All About iCal

All About iCal


Nomad Stays can accept your iCal feeds from your calendaring system.

We also have our own iCal feeds (out) so your calendaring system can get updates from us.


Up-To-Date Room Availability is Critical

It's vital that your room availability is always up to date with Nomad Stays.

In almost all cases this 'live' availability will be fed in from your Channel Manager or your primary iCal supplier.

Warning: If you reject a booking because your availability isn't accurate then you will be automatically delisted from Nomad Stays and may have to pay a re-listing fee.

 It's not worth having your Stay delisted because you overbooked or rejecting our bookings so we recommend you get an iCal supplier at the very least.


PMS, Channel Manager of Online Calendaring Systems

To keep availability up to date many Stays use some form of PMS, Channel Manager, or online Calendaring system to make it easy to let all their agents automatically know of their availability.


These systems work by having 1 single source of Availability information that is automatically shared with many other party's computer systems.  The



The iCal Format

The iCal format / system is one of the most popular technologies used by many Channel Manager systems.


iCal is short for iCalendar and is a global technology standard for sharing calendar info.  While it wasn't designed for the hospitality industry specifically it's certainly become one of the big standards these days.

 Here's an example iCal URL address:


Nomad Stays needs at least your iCal feeds from your calendaring systems., VRBO, Airbnb, Smoobu, and many others all have iCal feeds that Nomad Stays can read.


When you give us the iCal feed URL (its internet address) for one of your rooms we insert this into the Room Record for that same room you've listed on Nomad Stays.  From now on we will pull a copy of your iCal Availability from your master source.


Tested iCal Suppliers

Most iCal suppliers in hospitality work the same.  Here's a list of the ones we've tested


Find your iCal URLs.

Here are some tips on finding your room's iCal address.



Multiple iCals

If you have several rooms, then it's likely you'll already have multiple iCal addresses.  One iCal address for each of your rooms.


When you send us the iCal URLs, you'll need to tell us which of your rooms each of the URLs matches.



Send us your iCal URLs

Once you've got your iCal URLs simply send it to us via email or messaging with the room each belongs to, and we'll test them and insert them into your Room Records.




Limitations with iCal

There are some limitations with the iCal system to be aware of.

Synchronization Delays

iCal 'synchronisation' as it's called happens at fixed time periods as set by each company.  So, it's not instant.

Nomad Stays pulls iCal updates every 1 hour for instance whereas other suppliers may not pull as often.


Master iCal Source Preferred

The other thing to be careful of with iCal is to choose the Master source of availability so that everyone gets the fastest update from your best source.

For instance, if 'Smoobu' is the best source then it becomes the 'Master' source, and you should share the 'Smoobu iCAL URL' with Nomad Stays and all your other agents.

If you shared say the iCal with Nomad Stays and only updated their records from Smoobu every 12 hours, then it could take a total of 14 hours before everyone is updated (12 hours for Booking and then 2 hours for Nomad Stays Stays).  This creates a risk of double booking during this unsynchronized time period. 



Making Changes to iCal Availability

You need to make changes to your Availability at the Master Source location you've chosen.  Nomad Stays just pulls a copy of the data from your Master Source.

So, if you now want to open up rooms that were blocked before then you should edit them in your master source.  If you open them up in Nomad Stays only by mistake the edits will be overwritten in an hour when the latest copy of pulled from the Master Source.


What Happens if I Don't Have an iCal or API feed?

If you're a small operator, then it's likely you can't be listed on Nomad Stays without an iCal.

If you are a large operator with many possible rooms (20+) then you can be invited to give us 'free-sale' rights on a few of your room types.  This allows our system to take bookings without checking with your availability first.

With 'free-sale' we have an Extranet facility at Nomad Stays which allows you to manage your own inventory directly with us.  This means that if you get really busy you can block out your free-sale availability until things return to normal.


Read more about Why You Need an iCal

Other Resources: