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Discussion in 'Reservation Systems' started by 2oothguy, May 11, 2019.
Yes I wouldn't blow 50 60 bucks either. This is all just a thought /Rant I guess I will just try to plan out further than normal Just thought six to eight months out I would be able to find a site at like Carolina Beach or Smith moutian Lake. But I guess some places that like this everyone want to be too. Just don't like seeing a supposed full campground with a bunch of sites not used.
I get that. I read this complaint a lot from folks in the east. Best you can do is contact the campgrounds whenever you see empty sites. Maybe if they get enough complaints, they will do something.
Maybe an incremental penalty for no shows. First no show is the current standard. Second, you forfeit the reservation fees plus pay a 50% penalty. Third, pay a 100% penalty. Only exceptions would be a documented health emergency or a documented vehicle breakdown.
I understand the frustration, but a no-show is actually better in many ways
They pay for the night anyways, so revenues are still there
They don't use any of the facilities, so less expense, less wear and tear
The campground is emptier, therefore more peaceful
As long as you are one of the ones who was able to snag a site.
If you're the one stuck at home because all these people reserve spots and don't show up, then it's not better.
We brought our NTU hybrid home early April to north east Ohio and started looking for a state park to go to for Memorial day weekend, and between the five within a hundred miles from us, none of the reservable sites in all five were available. There were a few walk up sites at one park. So we stayed home.
This is a huge problem at our favorite state park. It's a Florida park at the beach. EVERY time we go, which is often, 30% to 50% of the sites are empty during the week.
Every single site shows booked on the website. It's only Friday night that sites start to fill up.
Supposedly, after 24 hours, with no show/no call, they will give the site to someone else. I'm not sure if that ever happens. I can't imagine too many people showing up without a reservation. It's primarily a weekday problem. I would love to see them start charging a $100 no show fee!!! Maybe it would encourage people to have some consideration, and cancel if they can't make it.
I think a lot of parks will "give the campsite away" if someone wants it, but won't actually cancel the reservation. So if folks don't come out to the campground, the site sits waiting for the original reserver.
At the campgrounds I stay, I see the rangers/host going around on Thursday and Friday checking reservations. If a person reserved for the weekday and didn't show up, their reservation tag is removed. So even if they show up on Friday night and no one has taken their site, they have to pay for the site again to use it. I think that helps reduce the temptation to reserve and not show until the weekend.
I mogjt have to bail on the last day of my reservation coming up for the pa rally. Not waht i planned when i booked it, but sometimes life gets in the way of life. Depends on if a guy at work is back from his sick leave, so really not up to me at all.
The bulk of our camping is boondocking, but there is a site at a campground in the Payette Nat'l forest, and another in Oregon that the wife is particularly fond of, for those we reserve well in advance, never had a problem, except if if was for a major holiday weekend. Often when we are there, we see unfilled reserved sites, but like mentioned earlier, less people to deal with.
We are heading to our favorite park for a week, starting Monday. I think I'll make a video, showing the website (booked solid) and how many sites will sit empty during the weekdays. It's crazy. Something really needs to be done to give people incentive to cancel, if they are not going to make it.
Only reservations I have ever made at NJ state parks is when I reserve a group site for our Troop. I will always reserve for two nights (Fri-Sun). Depending on where the park is we will arrive early Saturday morning before 08:00. This way we don't have to be setting up in the dark and not dealing with traffic on Friday evening. This only applies to state parks south of where we are. If you know NJ, you understand why!! Also allows us to get to the site early or else we cannot check in till noon. Parks north of us we will go up on Friday evening.
If we know we need to cancel our trip I will go online and cancel our reservations as soon as I know we will not be going. The cancellation fee is like $10.
If they could figure out how to charge different amounts for different people, say one hour of your wage / salary for each night you stay, it would reduce the “overbooking for convenience” issue that happens. Wouldn’t that be a hoot - a high power lawyer (do they camp?) paying $500/ night for a campsite!
Maybe a system where you pay half up front to reserve the site, then the balance is due within a week or two of arrival. If you cancel early enough, you get some of your money back, but if you don’t cancel (and don’t pay the balance) you lose your deposit?
I have a site reserved in Idaho for July that I probably won’t use...but I hardly get anything back if I cancel it...I will still cancel it so someone else can use it, but there is no real financial incentive or automated mechanism for cancelling. I’d rather give it away to someone than figure out how to cancel it.
We booked a site in Iowa over the 4th. Now we find ourselves having to shorten the trip due to plans changing, so we called and tried to free up those days, and they told us we couldn't do it. They said you can't shorten a trip on the front end, and that you can't split up a weekend (we will be staying through Saturday morning). All told the extra days cost us less than $50, but these are days that others could be using the site but we'll be paying for it to lay dormant.
I am running into a problem that every site is a "Walk-Up" site. SO you do not know if there will be a site when you get there or not. I like to assume that there will be, but it's not guaranteed. I don't know how people are okay with spending all their time and energy packing, and planning, driving over an hour and then not being 100% sure that there will be a site for them. I am not wanting to reserve months in advance, but a week or two would be nice. What are we supposed to do?
This is all why there are so many complaints
Most reservation systems don't allow you to cancel a partial reservation - because people will book one reservation for multiple weekends, then cancel the ones they don't want at the last minute. If too last minute, there is not enough time for different campers to reserve those cancelled dates.
Instead, they force you to cancel the entire reservation, then try to book what you still want as a new reservation. This is supoosed to get you to cancel early enough so you can reserve the new dates online - thereby giving enough time for others to do the same. The downside for the origial camper is that it opens the entire reserved time frame up again, so you fall back into the same chance as everyone else to get the newly opened reservation. Sounds good overall...
However, at the campground TFischer booked at, this doesn't work because they will let the reservation stand as it is even if no one is in it. So, rather than cancel and try to catch the dates you still want before someone else, the original camper chooses to keep the entire reservation rather than risk not getting the newly opened dates. So, the site sits empty but paid for.
If the campground had a policy that said if you don't use it the first night, you forfeit the entire reservation, then the original camper would be forced to cancel the entire reservation and take their chances at getting the new dates re-booked before someone else comes along. This is less fair to the honest bloke/blokette who has a real reason for the change, but reduces the jerks who are booking willy nilly to ensure a site for all weekends they want.
Then there is the holiday/weekend booking policy that requires a minimum of a two night stay or a requirement for a full weekend (Friday & Saturday night stay). Again this means TFischer can't cancel an unneeded date because of it. This is usually done in areas where there is a larger town or city nearby. They set the policy 1) to reduce partying because teens won't want to pay for two nights just to party for one night; and/or 2) because they believe they can easily fill the campground with full weekend stays.
This is a standard problem. It comes down to: if you will be travelling a long distance, there aren't a variety of campgrounds in the area, you want a specific campground or campsite, and/or you can only arrive on Thursday evening or later, then you will need to make reservations. How early the reservations need to be made will be decided by the campground popularity and your particularities.
While working, I have always reserved for high season campsites. They fill up over weekends. I am picky about the campground and site I want. And I have to work around my work schedule.
Off season, I rarely reserve because most places are much more empty so I can easily get a site even on a weekend. If I do want a particular site, I watch the reservation map. If it looks like the campground is getting enough campers that my preferred site is likely to be taken, then I reserve it.
With retirement days away, I can plan on doing more walk in campgrounds because I can get there during the week before the weekenders arrive so I am pretty assured of getting a decent site. I'm not going to be arriving on a Friday with all the other weekenders and trying to compete for sites.
On most forums, you will read retirees arguing for more walk in and fewer reservable sites. Working folks usually want the reverse. Out here there is a good mix of both.
Most people only see the world from their point of view. Growing up all sites were first come first serve. You picked a site and set up. The park ranger would make rounds, check grounds, and collect fees.
I know right, people can't stand them. Lol. But yes I remember those days too. I wish it was still that way. Your site is the one your at. I like it. We used to go out Thursday after work and find a site and set up. Come back Friday and camp the weekend. They would not let you come any earlier than one day. If you weren't there Friday they took your stuff and you would have to pay to get it back. We never had that problem but I know some who have.
I was looking to book somthing may next year. The site said I could only book 11 months in advance. So at midnight on the 21st I tried to get the site. Well what do you know not available, it's been reserved. WTH, how can this be. It shows its to early to book, so how can it be reserved? Maybe I can use my VPN and jump a day ahead. Heck I don't know.