How To Pack for a Summer Picnic

This post has been sponsored by Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Rob and I are lucky to live in such a gorgeous part of the country (Destin, FL for those of you who are new to my blog), so I feel guilty whenever I’m inside all day. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and errands and forget that beautiful beaches are just minutes away. I’ve been making more of an effort to take advantage of our amazing location because military life won’t let us live here forever unfortunately. Lately I’ve been really in to picnics on the beach with friends and family! It’s the perfect way to take in the view and soak up some sun. It’s so peaceful to watch the waves, get some fresh air and take a break from my computer screen.

In today’s post I’m sharing some of my tips for packing the perfect picnic whether or not you live by the beach. I like stocking up on portable food at Sam’s Club so that we are always prepared for an impromptu picnic! Rob works right by Sam’s Club it’s super convenient to place an order online (if you guys haven’t checked out Club Pickup – you have to – so neat) and have him pick it up. They have a great selection of dips, cheeses and on-the-go snacks that are perfect for all sorts of summer activities. You all know I have a huge sweet tooth so treats like M&M’s® and SKITTLES® are definitely on my shopping list! My parents were in town over Memorial Day Weekend and my dad always has to have peanut M&M’S® in the house, so these red, white and blue ones were perfect (especially when I get to share with him, too)! The pantry size jar did not go to waste. And they are also a perfect addition for your 4th of July spread.

How To Pack the Perfect Summer Picnic:

Bring a blanket or tablecloth. A lot of public parks and beaches have picnic pavilions with tables, but you never know how clean they are so I prefer to cover them with a tablecloth before setting up our meal. If you’re eating in the sand or on grass, make sure to bring an oversized towel or blanket to sit on.

Pack a main dish that won’t get soggy. Sandwiches are great for eating on the go, but if they sit around in your cooler for too long they end up getting soggy. Instead I like to create a cheese platter with meats and crackers because you can keep them separate and assemble right before eating. Pasta salad or chicken salad work well, too. No-fuss food is key! As for snacks, you can’t go wrong with classic combos like chips and salsa or veggies and hummus.

Don’t forget treats! No meal is complete without something sweet! I stocked up on some treats at Sam’s Club, which are perfect for tossing into our picnic basket! Having convenient, on-the-go treats is key for busy summer months. These red, white and blue peanut M&M’S® are perfect for a patriotic picnic! I love having a big jar on hand, then I can pour smaller amounts into serving bowls depending on how many people are in the group. If you’d rather have individual treats for each person, these SKITTLES® packages are ideal. Pro tip: during the hot summer months, make sure to store your M&M’S® in a cooler so the chocolate doesn’t melt.

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Chill your drinks. Keep your drinks in a cooler with ice because warm water definitely won’t quench your thirst after dining in the sun. You can also partially freeze your water bottles beforehand to keep them cold. The ice will melt throughout the picnic and you’ll be left with a perfectly cold drink! I like to make our water a little fancier by adding lemon slices.

Bring extra utensils, plates, cups, and napkins. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Err on the side of bringing too many because if something flies away or gets dropped in the muddy sand, you’re out of luck. You can either use disposable items or pack some lightweight reusable pieces. If you want to be real classy, linen napkins are always a great choice. They are slightly heavier than paper napkins so they won’t get caught in that sea breeze as easily.

Pack hand wipes to clean up before and after eating. Be sure to bring something to clean your hands with in case your picnic location doesn’t have restrooms. If you’ve been playing in the sand before your meal, you’ll definitely want to wash up!

Always apply sunscreen. You don’t want to go home looking like a lobster! Even if it’s not hot and sunny, it’s important to protect your skin with some SPF if you’re going to be outdoors.