With summer in full swing I can't be outside enough, soaking up the sun and warmth. But, with long weeks and busy weekends, it can be quite hard to find the time to plan outdoor adventures. One of my favorite tricks for fitting in the time for fresh air is to always have a ready-to-go picnic basket. Weather you have a free day or a free hour, here are a few tips to get you outside and enjoying the day.

1. The Picnic BasketFor the perfect picnic basket, you will need something light weight, easy to clean, and, most importantly, insulated. The baskets from your childhood were cute, but those wicker boxes were bulky and heavy. Switch to a newer model to lighten your load. Finding an insulated tote will allow you to save time and skip stopping by the store for ice that will just melt all over you and everything you're eating. Keep reusable ice packs in the freezer to grab and go.

2. The Picnic BlanketTurkish bath towels make the best picnic blankets! They are the perfect size for two to lounge on but roll up for efficient storage. I also love that they are made of natural absorbent materials. They are great for picnics on the beach, by the lake, or at your favorite park. Simply throw them in the wash after a day in the sun, and they will be ready for your next adventure.

3. Easy to Transport TrayOne great way to save space and time during clean up is to pack finger foods on a tray. Find a tray that will lay flat in your picnic bag. Arrange non-messy fruits, veggies, or cheeses on the tray and skip the tupperware. Simple wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Remember to put your fruit on top so that it does not get smashed by other containers.

4. Reusable DishesEnamelware has really made a come back. This makes it easy to find. Choose reusable dishes that can be cleaned and thrown back in the bag. Cut down on waste and never worry about running out of the not-so-enivironmentally friendly paper plates.

5. Don't Forget the Fun!Keep some fun outdoor activities on hand to get moving and add some exercise to your relaxation.

With these easy tips I hope it is easier to take advantage of breaks in your busy day. With a little preparation and the right shady tree, even an office lunch break can help you to relax and soak up some sun.

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