Spring is in the air and with it our desire to spend more time outside with Mother Nature. If you’re looking for a fun way to be with your boo that doesn’t require a ton of cash, consider a picnic. Sure it’s a little retro, but people all over the world still enjoy them and the fact that you’re suggesting one will tune your significant other in to the fact that you want a little quality time. That can only be a good thing. Here are a handful of romantic picnic ideas to get you pointed in the right direction.

Select a picturesque park.

Finding beautiful parks around the world where my husband and I can enjoy a relaxing afternoon meal between sightseeing stops is one of my favorite picnic lunch ideas. We’ve enjoyed relaxing snacks in Pisa, Petra, Ayutthaya and even Fort Desoto here in the greater Tampa Bay area. There are some great parks around the world that people travel significant distances to get to. Why not take time to smell the roses when you finally have the chance to visit one? The photo ops will be phenomenal, and you’ll have memories that will last a lifetime. Bonus? It’s a great way to save some money on an otherwise pricey vacation expense.

Firelight is fantastic.Romantic picnic

Who says romantic picnic ideas have to take place during the daytime? If you’ve planned an intimate camping trip with your partner, consider using the evening meal as your picnic. Nature weekends make for some of the most romantic dates, and an outdoor fire will really put it over the top. S’mores are a fun simple recipe that you can make together without too much stress, as are gourmet hot dogs. Each of these ideas can be accomplished with ingredients suitable for carnivores, vegans and vegetarians alike. Plan a fun evening cocktail or simply chill your favorite microbrew.

Keep it classic.

If it’s your first picnic together, I suggest a more traditional menu. Strawberries are a smart choice when developing your list of romantic picnic ideas, as are fried chicken, cornbread and hard lemonade. For those who prefer international cuisines, you can still enjoy classic picnic menus for dates with your boo. Mini quiches are just as tasty served at room temp as they are hot, and imported cheeses served with a great wine and fruit selection and a loaf of Italian crusty bread make an elegant statement as well.

Presentation is important.

No discussion of romantic picnic ideas would be complete without a segment relating to presentation. You don’t want to plan the perfect menu and then carry it to your destination in a crumpled up brown paper bag. It’s just tacky. For road trips where you’ll have a car at your disposal, a traditional basket with all the trimmings is nice or a cooler that hasn’t seen too much abuse. If you’re meeting in the city at an urban park, then you may want to choose items that pack easily into a messenger bag or cargo vest.

Presentation also includes your picnic cloth and other items that will help set the tone. There’s no need to lug along everything including the kitchen sink, but a nice traditional checkered cloth, sarong or even bamboo beach mat can be stored efficiently and a pack of tea lights with a matchbook will certainly take things to the next level for an evening rooftop event.

Find a favorite spot.

Whether it’s a scenic vista you can get to with your vehicle, a great spot by a waterfall that makes an easy hike, a quite rock by a lighthouse or a great city view from the top of your apartment building, it’s important to have a favorite spot or two as a couple that you enjoy going to. It will serve you well when things get hectic in your relationship as a place to regroup during troubled times. It’s also a great idea for new relationships to search out a location that’s unique to you as a twosome. You never know where a relationship might lead and you’ll always have your spot to return to if you end up going the distance.

These are my favorite romantic picnic ideas for long term and new couples alike. What are your favorite ways to enjoy an intimate meal al fresco?

Myscha Theriault

Myscha Theriault

A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.