iCal Connection

Definition: What is an iCal Connection?

An iCal Connection is the method to synchronize calendars, block periods of unavailability, and avoid double bookings.

iCal Connection, also known as iCalendar, is a widely used method of synchronizing calendars across different platforms, such as Google Calendar and Apple Calendar.

By using iCal, you can efficiently manage your calendar events and block specific periods when certain resources are unavailable. In short-term rentals and hospitality, iCal prevents double bookings and ensures a smooth reservation process.

With iCal connections, you can easily synchronize your bookings across multiple channels, allowing you to manage reservations and avoid conflicts seamlessly. As real-time data feeds, iCal connections keep your calendars in sync, ensuring your availability is always up-to-date and accurate. This allows you to maintain control over your resources, such as rooms or properties, without the risk of overbooking, double bookings, or unnecessary cancellations.

In summary, iCal connections efficiently synchronize calendars, manage availability, and prevent booking conflicts.

Origin of the Term iCal

The term “iCal Connection” combines “iCal” from Apple’s calendar app that uses .ics file format and “connection,” originating from the French word “connexion,” meaning “state or fact of being connected.” Together, it refers to a relationship between iCal-compatible calendar events or applications.

How is iCal Used?

With iCal connections, you can synchronize your bookings and availability across multiple channels, including Lake, Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com. By leveraging iCal files, you can conveniently import and export calendar data, thus reducing the chances of double bookings and effectively managing your listings.

Importing iCal Files: To import an iCal file, go to the lodging page in your channel manager, such as Myallocator or Myfrontdesk. Click on the “Distribution” tab and the “iCal” option. Fill in the required information, then click on the “+iCal Link” button to complete the process.

Exporting iCal Files: To export an iCalendar file, provide your channel’s iCal link to other platforms or channels you want to sync. This automatically lets them update their calendar with your availability and reservation details.

It’s important to understand that iCal connections have some limitations compared to API connections. With iCal, you can only update calendars in one direction, meaning you need to use separate links for importing and exporting. Moreover, iCal connections may not fully support certain features, such as stay restrictions or multiple unit bookings. 

Although using iCal can save you time and improve your calendar management, monitoring your calendars frequently for any discrepancies or delays in updates is essential. By being vigilant and using a reliable channel manager, you can ensure that your availability is accurate and that your guests have a smooth booking experience.

Related Terms

iCal connection is a universal method many online channels use to sync booking data. It’s essential to understand a few terms related to it:

  • Calendar Channels: These include platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, Flipkey, and HomeAway that utilize iCal connections for data synchronization.
  • API connections: An alternative system offering more features than iCal, such as sharing booking and property data and reducing double bookings.
  • XML connections: Another connection option similar to API, offering more advanced data exchange between channels.

While iCal connections are easy to use and cost-effective, they may have limitations like providing limited information and a higher risk of double bookings. Considering the type of connection that suits your needs is essential for efficient channel management.

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