Booking a campsite or pot luck

 
 
 
 
 
 
Eat's Sleep's craic
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Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 04.08.2019  ·  #1
I was reading about a restaurant in Kilkee that held a large table for a group that didn’t turn and in the meantime he had turned away many other potential customers whilst holding a prime table for a no show. I was talking about this with my wife and she was telling me about the hairdresser she uses who has this happen on a regular basis, which is hard for small businesses.

In our first years we learnt that holding a space without pre payment is great for the potential customer but not good for us if they don’t arrive. We have switched now to full payment in advance if a person wants to secure their pitch, now this favours the campsite owner, I accept but at least the customer won’t waste a journey only to be told there is no space.

Now for me when I’m traveling in my MH I rarely book ahead, perhaps one or two sites that I know will be full without a pre booking but that is the good thing about my unit, 2 people 1 dog and a van that will easily last 3 days without any service needed and whilst I have destination in mind I always have a plan b and c.

We have been at capacity for pretty much all July and this weekend and I have been amazed by the number of campers mainly tents and MHs who have turned up without a booking and have expected to be squeezed in and when we don’t do that it is our fault and we are expected to find them alternative options. For MHs that is easier than tents especially if they are prepared to wild camp but even then some will not wild camp and then don’t want to stay on the new aire in Miltown or use the Marina MH parking at Kilrush.

What’s the point of this post?
Well if you don’t like to plan ahead at least make sure your motorhome is full of water and an empty cassette. Have the motorhome ireland app as this will show you your options in a location. Failing this the most likely time to get a pitch on a site will be just after the campsite’s departure time often around noon.

Still don’t want to book and prepay ring/contact the site and ask if they have space or are likely to have space.

Have a great summer campers.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #2
I have to agree with what you are doing, I don’t book anything but if there is no space fair enough we move on, when we had the caravan we nearly got caught out a couple of times so it taught us with that sort of set up to ring in advance.

The number of people you read about who book the various caravan club sites months in advance with the attitude of sure so what if I don’t turn up, then the others who can’t get booked on the sites they want, the biggest problem, not having to pay in advance


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #3
We never book and often when arriving and viewing the free spot don't stop for several reasons if we'd booked an paid we'd be unlikely to get a refund


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #4
Quote by witzend

We never book and often when arriving and viewing the free spot don't stop for several reasons if we'd booked an paid we'd be unlikely to get a refund

That’s the issue you don’t have book if you have a back up plan. But if you really want to stay in a particular spot and it’s busy then book it.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #5
I have not booked anywhere yet because generally I go in van when I get the chance and the few places I have rang have been booked up. So far when out I have been parking up somewhere (it is always just the odd overnight). Though I thought that when you booked somewhere you paid in advance anyway. I don't mind paying up front, just a terribly disorganised type so like to ring the campsite when I am 100% sure I am definitely going😀 have a lovely day


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #6
Quote by Geri

I have not booked anywhere yet because generally I go in van when I get the chance and the few places I have rang have been booked up. So far when out I have been parking up somewhere (it is always just the odd overnight). Though I thought that when you booked somewhere you paid in advance anyway. I don't mind paying up front, just a terribly disorganised type so like to ring the campsite when I am 100% sure I am definitely going😀 have a lovely day

Same here, I can understand Jamie covering his ass by getting the money up front but I am covering my ass by not paying and loosing my money until I know if I can go or not. Is there a deadline when the money is to be in by? If it is soon count me out and if not I am still in with a chance of going.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #7
Quote by CHAUSSON


Same here, I can understand Jamie covering his ass by getting the money up front but I am covering my ass by not paying and loosing my money until I know if I can go or not. Is there a deadline when the money is to be in by? If it is soon count me out and if not I am still in with a chance of going.


Wrong topic.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #8
Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg

I was talking about this with my wife and she was telling me about the hairdresser she uses who has this happen on a regular basis, which is hard for small businesses.



Happens to SWMBO all the time, luckily she has an abundance of customers and can usually, although not always, get another booking.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #9
Quote by CHAUSSON

Quote by Geri

I have not booked anywhere yet because generally I go in van when I get the chance and the few places I have rang have been booked up. So far when out I have been parking up somewhere (it is always just the odd overnight). Though I thought that when you booked somewhere you paid in advance anyway. I don't mind paying up front, just a terribly disorganised type so like to ring the campsite when I am 100% sure I am definitely going😀 have a lovely day

Same here, I can understand Jamie covering his ass by getting the money up front but I am covering my ass by not paying and loosing my money until I know if I can go or not. Is there a deadline when the money is to be in by? If it is soon count me out and if not I am still in with a chance of going.

This post was not about the craic meet. My price for the meet will remain in place for craicers until the campsite is full. But I don’t hold spaces without full payment so by all means don’t book until you are certain you can make it. And maybe there will be space on the day and I’ll stick to the craic meet price for members of MHCC


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #10
I don’t use sites very often, so I have never booked in advance. However, if there was a site I really wanted to go to, I certainly would


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #11
Quote by Ally

Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg

I was talking about this with my wife and she was telling me about the hairdresser she uses who has this happen on a regular basis, which is hard for small businesses.



Happens to SWMBO all the time, luckily she has an abundance of customers and can usually, although not always, get another booking.


11 people who had pre booked AND PAID did not turn up tonight, 1 (a group of 4) sent a message this time last night, one called this afternoon, ( a group of 3) and 4 didn’t turn up at all. We text/email all that are not here by their stated arrival time asking If their timings have changed. So I’m good for the income but in the meantime I’ve said no to plenty of others who wanted to stay and had they stayed might have extended their stay or perhaps come back again.

No winners, only losers 😢


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #12
You are 100% right getting paid in advance. If they will be a no show after paying, what hope have you if they haven’t paid.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #13
Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg

Quote by CHAUSSON

Quote by Geri

I have not booked anywhere yet because generally I go in van when I get the chance and the few places I have rang have been booked up. So far when out I have been parking up somewhere (it is always just the odd overnight). Though I thought that when you booked somewhere you paid in advance anyway. I don't mind paying up front, just a terribly disorganised type so like to ring the campsite when I am 100% sure I am definitely going😀 have a lovely day

Same here, I can understand Jamie covering his ass by getting the money up front but I am covering my ass by not paying and loosing my money until I know if I can go or not. Is there a deadline when the money is to be in by? If it is soon count me out and if not I am still in with a chance of going.

This post was not about the craic meet. My price for the meet will remain in place for craicers until the campsite is full. But I don’t hold spaces without full payment so by all means don’t book until you are certain you can make it. And maybe there will be space on the day and I’ll stick to the craic meet price for members of MHCC

You can’t be more fair than that Jamie, hopefully I will be able to make a call on it soon and get back to you


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 05.08.2019  ·  #14
Some places don’t take bookings at all like North Beach at Rush near Dublin. I booked into Camac Valley with a few days notice and when I turned up something was wrong with their online booking system so far more people were able to book in than had room for. Some people who had booked a pitch months in advance were not best pleased when they had to park by the bins on the tarmac as there was hardly room to park a bicycle by the time they arrived.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 06.08.2019  ·  #15
I have no problem with advance payments.
Slightly off topic, but related.
On our current European trip, we booked 2 different sites for 4 night stays and since we have kids, we opted for the resort type sites, waterparks, slides, etc.
In both cases we were required to pay a deposit by Electronic Transfer, followed by final payment one month before arrival.
One site, on German/ Luxembourg border, our bank wouldn't handle the payment. A couple of emails, no result.
Finally a phone call was picked up on their end.
The Iban number was wrong.
However they rejected an offer for credit card payment.
They have been caught by a no show, who subsequently reclaimed their fees back from the credit card company.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 06.08.2019  ·  #16
No issues with a deposit or payment upfront, we travel with 2 young kids so it's important to know that we will have a space reserved.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 06.08.2019  ·  #17
Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg
So I’m good for the income but in the meantime I’ve said no to plenty of others who wanted to stay and had they stayed might have extended their stay or perhaps come back again.


But what if you could fill the spot do you then refund the original booking? We used to for hotel bookings as a goodwill gesture


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 06.08.2019  ·  #18
I briefly considered no reservations, first come first served so to speak but for the vast majority of continental tourers they have an itinerary (often very ambitious) and need to be at a set location on a certain day or they are coming over and want to stay in one or two campsites and have planned their day trips from the campsite. Plus it is only sensible for adults with young children to have some where safe and suitable to camp.
So after about 5 years of tinkering if you need to guarantee your pitch book it and pay for it. Don’t want to commit and I really understand that then have some alternatives.

I don’t like to book onto any site I haven’t stayed on before for more than one night in case I don’t like it. This has caught me out twice in 5 years when I have booked for one night and wanted to stay longer only to be told I couldn’t as the pitch and or site was full for subsequent days. But I have my hotel on wheels so easy to move on.

I have noticed in the last 5 years that there are more and more campers and it Clare less and less touring options as some sites that had touring pitches have taken them out in favour of additional statics or touring pitches for people with a bring your own sleeping unit being replaced with glamping pods which has resulted in more demand than supply over busy periods.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 06.08.2019  ·  #19
I don’t like to book onto any site I haven’t stayed on before for more than one night in case I don’t like it.


Same here


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 06.08.2019  ·  #20
Quote by witzend

Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg
So I’m good for the income but in the meantime I’ve said no to plenty of others who wanted to stay and had they stayed might have extended their stay or perhaps come back again.


But what if you could fill the spot do you then refund the original booking? We used to for hotel bookings as a goodwill gesture


We have done that when we have sufficient notice to re let the pitch but we don’t guarantee it. The issue can be if a unit cancels the replacement maybe different so if we have a booking for a family of six and it is replaced by 2 people there is a price difference and we class ourselves full based on the number of people on the site NOT available pitches. We also reduce our capacity when we have lots of people in tents as they rely solely on our facilities whereas a MH or cvan generally have their own. Our pitch types are all different we have 4 large tent pitches, not suitable for a cvan or MH four double sized pitches for caravans but can also be used by MHs. The majority of no shows or late cancellations are tents usually 4 to 6 people and usually when bad weather is forecast.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 12.08.2019  ·  #21
I find it frustrating that many sites won't take bookings.

I don't like the thought of spending many hours travelling somewhere only to find there is no space.
Yes, it's not the end of the world as I do have the excellent parking app, but i do like staying on a site.
I'd gladly pay in advance.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #22
Quote by dealgan

I find it frustrating that many sites won't take bookings.

I don't like the thought of spending many hours travelling somewhere only to find there is no space.
Yes, it's not the end of the world as I do have the excellent parking app, but i do like staying on a site.
I'd gladly pay in advance.


Ditto.
I'd love not having the anxiety of worrying about being able to get onto a site, paying in advance would definitely be worth it.
Use it or lose it is fine with me.
Travelling with kids, we've only used campsites and don't see stopovers/wild camping as an option really.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #23
Quote

Travelling with kids, we've only used campsites and don't see stopovers/wild camping as an option really.

I’ve only ever stayed in a campsite once in the 3 years I have had my motorhome and that is with 2 young kids. I have used it for festivals or “meets” but have “wild” camped a fair bit too and have never had an issue. Convincing the wife took longer than convincing the kids.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #24
I was trying to book a couple of sites in France but they were looking for an admin charge even though I was paying in full. The admin charge would almost cover 2 nights.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #25
Quote by Thornwood

I was trying to book a couple of sites in France but they were looking for an admin charge even though I was paying in full. The admin charge would almost cover 2 nights.


Some French sites use tour operators or booking agency to sell pitches on their behalf.
The admin fee is the booking agents fee.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #26
Well on a quick count I’ve turned away 25 units today, MHs and tents the tents were in cars and cyclists. The last tent saw the space under the washing lines and said they’d be ok there. In this age people do have phones and the internet why chance it in August?


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Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #27
Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg

Well on a quick count I’ve turned away 25 units today, MHs and tents the tents were in cars and cyclists. The last tent saw the space under the washing lines and said they’d be ok there. In this age people do have phones and the internet why chance it in August?


Were any of them heading you're way especially. Or just passing trade ?
The reason I ask is reading you excellent website, I would be more inclined to try get to you ,then get in touch, maybe something added after Book Now ,
Thankfully we have a very regular clientele so don't be disappointed please get in touch so we can advise you. etc ( don't be shy about blowing you're own trumpet.)
Regards
Martin.


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Re: Booking a campsite or pot luck

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Posted: 13.08.2019  ·  #28
Quote by sprinter

Quote by StrandCampingDoonbeg

Well on a quick count I’ve turned away 25 units today, MHs and tents the tents were in cars and cyclists. The last tent saw the space under the washing lines and said they’d be ok there. In this age people do have phones and the internet why chance it in August?


Were any of them heading you're way especially. Or just passing trade ?
The reason I ask is reading you excellent website, I would be more inclined to try get to you ,then get in touch, maybe something added after Book Now ,
Thankfully we have a very regular clientele so don't be disappointed please get in touch so we can advise you. etc ( don't be shy about blowing you're own trumpet.)
Regards
Martin.

Thank you Martin most were in the general area, but in July and August there are a lack of options


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