What is a booking form?
Via a booking form, which is a special form of the contact form, the visitors of a website can make a concrete booking request, in most cases for one or more overnight stays. In principle, the booking request can also refer to a special, temporary event. In order that communication regarding the booking is possible and, if necessary, can be further processed electronically, an appropriate online form with the appropriate form fields should be provided. This increases the usability for the visitor of the homepage, since the detour via e-mail or telephone does not have to be taken. As the data of the booking form can be provided by e-mail in a structured form, a later processing and management of the available time windows is also much easier.
Below you will find some examples of booking requests and booking forms:
Form for booking holiday apartment
You are the operator of a holiday apartment and would like to offer your potential holiday guests the possibility on your website to make a booking request for a certain period in advance. This way you can for example avoid customers calling at an inconvenient time and you can answer the booking request at a flexible time.
Form for booking overnight stay
This is the generalized case for an online booking form of the examples given here. It is also conceivable that if you have the space or do not use it yourself, you offer your apartment temporarily for overnight stays and make it available “à la AirBnB”.
Hotel/Hostel Booking Form
As the operator of a small hotel, hostel or youth hostel, it can also be useful to make booking enquiries using a booking form. Especially in the target group of these young guests, it can be assumed that they would like to use the Internet as their first point of contact to make their overnight booking.
Camping booking form
Camping operators who present their campsites for tents and caravan pitches on the Internet can also make booking enquiries using an online form. For example, the backpacker can quickly request a place to sleep via his smartphone.
Form fields of a booking form
As different as the above examples are, so different can be the requirements for a suitable booking form. However, there are a few form fields that should always be included. There are also so-called mandatory fields, which must always be filled in by the guest. The mandatory fields should then be checked before sending the form.
- Arrival date
- Departure date
- Number of persons (if necessary distinction between children and adults)
- Name (first and last name)
- Special wishes
Form field arrival date
This should be a mandatory field in which the overnight guest enters the desired arrival date. If necessary, this field can be extended by the desired arrival time if this is important.
Form field date of departure
This is also a mandatory field, because you want to know how many nights the guest wants to stay.
Number of persons
Also a mandatory field, since you have to estimate how many rooms, extra beds or apartments you have to provide. Alternatively, you can also offer a selection by combobox with, for example, “2-bed room” or “4-person holiday apartment“.
Form fields salutation and name
In principle, these fields could be optional in the booking form. However, it is always nice to be able to use a correct salutation when replying to the guest. The field of address can also be set up as a combobox and at least “Mr.” and “Mrs.” can be selected or if necessary academic titles such as “Dr.” or “Professor“. The name fields can be distinguished by first name and surname.
Form fields for the address
The address does not have to be mandatory for a non-binding booking request. For a binding booking you have to enter the address. This is the known address data, such as street, house number, postcode, city. If you offer your overnight stays internationally, you should definitely offer an additional address field and also a combobox for the selection of the country/state.
Email form field
This is a 100% mandatory field and should be checked before sending. If necessary also with a regex check whether the syntax of an email address is correct, in order to avoid wrong entries, because for the further establishment of contact or confirmation of the reservation inquiry it is important that the email address is correct.
The telephone field can be, but does not have to be, a mandatory field. That depends a little bit on how the accommodation requests are to be processed preferentially. The telephone number is very helpful for short-term arrangements, for example if the arrival is delayed because of a traffic jam or if the handover of keys is delayed because the room service has not yet been completed. Here you can also check the correct entry with a regex query.
Form field for special requests
This is an optional field that can be filled with a free text. In this field the overnight guest can give hints or ask questions, e.g. about the journey, accommodation and the like. So that no novels are written it can be meaningful to limit the number of characters.
Special fields may also be added if special offers are involved, such as when a fishing boat is offered separately for your holiday apartment or if you want to distinguish between smoking and non-smoking rooms. Or the number of required car parking spaces.
Create booking form
In the next step you choose one of three available designs. The designs W3.CSS and Bootstrap are also especially suitable for mobile devices, as you can see in the integrated preview.
In the third step, you only make the general form settings. The form data with the subject specified here will be sent to the email address entered there when the overnight guest submits his booking request via the online form. The captcha should be activated to avoid automated spam via the form. In the text field you can enter a free text, which appears as an introduction before the booking form.
Finally, you can preview the now generated booking form, edit it further or export it directly online.
The following picture shows a part of a booking form, which has been created in bootstrap design. This makes it easy to display on smartphones and tablets and is also easy to use and fill out on these devices.