Whether you’re planning a trip to the park, heading to the beach or camping out in the countryside, a staycation is a perfect time to have a picnic!
Picnics are a great way to bring the whole family together for a fun-filled day in the sun, and what better way to make a staycation feel more like a real vacation than eating in the open air.
LuggageHero has shared a selection of top tips to help you with everything from choosing an ideal picnic location to packing your hamper like a pro. So grab your basket, blanket and some cosy chairs. We’re going on a picnic!
Location, Location, Location
No, not the program, the perfect picnic spot! Whether you fancy a late lunch on the sand or early brunch under the trees, your picnic location can make or break your experience. Make sure you always consider the temperature and weather when planning.
Forest Picnic. On a hot sunny day search for somewhere with shelter, maybe in a forest or under a tree – at least then your food isn’t in direct sunlight, plus if you nod off you won’t get burnt! With plenty of space, kids can explore while you kick back and relax with a good book in the secluded forest.
Beach Picnic. Avoid the beach on a windy day, no one likes sand in their salad! The beach is the perfect picnic spot to watch the sun go down with a glass of bubbly with your friends around. Make sure you keep your food in sealed containers and bring along a beach ball or frisbee for fun.
Countryside Picnic. Find a field free of animals, lay your blanket down, grab yourself a sandwich and a glass of something sweet… and relax! Heading to the countryside for a picnic is a great plan for the whole family, with so much space the kids can run wild, make daisy chains and lose themselves in their imaginations!
Don’t forget to pack the quintessential picnic items when preparing for your next staycation! Basket, blanket and cutlery are just a few of the things you’ll need for your perfect picnic date, but there are a few extra items that might have slipped your mind…
Hand wipes, something so simple yet forgotten all the time. When things get messy, what do you turn to, wet wipes – have a few packs handy ready for clean up! Plus during this pandemic don’t forget your hand sanitiser because you never know what’s lurking in the woods.
Chuck in a few pillows, (if the hotel won’t mind you borrowing them). Bringing along a pillow or two will create a stylish seating option or a place to rest your head after a long day outside! You can pick up a classic picnic blanket from most local shops, but if not have a few towels handy… they’ll do the same job!
Pack a few ice packs, you can never have enough when eating outdoors in summer. Bring a few along for your trip as they will come in handy, the hotel or camping site will have a freezer to keep them cool. Or fill plastic bottles with water and freeze, for a cheaper alternative!
The best thing about a British staycation, no luggage restrictions! If you can fit a chopping board in the back of your boot, bring one along – they make for a perfect insta-worthy picnic shot and they are handy for slicing, dicing and dividing up your picnic treats.
Food and Drink
You might be panicking about picking food for your next staycation picnic, but fear not the local shop should have everything you will need. Keep it simple yet sophisticated, with the basics and try out some of the local produce like pies, cheese, pastries and fruit!
Let’s start with the basics, grab your favourite finger sandwich fillers and a pre-cut loaf, try adding some chutney to your cheese, or piccalilli to your ham to spice things up a little! A quiche fits perfectly on a picnic platter, no need to cook just serve cold with a side salad and dressing. What’s a picnic without a cheese board? You can pick up your favourites in the local shop from cheddar to brie or be adventurous and test the local produce. Serve with grapes, hams and hummus and you’re in for a treat!
Pick food that’s easy to transport and unlikely to go bad after a few hours out the fridge. Scotch eggs, sausage rolls and pork pies are all affordable, tasty and light to carry, plus crisps and breadsticks for a crunchy snack!
Freeze your fruit, not only does it taste delicious frozen but it will last longer in warmer conditions. Why not bring along some sweet treats, scones and pastries are the perfect way to top off your picnic lunch. Avoid anything chocolate as it will only melt in the sun!
Bubbles are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, bring a bottle to share with family and friends or pour a glass of Pimms and lemonade for that summer feeling. Don’t forget the kids obviously, buy single bottled fruit juice to avoid mess and don’t forget the water, it’s the most important thing for a day out in the sun.
Tips for packing for a picnic
When it comes to packing your picnic basket, the team at LuggageHero have put together a few handy tips to make sure everything arrives in perfect condition.
- Make sure you place all your heavy items to the bottom of the basket, and keep your salad, bread and pastries to the top, so nothing gets squished!
- Don’t forget to pack ice packs, or frozen water bottles to keep your fresh food cold. And make sure your dairy products like cheese and mayo are kept chilled, as they can spoil in the heat.
- Wicker baskets look great but not the most practical choice. Try using an insulated bag with straps to secure your contents.
- Always bring bin bags for cleaning up your mess and leave your picnic area as clear and litter-free as you found it.
For many, picnics follow a simple regime of eating, drinking, sunbathing and relaxing. But surely there is only so much of it you can handle before you turn sun-baked and bored? Well, luckily LuggageHero has shared a few ways to keep entertained on your picnic day out.
Card games are a great way to keep busy and can be heaps of fun for the whole crew to enjoy! Pick up a basic set of cards from the local shop for hours of endless entertainment, play go fish or get serious in a game of Rummy.
This one is for the kids and the big kids, pack a ball or frisbee for fun on the beach or in the countryside. Keeping active will help work up an appetite and a much-deserved nap in the sun, plus it’s a great way to get the whole family involved. Don’t forget to pack your favourite book, if you’re looking to relax on the sand or drift off in the trees! But if you fancy stretching the imagination, what about a kite? Even if there isn’t a lot of wind, kites can still be so much fun, kids can run watching them fly behind.
Bring the popular childhood game to the beach, Hopscotch. Using a stick or rock draw a grid in the sand and use rocks and shells to mark your point. Or why not send your little explorers on a treasure hunt, they can search for shells in the sand or leaves in the forest, or wherever you lay your picnic blanket.