Picnics are a good way to live in the moment with the people you care about. That said, there’s nothing impressive about being unprepared. If you’re new to this, or looking to up your game, here’s how to plan the perfect picnic:
If at possible, don’t plan a picnic with people who are fussy eaters. Apart from that, find out if your picnicking partner is allergic to anything (grass, bees, food, silence or a sense of humour) and plan the other points around that. Ideally you want to choose a picnic partner that is able to detach their fingers from their phones for extended periods of time and someone that values time spent with you.
In the movies, the go-to picnic spot is under a tree or on the beach, but let’s be realistic: under the tree you usually find more sand than grass and there’s the possibility of a bird pooping on your head (or on your food!), and at the beach you have wind coupled with the risk of getting sand in your snacks. We suggest that you avoid the cliches and go with something more creative instead:
- the rooftop of a high building, at sunrise or sunset, overlooking the city
- the rocks at the top of a hill or mountain, after a relaxed hike
- at the side of a river or lagoon, in a (safe) secluded location
- on your living room floor… and if it’s winter, a fireplace will earn you bonus points (more suited to romance than a picnic with friends)
- in a blanket fort – grab your blankets and cushions, turn the furniture over, drape the sheets and escape in your castle
Here you have two choices: either reschedule if the weather looks dodgy, or have a backup location in mind that will work perfectly with the weather. If you don’t already have a weather app, download one to your phone and check it a few days before, the day before and a few hours before. A surprising number of people seem to overlook this potential wet blanket.
Keeping possible food allergies in mind, go for light finger foods that won’t make you feel heavy or sleepy (unless sleeping is part of your plan, we don’t judge).
5. Music for the car or room
Upbeat indie tunes usually do the trick, but if you absolutely cannot deal with indie, make a mixtape (playlist) of music that you and your picnic partner will both enjoy. An annoyed mood or an instruction to “stop the car and let me out” will usually ruin your perfectly planned picnic, so it’s worth the effort!
Other things to keep in mind:
- Not everybody is able to spend hours in the sun, so if your location is outside, take an umbrella with for rain or protection from the rays, and pack sunscreen
- If kids are part of the equation, either plan around them or take care of hiring a babysitter in advance
- If a hike is part of your plan, let your fellow picnickers know to dress appropriately
Of course, you also have another option: Book a private Rock the Route picnic tour and leave the planning to us. We’ll take you to the secret spots in the Garden Route that aren’t on a map!