Let's explore the world of iCal feeds and synchronization!

Aug 11, 20222 min readTutorial

Let's explore the world of iCal feeds and synchronization!

Lennart Visscher

Lennart Visscher

When you want to sync the availability of your rentals with other websites, like Airbnb or Booking.com, you need iCal feeds. Let's explore the world of iCal feeds and synchronization!

What is an iCal feed?

An iCal feed is a file containing structured calendar data. Sound a bit boring? It's actually very important! Because every iCal feed is structured the same way, computers can read and understand them. All the bookings you add to your rental are also stored in the iCal feeds. This is done automatically, so you don't have to worry about it. In Bookingmood, iCal feeds are enabled on Plus and higher plans.

What does an iCal feed look like?

The content of an iCal feed is not very interesting for humans. As mentioned above, it's merely for computers to read and use. The most important parts of an iCal feed regarding availability are the DTSTART and DTEND lines!



D = Date T = Time START = Start END = End

If you look really carefully at the two lines above, you can see that it's a booking! The booking check-in date is 2022-06-04 and the check-out is 2022-06-11. So from 4 July 2022 to 11 July 2022.

What is syncing?

Syncing, also known as synchronization, is the process of keeping data consistent across multiple sources. Simply put, a rental can be available or booked. When your rental is on various websites, like your own website and Airbnb, manually managing the availability separately on each website is time consuming. Plus, it also creates room for mistakes! Syncing automates this process, with iCal feeds!

For example: By adding an iCal feed from Bookingmood into Airbnb, all bookings you make in Bookingmood are automatically synced to Airbnb and vice versa: If you add an iCal feed from Airbnb to Bookingmood, then Bookingmood automatically updates the calendar when a booking comes in via Airbnb.

How often are bookings synced across websites?

You can assume that the data in your iCal feed from Bookingmood is always up to date. If you add a booking to your calendar or if a booking is made by the customer, your iCal feed will be updated immediately. But if you add your iCal feed from Bookingmood to another website (for example export it to Airbnb), it is up to that website to read the iCal feed from time to time. How often this happens varies per website. You can easily view this in Bookingmood. You can view the logs in the 'Synchronization' menu. See the image below.

iCal read logs in Bookingmood

From our experience:

  • Airbnb: Every 3 hours
  • Booking: Every 2 hours
  • HomeAway: Every hour

If you import an external iCal feed into Bookingmood, Bookingmood will read it every 5 minutes in the Plus plan and every 60 seconds in the Premium plan.

Syncing and Bookingmood

Bookingmood offers iCal synchronization in the Plus and higher plans. So besides creating a calendar and adding it to your own website, you can also sync your calendar with other websites!

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What is an iCal feed?What does an iCal feed look like?What is syncing?How often are bookings synced across websites?Syncing and Bookingmood

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