When the sun shines, packing a bag and heading out for a picnic can be a fantastic way to spend time with friends and family. It’s cheaper than eating in cafes and restaurants when you’re enjoying a day out, and it gives you the freedom to stop anywhere you like.
It can seem like lot of effort, so here are our top tips for making a picnic stress-free and easy:
- Don’t forget the drinks
Individual plastic bottles are the easiest choice for picnics as then you don’t need cups as well, and it’s easier to carry than several big bottles of liquid!
Something to keep kids (and big kids) entertained will help you relax longer. Bubbles, balls, books, Frisbees…pack a range and let them loose!
- Think Finger Food
Finger food means less plates and cutlery needed, and saves people trying to eat awkwardly on their knees. It also means all of the food can be put out and served at once so you can sit back and enjoy the meal too.
- Location, Location
If you are planning in advance, think of somewhere that will suit everyone in your party. A distance from carparks, water and other ‘dangers’ will help you relax if you’re taking kids with you. Proximity to public toilets is always useful too!
- Seats suitable for everyone
Remember that not everyone will we able to sit on the ground comfortably. Pregnant women, older people, or people with back problems will thank you for packing a folding chair!
- Picnic baskets don’t have to be baskets
Yes, those purpose-built wicker picnic hampers are gorgeous to look at, but they aren’t always practical. Often they don’t hold much food, are awkward to carry, and take up a lot of space in the car. Small backpacks, soft cool bags and even ‘bags for life’ can be much more convenient options.
- Pack food properly
If you’ll be barbecuing then remember to pack raw meat separately and wrap it well. It should also be kept as cold as possible to keep it fresh, so take a cooler if possible. Cooked meat, cheese, boiled eggs and salad dressings all benefit from being kept cool while in transit, but remember to store them separately from uncooked food.
- Take a tray
A tray is a great multi-purpose tool for a picnic! It helps to stop drinks from spilling when the ground is uneven, and can double as a chopping board for cutting bread or cheese.
- Think about the clean-up
Remember to bring wet wipes for hand-washing before and after. When you unwrap your food, don’t throw the clear wrap or foil away in case you don’t eat everything and need to pack it back up afterwards
- Take a black bag
Not only will this help with the clear up, but if the ground’s wet, you can pop a bag under your rug to give you a dry spot to eat.