Post Summer Picnic: All The Essentials For An End Of Season Gathering

Summer might be drawing to a close but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the last few rays of sunshine. Holding a seasonal picnic is a great way to make the most of the late summer warmth and celebrate a season well spent. If you’re hosting a picnic, you need to arm yourself with all of the essentials and by considering these things above all else, you’re guaranteed an event that will go off with a bang. Here’s to the summer!

Location

First things first, you need to think about the kind of place that would be suitable for your picnic. WIth fall on the cards, you might want to consider a space that has both indoor and outdoor options just in case a sudden downpour heads your way. If prime picnic real estate isn’t in your local area, there’s no reason why you can’t host your own gathering. If you have a garden, consider setting up your own space for your friends and family, bringing the park life to your home. If green spaces aren’t abundant, you can even bring the party indoors. Just set down a few rugs, get out your picnic basket and let the rest work its magic!

Picnic Basket

If you really want to do a picnic the right way, you need to think about the kind of basket you have to hand. Serving up the right kind of snacks and treats requires a good sized basket, one that is big enough to take home leftovers should you have them. While you can go out and buy your own picnic basket, you can also try adapting what you already have in order to meet your needs. An insulated freezer bag or heavy duty tote bag can do just as good a job as a wicker basket, provided you line it with a little absorbent material. You can even take along your backpack to make things a little easier on your back!

Picnic Blanket

No matter where you’re having your picnic, you’re going to need to bring along a picnic blanket. A ubiquitous picnic tool, the blanket is essential for any type of location, even if it’s a warm day. When it comes to adaptability, Turkish towels are some of the best. Lightweight and easily transported, they can be folded away and and used again with practically zero forethought. You might even want to use the material to protect any cutlery or plates you’re taking with you, ensuring they don’t get damaged along the way!

Snacking Spread

Picnic accessories dealt with, it’s time to take a closer look at what really matters. If you’re hosting a picnic, you might want to ask everyone to take along a small dish of their own to ensure you have enough food. When you’re preparing your dish, you can try turning to a shareable spread in order to appease all of your guests. Bringing food like cheeses, olives, crackers and chutneys can be a really great idea, making it easier for you and your guests to mix and match your menus. You don’t have to get a lot; a few different items can be all it takes to make your picnic a success!

Shatterproof Glasses

While you might have the perfect set of mason jars you want to bring along for your picnic, there’s good reason to leave the good stuff at home. Taking place in the great outdoors, picnics often bring with them a little rough and tumble that can lead to breakages. In order to avoid any disappointment, try picking up a few shatterproof glasses and sets of plastic cutlery before you go. That way, you can easily clean up and avoid any accidents.

Games and Music

What is a picnic without entertainment? While devising a whole new set of games can give your picnic an individual twist, you can still have a great deal of fun with a bunch of old classics. Lawn games, cards and checkers always go down well, and are usually known by everyone. Want something to set off your picnic? Try taking along a set of speakers and making your favorite summer playlist; you’re guaranteed a good time!

Think Fast: How To Plan A Last Minute Getaway

Jetting off into the sunset is the thing of dreams and yet, with a busy working life and social commitments, you might have let this year’s vacation fall by the wayside. How can you get your share of sun? Never fear; it’s not too late to plan a summer trip and even if you want to go over the next few weeks, there are a ton of ways to make your vacation happen.

If the stress of life is getting too much a last minute getaway could be the very thing that you need and by following these simple steps, you can really make the most of your summer break.

Stop Being Picky

Ok, ok, so you really want to spend 2 weeks in an Italian villa, but unless you have a wad of cash saved up, it’s unlikely that you’re going to make it last minute this year. Luckily, however, there are a whole range of things available at your fingertips and by casting your search net out a little further, you can stumble across something truly great. The trick is to refine your options and go from there. Do you want a city break, or a beach holiday? Are you looking for somewhere really hot or do you prefer a cooler stay? Once you have refined what you’re looking for, you can head over to websites like Skyscanner to compare flights to numerous airports. Make sure you do your research before you go; your dream holiday is out there but it’s up to you to find it.

Tap Into Flight Alerts

Want to keep up with all the latest travel news? It’s time to tap into flight alerts. There are a number of different travel websites out there that each offer up to date news on your customized flight alerts, helping you to stay on top of any deal that might suddenly pop up. Websites like Airefarewatchdog and Kayak are amongst some of the best, making it easier for you to keep your nose to the ground while doing other things, too. Don’t be afraid of looking for something last minute; there are a load of deals to be had if you remember to look in the right place.

Call Up Your Friends

Do you have a long list of buddies living around the world? Now could be the moment in which to give them a call. Using your trip as an opportunity to catch up with an old friend or family member can help to you recharge your batteries and save the cash on a hotel room. If your loved one doesn’t have any spare room at their place, consider asking if you could crash with one of their friends nearby. Having friends across the world can be a gateway to a whole range of new cultures; it’s up to you to tap into them.

Think About House Swapping

If you’re really short of cash then jetting off into the sunset hardly feels like the responsible thing to do but incredibly, there is always a way to find your dream vacation. House swapping is a great way in which to get away, save money and experience a new place like a local. Places like Home Exchange and Home Link can provide you with everything that you need in order to get set up and make the most out of your trip. Even vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb can be cheaper than a hotel room and will help you to feel more settled in the new place.

Be Prepared For The Unprepared

Last minute travel can be one of the most exhilarating experiences out there and as long as you’re prepared to make things up as you go along, it can be incredibly successful. While not having a plan can feel like the scariest way to find yourself in a new country, it can also teach you things you never knew about yourself and help you to become stronger on your own. Your trip is a chance to see a new part of the world, interact with a foreign culture and potentially meet new people. Embrace whatever comes your way and never forget what you learn!

Celebrating The Sun: 5 Ways To Pull Off A Summer Gathering

Summer is finally here and with it comes yet another excuse to throw a party. Celebrating the sun is part and parcel of a really successful summer season and when it comes to pulling off your own gathering, it pays to put in the legwork. Having a few friends over for a few light bites is a great way of kicking back, coming together and unwinding in the late afternoon sun and if you ramp up your routine just a little bit, you can have a party to remember. The simplicity of a summer gathering requires just enough planning and forethought, with a little spontaneity thrown in for good measure. Want to make the most out of your next soirée? It’s time to take things down a notch.

Sharing Is Caring

If you want to make the most out of your party and enjoy it just as much as your guests, it’s a great idea to get everyone to muck in together. Asking your friends to take along either one dish or a few drinks can help to spread the load and arm you with a whole lot of variety. To keep things as simple as possible, it’s worth looking to dishes like salads, cold soups and dips; think cool, transportable and easily shareable. When it comes to cutlery and plates, opting for paper or wooden varieties can help to cut down on the mess and ensure that there are no awkward breakages along the way. The trick is to go for a “thrown together” vibe; that way, you can get going with the party even sooner than you had thought!

Take The Inside, Out

Looking on Pinterest is a great way of getting inspiration for your next summer party but if you want more of a laid back, relaxed atmosphere, don’t be afraid to make use of what you already have. Investing in a new set of outdoor chairs to match your theme might seem like a good idea but if you’re only going to use the set once, it can be a waste of time and money. When seating your guests, don’t be afraid to take existing furniture outside and making use of things like quilts, stools and cushions. You want people to be comfortable but ultimately, your party should be easy for you to put together.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Want to be the effortlessly relaxed host? It’s all about getting things ready before your guests arrive. Choosing options that can either be prepared and stored beforehand or need time in which to marinate can help to give you a leg up so that when your guests do arrive, all you need to do is take the food out and throw it on the barbecue. Choosing marinated meats and vegetables is also a great way of getting even more flavor out of your dishes and whipping up a culinary storm. By the time your guests arrive, everything will have already been prepared!

Create The Perfect Mood

Keeping things going when the sun goes down is one of the trickiest hurdles you can deal with, particularly if the activities are all based in the garden. To keep your guests from the dark, try filling your garden with a few tea lights, strings of bulbs and tree lanterns. The low lighting can be just the thing to create the right kind of atmosphere and will throw out enough illumination to help your guests see what they’re doing.

Keep The Mood Light

Having friends over can be enough fun in and of itself but sometimes, you might want to provide a little extra something to keep people in the party spirit. Providing entertainment of some sort, be it music or an outside game, is a great way of enhancing your party and bringing people together. Keeping the music going throughout the gathering can help to keep things feeling relaxed and using your outdoor space to get people involved in a quick game will keep things feeling light. When it comes to picking a game, simple is always best. Choosing something that takes hours to explain will just leave people feeling bored and frustrated; the key is to have fun whatever you’re doing.