FAQ Q228: How to change the time / date fields in the reservation form?

The time-related settings determine the fields which will be used for the reservation form and for the search box. The most important choice is whether the resource will be day-based or hour-based. Day-based resources never use the hours, only dates. Hour-based resources do use both dates and hours (with precision down to a quarter of an hour). Please note that in most cases resources rented out for a short period, less than a day (e.g. an hour) but which can be only rented once per day should be still considered by planyo as day-based. This is in order to make the search box, the calendar preview and the reservation form more user-friendly. You can include the information about the time on your website but from planyo's point of view only days would be important, not hours. An example of this is a daily ferry or bus service. If such service has 2 or more times per day, the hour-based resource should be used. In such case the customer chooses both the date and the hour.

Planyo determines whether your resource is day- or hour-based depending on the minimum rental time chosen by you in resource settings. Depending on the choice of the Rental duration option, the minimum rental time can be called min. rental time, rental time or simply the shortest of the predefined values. Any value less than 1 day results in an hour-based resource, 1 day or more results in a day-based resource. See the FAQ question Q341 if you want your resource to be hour-based even though your minimum rental time is greater than 24 hours.

The next important choice is rental duration just mentioned. There are three possibilities:

Rental duration chosenDescriptionReservation form choicesSearch box choices
The rental duration is always the sameThis would be the case of a daily service mentioned above where you'd select 1 day. Another example is a teacher who offers lessons (e.g. e-learning) which always last for e.g. an hour and a half.Only a single date (day-based) or single date and hour (hour-based). The duration is fixed so there's no need to ask for the end times.If all site's resources have a fixed duration, the customer will only enter a single date in the search box.
The rental duration is freely chosen by customerHere you let your customers specify the duration without any constraints by having them determine the start (or arrival) time and end (or departure) time. You will see two more fields: Min rental time and Max rental time which will determine the shortest and longest durations which the customers can select (otherwise an error message will be displayed by Planyo saying what the minimum and maximum rental time is). Note that in Seasonal settings you can change the min/max values for different seasons.Two fields (start date and end date) will be displayed for day-based resources and three or four fields will be displayed for hour-based resources based on the max. rental time chosen (date and start/end time if resource cannot be rented for more than 24h and start date/time and end date/time otherwise).The search box will contain the same fields as the reservation form.
Customer can choose from predefined valuesThis setting lets you enter any number of choices which will be presented to the customer as a drop-down list. Each choice has a text field which is visible in the drop-down and duration associated with given text. Different choices can have the same durations. Once you select this option, you can only enter 5 predefined values (choices) but if you confirm the settings and come back to edit them, you'll be able to add more. The reservation form will let the customer choose the start date (or date and time for hour-based resources) and duration as a drop-down list.If all site's resources have predefined durations, the customer will enter the start date (or date and time) and duration.

Note: If you want the customer to choose the start time and duration using a single field, see Q342 for sample instructions.

Rental duration is connected with the Overnight rental option. This option is used only for day-based resources and determines whether the customer reserves days or nights. Nights are reserved for things like accommodations where arrival date of Feb 1 and departure date of Feb 2 actually means one night, so the calendar preview will show Feb 2 as available. In case of day reservations and the same arrival/departure dates, Feb 2 would be marked as unavailable and the duration would be calculated by Planyo as 2 days. Please note that the Overnight rental option will be often invisible, either if the minimum rental time is under 24h, or for certain site categories.

The green status field will give you a hint of what the customers will see on the reservation form considering the settings chosen by you.

Min. time between consecutive rentals means that for the duration specified here the resource will remain unavailable after each rental. This can be used if you need time to prepare the resource after each rental for the next customer.

Min. time between reservation and rental determines the possibility of making last-minute reservations. You may not want to let your customers make reservations for the next day, for example, if you need more time to prepare the resource. An example here could be a holiday apartment where the owner needs to know about each rental at least 14 days in advance to arrange for the payment sent by bank transfer etc.

Max. time between reservation and rental lets you prevent reservations too far into the future. By default this is set to 1 year so you cannot make future reservations beyond one year from the current date.

Event-type resources: regular resources always use the date selector in form of a field which can be set to any date. If your resource is a one-time event, such as a conference, or if it starts on specific dates (e.g. workshops which you run 20 times per year), then you should switch your resource to an event-type resource. In such case the customer will choose the date or date and time (based on the other time-related settings) from a dropdown list. This is always a preferable solution, as it makes the choice much clearer for the customer.

Please note that it's possible you won't see some of the options described above. This is possible if you created your site using a specific site category, such as vacation apartments. In such case obvious options are simply preset for you and not visible to avoid confusion (you do have a possibility to switch your site to a general category to make all options available).
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