Five Rules for successfully booking popular parks on On-Sale dates, or better said by our customers…
 
“My favorite site is never available. What do I need to do to make a reservation?”
“Everything is sold out by the time I call in or log in.  What’s the trick to reserving a site?”
“There were 21 sites that went on sale this morning and they’re already gone? Its only 9:05am. How can that be??”
 
Rule #1: Book on-line!

It is easier, much quicker and you greatly increase your odds by booking on the web. Many customers browse the web, but then call us to make the reservation. Unfortunately, by the time they get through on the phone, everything has already been reserved. Consider…
  • Thousands of customers compete for their favorite sites during on-sale days, and over 90 percent of the successful reservations are booked on-line.
  • Lucky campers book over 75 percent of the sites within the first few minutes after they go on sale.

 

So…if you don’t have a computer and a high speed internet connection, make friends with someone who does, or try your local library!

 

Rule #2: Know the on-sale dates and time!

Know the booking window for the facility you’re competing for.  Campgrounds, parks and other reserveable facilities have varying on-sale windows. Check the “Booking Window” tab on the check availability page for your facility.  
  • As an example, if the maximum booking window for your favorite park is 6 months, and you want to arrive on July 10th you can book beginning January 10th.  If the maximum booking window is 12 months you can book that July 10th 2016 arrival date on July 10th 2015. 
  • But be aware, the maximum window is based on the arrival date, and you can usually book up to a 14 night stay (some restrictions apply). This means you favorite site might not be available for an arrival on July 10th because someone else booked a 14 night stay starting on July 7th.
  • Do the time zone math ahead of time. What time zone is your facility in?  And you?
  • Be prepared!

Rule #3: Prepare in advance!

If you don’t have one already, create your login and password and test it long before the on-sale date. Research the facility and choose what you want, but be sure to have alternate dates and sites in mind.  To lock your site (so no one else can reserve it but you) you will have to know how to select the arrival date, enter the number of nights you want to stay, and then click “book these dates”.  It’s that easy!  But is it…?
 
TRY THIS: If you are new to our web site, practice speed drills and get comfortable with the site. Get acquainted with the Date Range Availability tab.  It’s the best “at a glance” view of what sites are available and when. How fast can you get to the “book these dates” link?  Do you know how to refresh your page? It’s important. Learn how!
 
AND THIS: Play around with adding a campsite in your shopping cart on an on-sale day you are not interested in (prior to the real event). Watch the timer go down. Abandon your cart or remove the site you just locked.  Try it again the next day to improve your booking skills.
 
CONSIDER: If you can, select dates that do not include a Friday or Saturday. Instead of a week-long stay, consider a mid-week or Sunday through Thursday stay, or visit during the non-peak shoulder seasons (April and October).
 
DO THIS: Synchronize your computer clock so that you are poised to refresh your pages at exactly the on-sale time – this is key!  This will get you to your site, dates and the “book these dates” link quickly.  Check on line the National Institute of Standards and Technology Internet Time Service to sync you computer’s date/time.
 

Rule #4: Be ready on the day!

On the day of the on-sale, log in well before the sale begins. You will not yet be able to reserve, but you can review the facility and the site details pages and get ready. And as the on-sale hour approaches…
  • Check the date range availability grid to make sure your site and date choices are still viable – remember to have alternates in mind.
  • Refresh your page a few times, but most important, refresh at exactly the on-sale time.
  • The moment the on-sale begins is the most critical time, so don’t wait even one second. Click on your arrival date (A), enter your number of nights and then “Book These Dates” to lock your site.
  • Continue on and answer all the questions, check all the boxes and have your credit card ready to check out your cart.

Rule #5: Last but not least…Do not hesitate!

Seconds make the difference between getting your reservation or not. Once you click “Book These Dates” the site is locked in your cart for 15 minutes to give you time to complete your reservation. If you do not complete the transaction after 15 minutes, the site is released back into inventory. If your computer freezes, the site remains in your cart. Simply log back in, access your cart and complete the reservation.

And if you don’t get your site this time, we’re sorry, but don’t bet on a cancellation. Cancellations at popular parks and special dates are rare.  We recommend trying a different park or alternate dates. But if you want to hope for a cancellation, the best way to check is on the web site where you can view availability 24/7 – don’t forget to refresh.  Good luck!