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Checklist for Your Next Wine Tasting Trip
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Heading on a wine vacation should prove to be one of the most relaxing trips of your year. But first, you have to plan it all and trying to keep track of everything can be quite aggravating as well as overwhelming.
Figuring out where to start may be the biggest problem you have, but once you get the ball rolling, the rest of your planning should become a lot easier for you.
I got the opportunity of visiting Crama Aramic a beautiful scenic vineyard in Romania, near Timisoara, back in July 2019 along with 40 other Travel Bloggers and Content Creators, as a part of Experience Romania 2019. We had a beautiful time during our visit there, and had an informative wine tasting session, which was paired with some sumptuous food. While we experienced the vineyard only for a couple of hours, the experience got me thinking about, planning a vacation, solely revolving around some wine tasting trips, which ultimately led to me creating this 15 point checklist which will help you plan your next Wine Tasting Trip.
But before you start scrolling down and checking out the checklist, sort out your travel insurance first. And we recommend SafetyWing – The Travel Insurance for Travellers by Travellers
Length of Vacation
Before you can even starting planning the events of every day, it’s a good idea to first figure out how long your vacation is going to be. There’s no sense in planning an elaborate vacation if you only have the time to be there for a few days. The less vacation time you have, the simpler vacation planning you should do. You want to be able to relax, not run around and try to get everything done in the few days that you have, something like this Staycation in Kerala – God’s Own Country, which I experienced back in May 2019 with my family.
Knowing how much vacation time you have will also help to determine what budget you set for your trip.
Setting Your Budget
What you don’t want to do is set a minimum budget; that can limit you too much and if you really want to treat yourself, you might miss out on some good memories. Choose a maximum budget instead, setting a limit on how much you’re willing to spend so that if you do still enjoy yourself, you’re staying under that target.
Look at all-inclusive budgets as well to have the majority of your events taken care of. Having a look at Hermann Wine Trail can give you some great ideas on what kind of vacation packages you can find so that you’re not planning every single event yourself. That will take a lot of the stress off your shoulders so that you can actually feel like you’re on vacation.
Wear the Right Colors on your Wine Tasting Trip
If you’re going on a wine tasting trip, it’s a good idea to put aside those light breezy colours that make you look great and opt for darker colours instead. Why? Think of how much wine you’ll be drinking, and consider how much of it you may spill on yourself 😜.
You don’t want to spend your entire vacation having to wash stains out of your clothing, so you can save a lot of time and hassle by just wearing dark colors so that no one will see the stains.
Packing Extra Layers
It’s better to have a few too many clothes with you than not enough. Weather can be unpredictable at times, so pack some extra clothes.
It’s best to wear a few light layers at the start of the day and then remove them as the day gets warmer so that you can continue to be comfortable. Pack a sweater or two when you want to bundle up at night when it’s much cooler. Don’t forget a waterproof outer layer as well, as wine territories, you visit during your wine tasting trip, can experience very sudden downpours.
You’re going to be doing a lot of hiking on a wine tasting trip so it’s a good idea to pack shoes that you can comfortably walk long distances in. You may want to look perfect and polished when you’re tasting wine, but comfort is a much better approach than looking your best.
Vineyards themselves can be quite slippery, so you want a pair of shoes that have good treads to stop you from falling onto your butt into piles of fallen grapes. So forget the open-toed shoes and go for weatherproof boots or black sneakers.
Packing Plastic Bags
Wineries are working operations, with machineries and equipment that put out a lot of dirt. Your clothes and shoes are inevitably going to get covered in stuff, so if you don’t want them to stain the rest of your clothes, consider packing some plastic bags to shove your dirty laundry into. This is a great idea if the place you’re staying doesn’t provide access to laundry machines.
Stay Hydrated during your Wine Tasting Trip
It’s a good idea to bring a portable water bottle with you so that you can stay hydrated while you’re on vacation. Alcohol can severely dehydrate your body and affect your health, such as severe headaches. And no one wants to spend their wine-tasting vacation chugging aspirin to make the pain go away.
Fill it up any chance you can get and make sure to drink water every day to keep your body healthy. You will also be helping the environment, as you’ll avoid purchasing plastic use and throw bottles throughout your wine tasting trip.
Portable Charger and a Power Bank
Vineyards don’t usually have great cellphone service, which basically means that your phone battery will get drained very quickly, constantly searching for network.
That means you should definitely pack your phone charger to ensure that you can always keep your phone powered in case of an emergency. It may also not be a bad idea to have a portable power bank as well to charge your phone when you’re not in your room.
Using Protective Suitcases
You may want to pack light, thinking that a duffel bag is easier to carry, but if you’re going on a wine tasting tip, chances are you’re going to want to bring back a few bottles with you. That’s why you should choose a hard-shell suitcase so that your bottles of wine will be protected when you’re heading back home. It’s much better than collecting a wine-stained, dripping suitcase at baggage collection.
Whether you get a hard suitcase or not, it’s still a good idea to protect the rest of your belongings by sealing your wine bottles in soft padding. There are plenty of sealed pads and bags that you can put your wine bottles in so that even if they do break, the wine is contained so that it doesn’t stain the rest of your belongings.
Don’t Forget Snacks
Being on a wine tasting trip means that you’re going to be eating a lot of expensive, rich food. And that can take a toll on some people’s digestive systems. That’s why it’s a pretty good idea consider bringing your own food when you get a little sick of eating such decadent meals.
It’s a good idea to pack some healthy snacks to take with you so that you can eat between tastings and fill you up more readily. It’s always recommended that you have something to eat before you ingest alcohol so that you can process it much more quickly. Be sure that you check what foods you can travel with so that they’re not taken from you.
Pack a Yoga Mat for your Wine Tasting Trip
It’s a great idea to get some exercise in while you’re on vacation not only because it’s good for mental health, but because drinking alcohol can put a few pounds on you. A yoga mat is one the easiest things you can pack that won’t add any extra weight to your luggage.
Another great benefit to packing a yoga mat? It serves as padding that you can wrap around your wine bottles to prevent them from breaking.
A Few Extra Bags
If you’re flying, it’s a good idea to pack along a few bags to pack your wine separately in. There’s nothing wrong with transporting alcohol in your checked luggage, so go for it, as long as it’s properly padded.
Depending on the winery you’re visiting, they may also be able to provide you with a cardboard wine shipper that you can transport your wine in to prevent them from breaking.
Bring An Empty Box
Liquor stores have plenty of wine boxes that they provide when you make a purchase, so it doesn’t hurt to ask them for one before your trip. They’re more likely to happily provide you with one. You’ll be able to fit at least four bottles in one, and there’s a convenient handle for you to carry them around.
Reading Reviews about different Wine Tasting Trips
Now that you have most things figure out, you need to compile a list of places you’re interested in going to for your wine tasting trip. So where do you start?
Look at reviews. These are going to be comments made my customers so that you know what they’re experiences are and what you should look forward to when you go. Comparing reviews will also help you to narrow down your list so that you have a few places to choose from that are also within your budget.
Don’t forget to look at the dates on some of the reviews too, because if they’re a few years old, the establishment may have changed their accommodations to fix those problems. If you’re really concerned, you can always make a call to ask questions of your own so that you know what to expect.
Summarised Checklist for Your Next Wine Tasting Trip
- Length of Vacation
- Setting the Budget
- Pack the right coloured clothes
- Pack extra layers
- Comfortable Shoes
- Spare Plastic Bags
- Portable Water Bottle
- Chargers and Power Bank
- Use Protective hardbound suitcase
- Soft paddings / protection for wine bottles
- Yoga Mat
- An extra bag or a few
- An empty box
- Reading Reviews
With this 15 Point Checklist, your next wine-tasting trip planning should be an easy affair.
Just an FYI: It is very rare for any travel insurance company to cover any missed flights, injuries, or unforeseen hiccups caused by alcohol consumption. Basically, alcohol voids any travel insurance you may have purchased. And, while I recommend travel insurance – it’s just smart – I also like to protect my readers wherever I can 🙂