Picnics are wonderful, but can be even better with the sun warming your face and ocean sounds in the background.
- Line the bottom of your picnic basket with a towel or plastic to catch any spillage along the way.
- Bring your towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, insect repellent and extra clothing layers, along with your beach toys: flying disc, badminton set, snorkeling gear, surfboards, squirt guns, portable radio and so on.
- Picnic backpacks are good replacements for picnic baskets and, generally, great for lugging anything around.
- Choose a scenic and wind-resistant venue for your outdoor meal. Try a place between two rock faces or farther from the water than you'd usually like to sit.
- Although beach parties are generally informal, you may send invitations a week or two in advance so guests can plan ahead.
- Plan a menu based on the amount of people and the load you can carry. Ask friends to bring certain items to lighten your responsibilities.
- Outfit yourself with the necessary equipment. A picnic basket filled with plates, utensils (don't forget the bottle/can opener and corkscrew), cups, plastic containers and napkins is recommended. Pack trash bags to carry away any disposables.
- Pack your food. Place the heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on the top.
- Remember to bring a hat and/or an umbrella to shade your perishables and your face from the hot sun. Also pack plenty of ice, which you'll need to keep your food chilled in the sun.
- Toss in a blanket and/or folding chairs for your sitting and dining comfort.
- Bring torches or lanterns for nighttime picnics, or in case your daytime adventure carries on into the night.
Wind is your worst enemy on a beach picnic, so pay special attention to your choice of location and pick the least windy spot. You don't want to fight with your blanket and keep sand out of your potato salad all day. If it's too windy and cold and you're already at the beach, make the most of a not-so-perfect situation: Look for a picnic table and reliable shelter.