It’s never too early to organize a vacation that all your friends will enjoy. If you’re all some oenophiles, check out these tips for planning a wine vacation.

Sitting in your backyard and sipping on some wine doesn’t hit nearly the same spot as sitting at a winery with friends. Though the coronavirus pandemic has put a hiatus on a lot of our favorite summer group travel plans, that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for the future! Use this extra time to delve into planning the best wine tour for you and your friends—whether you wait until international travel is allowed or make it a weekend trip later on in the year. It’s never too early to plan; check out our tips for planning a wine vacation!

Decide on Your Wine Region

One of the most exciting parts of planning a wine vacation is deciding on where to go! There’s more to the world of wine than the California wine country or the vineyards in France. In fact, we highly recommend visiting the spots that aren’t typically as talked about. For example, the Chilean wine region is full of beautiful sights, delicious wine, and comes at an even better price. So, for your vacation, take the time to look into some under-rated areas and see what deals you can come across for your group!

Research Wineries Before You Go

Once your group has decided on the wine region you’d like to visit, take the time to do some research. Though it’s tempting to just head to the first winery in the search results, you could be missing out on some stunning destinations. We suggest breaking up winery research between your travel buddies, and then having each person come with one or two favorite wineries.

From the chosen spots, develop an itinerary for where you’ll go and when. Pro tip: visit wineries earlier in the day to have a better, less busy, experience.

Make Sure You Have a Transportation Plan

This is a novice mistake that you really don’t want to make. When you’re traveling with a group, transportation is always the first task you should figure out. When you’re taking a wine vacation, that’s even more essential. See if there are any transportation companies that take you to wineries—the sooner you call, the more likely you are to find the right size vehicle for your group. If you need to rent cars, make sure to then delineate who designated drivers are.

Don’t Forget Food Plans

You’ll get so hung up on the excitement of your wine planning that you’ll forget about food. But that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Create a plan for food every time you head to wineries, whether that be eating before, eating during, or eating after. It seems like such a minor detail, but figuring out food plans is one of the most important tips for planning a wine vacation—if not solely for the fact that food can elevate your wine tasting experience!

Leave Time for Exploration

Our final tip has to do with leaving some time unplanned. Especially when it comes to group vacations, there will be moments where the whole group doesn’t agree on what to do—and that’s okay. You can counteract that by not filling the itinerary to the brim each day. Leave time for exploration so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the trip in their own way.