As you may know, Smoobu allows you to take Direct website bookings without charging commissions or extra fees - which is very popular with hosts!
As a Smoobu user you have the choice to choose between creating a website from the very beginning (Website Builder), or having a site externally and linking it back to Smoobu with a plug-in (Booking System)
This guide is for Smoobu users who have chosen an option above, and set up their account first.
We suggest before doing a test booking, only after you have set-up these features:
- Set up your Booking System: Booking System set up guide Add extra fees, arrival days, min. days between booking and arrival, arrival and departure days restrictions per season, long stay discounts, discount codes, additional items, currency, payment methods, guest required fields to book, and more.
- Ensure you have pricing in your Calendar: If you haven't yet entered prices into Smoobu, your website won't be bookable. This video shows you how to add pricing in order to be bookable in order for your website to show as available.
- Review Payment Methods offered: What payment methods can I offer in the Booking System?
- Set up Automated Messaging for a Booking Confirmation message: Trigger automated messages based on booking, arrival or departure
Creating a test / dummy booking
Now you have up your Booking System/Website in Smoobu, you may wish to run a test booking to see what your process looks like from the Guest's view.
This way, you can see the workflow process you have set-up in Smoobu before taking real bookings.
To do this, you can go to Settings / Booking System / Preview
It is the top right-hand "Preview" button, that opens an external window to test your Booking System.
It opens the Booking System only, so it is ideal for testing:
Choose your dates to bring up the options available.
If you see the message "No available accommodation found" then please ensure to add pricing to your Calendar. No prices in Smoobu = No availability on your website!
This video shows you how to add Pricing in order to be bookable: Price: synchronize rates including prices and minimum length of stay 🎥
Once you have chosen a property you wish to make a test booking on, you can add your own details to the Reservation Form. You will receive your own booking of course, so add your own email address.
If at this stage, you are on the payment page and there are any details you wish to change - you can!
Go back into Smoobu, make your changes to the Booking System. Refresh your website booking system window to see the changes live.
Completing the Test/Dummy booking without paying:
You can choose "Invoice (Bank transfer)" to make an instant booking without exchanging any funds
Wish to change the payment methods you have? This guide will help: What payment methods can I offer in the Booking System?
Completing the Test/Dummy booking with a Credit Card:
This test is a little more involved. Stripe or PayPal does need to be connected first.
If you wish to test with your Credit Card, a trick you can do is set your nightly price for x1 night to a low amount before testing. The lowest amount is "1" so that will be $1 or 1£/€ depending on your currency set.
Then book that exact date, and pay with your credit card by clicking Book Now
Note: After making your Test booking, go back and change the price from 1 back to it's regular price!
Automated messages / Booking Confirmation message
After completing your booking, you can then see how the Automated messages act, according to your settings. Did you create a Booking Confirmation message, but you haven't received it yet?
A tip for sending (specifically) Booking Confirmation messages:
If you wish to send an automated message to send to the guest immediately after the reservation is made/confirmed, please consider using this specific setting:
For a Booking Confirmation, it is ideally sent ASAP - therefore "Time" is left on "Select Time".
An exact hour is not chosen for this specific Booking Confirmation template.
(For all other templates, we find it best to choose a time of the day)
How can I release these dates / cancel my test booking?
Find the test booking, click on it, "Cancel"
I created a test booking, then made changes to my Smoobu account. How can I test these new changes?
This test/dummy booking can be made by you multiple times, before you are ready to start taking bookings. This way you can see what the process is from your Host's perspective, and the Guest's perspective!
We hope you find this useful when running your test bookings to "see" your set-up in practice!