Mastering the art of the ultimate picnic comes down to one major factor: planning. Yup, get out that pen and paper because it's time to put down some key picnic pointers. Most importantly you need to remember that as much as you want to maintain the Pinterest aesthetic, keeping things practical can prevent any fails or extra faff. So, with that in mind, get your blankets at the ready and let's get that picnic basket packed - not forgetting your contact lens care essentials, obviously.
Up your eye care
Daily contact lenses are perfect for any alfresco setting, as they're hygienic and as convenient as it gets. Picture the scene: you've set up your picnic in a park, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. You're about to pour the tallest glass of Pimms possible, when a bit of pollen flies into your eyes, bringing with it a whole lot of discomfort. With daily disposable lenses, all you need to do is take your lenses out and put in a fresh, new pair (with clean hands), no problem. Eye drops are 100% another essential for your picnicking plans and beyond. Especially in the hotter months when your eyes are likely to dry out quicker, having a bottle on hand can swiftly soothe any discomfort or itchiness. Our in-house opticians recommend everclear Eye Drops, with a gentle-yet-effective formula to provide long-lasting relief.
Try everclear ELITE
Exclusive to Vision Direct, everclear ELITE contact lenses are incredibly comfy and convenient, with an ultra-hydrating formula perfect for those with dry eyes, locking in moisture throughout your picnicking plans. These daily disposable lenses are made with a silicone hydrogel material, ensuring your eyes stay and look healthy for up to 12 hours, free from irritations and itchiness when enjoying alfresco activities. Plus, UV blocking offers an extra layer of defence against harmful sun rays when you're out and about.
Discover everclear ELITE
Pick transportable treats
Now onto the fun stuff - selecting which delicious treats your picnic basket will be filled with. You can't go wrong with finger food favourites like sausage rolls, pies and scotch eggs. Alternatively, bringing a baguette or bread rolls with a selection of cheeses and hams to compose a tasty creation on the spot can be an equally enjoyable time. If you do opt for a quiche or desserts like cakes, which require sharing, it can help to proportion them before and throw in some packets of condiments. Frozen fruits like grapes and watermelon can also be wonderfully refreshing, especially on a hot day. And, alongside your canned cocktails or preferred picnic tipple, having bottles of water in your basket means you'll stay hydrated and alleviate hangover symptoms the following day. Slathering on sunscreen is a no-brainer, as is pairing your sunglasses with contact lenses that feature a UV filter for extra protection.
Stick with sealable containers
Sealable containers are the simple solution to putting a stop to soggy sandwiches and salads. By keeping fillings, dressings and dishes like coleslaw in separate, air-tight containers you can also prevent spills or leaks in your basket and ensure that they remain chilled until needed. Mason jars are another practical and prettier method of transporting dishes and drinks. Just like plastic containers, they're also excellent at keeping out ants, bees, or unwelcome bugs in urban picnic settings. Like we've said, cooler boxes work wonders for storing certain items and are much easier to clean out afterwards.
Comfort and entertainment = key
What would a perfect picnic be without a comfy blanket? Again, this could be another worthwhile investment for the year, as you're bound to get your money's worth. A generously-sized one means that nobody has to sit on their jacket or a cooler box lid, and in the case that your picnic has a few participants, each household should bring their own. Choosing a thick fleecy design, with a lined side will prevent any dampness from the ground below, or a waterproof rug means you can avoid spills and easily wipe it down at the end of the day. As the weather is very unpredictable, throwing a jumper or 2 in your basket will also never go amiss. Additionally, some form of entertainment, be it a frisbee, a football, a pack of cards, and a portable speaker (or guitar!) to play some background beats is always a good shout. Plus, wearing contact lenses to a picnic allows you to partake in everything, with crystal-clear, comfortable vision and complete freedom of movement.
Food safety is everything
Soaking up the sunshine is undoubtedly a priority, but it's vital to make sure that easily spoiled snacks stay sheltered and cool in the shade as warm temperatures are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. You should always keep your items in the fridge until you leave home and tuck into all the perishable nibbles that contain meat, fish or dairy, once you've arrived. Although laying out your spread to snap an Instagram-worthy pic is tempting, rather stay safe by storing normally refrigerated items in a closed cooler box, with ice packs. Also, avoid anything that's been left out for longer than 2 hours. Plus, adding some Vision Direct Soap Sheets to your picnic basket is a handy way to clean your hands of nasty germs and dirt before eating.
Remember essential equipment
Writing a pre-picnic checklist will definitely save you the embarrassment of forgetting major must-haves. Of course, cutlery and glasses are right up there at the top, as are napkins, a corkscrew and a bottle opener. Disposable plates and paper cups might seem like an easy option, however, they can easily blow away and aren't eco-friendly. Rather prepare for the alfresco dining season by investing in some hardy, but lightweight melamine or enamel dishes and cups to avoid breakages - they're some funky ones out there to add a touch of pizazz to your picnic.