is to use vacation rental management software such as Hostaway. As a channel manager, our software allows multi-calendar synchronizations and allows you to list through both mainstream and niche OTAs allowing your property to be on top of search results to your target audience.

If your property has a hotel-style, multi-unit setup, we offer multi-unit support while giving you the option of combining multiple units into one big unit to maximize revenues, and renting out individual units when you're not fully booked.

If you would like to experience how we help property managers grow their businesses at Hostaway, talk to our sales team or request a free demo.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?